The Riverside, California Stake Presidency has completed their formal 2019 Ward Conferences for the nine units in the Riverside, California Stake.   Many have asked for the presentation slides and summary discussion to be made available.  What a opportunity we have to share this great discussion regarding the importance of personal revelation on the Stake website for all to view.

Accordingly, the following represents the PowerPoint slides and summary narrative of the second hour Ward Conference Adult Session discussion presented by President Craig D. Beyler and First Counselor, President Mark E. McKell.

The 2019 Theme for the Riverside, California Stake for 2019 is “Be still, and know that I am God.”  This is taken from Psalms 46:10.

The above study sheet was provided weeks in advance of each Ward Conference to allow members of the Stake to review and study many scriptures and related content associated with the Stake theme.

Consider the season of revelation we are experiencing in the church today. Let’s discuss the various revelations you have observed over the last several years.   Pres. Beyler led a discussion regarding these recent revelations and filled a whiteboard with feedback from the Saints.

The above provides a summary of many of the main revelations that we have received over the last several years from both President Monson and Nelson.

What is the Lord trying to us from these revelations and changes?  

Elder Bednar has encouraged us to look for patterns and themes in the scriptures as well as revelations from the prophets and to “gather all things in Christ.”

So, what is the Lord is trying to tell us? 

Here are some key purposes of the revelations. (1) A call for ministering is in part for us to love one another and to develop Christ-like attributes ourselves.  (2) Focus on the Sabbath Day requires an increase in faith and asks us what sign we want to show to God from our Sabbath devotion. (3) The command to teach the Gospel the Saviors Way (Come Follow Me) requires each of us to be more spiritually self-reliant in our preparation and in our teaching of the gospel to others.  We must listen and be sensitive to the Spirit to know what to teach.  (4) Younger Missionary Ages, Priests Baptizing in the Temple and Younger Ages for Aaronic Priesthood Ordination require all of us to be more temporally and spiritually self-reliant.

President Beyler led a discussion regarding this quote from President Nelson.  There are so many important truths here from our dear prophet.

Our focus this year is to increase our capacity to receive and follow personal revelation.

Living in the latter days requires us to make many decisions and choices during our earthly experience. Sometimes, our lives may look and feel like this: smooth, easy, calm, simple with no real changes in our lives.  But, this is more rare than common as the world around us is experiencing much commotion.

But often in our lives are like this: many twists and turns as we navigate our lives through a myriad of difficulties and challenges.  There are many dangers and tight corners that we must traverse.  Add a measure of fog and we might feel it impossible to forge ahead.

A bookmark was shared with all in attendance.  In our discussion today, we will touch on the Steps of Revelation outlined by President Nelson in his April 2018 Gen Conf Talk and outlined in the scriptures.  These steps are outlined on your bookmark.

The scriptures are replete with stories, principles, passages, instructions, and insights regarding how to receive and follow personal revelation.   Let’s talk about the Doctrine of Personal Revelation.  Consider the following:

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation? 

This picture tells the story of Lehi and his family who left Jerusalem and wandered in the wilderness.   To guide them on their journey they were blessed with the use of the Liahona.   This was a “ball of curious workmanship” and served as a compass for them on their journey.   However, it only worked for them based on their faith and diligence.  Alma later counseled his son Helman about his forefathers and the Liahona.  He counseled Helaman to not get distracted by the “easiness of the way.”

Can we be distracted by the “easiness of the way.”

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation? 

This picture tells the story of Nephi getting the brass plates and his encounter with the provincial Laban.   The plates of brass represented a history of his people and the Lord commanded them to take these plates with them so that future generations would not dwindle in unbelief.

Nephi said that he was “led by the spirit not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.”   Nephi relied on the spirit, as directed by the Lord, as to how to carry out this difficult task.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation? 

King Benjamin was a great prophet. He delivered an important address at the end of his life to the people of Zarahemla.  The members the church gathered from great distances to hear his words. They pitched their tents close to the temple to hear his words. The king built a large tower so he could speak to them. His words had a great impact on the people at that time.   His words had such an impact that they said, “we know of their surety of truth because of the spirit of the Lord omnipotent which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.”  The Holy Ghost can change our hearts if we are prepared.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation? 

Enos wanted to receive a remission of his sins. He said, “And my soul hungered and I kneeled down before my maker.”  Enos had a great desire to receive an answer to his prayer. He prayed all day long and into the night raising up his voice into the Lord.   Desire is an important factor in receiving personal revelation.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation? 

In Moroni 10:3-5, Moroni provides a step-by-step process for how we can know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  Verse five teaches us that we can know the truth of all things through these steps.  Consider all of these elements as you draw closer to your Heavenly Father in prayer.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation?

Joseph F. Smith was an early prophet of the church.   In the process of receiving Doctrine & Covenants Section 138,  President Smith provides insight into several steps he went through and his experience in receiving this great revelation on the redemption of the dead.  Review the slide.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation?

The Prophet Joseph Smith searching to know the truth had read in James 1:5 that if any man lack wisdom he could ask God and that if he had faith he could receive answers to his prayers. So, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home to pray for guidance.  We may not have a heavenly visitation, but the pattern of receiving personal revelation is the same.

What scriptural story does this picture depict and what does it have to do with the doctrine of personal revelation?

There is much we can learn about personal revelation by studying Doctrine & Covenants section 8 and 9.   Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had many questions, missteps and stumbles in the process of translating the Book of Mormon.   We can learn much regarding the process of receiving personal revelation by studying these two sections.

There’re many additional illustrated stories from the scriptures regarding personal revelation. This slide references just a few. Take the time to review these references and learn more about the doctrine of personal revelation.

If you have not yet read the book, “Saints, the Standard of Truth,” it is full of stories from early members of the church and their experiences with the Holy Ghost and receiving personal revelation.

There are many barriers that can keep us from receiving personal revelation in our lives.

What are you going to stop doing to get in tune with the Father’s will?

Some examples might be: examining the type of media we are viewing, reducing screen time that is not edifying, being disobedient, having idle thoughts during the sacrament and not being consistent in the important daily habits of personal religious behavior like personal prayer, reading scriptures and pondering.

Pres. Nelson references five ingredients to personal revelation in his recent April 2018 talk entitled, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for our Lives”.  Review the slide.

Throughout our discussion, as we have reviewed a broad range of scriptural stories and read several scriptural passages about the steps to receiving personal revelation.  The backside of this bookmark list 10 steps for receiving personal revelation as outlined by Pres. Nelson in his April 2018 talk.   As you focus on elevating your connection to your Heavenly Father this year, please take the time to review these 10 steps and incorporate them into your personal life.

Please take the opportunity to read the below letter once again from the Riverside California Stake Presidency to all members of the Riverside Stake.

This letter was read in each Ward and Branch Sacrament Meeting in January 2019.

We love you and wish you and your families a blessed year as you focus on elevating your communication with your Heavenly Father.  He wants to communicate with us and has provided a way for us to do so.

If we draw near to Him, he will draw near to us.