Continuous revelation

From Academic Kids

In general, continuous revelation or continuing revelation is a theological belief or position that God continues to reveal divine principles or commandments to humanity.


Latter-day Saints

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), continuous revelation is the principle that God or his divine agents still continue to communicate to mankind. This communication can be manifest in many ways: influences of the Holy Ghost; vision; visitation of divine beings; and others. By such means God guides his followers to salvation and without such His followers will eventually form their beliefs or practices after a god of their own making. Church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. explained the importance and necessity of continuous revelation for the Church:

God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted-by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God commands is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire . . . As God has designed our happiness-and the happiness of all His creatures, He never has – He never will – institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 256–7.)

The open scriptural canon of the LDS Church is based on the principle of continuous revelation. Its 9th Article of Faith 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.

Members of the LDS Church anticipate additions to its canon, including a complete translation of the golden plates believed to be the source of the Book of Mormon.

Quakers

In the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), continuing revelation is the inspirational means by which each individual understands and interprets the Bible. By inspired interpretation, Quakers formed a dynamic, common set of beliefs known as testimonies.

Testimonies are not formal static documents, but rather a shared collection or view of how Quakers relate to God. Testimonies cannot be taken one at a time, but are interrelated. As a philosophical system, they are coherent, even outside of Christianity.

The list of testimonies is also not static. The following is a generally accepted list.

  • The Peace Testimony
  • The Testimony of Integrity
  • The Testimony of Equality
  • The Testimony of Simplicity
  • The Testimony of Unity with Creation
  • The Testimony of Living In The World
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