Quotes on Spiritual Experiences

It is the Holy Ghost who testifies that Jesus Christ is the Beloved Son of a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to have eternal life with Him in families. With even the beginning of that testimony, we feel a desire to serve Him and to keep His commandments. When we persist in doing that, we receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost to give us power in our service. We come to see the hand of God more clearly, so clearly that in time we not only remember Him, but we come to love Him and, through the power of the Atonement, become more like Him.

You might ask, “But how does this process get started in someone who knows nothing about God and claims no memory of spiritual experiencesat all?” Everyone has had spiritual experiences that they may not have recognized. Every person, upon entering the world, is given the Spirit of Christ. President Eyring Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” General Conference, October 2007

One great evil is that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits . . . and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God.  [Some churches] frequently possess a spirit that will cause them to lie down, and during its operation, animation is frequently entirely suspended; they consider it to be the power of God, and a glorious manifestation from God – a manifestation of what?  Is there any intelligence communicated?  Are the curtains of heaven withdrawn, or the purposes of God developed?  Have they seen and conversed with an angel – or have the glories of futurity burst upon their view?  No!  But their body has been inanimate, the operation of their spirit suspended, and all the intelligence that can be obtained from them when they arise, is a shout of “glory,” or “hallelujah,” or some incoherent expression; but they have had “the power.”

The Shaker will whirl around on his heel, impelled by a supernatural agency or spirit, and think that he is governed by the Spirit of God; and the Jumper will jump and enter into all kinds of extravagances.  A Primitive Methodist will shout under the influence of that spirit, until he will rend the heavens with his cries; while the Quakers . . . moved as they think, by the Spirit of God, will sit still and say nothing.  Is God the author of all this?  If not of all of it, which does He recognize?  Surely, such a heterogeneous mass of confusion never can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 203-4

I was recently in Vavau, Tonga.  It is a little island which is one and a half hours away from Nuku’alofa by plane and twenty-four hours away by boat.  By boat it is the worst trip that can be made.  (If you don’t believe that, ask Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, who went there recently to organize a stake and could not get a plane.)  When the area conference was announced for Tonga, it was determined that only one boat would be available for the Saints from Vavau.  The boat held 150 people.  If you stuffed bodies into every possible corner of the ship, you could get close to three hundred people.  Eight hundred Tongans jammed onto that boat and stood up for twenty-four hours without sleep, without food, without drink, without anything – because they knew that a prophet of God was going to be in their islands and they were not going to miss him for anything in the world.

Do you want to go to conference that badly?  Do you care that the prophet of the Lord is speaking in the neighborhood?  Do you care enough to flip on a television set, a radio, or to come to this building to watch a priesthood meeting?  Eight hundred people stood up for twenty-four hours to get to conference, and they didn’t think anything about it.  “The President of the Church is here,” they said.  “That’s our prophet, and we may not see him again soon.”  And they came. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Remembered and Nourished by the Good Word of God,” BYU Devotional, September 26, 1976