Become fluent in the language of the spirit
Sponsored Links
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
1 / 51

Become fluent in the language of the Spirit PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Become fluent in the language of the Spirit. D&C 6,8,9,11. Historical Context. Early in the winter of 1828-29, Oliver had been boarding at the Joseph Smith Sr. home as a New York schoolteacher. He heard much about Joseph's strange and wonderful spiritual experiences.

Download Presentation

Become fluent in the language of the Spirit

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Become fluent in the language of the Spirit

D&C 6,8,9,11

Historical Context

  • Early in the winter of 1828-29, Oliver had been boarding at the Joseph Smith Sr. home as a New York schoolteacher.

  • He heard much about Joseph's strange and wonderful spiritual experiences.

  • Wanting to know for himself about the validity of such things, Oliver "called upon the Lord to know if these things were so" when "the Lord manifested to him that they were true"

  • (History of the Church, 1:35).

Historical Context

  • Oliver decided to travel to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith with an eye to become a participant in the work. It was during the translation of the plates with Oliver serving as scribe that Section 6,8,9 was received through the Urim and Thummim.

Video from YouTubeD&C 11:5,12-14,25

  • Gordon B Hinckley, Lessons I learned as a boy


How does the Lord speak to you?

Conduit Revelation


Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. Joseph Smith, HC, 3:389

Philip A Allred, Meridian Magazine, D&C Lesson 6

D&C 121:26The dilemma: The unspeakable gift?

  • Neal A Maxwell, southern Cal CES, example many photos

  • Hearing the Voice of the Lord, Gerald Lund, 27

God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost…

D&C 121:26Describe the indescribable

  • Boyd K Packer, The Candle of the Lord

  • Hearing the Voice of the Lord, Gerald Lund, 27

D&C 1:1-2The Voice of the Lord

  • Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who swells on high,…listen together. For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men. D&C 1:1-2

  • My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

How do I know when it is the Lord speaking to me?

What form does revelation take?

  • How revelation comes is less important than what is given in the revelation












Intervention Change of Outcomes





D&C 8:2-3D&C 85:6D&C 6:15D&C 11:13-14

He uses a still, small voice to communicate to our minds and hearts

Other scriptural descriptions?

What is the voice of the Spirit like?

  • What does this tell us about what we need to do to hear the Spirit in our lives?

Still voice, perfect mildness, whisper, pierce to very soul

Still small voice

Feel his words

1 Kings 19:11-12

1 Ne 17:45

Hel 5:30,46-47

D&C 8:2-3How does the Spirit speak to us?

  • Someone has compared human consciousness to a great stream of thoughts and feelings. It is like a mighty Mississippi River of thinking and feeling… from time to time there is a soft plop as one of the Lord’s “pebbles” is dropped into this mighty Mississippi of our consciousness. Should we be surprised, then, that many times when the Lord speaks to us in this way we miss it entirely?

  • Gerald Lund, Hearing the voice of the Lord, 54

D&C 54:10How can I get better at hearing?

  • Concentration, close focus and attention helps us to hear what others can not

  • The more we hear, the easier it becomes to recognize

  • When we are quiet, we hear things we haven’t heard before

  • The more we know about revelation, the more we will be able to recognize it when it comes

Gerald N Lund, Hearing the Voice of the Lord,348

Mind and heartWhat does it mean?

  • I would explain that an impression to the mind is very specific. Detailed words can be heard or felt and written as though the instruction were being dictated. A communication to the heart is a more general impression. The Lord often begins by giving impressions. Where there is recognition of their importance and they are obeyed, one gains more capacity to receive more detailed instruction to the mind. An impression to the heart, if followed, is fortified by a more specific instruction to the mind.

  • Richard G Scott, CES RES BYU, 11 Aug 1998, 4

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Some [people] have looked exclusively for the great manifestations that are recorded in the scriptures and have failed to recognize the still, small voice that is given to them. … We need to know that the Lord rarely speaks loudly. His messages almost always come in a whisper. …

“Not understanding these principles of revelation, some people postpone acknowledging their testimony until they have experienced a miraculous event. They fail to realize that with most people … gaining a testimony is not an event but a process”

Ensign, Mar. 1997, 11–12, 14

D&C 6:15D&C 11:13-14

He enlightens our minds.

