Chapter 11 of the Teachings of George Albert Smith deals with revelation. One of its main emphases is Mormonism’s teaching that the Lord gives revelation for the church only through the church president. “Let us remember that the President of this Church has been officially designated as the pilot of the Church here in mortality to represent the Master of heaven and earth.”
Its other emphasis is that each member can receive personal revelations conditioned on keeping the commandments and living a godly life. Most of the time this revelation is said to come through their feelings. The manual True to the Faith puts it this way: “we often describe a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling.’” (p.144)
It also addresses the fact that this is something that the Mormon Church has received criticism on. “By the unbeliever, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ in all ages of the world have been considered a peculiar people. When the Lord has spoken through his servants, there have been at different periods of time many people in the earth who have said, ‘I do not believe in revelation.’ This age is no exception to the rule. The thousands, yes, the millions, of our Father’s children who live in the earth are but repeating the history of the past when they deny that God has revealed again his will to the children of men, and say that they have no need of any further revelation.”
Obviously, I would be placed in that grouping. But, just for the record, I do believe in revelation. I believe that the Lord is still powerfully and wonderfully revealing himself and his will in the Bible. It tells me absolutely everything I need to know for my life now and for eternal life. In my personal devotions, I am just finishing a thorough study of the first three chapters of Ephesians. Talk about a breath-taking revelation of God’s grace! As I studied those chapters once again, the Lord revealed anew to me the greatness of his love for me – how he did absolutely everything so that I will live with him for all eternity. Verse after magnificent verse reveals the unsearchable riches we have in Christ. In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing.
And what was so striking was, not once was there a qualification of having to be worthy for all this. In fact, Paul talks about the wonderful grace given him to be an apostle even though he was the least of the saints. Not once was there a condition of having to keep the commandments. No, the entire focus is on what God had done for me through Christ. The only imperative verb (command) in the entire first three chapters is to remember our former state before Christ. That’s it. The rest is a description of God acting for me.
What God has done for me in Christ – that, my friends, is the fullness of the gospel. That is true revelation. That, and the rest of biblical revelation, is all the revelation I need.