Any returned missionary will recognize the chapters we are studying this week.  We used many of these verses when it came time to challenge a serious investigator to make the commitment to be baptized.  In all our readings and studies of 2 Nephi chapters 31-33, have we possibly missed some critical teachings for our own spiritual progress?  Let’s study together and see what we can find out.

You can also find it on any of these platforms by searching for Meridian Magazine-Come Follow Me.

Maurine and Scot Proctor have taught Book of Mormon for many years in Institute and have spent extensive time in the Arabian peninsula, following Lehi’s trail. They are the creators of a foundation that has sponsored a multi-year archaeological study of the best candidate for Nephi’s Bountiful in Oman. They have written a book on the Book of Mormon, as well as immersed themselves in the culture, history, and geography. of the scripture.

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Join our study group and let’s delve into the scriptures in a way that is inspiring, expanding and joyful.

Scot

Any returned missionary will recognize the chapters we are studying this week.  We used many of these verses when it came time to challenge a serious investigator to make the commitment to be baptized.  In all our readings and studies of 2 Nephi chapters 31-33, have we possibly missed some critical teachings for our own spiritual progress?  Let’s study together and see what we can find out.

Maurine

Welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast.  This is Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’re delighted to be with you again this week as we study the Book of Mormon together and specifically focus on the last three chapters of 2nd Nephi.  Our lesson is called “This is the Way.”  We love picturing you in our mind’s eye, carefully listening in your homes or cars or out on your jogs or at the gym.  We love that so many of you have gathered your families together to listen and discuss these things.

Scot

Let me remind you of our current Meridian Magazine sweepstakes.  We with our amazing partners, Morris Murdock, are giving away the Ultimate Church History tour for 2 people this coming fall!  This is an amazing $7,100 value and includes two $350 airline vouchers. This is Maurine’s and my signature tour that we’ve done for 29 years (and you didn’t think we were possibly that old from the sound of our voices!).  You’ll love this journey—and hey, you might win this! Please take a minute and enter for your chance to win: go to latterdaysaintmag.com/enter and just put in your name and email and you’re entered! That’s latterdaysaintmag.com/enter  Don’t miss this opportunity!  

Maurine

By the way, we’ve heard from many of you all over the United States and in many foreign lands.  This is certainly one of the largest study classes in the Church today! Thank you so much for listening and supporting our podcast.  We truly feel blessed to be able to sit down and discuss these sacred things together. We love you, our listeners and hope that you feel the Spirit each week–as we do–in these wonderful minutes together.

We don’t know exactly how old Nephi was when he gave his last testimony, but we can certainly make an estimate.  Sometime after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, the boys went back to get Ishmael and his family—including all his single—eligible– daughters.  Soon after that, they were all married. Traditionally a man would marry at age 18. If that is the case with Nephi, by this time, 55 years after they left Jerusalem, he could have been at least 70 to 73 years old as he writes these words.

Scot

You have to picture Nephi as seasoned in an understanding not only of the law of Moses—which pointed them to Jesus Christ—but also of the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself.  His Father, the Prophet Lehi, has been gone for many years. Nephi has been leading his people as a King and a Prophet. He has had numerous revelations and visions. He has seen the Lord Jesus Christ in vision and has heard his actual voice many times.  Angels have ministered to him. He has built a temple and worshiped there for many years. He has read and studied the scriptures daily for his entire life. This Nephi, who, for many of us, is certainly one of our scriptural heroes, is about to give us his summum bonum, his ultimate important lessons, his singular and overriding end to which his listeners should pursue and understand spiritually.

Maurine

So, what will Nephi teach us—his loyal followers, listeners and admirers?  What is his final message? He teaches us the simple and pure doctrine of Christ!  And he spells it out for us in his style—which is this: Nephi glories in plainness so that no one can misunderstand his words. (See 2 Nephi 31:2-3)

And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end.” (2 Nephi 31:21)  Let’s go through this carefully so that we all know and understand the doctrine of Christ. Let’s carefully look at 2 Nephi chapter 31.

