A friend recently described his shattering financial reversals of the last several months, like tornados passing through his life.The future he and his wife had imagined, serving a series of missions during retirement years, has been replaced. They work part-time jobs for small wages, just surviving from one pay period to the next.Their testimony is strong as ever. They still serve in the church with enthusiasm and care. But the husband is disappointed in himself.Why?\"Because,\" he said, \"it seems that I have not been guided by the Spirit. I trust the Lord, but it looks like he can't trust me.\"But I recalled that he had been guided by the Spirit many times, in teaching, in priesthood blessings given, in the raising of superb children, in his constant sensitivity to the downcast, in readiness to serve when others flinch.I said, \"You don't seem to realize how often your path is attended by the Spirit.\"Perhaps inspiration is mostly reserved for things that really matter — things that affect eternity. Sometimes, what matters is that we have experience that will lead to wisdom, strength, courage or patience.The word \"experience\" comes from a root that means to go, to strain forward. With the prefix \"ex\" added, it means going out of, straining to emerge. Thus, an \"expert\" — someone taught by a lot of experience.We may emerge from the mortal school like the butterfly coming from its cocoon. The very struggle of emerging fortifies the butterfly for what comes next. It is how we grow.Despite his losses, my friend is becoming expert in things that matter.Joseph Smith was a master at detecting quiet promptings from the Spirit. Yet, he was not always guided away from difficulties.Just before Joseph emerged from one of them, the Spirit delivered these words from the Savior: \"All these things shall give thee experience ... \" (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7). A successful passing through, an emergence, a graduation. Why should Joseph, or any of the rest of us, be excused from school, after all the trouble of getting in?For example, we know that Joseph was willing to trust certain people who would later become enemies. Or, consider that by close attention to the Spirit, he urged the Saints to migrate to Missouri, which was a bit like marching into hell with targets painted on their backs.Another example strikes us in visiting the John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio.In a part of that home now known as \"the revelation room,\" heavenly beings appeared.You stand where they stood. You stand where Joseph stood as he saw \"those things which were from the beginning.\" You stand where the resurrection was shown to him, in its variety of glories, and where he viewed the celestial world with its future inhabitants and its unspeakable glory, the brightness of which can only be described to us as resembling the brightness of the sun. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:12-13, 20-23, 70, etc.)Subdued, you proceed to leave the John Johnson home. But in stepping out onto the porch, you learn of the mob who came one night soon after that vision. Here on this porch they viciously manhandled Joseph, and then dragged him out into the orchard where he was tarred and feathered.But wait. Why didn't the Spirit warn this perceptive Prophet about the mob, thus preventing tribulation?From another \"experienced\" prophet, we have an answer: hosts of mankind, coming \"out of great tribulation,\" will inherit that very same celestial glory Joseph saw in vision (Revelation 7:14).So, in a way, the John Johnson \"revelation room\" is closely linked to the porch.
Ancient Testaments: The revelation room is closely linked to the porch
By Wayne Brickey
Wayne Brickey, Mormon Times