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The Lost Art of Personal Revelation

By Courtney Kendrick

Because I am the sort of saint who attends the Young Women Open Houses on Temple Square every six months, I went on opening day (which was also yesterday.) I found a comfortable (I am lying. Those benches are a tight two inches away from each other and I am shortest person I know. Just how small were those pioneers?) center seat at the Assembly Hall and listened to the prelude music.

As I was reviewing the day’s conference schedule I saw out of the corner of my eye Sister Beck and Sister Dalton (respectfully, the first and second General Young Women Presidency Councilors) enter the hall. I stopped to watch them mingle in the audience and started to day dream about having an audience with them. Having no other responsibilities except to listen to me, I could download (or would it be upload?) all of my anxieties, frustrations and confusions about being a ward Young Women’s President. I further fantasized that they would spend hours answering my questions and telling me that I was nothing short of brilliant for remembering to change the value color table cloth in opening exercises once a month.

When the meeting started Sister Dalton mentioned that they would be around on Temple Square to answer any questions we might have. Though it wasn’t the personal tete-a-tete I was hoping for, I was glad to hear of their willingness to relinquish some availability. Then Sister Dalton added, “Although, I do have to tell you, Sister Beck will most likely remind ‘You have scriptures! You have knees!’ ”

Oh right. You mean personal revelation.

The hard part about personal revelation is that it is personal. On occasion, I find myself sharing my treasures of inspiration with my husband. He usually responds in a “good-for-you!” manner. But I want him to respond more like “I got the same answer!” Personal revelation can be so lonely at times. I’ve prayed to know about crossroads in my life, and when everyone was getting “go left!” or “go right!” my answer was “cut a new trail!”

Then there is the part about getting the answer you don’t want. Your prayers confirm it. Your scriptures confirm it. Then there is the random lady at the bank who says a key word and confirms it in a this-universe-is-trying-to-tell-me-something sort of way, leading you to deny it no longer. It is a wonder why we ever pray at all.

But Sister Beck is right. Every time I am brave enough to fire up my personal revelation with prayer and study, it always works together for my good. And in the end, it is the sweetest reward of having the gift of the Holy Ghost.

And speaking of personal revelation, it was just revealed to me that I need to retract my opening sentence. Because of my dear friend Jenny I went to the Young Women Open House yesterday. She coaxed me into going with promises of friend time and a burrito. Personally, I would’ve slept in.

How has personal revelation helped you lately?

About Courtney Kendrick

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10 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Personal Revelation”

  1. I really felt like I should order an extra 1/2 gallon of Winder milk today before the milkman comes in the morning, but I don't think you're talking about that kind of revelation…

    The Spirit has been teaching me this week about being still. I think I've been too busy and neglecting the actual important things, like being at home. Call me an old fashioned soda pop if you must, but when I'm at home, physically AND mentally, I can be still. I can listen better, I can act and not react. I can be a calmer person. That's my lesson for the week (that and the always hormone-free leche).

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  2. Have you ever noticed how sometimes the Spirit just points you in the right direction, but THAT'S IT! It's up to you to make those "leap of faith" first steps and wait for those "hindsight is 20/20" insights and blessings that let you know it definitely was right!? Well, that is my current personal revelation situation. I feel impressed to venture in a "cut a new path" direction, but it's scary. Every time I've followed those promptings in the past I've always received rich blessings (so why is it still so nerve-wracking?) It reminds me of a card my husband gave me while we were engaged that said "One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." (Andre Gide) I need to continually work on losing sight of the shore and just trusting with faith.

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  3. i just wanted to say thanks for this post. it was a good confirmation that i need to listen to my spiritual promptings and personal revelation even when it is not automatically reinforced by my husband or through immediate direction about HOW to follow the prompting.

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  4. I like what you say about how personal revelation is just that, personal. So someone else's personal revelation is not meant for me and vice versa… that allows for each of us to take our own paths while respecting others. Nice post.

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  5. My personal revelation came from something my husband said late last night–a whole bunch of things clicked into place, and now I must learn how to practice.

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  6. Courtney you are so wise, as usual. Just so you know, you make me want to go to church. It's just disappointing when I get there and I remember we aren't in the same ward.

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  7. awww…the pleasure was mine all mine.

    Personal revelation has helped me lately to know that I don't (yet?) need to bring my 5 month old son to the doctor even though he's been congested, wheezing, and attempting to hack up a lung for a couple of days now. Personal revelation tells me that I already know what is wrong (teething, a little cold, changing seasons, maybe inherited allergies or asthma) and what to do (saline drops, nasal aspirator, steamy bathroom breathing, outside air). Still, I'm always listening and at the ready for when and if the personal revelation says to whisk him to the doctor.

    Personal revelation has helped me to get a glimpse of what my just-turned-3 year old is learning about herself and her surroundings; that she's only just beginning to understand the severity of some of her choices, and that all of her choices/actions have consequences. Personal revelation helps me to go easy on her and help show her the way.

    Personal revelation has helped me to deal with the whines of my 5 & 1/2 year old: again, to get a glimpse of where she might be coming from.

    Personal revelation is helping me as we enter what is one of the heaviest times I've yet experienced: the last 6 weeks before my oldest child's baptism: what we need to talk about, how we can strengthen our relationship, how I can teach her that she is stellar while teaching myself that she's growing up.

    Personal revelation helps me to know to transition the laurels' lesson about the priesthood into a lesson about womanhood.

    I'm usually listening for it, straining to polish the art of hearing it.

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