Scot

I love how Nephi carefully unfolds this doctrine.  Look at verse 4:

4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world. (2 Nephi 31:4)

Nephi wants us to recall the scene from his own vision of the future baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.  Remember, Nephi is going to teach us the most important lessons of his life in these last verses.

Maurine

And he asks the most wonderful and logical question here in verse 5:

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

That verse ends with an exclamation mark on purpose.  As an editor, I am very careful not to allow many exclamation marks (Scot, you especially struggle with this because of your enthusiasm) into our author’s writings—unless, of course, it is really there for a great purpose. This one of Nephi’s has a great purpose.

Scot

This is the picture of the condescension of God.  Jesus Christ is showing us the way back to the Father by allowing Himself, the one perfect Man, to be baptized, even by water.  This ordinance, therefore, is absolutely necessary for all who are accountable who come to this earth. Remember what John the Baptist said to Jesus at the River Jordan with so many looking on at this blessed event?

“I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”

And the Savior answered him:

“Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matthew 3: 14-15)

A word for word translation of this last line might more precisely be:  “I permit you at this moment to do this, it is appropriate, fitting and proper to complete the whole of Divine Justice or to fulfill God’s law.”  Of course, I love the language of the King James Version, but I also like to see the word for word meaning from the Greek.

Maurine

And, in case we miss the absolute necessity of the ordinance of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, Nephi uses the tool of irony and an emphasis of the obvious in this next verse, verse 7:

7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father (as we all must), and witnesseth unto the Father (as we all must) that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. (2 Nephi 31:7)

Nephi is teaching us that baptism is an act of humility and obedience and it is an ordinance that must be done.  This is probably the clearest verse in all the scriptures for the necessity of the ordinance of baptism.

Scot

Nephi, who is always leading his readers and followers to Christ, quotes the Savior in verse 10 of chapter 31 who says:  ‘Follow thou me.’ Those three words are a divine invitation for all of us. Then Nephi asks:

Wherefore…can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? (2 Nephi 31:10)  That is a rhetorical question and, we cannot truly follow the Savior unless we keep the commandments.

Maurine

And the Father himself says in the next verse:  Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. (2 Nephi 31:11)  Those 14 words, directly from the Father, lay out the process of repentance and the necessity again of baptism.

Then the Savior promises all of us:  “He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.”

I love how the Prophet Joseph expounds upon this gift in Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 26-28:

26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;

27 Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fullness of their glory;

28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld… (D&C 121:26-28)

Scot

Oh Maurine, I love that description of the “unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost”—that truly gives us access to all truth—to things that have never been revealed.  I think we are living in a time of great revelation—when the Prophet has encouraged and admonished us to seek personal revelation, to grow in the spirit of revelation, to follow the example of the Prophet Joseph and ask of God those things which we desire to know.  There’s nothing more delicious or delightful than to receive direct revelation through the power and gift of the Holy Ghost in those areas that are concerning our own stewardships.  

Maurine

I agree!  And I think sometimes we get the impression that God will withhold knowledge and revelation and only mete out the smallest amount at the last possible moment of our needs.  I think of Him just the opposite. I think of our Heavenly Father as an extremely generous Giver of knowledge and He is anxious to reveal to us truths, knowledge, wisdom, power, insights and inspiration as fast as we are able to receive them.  I don’t think it’s ever God who holds back—it’s us! We are many times slow to receive all that the Father has in store for us.

Scot

Listen to Nephi’s language in verse 13 of Chapter 31:

“I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” (2 Nephi 31:13)

This kind of reminds me, Maurine, of Naaman, the captain of the host of the king of Syria.  He was this great and noble man, and so blessed, but he had leprosy. And remember, he came to the Prophet Elisha to be healed.  And then, Elisha sent a servant out of his tent to tell Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed.

