Spiritual Guidance through Personal Revelation
Devotional or Speech given at
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
April 18, 2015
Assistant to the Commissioner of the Church Educational System
Secretary to the Board
Brothers and sisters, aloha. I am pleased to be here with you today on this beautiful campus. Congratulations to each of you for achieving this milestone and for your diligence in arriving at a very momentous occasion in your life.
Each of you will be privileged to anticipate many wonderful opportunities as you leave this graduation today. Your future holds great promise of ennobling experiences that will be available to you and that will enrich your life. Even though many opportunities abound in your future, there will also be challenges that will confront you as you serve in your chosen profession, in your home, in the Church, and in your communities.
To fully maximize your opportunities and to successfully deal with inevitable challenges, you will need to access the guidance and direction that comes from following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. You will need to receive revelation that is personal to your unique situation and circumstances in order to attain your goals, while at the same time help you to stay on that “strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life.”
President Brigham Young said, “There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of God to signify to him His will, and to guide him and direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises.” With that counsel in mind, I would like to suggest three principles that will help you receive the important spiritual guidance that is necessary in order to make the many important decisions that await you in your future.
Perhaps the most direct way of receiving personal revelation is through the power of fervent prayer. The third verse of the hymn, “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire,” states: “Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try; Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach The Majesty on high.” Although, as the hymn says, prayer is the simplest form of speech, it is also surely the most effective form of speech. As you employ this God-given form of communication, you will receive the direction that you earnestly seek from our kind and loving Father in Heaven who promises to answer your humble prayers.
The Savior taught that particularly difficult questions or decisions can be best answered or resolved through fasting and prayer. Likewise, fasting and prayer will aid your heart and mind to be receptive to spiritual promptings and to the manifestations of the Spirit. The efficacy of combining fasting with prayer was profoundly illustrated in the School of the Prophets on March 18, 1833. Members of the School were gathered at that time, while fasting and praying, when “the eyes of their understanding [were] opened by the Spirit of God, so as to behold many things.” Your understanding will also be increased and your life will be blessed as you commit the necessary effort in knowing God’s will in your life and in acting upon the promptings that you receive. Truly, as James said, “the effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 
Another tool that is critical in receiving personal revelation is the faithful study and application of the sacred scriptures God has provided us as a roadmap for our life. The scriptures are an eternal blessing from our Heavenly Father. They will provide focus and add a richness of meaning to your life as you actively seek to know God’s will as revealed through sacred writings.
Many valiant and courageous individuals have sacrificed much in order that we might have available in our day this priceless gift of knowledge and direction in our life. Their sacrifices in our behalf have opened a veritable conduit of personal revelation that will bless your life and the lives of your posterity. Clearly one of the best ways in which we can show our gratitude for this guiding gift is through our immersion in the doctrine and principles that are contained in holy writ. You will be blessed beyond measure as you “treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.”
The Prophet Nephi said that we shouldn’t merely read the scriptures, but that greater benefit would accrue as we apply the doctrine and principles to our own life. Nephi taught two of his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, about the need to “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” Continuous guidance and direction comes into the life of the honest seeker of eternal truths as the message of the scriptures is internalized and then acted upon. Sister Julie B. Beck taught that “the ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”
Lastly, we are blessed to have living prophets and apostles on the earth. Their teachings and counsel provide us with critical direction in our daily life, as well as in our greatest time of need. These prophetic individuals have been ordained as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world.”  They are called to counsel and teach us about commandments that Heavenly Father would have us obey in order to be truly happy in this life. Obedience to commandments, as taught by authorized servants of God, is essential in knowing God’s will and in receiving His direction and guidance.
I know that as you seek personal revelation through fervent prayer, diligent study of the scriptures and applying the teachings of the prophets and apostles, the blessings and influence of the Spirit will be magnified in your life, to help guide your path and the decisions you will make. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 2 Nephi 31:18
 See Matthew 21:22
 See Mark 9:29
 James 5:16
 D&C 84:85
 1 Nephi 19:23
 D&C 107:23