Summary Lesson 42: “Continuing Revelation To Latter-Day Prophets”
- Without Present-day Revelation: The Jews have turned to revere the scripture scrolls. The scroll cabinet, the “Ark,” is said to contain the “presence of God,” meaning the word of God.
- Visions Contain Pictures, Sounds: Reading the past scriptural event of Peter’s Vision of the Sheet in New Testament times, can help us understand the value of present day revelation. During his prayers, Peter saw a sheet with knitted or knotted corners—maybe like the typical Jewish prayer shawl, a talith with its knotted corners—filled with all sorts of common or unclean (unkosher) foods. An angel commanded Peter to eat of those foods, contrary to Jewish dietary law. The vision was a contrast in symbolism: The talith used in the temple as a holy garment, its 613 knots and strings symbolizing the laws given by Moses, was now filled with foods forbidden by the Law of Moses.
- Connecting Peter’s Vision with Cornelius’ Vision: Cornelius’ invitation to Peter arrived just as Peter was contemplating the meaning of the unusual vision of “unkosher” foods he had just been commanded to eat. When Peter arrived in Caesarea to visit the house of Roman Cornelius, again contrary to Jewish law and custom, he related that God had updated or changed the food laws of Israel (showing Israel’s singularity), and then taught that not just Israelites, but all peoples were able to become children of the covenant.
- Revelation In Modern Times: Gentiles being able to become full covenant members at the time of the Apostle and Prophet Peter was similar to “all worthy people” receiving the priesthood (or to be blessed by priesthood functions) at the time of President and Prophet Spencer W. Kimball. “. . . We are under the dictates of our Heavenly Father, and this is not my policy or the Church’s policy. It is the policy of the Lord who has established it . . . we are subject to revelations of the Lord in case he should ever wish to make a change.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pages 448)
- Vision with Contrasting Changes: “. . . Extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords. . . . we have pleaded long and earnestly . . . in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance . . . including the blessings of the temple . . . We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.” (Doctrine & Covenants — Official Declaration 2)