How would you define being “enlightened”?

What experiences have you had where you would say your mind has been “enlightened”?

Elder Russell M. Nelson

When I was in medical school, I was taught that you should never touch the beating heart because if you did, it would stop. And then I read in the Doctrine and Covenants that “unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.” (D&C 88:38.) That passage told me that the blessing of a heartbeat is predicated upon obedience to law. So I knew that there were laws pertaining to the beat of a heart. Therefore, if we understood those laws, we might be able to approach the heart with a little more precision.

Church News, April 22, 1984, p.4

Bible Dictionary

It is the making known of divine truth by communication with the heavens, and consists not only of revelation of the plan of salvation to the Lord’s prophets, but also a confirmation in the hearts of the believers that the revelation to the prophets is true. It also consists of individual guidance for every person who seeks for it and follows the prescribed course of faith, repentance, and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

D&C 8:2-3How does the Spirit speak to us?



Aha experience


Voice in mind







Feels right



Negative feelings



D&C 6:22-23

He brings peace to our minds.

How can we be more trusting of the peace that the Spirit speaks to our minds?

Moses and the spirit of revelation?D&C 8:3

D&C 9:7-8

He may cause a burning in the bosom.

How would you describe to someone what this feels like?

Burning in the bosom?

  • This may be one of the most important and misunderstood teachings in all the Doctrine and Covenants. The teachings of the Spirit often come as feelings. That fact is of the utmost importance, yet some misunderstand what it means. I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom “burn within” them.

  • What does a “burning in the bosom” mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom . Surely, the work “burning” in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity. That is the witness many receive. That is the way revelation works.

  • Dallin H Oaks, Teaching and Learning By the Spirit, 13

D&C 98:12

He often reveals things “line upon line, precept upon precept” rather than all at once.



We learn spiritually in the same way that we learn and grow in mortality

Agency and learning

We learn patience

Opens the way to more revelation

After we act on what we receive we receive more revelation

Elder Richard G. Scott

Seldom will you receive a complete response all at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity. As each piece is followed in faith, you will be led to other portions until you have the whole answer. That pattern requires you to exercise faith.

Ensign, May 2007,9.

What experiences have helped you learn how the Lord speaks to you?


  • I will seek to learn by what I:

    • – Hear

    • – See

    • – Feel

  • I will write down the things I learn and I will do them.

  • Richard G Scott, CES Symposium, 1998

Elder S. Dilworth Young

“Once one recognizes this burning, this feeling, this peace, one need never be drawn astray in his daily life or in the guidance he may receive.”

“The Still Small Voice,” Ensign, May 1976, p.23.


  • D&C 109:44

    • We should pray that the Lord’s will be done—and be willing to submit our will to His

  • D&C 88:68

    • We should remember that revelation will come in the Lord’s own time and way


  • D&C 28: 2, 6-7

    • We receive revelation according to our stewardship and responsibilities

  • D&C 11: 12-14; 50: 23-24

    • We should discern whether the revelation has come from God.

A Desire to Be Led in All Things

  • Closely related to this example is the person who has a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but who unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.

  • We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation. Revelation from God is a sacred reality, but like other sacred things, it must be cherished and used properly so that a great strength does not become a disabling weakness.

  • Dallin H. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 11

What should we do when personal revelation does not come when we desire it?

We can’t be know-it-alls

  • I know that next to God and His great wisdom,

  • My mind is “child” and there’s much more to get

  • Like children playing school in summer sunshine, I barely know the basic alphabet

Lund story, 142

We can’t be know-it-alls

  • To be truly meek disciple-scholars we have much to learn, but also sometimes some significant things to unlearn or forget. This is what King Benjamin refers to as putting “off the natural man.” The honors of man, the vanities of the world, and the telestial temptations we all face may not be so bad in isolation but are so second-rate in comparison to what really matters most!

  • Someone once described his own feelings when struggling to reach new scholastic heights. “My mind is like my grandmother’s attic. It is filled with things no longer useful, but too good to throw away.” In my case, these sentiments may apply not only to things in my own head that are of lesser value but also to habits or traits that I seemingly hold dear, at least behaviorally, but that do not facilitate reaching the goals I have set for myself or the standards established for us by the Savior.

