Question: Will our manifestation of truth from the Holy Ghost be a "spectacular" witness?

Table of Contents

Question: Will our manifestation of truth from the Holy Ghost be a "spectacular" witness?

Why should members expect to receive a spectacular revelation? Even if one saw an angel, one would be susceptible to later concluding that it was an illusion or mistake

Once critical website claims: " Sounds like if you don't get any real answer from the Holy Ghost that you should just keep on following the church and do everything you're suppose to do such as paying 10% of all your income to an organization that you do not know is true or not, and maybe you will slowly gain one and that may take many years or even a lifetime. It is suspicious when the leaders tell their members that the way to gain a testimony is to follow the leaders and some time in the future you may get a testimony but don't expect anything spectacular." [1]

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As 1 Kings 19:11-12 says:

"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice"

Preach My Gospel: How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?

How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?

Why should members expect to receive a spectacular revelation? Even if one saw an angel, one would be susceptible to later concluding that it was an illusion or mistake.

True spiritual conversion is a process

However, true spiritual conversion is a process, Alma 32:33 states:

"And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good"

Critics ignore that if members experience something really spectacular, then faith wouldn't be necessary, just like the brother of Jared didn't have faith following his miraculous visionary experiences described in Ether 3:19-20:

"And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him"

The gospel is intended to promote faith and personal growth--receiving really spectacular experiences is like skipping steps.

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6)

Having a impressive experience is something unusual and special, and should not be shared frequently,

Having a impressive experience is something unusual and special, and should not be shared frequently, unless the Spirit dictates.

Preach My Gospel states:

"Revelation and spiritual experiences are sacred. They should be kept private and discussed only inappropriate situations." [2]:99

President Boyd K. Packer said:

“I have learned that strong, impressive spiritual experiences do not come to us very frequently. And when they do, they are generally for our own edification, instruction, or correction. Unless we are called by proper authority to do so, they do not position us to counsel or to correct others.

“I have come to believe also that it is not wise to continually talk of unusual spiritual experiences. They are to be guarded with care and shared only when the Spirit itself prompts you to use them to the blessing of others."[3]

Foundation of testimony

President Ezra Taft Benson observed:

“Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.”[4]

Preach My Gospel continues:

"Rely on the promise in Moroni 10:3–5. Every person who sincerely reads and prays about this book can know with certainty of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost."[5]:111

For a detailed response, see: Moroni's promise in the Book of Mormon


Notes

  1. Website: MormonThink, Article: "Testimony & Spiritual Witnesses," URL: mormonthink.com (Last accessed: 4 Jun. 2011) FAIR review
  2. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2004).
  3. Boyd K. Packer, "[https://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord?lang=eng The Candle of the Lord," Ensign (January 1983), 53.
  4. Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Co., 1988), 15-16.
  5. Preach My Gospel.


Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims