Rolling Waters

In his epistle from Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith used the imagery of moving water to illustrate the principle that continuous revelation helps the gospel remain current and relevant in our lives.

“How long can rolling waters remain impure?” he asked. “What power shall stay the heavens?” Then he went on to compare the powerful current of the Missouri River to the constant flow of revelation from God:

As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

Doctrine and Covenants 121:33

One of the symbols in Lehi’s dream was a tree which also served as a “fountain of living waters” representing “the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25).

But downstream, where the current was weak and moved more slowly, the water was filthy. This water represented the “awful gulf” which separates the wicked from the love of God (1 Nephi 15: 26-29, see also Luke 16:26).

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently taught us that we need ongoing revelation in our individual lives:

We cannot be content with spiritual experiences of the past. We need a steady flow….

We need an ongoing, daily infusion of heavenly light.

We need “times of refreshing.” Times of personal restoration.

“Rolling waters” cannot long “remain impure.” To keep our thoughts and actions pure, we have to keep rolling!

Daily Restoration,” General Conference, October 2021

Today, I will seek for personal revelation. I will remember that I need a constant flow of living water to stay close to God and to address the challenges of each new day.

2 thoughts on “Rolling Waters

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  1. Thank you. This is just the message that I needed. We frequently encounter images of flowing water. Symbolism is such powerful teacher, if we are attentive.


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