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  • Destiny Yarbro

Article Published: Revelation - A System of Checks and Balances

I had the sweet opportunity to write an article with my dad for the Liahona Magazine! Anyone who knows my dad, knows that he is an avid truth-seeker. I am so grateful for his example!

Have you ever heard someone say “Find your own truth,” or “Speak your truth”? We live in a world where many people believe that all truth is negotiable or relative to a particular circumstance and that there are no eternal, unchangeable truths.

Disagreeing about truth isn’t just a modern-day problem. In the Book of Mormon, the Nephites mostly lived in peace—except for “a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets” (Helaman 11:22). The contention led to “much strife,” but the missionary brothers Nephi and Lehi “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” (Helaman 11:23).

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that there is “truth eternal, truth divine.”1 Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reaffirmed this, saying, “Absolute truth exists in a world that increasingly disdains and dismisses absolutes.”2

Revelation is a gift from our Heavenly Father to help us find the truths that allow us to discern “good from evil” (Moroni 7:15–16) and experience personal peace even in unpeaceful times. Even today, with almost unlimited information at our fingertips, personal revelation can help us identify those consistent and reliable truths.

A System of Checks and Balances

But receiving and recognizing revelation can be difficult. For example, how do you know whether a prompting is coming from the Spirit or from some other source (see Doctrine and Covenants 46:7–8)? The Lord also warns us “that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:2). How, then, can we be assured that the revelation we feel we have received is “of God” (verse 20)?

Fortunately, there is a system to know if what you’re feeling is from God or not.

Some democracies today rely upon a system of three branches of government to prevent abuse of political power. They do so by spreading the authority and powers to different offices rather than one person or one branch of the government. This is called checks and balances.

In a similar way, we can “check and balance” any revelation we receive by using the tools the Lord has given us. These tools include ...


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