Rebecca Pinegar, assistant matron at the Provo Temple, concluded Thursday’s session of Women’s Conference by sharing insights on patterns that can lead to personal revelation.
Pinegar opened her remarks by sharing a quote from President Nelson: “This is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint….that it is our right to have the manifestations of the Spirit every day of our lives,…The privilege of receiving revelation is one of the greatest gifts of God to His children.”
In Pinegar’s own life, the pattern of revelation started with her testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet. As a child she gave several short talks about Joseph Smith that helped her prepare for revelation. Then, as she reflected on his experiences and her testimony, she received a strong personal confirmation of their truth.
“I have long felt what President Nelson said in his talk on revelation,” she said. “The prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. Let’s highlight a few of these patterns, that when woven into our lives can be vibrant and strong.”
Pinegar addressed several patterns, including:
1. God’s Love
When Joseph Smith wanted to know what church to join, he found himself in the midst of a war of words and tumult of opinion. The war that Joseph fought was an extension of the war we all fought in the premortal world, said Pinegar. The war against the adversary continues today. These patterns show us that we can win again.
“In this life we can win again. Our most effective weapon is God’s redeeming love, in contrast to the weapons of the adversary. The strength of our advocate still exceeds the strength of our accuser,” said Pinegar.
God’s love and Christ’s advocacy help us overcome the war. Part of that strength to win also comes from the temple, which is a place of revelation. Covenants made in the temple reveal God and His Son, said Pinegar.
Another pattern illustrated by Joseph Smith was that in his difficulties, he turned to the scriptures. When he was unsure of where to place his faith, he turned to the Bible and found an answer in James.
Pinegar has also found answers in the scriptures. In one case, she woke up the day after a difficult experience still feeling uneasy. She turned to her scriptures and found a remarkable revelation: peace.
“A Joseph Smith experience for us may be an eon away, but we do have a type of it when we seek answers in the scriptures, with real intent, as he did. Through the scriptures, we receive light and understanding, peace, hope and comfort, all under the umbrella of revelation,” said Pinegar.
Prayer is a powerful tool of revelation that Joseph Smith relied on as he sought answers about the true church. It is something we can all use to seek revelation.
Like Joseph Smith, we need to find our own sacred groves where we can kneel and pray, said Pinegar. Also like Joseph Smith, we may feel the opposition of Satan when we seek revelation from God. In those situations, we can adopt Joseph’s pattern by exerting all our powers and persistence.
When she was young, Pinegar prayed for answers when she lost a ring. More recently, she has prayed to know if God loves her and to find peace when carrying out his work. Both kinds of prayers have value, she said. The simple prayers of our youth can set a pattern of revelation we can use to inform the more mature prayers we have later.
Another set of patterns revealed by Joseph Smith are found in the temple. In the temple, said Piengar, patrons symbolically walk through the premortal life, through this life and after qualifying, arrive in the Celestial Kingdom.
“One of the profound blessings of the temple walk is that we are guided so we can do it just as the Lord intends it to be done….The more often we walk that temple journey, the more familiar and comfortable the walk becomes, and the more power we have to walk the same walk outside the temple correctly,” said Pinegar.
Pinegar concluded by saying, “As we pattern our lives after the righteous patterns of those the Lord calls to preside over us, even in their weakness, I know we will be numbered with the pure in heart, noble and virtuous, and we will receive [a] multiplicity of blessings.”