Maurine

You’re right—it is that act of humility and obedience.  It’s that same pattern we’ve been talking about. Here is Naaman, a great captain of the army of Syria, one who is used to such great rivers in Syria and he is asked to immerse himself seven times in this meager Jordan River.  He was unwilling and went away in a rage. But then, I love what his servants say to him:

“My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

“Then [Naaman] went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child and he was clean.” (See 2 Kings 5: 1-14)

It truly is the same thing we are asked to do.  A simple thing: Humble ourselves and follow the Savior down into the water of a baptismal font, or pond or river or ocean or stream—and follow the example of Jesus in being baptized by one who has authority.

Scot

And look at the gift that we are promised—Naaman is made clean—and so are we as we submit to baptism and we are given this unspeakable and marvelous gift of the Holy Ghost.  No greater gift can be given to us in this life. It doesn’t really seem fair that the Lord asks so little of us and gives us SO much in return. But, that is His nature. He is the abundant giver.  We see it all through His earthly ministry. We see it all through the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel in these latter days. We see it at General Conference. We see it in our daily prayers and in our callings and in our Temple worship.  He asks so little and He gives SO much in return.

Maurine

Then Nephi introduces another part of the doctrine of Christ here in verse 16:

16 And now…I know that unless a man (or woman) shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved. (2 Nephi 31: 16)

So, it’s not that we just allow ourselves to be baptized and then receive the Holy Ghost—we must endure faithfully to the end.  This is where Satan has a hay day. He works tirelessly to throw us off course, to discourage us, to deceive us, to darken our path, to send fiery darts at us, to tempt us.  Enduring to the end is where it’s at in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Scot

I love what another Nephi says to the people of Zarahemla as he is upon his garden tower.  Do you remember this?

16 Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo? (Helaman 7:16)

There is Satan’s mission in a nutshell—unhinged and openly revealed:  He is trying to hurl our souls down to hell. There is great power in faithful endurance to the end. 

Maurine

Yes—there is such power in faithful endurance.  It’s like in Section 88, verse 40:

For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light… (D&C 88:40)

The more we embrace light, the more light embraces us.  You can feel that truth. You can feel it in conversations and communications.  I feel it during the podcast. As we talk about these great truths together, you can just feel your soul filling with light.  It is an eternal principle.

Scot

And the opposite is true.  If you willingly place yourself in darkness or embrace those things that are not of the Lord, you find that darkness cleaves to darkness and lies cleave to lies and misery loves company.  Back to what we said about the great power that comes from faithful endurance: There really is something to be said about that. You gain strength along the straight and narrow path. The Lord blesses you with continual aid and help along the way.  You are given continual light and knowledge. Your strength increases. You can feel the blessings of the Lord being poured into your very being.

Maurine

You certainly can. I have felt His blessings at every stage of my life and continue to feel them now. He truly is the abundant Giver. 

Now, Nephi teaches us the steps of endurance to the end.  Let’s look at them in verses 19 and 20—we’re still in 2 Nephi chapter 31.

19 And now, my beloved brethren (and sisters), after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?  [In other words—you’ve repented and have been baptized and you’ve received the gift of the Holy Ghost—is that all you need to do?] Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Scot

And here’s the verse we are all so familiar with, verse 20 of chapter 31:

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward [that sounds like Tree of Life vision language] with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father:  Ye shall have eternal life.

This is just the best counsel—let’s look at this more closely.

Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ.  So, we are holding fast to the iron rod, keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the fruit of the Tree of Life.  We will not let go under any circumstances—we are firm, steadfast and immovable in Christ. Let all hell rage against us and we will not move away from Christ or His Gospel.

Maurine

And I love Nephi’s teaching:  “Having a perfect brightness of hope”—this is also atonement language.  What is it that we hope for?

