Communication from the Lord

I was asked how a witness of the Spirit is felt.  Here are a variety of ways in which we receive communications from the Lord:
There was a talk I still recall where Elder LeGrand Richards used the expression “goose flesh.”  He was referring to the feeling he got upon hearing something he knew to be true as soon as it was spoken.  He got “goose flesh” as he listened. That is not a bad way to describe how some people feel the witness from the Spirit.  This form can also be replicated by stirring music, art or other performances.  So if this is how one feels the Spirit, they must distinguish between an emotional outpouring and a manifestation from the Lord.
I believe that everyone’s capacity to hear the Spirit bear testimony to them is more or less equal, as all have given to them the “light of Christ.”  (D&C 84: 46; 88: 7; Moroni 7: 19.)
How someone recognizes the witness to them is person-specific at the start.  Whether it is Elder Richards’ “goose flesh” or a burst of unmistakable insight coming from beyond, or a warmth in the heart as D&C 9: 8 describes, is based upon individual sensitivities.  How you feel this may differ from how I do.
When it has progressed from these initial stirrings to the “voice” which you hear within you, that assumes a more uniform experience.  The “voice” is clearly not your own, and introduces ideas or concepts that are clearly not your own.  You can have a dialogue with this “voice” in which your ideas are juxtaposed with those coming to you.  It is not audible, but you hear it inside.  It is clearly not your own voice, but that of another. 
When you have proven yourself faithful and true to all required of you by the “voice” that comes into your mind and heart, then it becomes possible for angels to visit with you.  Angels all come from this earth and have their mortality here.  (D&C 130: 5.)  If they appear as disembodied (not-resurrected) spirits, they may appear only as beings dressed in white.  They will not make physical contact with you.  Satan may attempt to appear as such a being, but since he invariably tries to deceive, if you attempt to make physical contact he will reciprocate as part of his deception.  As a disembodied spirit, however, you can detect his lack of physical presence when such contact is attempted.  A true messenger who lacks a body will not attempt physical contact, but will deliver his message to you.  If a visitor is either resurrected or translated, they may appear without glory, in which case their physical appearance will be as any other person.  The only difference you will likely note is that their countenance is pure and radiates a purity that other mortals rarely manifest.  If resurrected and appearing in glory, they bear unmistakable signs of Celestial Glory.
The closest image I have seen to the glory shown by a resurrected, glorified, celestial personage is the upper pattern, in gold, imprinted onto the Dome of the Rock Mosque.  When I saw it for the first time a few months ago, I was startled by the pattern and its radiant glory.  It is the closest earthly pattern I have seen to depicting a Celestial Glory.  I do not know who fashioned the pattern, but they were depicting something that I recognized to be inspired by what lies beyond the veil and patterned after Celestial Glory itself.
Beings appearing in Celestial Glory do not show themselves, or in other words, cannot be seen, except by those only who are prepared to behold them.  Others who may be present when they appear will feel a presence that often frightens them, as in the case of Daniel’s companions in Daniel Chapter 10.

The final stage in development requires one to “see” the things that are being communicated.  This happens when the “answer” to the inquiry is opened to view, but only inside the mind. You can actually “behold” something as if it were before you, without actually being there. Such a process is physically demanding, despite the fact it is so intangible a matter as to defy description.  Seeing things by this process is not limited to time, place or location.  A person exercising this gift, for example, may be able to behold Abraham as he receives the box containing the records from his father, who held the box in no particular regard because he could not open it.  

When the person has developed the ability to “see,” the answers to inquiries come almost entirely through the exercise of this gift.  Although all these forms of messages and communication from the Lord and His messengers are still available to a seer when conditions or the circumstances warrant it.
There are seers among us.  In fact, we “sustain,” institutionally, fifteen men to be such every General Conference.  The development of the gift, however, comes not by consequence of office alone but by the diligence of the individual.  All are on equal footing before the Lord.  Therefore, although it may be conferred upon you or them, the realization of these blessings depends upon their/your faithfulness.  Elder Scott, for example, uses terms in some of his talks which intimate seership.  The Vision of the Redemption of the Dead (D&C 138) has language I recognize as a seer’s.  So does D&C 76.

