Filling the Immensity of Space: The Titles and Functions of God’s Revelatory Power

By Larry E. Dahl

Larry E. Dahl, “'Filling The Immensity of Space: The Titles and Functions of God's Revelatory Power,” in Let Us Reason Together: Essays in Honor of the Life’s Work of Robert L. Millet, ed. J. Spencer Fluhman and Brent L. Top (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: 2016), 51–64.

Filling the Immen​sity of Space: The Titles and Functions of God’s Revelatory Power

Larry E. Dahl

Larry E. Dahl was a professor emeritus of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University, author of many published articles and several books, and most recently senior editor of the nine-hundred-page Doctrine and Covenants Reference Companion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012) when this was written.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 88:5–13 speaks of “the power of God,” identified as the “light of truth,” or “the light of Christ,” which light “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” There are five functions of this power included in these nine verses: (1) creation (verses 7–10), (2) the source of light (verse 11), (3) the source of life (verse 13), (4) the “law by which all things are governed” (verse 13), and (5) the power that “enlighteneth your eyes” and “quickeneth your understandings” (verse 11). The fifth function listed here, the revelatory role of the power of God, is the focus of this article.

There are many terms used in the scriptures, in Church literature, in prayers, in teaching, and in common communication to refer to this revelatory power and its numerous dimensions and levels of application. Some of these include the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Light of Christ, the gifts of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of Promise, thy Spirit, his Spirit, the Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God, the more sure word of prophecy, and more.

Because these terms are often used indiscriminately and even interchangeably, it can lead to the confusion President Joseph Fielding Smith acknowledged:

These terms are used synonymously: Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit, Comforter; all having reference to the Holy Ghost. The same terms largely are used in relation to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, also called the Light of Truth, Light of Christ, Spirit of God, and Spirit of the Lord, and yet they are separate and distinct things. We have a great deal of confusion because we have not kept that clearly in our minds.[1]

Perhaps, then, more important than trying to determine consistent, precise, and unique terms for the various functions of the revelatory power that comes from God, would be to have an understanding of the levels of that power available to mankind and to recognize that all spiritual gifts, of whatever level, are manifestations of the same power.

A framework for such an understanding was given by President Marion G. Romney, while serving as Second Counselor in the First Presidency. When he spoke in the priesthood session of the general conference of the Church in April 1977, he taught, “There are three phases of the light of Christ that I want to mention. The first one is the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world; the second phase is the gift of the Holy Ghost; and the third is the more sure word of prophecy.”[2]

The F​irst Phase of the Light of Christ—Light to All

As noted, the first phase, variously termed “the Spirit of Christ” (Moroni 7:16), “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (D&C 84:46), “the light of Christ” (Moroni 7:19; Alma 28:14; D&C 88:7), “the Spirit of truth” (D&C 93:26; John 1:9), or “true light” (D&C 93:2; John 1:9) inherent in the Savior’s presence, is given to “every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9; D&C 84:46; Moroni 7:16). Anyone who hearkens to that light will be enlightened “that he may know good from evil,” persuaded “to believe in Christ,” and invited “to do good” (Moroni 7:16).

Down through the ages, all those who have sought to do good have been recipients of this revelatory power of the Light of Christ, bringing progress to the world in every field of endeavor—philosophy, religion, music, art, poetry, science, education, government. For example, the Book of Mormon pays tribute to Columbus, not by name, but by mission. Led by the Spirit of God, he discovered America. In so doing, he paved the way for the establishment of a great Gentile nation on this land, a choice land that has a critical role in the work of God in the last days. That critical role includes the Restoration of the gospel, the establishment of Zion, and taking the gospel to the whole world in preparation for the Second Coming of the Lord.[3] In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord affirms that he “established the Constitution of this land [America], by the hands of wise men whom I have raised up unto this very purpose [that men might be free from bondage]” (D&C 101:80). President Joseph F. Smith adds to the list of those who were inspired to make significant contributions for “the advancement of the human race”: Washington, Lincoln, Bacon, Franklin, Stephenson, Watts, Edison, Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, “all the reformers,” and the Revolutionary Fathers.[4] Truly, anyone who has contributed to the advancement of the human race has done so with the aid of the Light of Christ.

