This is an excellent talk, given by Julie Beck at the BYU Women's Conference, April 29, 2010.
In it, she talked about receiving personal revelation from the Lord. Then she said that we have to have our priorities in order, to be able to receive personal revelation.
".....there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.
Years ago I began using a system that works for me, and maybe it will work for you. There was a time when I needed to prioritize, and in one of those sacred meetings between me and the Lord, He gave me three categories that I have worked from, and they have been a guide in my life. The categories are the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things. I started writing those things down. I asked, “What has to go in the category of essential?” What things must be taken care of, and if I don’t take care of them, the blessings of eternal life won’t be mine nor will they be my family’s.
I wrote at the top of the essential list revelation. I have to be able to know the mind and will of God. Therefore, I have to do the things in my life that put me in a position to hear His voice. Reading the scriptures then became an essential for me because the scriptures contain the mind and will of God, and by reading and studying from them, I can hear His voice and receive His guidance in all aspects of my life. I came up with a simple rule that was easy for me to keep: Every day I will spend some time in the scriptures. The accumulative power and learning of that commitment has changed my life and helped me learn daily the mind and will of God.
Personal prayer took on new meaning when I knew that I needed to know the mind and will of God. I have taken a paper and pencil with me most of the time since then to my prayers. I don’t always receive an answer or instruction, but I am ready. I want to be ready to learn what the Lord would have me do in my day. Who needs my help? How can I increase my faith this day? How can I strengthen my family? What things do I need to correct in order to be worthy to receive His Spirit? He will tell me.
Taking time to ponder and fast with sincerity took on added meaning when I knew that revelation was an essential for me. Making covenants and keeping covenants is on the essential list. Going to sacrament meeting and repenting every week took on added meaning. Going to the temple and fulfilling that responsibility frequently became an essential. Sharing the gospel is something the Lord tells us is an essential, and we are charged as part of the house of Israel to share that message. I need to open my mouth and find ways to share and express my testimony. Service took on added meaning. The Lord said if you want eternal life, give all that you have and follow me.4 So those things went on my essentials list. The list wasn’t very long, but there were essential things that I could see to and make sure that they were taken care of."
Tomorrow I will post part two of her talk, the list of "necessary" priorities.