Friday, September 3, 2021

Living by Revelation in a Time of Fluxx

(Guest Post by Matt)

I’m really into board games; I love playing them and teaching others how to play. The games I like to play are built around mechanics: worker placement, hand-management, set collecting, deck-building, cooperative, legacy, even solo. The way to win these games involves using the mechanics to advance the game as well as earn points. If you ever get confused or have a question about the mechanics, you consult the rulebook to get an answer to your question.  

There’s a fun hand-management game I like to play called Fluxx. The rules for this game are a little tricky. You see, there’s a base set of rules that are in play no matter what - rules like always draw a card at the beginning of your turn, and play a card or discard a card during your turn. Then there’s the rules that you don’t know about. At some point you might have to trade your cards with another player, draw extra cards, play all the cards in your hand on your turn, or discard your hand and draw a completely new one. 

Article of Faith 9 states: “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

This statement about revelation is a lot like the card game Fluxx. From the base rules that exist when you start the game to the rules that come into play when they are revealed as you play the game, revelation acts similarly, giving us a spiritual foundation to begin our journey in life, and then, as we are given further knowledge from our Heavenly Father through the prophet, shaping the way we live our life until we pass from this existence. 

Revelation is not something new for the Lord’s church. One of the unique things about our church is that we believe that God still speaks to and guides his children through a prophet, and that the words of the prophet are the words of God: ‘whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.’

The way the rules are set up in Fluxx, as new rules come into play, they are meant to be followed, giving everyone the same chance to participate in the game and, to the best of their abilities, win the game. The difference between Fluxx and real life: everyone can win in real life, and the reward is ‘The immortality and eternal life of man.’

Thankfully for us, the words of God revealed by His servants the prophets are not as random as the rules for Fluxx. God’s revelations pertain to our salvation, and the things we can do to draw closer to our Savior and feel the Spirit. The Lord desires that each of us use our testimonies of the truth of the Gospel and its teachings to benefit the lives of those around us. In this way we show our willingness to follow the Lord, and serve Him: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’

In addition to the revelations given to prophets for the church as a whole, we are able to receive revelation for ourselves and for our families. Lorenzo Snow said “This is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint … that it is our right to have the manifestations of the Spirit every day of our lives.” It’s a little bit like we are all playing our own version of Fluxx, and we have access to a rulebook that is designed specifically for us, to help win the game. 

President Nelson has given us guidance about seeking personal revelation, and how to receive it: “Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.”

You don’t have to wonder about what is true. You do not have to wonder whom you can safely trust. Through personal revelation, you can receive your own witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that this is the Lord’s Church. Regardless of what others may say or do, no one can ever take away a witness born to your heart and mind about what is true.

Just as mentioned by President Nelson, revelation can be about anything that we are questioning. What better way to draw closer to our Savior and our Heavenly Father than by asking them for guidance when we are struggling or need help in gaining knowledge and making choices for ourselves? In the New Testament, in James, we are told: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

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