The first time I set foot in the Sacred Grove, it was not a “beautiful, clear day, early in the spring” (Joseph Smith—History 1:14
). It was a cloudy, freezing, snowy winter day in January. I was a new missionary in the New York Rochester Mission, and I don’t remember much about what was on my mind that day except the question “How am I going to make it through 18 months of talking to strangers?”
For an introvert like me, that’s a lot to take in. I do, however, remember that in spite of everything, I still felt a special spirit as I walked through those trees. As I gave tours of historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Palmyra area during my mission, I came to realize that these sites were sacred not just because of the events that happened there but because people continue to come there and have sacred experiences, no matter what season it is.
President Nelson’s invitation last general conference to ponder on how the events of the Restoration have affected our lives has caused me to reflect on some of the sacred experiences I’ve had and what the Restoration has meant in my life. What has stood out is that the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ signals continuing revelation for the Church, for my family, and for me.
Continuing Revelation in the Church
The more I have studied Joseph Smith’s life and the history of the Church, the more I’ve realized that the Restoration was, and continues to be, a process. The flow of revelation didn’t begin and end with Joseph. God continues to restore His truth line upon line, here a little and there a little, and that process continues today!
Elder Uchtdorf said, “The Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes ‘all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,’ and the ‘many great and important things’ that ‘He will yet reveal’ [Articles of Faith 1:9
]. . . . The exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ” (“Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?,
May 2014, 59).
There have been a lot of exciting developments in the Church lately. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. But we’re not expected to do everything perfectly now. It is comforting to look back and see that ever since the early days of the Restoration, we have been given truth line upon line and haven’t always known exactly what to do or how to do it. If we look at these changes in the Church as an invitation to rely on Christ, the journey becomes less of a burden and more joyful.
Continuing Revelation for Families
I think it’s easy to say that my family wouldn’t be the same without the knowledge of the Restoration. My dad is a convert to the Church, and he is the only member of the Church in his family. Before he joined the Church, he enrolled at Brigham Young University on the recommendation of a friend. When I asked him why he started going to church, he came back with, “What else is there to do in Provo on Sundays?” Fair point. After getting baptized and serving a mission, he came back to BYU, where he met my mom. I am grateful for my dad’s ability to recognize and act upon spiritual truths and that he and my mom made covenants in the temple that would allow us to be a family forever.