  • A map of the Andes may be beautiful and interesting but it is not much help when backpacking in the Uintas. Both are wonderful mountain ranges, but what significant differences!

  • Cecil O.Samuelson Jr, The Importance of Meekness in the Disciple-Scholor

D&C 98:2

  • The writer Charles Williams observed that “we build our alters one place so that the fire can come down some place else” What Williams means, I think, is that we should not assume that we may dictate or anticipate how and when the spiritual fire comes down into our lives. For example, we may not have a spiritual experience at every sacrament meeting we attend, but if we are not attending sacrament meetings we are not likely to be taught by the Spirit elsewhere in our lives.

  • James s Jardine, Learning in the Light of Faith, 62

What should we do when personal revelation does not come when we desire it?

  • Be patient and continue to wait faithfully on the

    Lord (D&C 98:2).

    • Exercising patience helps us grow spiritually and develop attributes of godliness

  • Increase our efforts to be in tune spiritually so we can receive and recognize the whisperings of the Spirit.

  • Increase our efforts to study and pray, recognizing that we may not have done this as long, as faithfully, or as honestly as we should.

  • Be more faithful in obeying the commandments (Isaiah 59:2).

What should we do when personal revelation does not come when we desire it?

  • Set the matter aside for a while.

    • Flashes of inspiration often come when we least expect them, while our minds are no longer consumed by the matter.

  • Recognize that we may be seeking counsel on matters that we should determine for ourselves, using our best judgment based on study and reason. In these cases the Lord may leave us to decide on our own.

  • Evaluate whether we may have received an answer already but have not accepted it because it was not what we hoped for or expected.

    • If we insist on what we want, we may close off the Spirit’s communication with us.

Elder Boyd K. Packer

“Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong? It may be that you are not doing anything wrong. It may be that you have not done the right things long enough. Remember, you cannot force spiritual things. Sometimes we are confused simply because we won’t take no for an answer. …

“Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

“The answer may not come as a lightning bolt. It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’ (D&C 98:12).

“Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration. The promptings will be clear and unmistakable”

Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 29–30; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 21

Each of us has the privilege and responsibility to become fluent in the language of the Spirit.

Next Week

“The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel”

See the Class Member Study Guide

D&C 9:10-12, 14

10. Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now.

11. Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;

12. For, do you not behold that I have given unto my servant Joseph sufficient strength, whereby it is made up? And neither of you have I condemned.

14. Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.

  • DC 8:6 the gift of Aaron

  • Joseph Fielding Smith

  • There was another gift bestowed upon Oliver Cowdery, and that was the gift of Aaron. Like Aaron with his rod in his hand going before Moses as a spokesman, so Oliver Cowdery was to go before Joseph Smith. Whatever he should ask the Lord by power of this gift should be granted if asked in faith and in wisdom. Oliver was blessed with the great honor of holding the keys of this dispensation with Joseph Smith, and like Aaron [Ex. 4:10-17], did become a spokesman on numerous occasions. It was Oliver who delivered the first public discourse in this dispensation.(Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 82.)

Why was the text altered?

  • The next obvious question is, “why was the text altered from the original revelation?” Brigham Young explained why some alterations were made in the Book of Commandments:

  • “When revelations are given through an individual appointed to receive them, they are given to the understandings of the people. These revelations, after a lapse of years, become mystified to those who were not personally acquainted with the circumstances at the time they were given.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:333.)

  • Accordingly, when the text of the revelation was prepared for review in 1835, it was altered. But who changed it? Both Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were part of the “committee to revise the Book of Commandments when the wording of this 1829 revelation was changed.” (“The Mature Joseph Smith and Treasure Searching” by Richard Lloyd Anderson Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 24 (1984), Number 4 - Fall 1984)

  • Doctrine and Covenants 8:6–8—“The Gift of Aaron”

  • President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “There was another gift bestowed upon Oliver Cowdery, and that was the gift of Aaron. Like Aaron with his rod in his hand going before Moses as a spokesman, so Oliver Cowdery was to go before Joseph Smith. Whatever he should ask the Lord by power of this gift should be granted if asked in faith and in wisdom. Oliver was blessed with the great honor of holding the keys of this dispensation with Joseph Smith, and, like Aaron, did become a spokesman on numerous occasions. It was Oliver who delivered the first public discourse in this dispensation” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:52).

  • Login