Moroni teaches us the answer:  Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:41)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell added this:  “Having ultimate hope does not mean we will always be rescued from proximate problems, but we will be rescued from everlasting death! Meanwhile, ultimate hope makes it possible to say the same three words used centuries ago by three valiant men. They knew God could rescue them from the fiery furnace, if He chose. “But if not,” they said, nevertheless, they would still serve Him! (Dan. 3:18.)” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Brightness of Hope,” General Conference, October 1994)

Scot

Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught about the doctrine of Christ as follows:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the Savior’s central role in our doctrine in one definitive sentence: ‘The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.’ Joseph Smith’s testimony of Jesus is that He lives, ‘for [he] saw him, even on the right hand of God; and [he] heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father.’ I appeal to all who hear or read this message,” Elder Christofferson continued, “to seek through prayer and study of the scriptures that same witness of the divine character, the Atonement, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Accept His doctrine of repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then throughout your life following the laws and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Christofferson, D. Todd, The Doctrine of Christ, General Conference, April 2012.)

Maurine

Elder Christofferson teaches in that same style as Nephi—he also delights in plainness.  We follow this covenant path of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance (and this is an ongoing doctrine in our lives), baptism by immersion for the remission of sins by one who holds the proper authority, the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands—again, by one who has that authority to give that gift, and then endurance to the end in absolute faithfulness to the Savior and His Gospel.

I remember, Scot, when we were reading hundreds of pioneer journals and accounts when we did our book, The Gathering—and one phrase that struck us so forcibly over and over again—especially from Heber C. Kimball—was “at all hazards.”  Heber would say that they would follow the Prophet Joseph or they would follow the Lord and His commandments “at all hazards.” That meant NO MATTER WHAT. I like that resolve.

Scot

That is good counsel for us today, in our time.  We will stay on that covenant path—enduring to the end—AT ALL HAZARDS.  We will hold fast to the iron rod—AT ALL HAZARDS. We will be faithful and true to the Lord and His Gospel—AT ALL HAZARDS.  We will follow the Prophet and the Apostles—AT ALL HAZARDS—NO MATTER WHAT.

We live in such difficult, challenging and tumultuous times.  Isn’t now the time and the season when we must stay true to the faith—AT ALL HAZARDS.  Mixing the language of Lehi and Nephi with the language of our pioneer forbearers, we will be firm, steadfast and immovable—AT ALL HAZARDS!  No matter what!

And we can add in the language of Paul the Apostle, “…That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…” (See Ephesians 4: 11-14).

Maurine

That’s right—Firm, Steadfast and Immovable—At All Hazards—that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.  We follow the simple and powerful doctrine of Christ. It is where there is safety. It is where there is peace. You can feel it as we speak, can’t you. It is the right way.  It is the sure way. 

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught us about enduring:

“Enduring to the end is the doctrine of continuing on the path leading to eternal life after one has entered into the path through faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost.  Enduring to the end requires our whole heart or, as the Book of Mormon prophet Amaleki teaches, we must “come unto him, and offer [our] whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth [we] will be saved. (Omni 1:26)”

Scot

Elder Wirthlin continued:

“Enduring to the end means that we have planted our lives firmly on gospel soil, staying in the mainstream of the Church, humbly serving our fellow men, living Christlike lives, and keeping our covenants.  Those who endure are balanced, consistent, humble, constantly improving, and without guile. Their testimony is not based on worldly reasons—it is based on truth, knowledge, experience and the Spirit.” (Wirthlin, Joseph B., Press On, General Conference, October 2004)

Maurine

And here is encouragement from George Q. Cannon:

“No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character. He is an unchangeable being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made Him our friend, by obeying His Gospel; and He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments. (George Q. Cannon, Collected Discourses, comp. Brian H. Stuy (Burbank, B.H.S. Publishing, 1988), 2:185.)

Scot

That truly is encouraging doctrine.  In our enduring to the end we can absolutely count on this God that we love.  It makes me think of the last verse of the hymn that opens and closes this Podcast:

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Don’t you feel that “prone to wander” phrase sometimes in your life?  And yet, the Lord is ALWAYS there reaching out to us and helping us to hold on and endure well.

