Saturday, June 13, 2015

D&C 16:3-4 -- On Form Letters and Personal Messages from God

"And I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone—
For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you."
Doctrine and Covenants 16:3-4

These are some interesting verses that were given as a revelation to Peter Whitmer, Jr.  One of the interesting things about these verses is that they are exactly the same as verses in the previous section, directed to John Whitmer.  I think sometimes this sort of thing bothers us.  If God is going to tell us something, we want it to be personal, and individual, not just a generic form letter sent out to all his fans. :)  Here's the thing though... I really think that this was personal to both John and Peter.  They had both been wanting God to let them know what they could do that would be of the most worth.  And they had prayed about it to God, and he is responding to them individually.  As observers, it might seem generic, but the message isn't generic to the one it is given to.
Sometimes scriptures in general seem generic to us, or directed at someone else, or written in someone else's dialect, and definitely not meant for our ears... and yet, if we give them a chance, they can be deeply meaningful on a personal level.  The scripture that inspired Joseph Smith to find the truth was written hundreds of years before he was born, and directed initially to other people... and yet, it was also meant for him, and for us, and for everyone who reads it in the future.  God's ideas and messages have staying power, and combined with prayer and inspiration, we can be directed to the exact verses we need as a part of our daily study.  God is personally involved in each of our lives, and even though we all get some of the same messages from the spirit, telling us to read, and pray, and treat others kindly... that doesn't make those messages generic.  We all have things that we personally need to read, things that we personally need to pray about, and things that we personally need to overcome as we learn to love others.  Same ideas, different applications, because we have different lives.  But the fact that the ideas are the same is a great thing, because that also allows us to help each other out.  Maybe what I am learning in my life about love or scripture study can help you.  And maybe what you are learning about prayer or faith or kindness can help me.
Today, let's help each other grow closer to God, and let's find the personal messages in God's words, even when they might seem generic.  Let's get to know God better through prayer and learn how much he loves us individually.

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