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Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy speaks Oct. 3 during the Saturday afternoon session of the 185th Semiannual General Conference.

“We must have faith with works to receive answers,” Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy said during the Saturday afternoon session of conference.

Speaking on the topic of revelation, Elder Martino taught that as individuals turn to the Lord with “a sincere heart, with real intent” answers will come.

“He does not answer just to respond to our curiosity,” he said. “Perhaps there is something in your life that you have a question about? Perhaps there is a problem you do not know quite how to answer? Today I would like to share some thoughts that may help you obtain the answers or help you are seeking. It begins with being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Martino shared the story of when he was a young man and his parents met with the missionaries. Although he was curious, Elder Martino said he was not into changing his life at that time. He did, however, accept the challenge to pray about whether the Book of Mormon was the word of God. Initially, he did not receive an answer.

“You might ask why Heavenly Father did not answer that prayer; I certainly wondered,” he said. “I have learned since that the promise made by Moroni is accurate. God does answer our prayers about the truthfulness of the gospel, but He answers them when we have ‘a sincere heart, with real intent.’ He does not answer just to respond to curiosity.”

It wasn’t until he began to sincerely ask — being willing to act — that the answer to his prayer came. The condition and intent of an individual's heart provides the spirit of revelation, he taught.

Drawing from the Book of Mormon, Elder Martino spoke of the experience of Laman and Lemuel. Like Nephi, they were “born of goodly parents” and had been taught the gospel.

Both Laman and Lemual’s choices allowed them access to potentially faith-building experiences along with their brother Nephi, but their responses are what made the difference.

“Nephi’s faith was made strong; but, Laman and Lemuel grew more cynical and angry,” Elder Martino said.

Mortal life consists of trials and tests, and is not easy for anyone, Elder Martino taught. “Our response to life’s experiences will often greatly influence our testimonies.”

Continuing obedience, learning from trials, studying the scriptures and prayer — combined with fasting — opens the doors to revelation, he said.

Most important, Elder Martino encouraged listeners to “turn to Him.”

mholman@desnews.com @marianne_holman

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