Maurine

You know I’ve loved carefully studying Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s talks and works for many years.  He had a lot to say about enduring well—it was manifest in his own life as we saw him deal with leukemia.  He was first diagnosed in 1996—eight years before his death. He continued to work hard and soldier on despite the pain and suffering that he had to endure.  President Hinckley said that Neal Maxwell “accomplished more in these last eight years than most men do in a lifetime.” (Deseret News, Carrie A. Moore, “We shall not see one like him again,” July 28, 2004)

Elder Maxwell taught:

“To think of enduring to the end as “hanging in there” and “holding fast” is certainly not inaccurate. But even swaying seaweed knows how to “hold fast.” Enduring to the end, then, is more than weaving and surviving. Instead, we are called upon to “endure in faith” and “endure it well” and endure “valiantly” (see D&C 101:35; D&C 121:8, 29)…

Scot

Elder Maxwell continued:

“Nephi portrays an earnest enthusiasm [about enduring to the end], but without illusions. Hence dullness is not descriptive of such disciples. Bored is the wrong word to describe such believers. Casual is not the correct connotation for such committed climbers on the straight and narrow path. This journey will finally require all we have, yet at the end of the journey, after we “endure it well,” we will receive “all” that God has (D&C 84:38). There isn’t any more than that!

“Enduring, then, is much more than making a passive passage. Rather it is an activism that not only affirms one’s faith but also confirms the basic joys of life. Until the end, enduring is not over. In fact it may be more of a challenge as life goes on. For some, life’s final exams may turn out to be more difficult than the mid-terms, and certainly than the early quizzes. Hence the high relevance of the prepositional phrase “to the end.” (Maxwell, Neal A., If Thou Endure it Well, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1996, pp. 121-122)

This is certainly part of the Doctrine of Christ, enduring well to the end.

Maurine

I want to talk about feasting for just a minute.

Scot

Oh, I like that topic.

Maurine
But let’s talk about the real feasting—feasting upon the word of Christ.  This is such powerful imagery. The Lord and His prophets do not use language lightly.  This imagery of feasting or living upon the word is throughout the scriptures. It is part of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.  We are “to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life. For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (D&C 84: 43-44)

Scot

And remember when Jesus was tempted by Satan after His 40 days fast in the wilderness, to turn stones into bread—Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (See Matthew 4:3-4)  And, of course, he was referring to one of the great lessons of the children of Israel—who had been fed by the miraculous gift of daily manna in the wilderness all those years.

Maurine

That’s right, the Lord said in Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 3:

3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee to know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

The word of the Lord is nourishment for the soul.  It is absolutely necessary for life. You can feel it as you study, search and ponder in your daily scripture study.  It actually brings increased health, increased well-being, increased happiness.

Scot 

President Nelson said it this way:

“How can we truly live, not ‘by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?’

We begin with a determination to “liken all scriptures unto us … for our profit and learning.” If we “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, … [we] shall have eternal life.”

“To feast means more than to taste,” President Nelson continued, “To feast means to savor. We savor the scriptures by studying them in a spirit of delightful discovery and faithful obedience. When we feast upon the words of Christ, they are embedded “in fleshy tables of the heart.”  They become an integral part of our nature.”(Nelson, Russell M. Living by Scriptural Guidance, General Conference, October 2000)

Maurine

So, let us be sure that we do not nibble in the scriptures or snack in Holy Writ like fast food.  Feasting is a long process full of celebration and calculated enjoyment. Our souls can truly be satiated if we will daily feast on the words of Christ. 

Scot

Nephi continues his teaching about feasting in 2 Nephi chapter 32—verse 3:

…Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ [now listen to this life lesson]; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

That is a great promise—that the words of Christ will tell us all things that we should do.  

Maurine

And in verse 5 of that same chapter Nephi says:

…if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

So, the words of Christ are the holy scriptures and the words of the living prophets and apostles—and the Holy Ghost will then show us all things that we should do.  This is a sure path that will lead to eternal life.

