In his new book, The Spirit of Revelation, Elder David A. Bednar outlines several principles of revelation. The first is called the “still and small principle.” This principle is inspired by the scripture in 1 Kings 19:12, where the Holy Ghost is described as “a still small voice.”
However, attuning our lives to this still and small voice can be frustrating. Why wouldn’t the Lord want to ensure we always recognize His voice in a clear, unmistakable way? Elder Bednar uses the examples of Paul and Alma the Younger to teach us that requiring a large lighting bolt of spirituality may in fact be a warning sign.
“Do you think such a man was prepared to sense, hear, feel, or respond to the still small voice?” Elder Bednar writes of the wickedness Paul exhibited prior to his conversions to Christ. “In order to get the attention of this wayward man, the Lord had to use the equivalent of a spiritual lightning bolt. Some people may think that single experience transformed Saul into Paul. But that was not what converted him. Ultimately he was converted by doing what you and I need to do: read, study, pray, fast, and obey consistently. Perhaps many members of the Church today do not typically see lights and hear voices on their personal journeys to Damascus because they have been blessed to be in a much better place spiritually than was Saul. God trusts us to learn about and respond to the still small voice of His Spirit.”
Elder Bednar points to a quote from President Joseph F. Smith:
“Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs, and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members of the Church who are in not good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commands and laws of God.”
How can we know then if we are being influenced by the still small voice of the Spirit? Elder Bednar has one clear way we can trust in.
“Honoring your covenants and keeping the commandments are the surest indicators of your spiritual capacity.”
You can learn more about The Spirit of Revelation here.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.