5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.
6 And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly.
7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.
8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.
(1 Nephi 1:5-8)
I’ve written before about the variety of ways God communicated with Lehi during the first spiritual experience recorded in the Book of Mormon. As I thought about this experience today, I thought about how he remained open to additional communication from God throughout the process. After seeing a pillar of fire and seeing and hearing things which made him “quake and tremble exceedingly,” he returned home and lay down to rest. But as he lay in bed, the next phase of his spiritual experience began. How important was it for him to be open to the entire message God wanted him to hear instead of cutting short the communication after receiving only part of the message.
Richard G. Scott once shared a remarkable spiritual experience which came to him in phases. On a Sunday morning, he attended a priesthood meeting, and the humility of the teacher impressed him so much that spiritual promptings began to come to him. He wrote down what he learned. Later that day, he heard a different lesson in a Sunday School class:
In that environment, strong impressions began to flow to me again. I wrote them down. The message included specific counsel on how to become more effective as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I received such an outpouring of impressions that were so personal that I felt it was not appropriate to record them in the midst of a Sunday School class. I sought a more private location, where I continued to write the feelings that flooded into my mind and heart as faithfully as possible. After each powerful impression was recorded, I pondered the feelings I had received to determine if I had accurately expressed them in writing. As a result, I made a few minor changes to what had been written. Then I studied their meaning and application in my own life.
Subsequently I prayed, reviewing with the Lord what I thought I had been taught by the Spirit. When a feeling of peace came, I thanked Him for the guidance given. I was then impressed to ask, “Was there yet more to be given?” I received further impressions, and the process of writing down the impressions, pondering, and praying for confirmation was repeated. Again I was prompted to ask, “Is there more I should know?” And there was. When that last, most sacred experience was concluded, I had received some of the most precious, specific, personal direction one could hope to obtain in this life. Had I not responded to the first impressions and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance (“To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” General Conference, October 2009).
I’m impressed with the durability of Elder Scott’s receptiveness to revelation. I like the fact that he checked with the Lord after writing his impressions to find out if he was accurately representing the message he was given. I also like the fact that he asked if there was more he needed to learn.
In 2015, Sister Neill F. Marriott taught us that, during the sacrament, when she prays for forgiveness of her sins, she finds it helpful to ask, “Father, is there more?” She finds that she often learns something else that she needs to change, something she had not thought of previously (“Yielding Our Hearts to God,” General Conference, October 2015).
Today, like Lehi, Elder Scott, and Sister Marriott, I will listen a little longer for inspiration from heaven. When I believe I have received an answer, I will be a little slower to get back to life. Instead, I will ask, “Is there more?” and listen for an answer to ensure that I have received the full message.