26 thoughts on “Communication from the Lord

  1. Thank you, this helps a lot to know where I’m at and what I need to do.

    I’m curious of your opinion of Pontius’ book “Following the Light of Christ into His Presence.” That is one of my all-time favorite books and it seems like you two share a lot of common themes. Of course, this makes sense, since everyone must be funneled through the same narrow gate.

  2. I have to say a big thank you. I was introduced to this blog not so long ago. Before that, I wasn’t even aware of your books. However, having read your writings here, I was compelled to purchase The Second Comforter and have already read a few chapters. Reading that, coupled with this particular post and reading 2 Ne. 32 today has opened my eyes to simple truths I was missing. My scripture study today has brought the Spirit more strongly than it has in a long time, so I want to say thank you for sharing your insights and testimony. It has given me the impetus I needed to reach a little further and really search, something I haven’t done much of lately.

    Now a question for you…in 2 Ne 32:6, Nephi says the Holy Ghost will provide all the doctrine needed until Christ manifests himself unto us. The footnote refers us to Nephi prophesying about His manifestation to the Nephites after His resurrection. At first glance, this made me think Nephi was referring to receiving the higher law above the Law of Moses, which the Nephites were living.

    However, upon further reflection today, and in light of starting to read about the Second Comforter, I am wondering if this is actually referring to each individual receiving an audience from Christ, rather than His collective appearance to the Nephites. I know Nephi, and all the Book of Mormon prophets, were writing to the people in the latter days so I would think he wouldn’t need to refer to a time before Christ manifest himself in the flesh and a time after. I believe Nephi would have known we already had the higher law and is perhaps saying in this verse, and all the verses in 2 Ne 32, for that matter, that we can receive all the knowledge and doctrine we need through receiving and heeding the Gift of Holy Ghost. Then, when we receive a personal audience with Christ, we receive additional instruction / doctrine. Could this be a correct interpretation? I had never looked at it that way before. Maybe I just need to read the next few chapters in your book as I am about to read about Nephi.

  3. Re Sec 76. Wasn’t it Joseph who looked over at Syndey and Sydney who look all tired and beleagured, while experiencing the same vision simutaneously w Joseph, Joseph upon noticing Sydney, stated: “Sydney isn’t as use to this as much as I am”?

    Then Joseph turned back to enjoy the rest of the vision.

  4. On the Dome of the Rock: No, I’m talking about the interior finish, with the pattern shown there. The appearance of the pattern is very much like the “cloven tongues of fire” which one sees in Celestial Glory. I apologize that I don’t have a link to give where you can see that artwork. But it is interior, not the exterior.

  5. Thanks Denver, there was a very specific statement I need to hear in here that I was struggling with. Thanks for the overview.

    And to Sabrina, my thought, that IS the doctrine of Christ. Amazing that there are preparatory principals and greater principles all in one.

  6. I think another way the Spirit speaks is that it helps you connect the dots. For example, ever since your post about power and authority I’ve been pondering it’s significance. I started with President Packer’s talk, then with the story of Gideon, then to the D&C and the Lectures of Faith…etc.

    A single ray of light was illuminated, but it was as if it hit a room full of mirrors and lit the whole place up. Power in the Priesthood isn’t just one important doctrine, it is THE important doctrine! Understanding that has helped me see the significance of so how so many other things are coupled together as a type of authority and power… authority being the shell, and power being the substance. You must have them both! Some examples include:

    Faith and works, the nail in the sure and unsure place, Gideon’s army gathering water with their cupped hands, the dew and the fleece, called and chosen, marrow in the bone, Zion putting on her beautiful garments, the flesh and spirit of man, etc. And those were just a few that I could come up with off the top of my head. This is exciting stuff!

    I’m starting to see why D&C 128:11 is so significant:
    Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum (which means highest good) of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.