Scot

And how does the Holy Ghost speak to us?  There are numerous ways that are enumerated in the scriptures.  Many of you know how the Spirit speaks to you. One thing is for certain, He speaks in YOUR language—and I do not mean English, German, French and Spanish.  I mean He speaks to you according to your understanding.

President Boyd K. Packer outlined a few of the ways the Spirit talks to us in a talk he gave back in October 1994—called Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise. We highly recommend you go back and read and carefully study that talk.

He does say this:  The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear.  It is described as a ‘still small voice.’

Maurine

Often I just have a feeling to do something or to call someone or to say something—that feeling is the still small voice. 

President Packer enumerates further:

“The scriptures are full of such expressions as ‘The veil was taken from our minds and the eyes of our understanding were opened, [D&C 110:1) or “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart [D&C 8:2], or “I did enlighten thy mind [D&C 6:15], or “Speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts [D&C 100:5].  There are hundreds of verses which teach of revelation.”(Packer, Boyd K, October 1994)

Scot

I love how revelation comes in different ways at different times to us and we just have to come to know the voice of the Spirit in our own lives.  President Packer also taught:

“This voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you.  Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency.”(Ibid)

Again, please go and study that talk of President Packer from October 1994. 

Maurine

Just as is taught in many places in the scriptures, Nephi, in his last testimony and teaching exhorts us:

9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate they performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. (2 Nephi 32:9)

Scot

I have to tell you dear listeners one last story that goes with what we have been teaching.  Year ago, Maurine and I were in Egypt and we had spent the day in the Valley of the Kings. We were not leading a tour; we were just there together exploring these amazing places.  It was a miserably hot June day—somewhere between 115 and 120 degrees. We were sweltering. In fact it was so hot, we stopped caring about anything but shade and water. We took a cab to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and then got out and began our exploration of this amazing historical site.  We walked along the vast promenade then up the gentle slope and to the temple itself. We couldn’t wait to get to some shade. We sat down under this one area for a moment in the long-awaited shade—I know you remember this Maurine—and all of the sudden the voice of the Spirit said “Leave now. And RUN!”We were familiar with the voice and we obeyed.  We ran as fast as we could away from the Temple and back down to the parking lot area where all the vendors and taxis were. The place was abandoned. The shops were all closed—the taxicabs were all gone. There was a small group of European college students who were just leaving on their bikes.

Maurine

We asked them where all the cabs were and they said that in the heat of the day they all leave and there would not be any more rides the rest of that day.  We were six miles from the Nile River. We were low on water and there was no place to buy any more (this was more than 30 years ago). The kids said, “Hey, we can double up and loan you one of our bikes if you double up.”  We said, “Thank you so much—we would love to do that.” And so we did.

I sat on this little make shift book rack on the back of this old bike and Scot peddled all the way to the Nile and we were spared a very dangerous situation where we could have been severely dehydrated or worse— Had we even hesitated 30 seconds and not listened to the voice of the Spirit we would have altogether missed these generous students.

Scot

Nephi’s testimony is true and we give our witness that the Spirit will guide you and warn you and direct you and teach you and, through the words of Christ, tell you all things whatsoever you should do.

Maurine

We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and this has been the Meridian Magazine Come Follow Me Podcast.  Thanks to Paul Cardall for the music that opens and closes this Podcast. Thanks to Michaela Proctor Hutchins, our daughter, who has edited and produced this show.  Don’t forget to register for our Great Giveaway Sweepstakes—where the grand prize is the Ultimate Church History Tour for two this coming fall—a $7,100 value! You may enter at latterdaysaintmag.com/enter Again latterdaysaintmag.com/enter

Scot

Next week we will be studying Jacob Chapters 1-4 and the lesson is entitled: Be Reconciled unto God through the Atonement of Christ.  Have a great week and see you next time!