23 And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year.
Only a few years after a severe famine motivated the Nephites to turn their hearts to God and repent, they began to fight with one another again. As Mormon tells us in the passage above, the contention subsided when Nephi, his brother Lehi, and their associates taught the people the gospel. These teachers had two important qualifications:
- They “knew concerning the true points of doctrine.” Presumably, they had both studied and practiced the gospel to gain this knowledge.
- They had “many revelations daily.”
I’m intrigued by that second point. What is it like to have many revelations daily, and how did they qualify for this blessing?
We know that revelation comes in many forms and that the more dramatic forms of revelation, including visions, spiritual dreams, and visits from heavenly messengers, are rare. The most common form of revelation is the quiet whispering of the Holy Ghost to our minds and hearts. Since we are promised every Sunday when we partake of the sacrament that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (Moroni 4:3), it shouldn’t be surprising that it is possible for us to have many revelations every day. Still, it sounds like a pretty lofty goal.
But as Elder David A. Bednar has pointed out, we may be receiving revelation more often than we realize:
As we gain experience with the Holy Ghost, we learn that the intensity with which we feel the Spirit’s influence is not always the same. Strong, dramatic spiritual impressions do not come to us frequently. Even as we strive to be faithful and obedient, there simply are times when the direction, assurance, and peace of the Spirit are not readily recognizable in our lives. In fact, the Book of Mormon describes faithful Lamanites who “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not” (3 Ne. 9:20).
The influence of the Holy Ghost is described in the scriptures as “a still small voice” (1 Kgs. 19:12; see also 3 Ne. 11:3) and a “voice of perfect mildness” (Hel. 5:30). Thus, the Spirit of the Lord usually communicates with us in ways that are quiet, delicate, and subtle (“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” General Conference, April 2006).
Today, I will remember the example of Nephi, Lehi, and their companions, who taught the gospel effectively partly because they received many revelations daily. I will strive to live in a way that I can enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I will remember that, because the Holy Ghost speaks quietly, I may not always recognize when I am receiving revelation, and I will be grateful for all the guidance I receive from God, both perceptible and imperceptible.