  7. I’ve looked at almost all the links above. Yes, that is the artwork, but the quality of the pictures is so bad that it just doesn’t do it justice. The clarity is bad and the symmetry of the art pattern is distorted. A good quality picture will give you so much better a view of this amazing piece of interior art work. Delicate, gold leaf, inset with the pattern that makes it look like flames. It is stunning if you have a good quality picture. These are not particularly good quality, but it is indeed the pattern I was referring to.

  8. See if this doesn’t remind you of the artwork on the interior of the dome. I sometimes wonder what Abraham must have seen when given a cosmic tour… and how he would have described the spectacular things he was seeing>>how wold you describe what you see here?

  9. Russ, The Pontius book is one of the best I have read.
    Thanks to DB, Sabrina, and Doug…I hear you telling me what I have heard and not listened to enough.
    I would like to meet others who are experiencing this…not just to meet others, but to fellowship with true believers.

  10. I want to thank Doug for his fabulous comment. Here’s the part of it that really helped to expand my understanding:

    “…so many other things are coupled together as a type of authority and power… authority being the shell, and power being the substance. You must have them both! Some examples include:

    Faith and works, the nail in the sure and unsure place, Gideon’s army gathering water with their cupped hands, the dew and the fleece, called and chosen, marrow in the bone, Zion putting on her beautiful garments, the flesh and spirit of man, etc.” (from the comment above by ‘Doug’)

    Just to add to this same list, notice the connection between “marrow in the bones” (etc.), the blessings of the Word of Wisdom, and all that’s being referred to in these posts and comments about the power that can and should be in the priesthood. Actually living the Word of Wisdom and uncovering that mystery is a wonderful pathway and key into great spiritual wisdom, power, strength, and enlightenment. The application of the whole W of W (beyond just adherence to the don’ts) is a doorway we can walk through to great power and spiritual blessings which on this side of the door seem purely temporal. It’s a key to one of the greatest of all the mysteries.

  11. Denver,
    I HOPE YOU SEE THIS QUESTION (sorry for shouting, just want to be seen).
    I have 2 questions…they will require some explanation first.

    1. You referred to Abraham and the Box he received. Please enlighten me on that.
    What came to my mind was a experience…
    A little background first. My Father is also a convert member(a convert that returned to the church after ancestors apostasy 4 generations back), and had much of his life a lot of genealogy he could have done, but he was too distracted by The adversary and his delusions.
    I felt strongly and tried to encourage him for many years to do the work, as it was there to do (plus the Spirits of my Ancestors prompted). Finally, I was instructed to ask for it, he gave me the records. I had a experience (both bittersweet) where I received the blessings that my father could have had. I was sad for my father, in that he gave up so much, because I felt what a blessing it is to have the HONOR of being a Savior on Mount Zion for my Family.
    That is what came to mind when you talked about the Box from the Father that did not regard it as much.

    2. The gift to SEE.
    Question, You can see both light and darkness with this, in otherwords, things as they are, correct?
    I ask this because when I was reading this it explained some experiences. I realize I need to be wise where I look.

    Again, I am interested particularly in the story of Abraham, and was surprised there was not any questions on that.

    Thank you for your attention to this.

    Brian and Jennifer Bowler (We both loved this post, and the Abraham Sarai)

  12. Denver,
    Thank you so much for this information…
    1-I am fascinated about the reference to Abraham receiving the box containing the records from his father. Could you please give me more information on this? Is there anything to read? Is it in the apocrypha?
    2-Are you still on for the symposium in the Rose Wagner auditorium on the 15th? Do you have any more information on this?

    Thank you very much…

  13. Do you have a reference describing Abraham receiving the box from his father? I don’t recall of hearing that before. Thanks so much for all of your insight. I have truly been blessed because of your willingness to share.

  14. John Pontius sent me a copy of his latest book The Triumph of Zion, which I am planning to read after I finish reading two other books I currently have underway. When John and I met last year I thought he was a noble soul and a good man.

  15. Check the book The Blessings of Abraham: Becoming a Zion People, written by Douglas Clark, page 102 for a reference to the “ark” which came down from Adam containing sacred records. That’s a source. But in this post I was referring to seeing the object by virtue of the gift of seership. Nevertheless, there is a cite where you can read a bit about it.

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