Equivocating Feelings and Revelation
Remember TBC’s first paragraph? They write,
” ‘Testimony’ is understood by some to be sure knowledge received by revelation accompanied by a warm feeling of calm unwavering certainty.”
This stance of equivocating “feelings” and “revelation” betrays a gross unfamiliarity with how Latter-day Saints view their testimonies. Certain feelings do sometimes play a part in the testimonies of some Latter-day Saints, but lasting testimonies are made up of far more than warm-fuzzies.
True to the Faith teaches,
“Your testimony will grow stronger through your experiences. It will expand as you show your willingness to serve in the Church, wherever you are called. It will increase as you make decisions to keep the commandments. As you lift and strengthen others, you will see that your testimony continues to develop. As you pray and fast, study the scriptures, attend Church meetings, and hear others share their testimonies, you will be blessed with moments of inspiration that will bolster your testimony. Such moments will come throughout your life as you strive to live the gospel.“
The “moments of inspiration” mentioned above, moments that come as we strive to live the gospel, are communications from the Holy Ghost.
Revelation from the Holy Ghost
What is communication from the Holy Ghost like?
These feelings have purpose. Joseph Smith taught,
“Tell the brethren to be humble and faithful and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, that it will lead them aright. Be careful and not turn away the still, small voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their heart open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits — it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts, and their whole desire will be to do good.“
But these fruits of the spirit are not the only way the Holy Ghost interacts with us. How else does the Holy Ghost speak to us?
I hope you’ll forgive some laziness on my part. You see, I’ve answered this question three times already in the posts I mentioned in Part 1:
- An Apple Not Quite Ripe
- Coming to Know Spiritual Truth – Come, Feel and See
- More Discussion About Spiritual Truth
For those interested in investigating this question further, I commend those three posts to you. There is ample doctrinal discussion using both biblical and uniquely Mormon sources, and they are neither long nor difficult.
Those three posts will show at least two things. First, they will show that expecting certain feelings out of our interaction with the Holy Ghost is completely biblical. Second, they will show that revelation from the Holy Ghost involves far more than just these feelings.