The Light of Christ not only helps people bless the world but also blesses individuals personally. The Lord has promised that anyone who hearkens consistently to the light and “continueth in God” (D&C 50:24) will personally be brought to the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the “everlasting covenant” (D&C 66:2), which was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father. And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you” (D&C 84:47–48). That covenant, or fulness of the gospel, includes having a testimony of Jesus, having faith in him, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring in righteousness.[5] But men are endowed with moral agency and are free to hearken to the light and be led to more and more light and truth, or to ignore or reject the light and be left in spiritual darkness to their own condemnation: “Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation” (D&C 93:31–32; see also John 3:16–21).

The Book of Mormon prophet Alma described this increase or decrease in spiritual understanding, which depends on how people respond to the light given them:

And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12:10–11)

The Light of Christ is generously provided to all mankind, but there are some limits to its availability. The Lord has said, “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man” (D&C 1:31–33). When men defiantly reject the light given them and rebel against the commandments of God, becoming degenerate and depraved and ripe in iniquity, even the Light of Christ will cease to strive with them. They are then left to their own destruction, whether by the wrath of God or by their own swords. Such was the case with the ancient Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites, and the inhabitants of the land of Canaan whom the Israelites were commanded to destroy. And such will be the case for any individuals or nations who reject the light of heaven and become ripe in iniquity.[6]

Truly, with the Light of Christ given to all people who come into the world and with their God-given agency, “they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil. Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved” (Alma 41:7–8). Thus, hearkening to the universally available initial phase of the Light of Christ will lead men and women to greater revelatory power, even to the power and gifts of the Holy Ghost, President Romney’s “second phase” of the Light of Christ.

The Se​cond Phase of the Light of Christ—The Holy Ghost

It is important to understand what has been revealed concerning the personage, power, and gift of the Holy Ghost. “Much of the confusion existing in human conceptions concerning the nature of the Holy Ghost arises from the common failure to segregate His person and powers.”[7] The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead and is in perfect union with the Father and the Son in presiding over all the works of God in this world.[8] He is included with the Father and the Son, in whose names saving ordinances are performed, and will be with the Father and the Son at the final judgment bar, before which all mankind will be arraigned.[9] Unlike the Father and the Son, who are resurrected, glorified beings with bodies of flesh and bones, “the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit” (D&C 130:22). His spirit body is in the form of a man, just as the Savior’s spirit body was before his birth into this world.[10] As to the Holy Ghost’s omnipresence, President Joseph F. Smith explained, “The Holy Ghost as a personage of Spirit can no more be omnipresent in person than can the Father and the Son, but by his intelligence, his knowledge, his power and influence, over and through the laws of nature, he is and can be omnipresent throughout all the works of God.”[11] President Joseph Fielding Smith further commented on his father’s teaching: “Thus when it becomes necessary to speak to us, he [the Holy Ghost] is able to do so by acting through the other Spirit, that is, through the Light of Christ [the power of God that fills the immensity of space].”[12]

Even though for the most part the Holy Ghost does his work through the Light of Christ, there may be special occasions when he personally attends, such as when Jesus was baptized (see Matthew 3:13–17);[13] when Abraham and later Moses were able to see God and speak with him face to face (see Abraham 2:12; 3:11; and Moses 1:1–2, 11, respectively); when the Holy Ghost appeared to Nephi (see 1 Nephi 11:11–12 ); when Isaiah, Nephi, and Jacob were able to see the Lord (see 2 Nephi 11:2–3); when the brother of Jared saw and spoke with the Lord (see Ether 3:6–20); when Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son during the First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19); or any number of like occasions that require mortal beings to be transfigured or “quickened by the Spirit of God” in order to see God (see D&C 67:11; 130:22).

The central mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son[14] and to administer the gifts of the Spirit to those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost and who live worthy of the blessings promised. Listings of many of the gifts of the Spirit are found in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants.[15] Not everyone has all the gifts, but “to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God,” and all are encouraged to “seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (D&C 46:11, 8). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The greatest, the best, and the most useful gifts would be known nothing about by an observer.”[16] Such gifts might include testimony and the quiet whisperings of guidance, assurance, peace, and happiness that come with the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

There is an important difference between receiving a testimony from the Holy Ghost and having the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:

There is a difference between the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel; but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him.[17]

Any honest seeker after truth who will “ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things [in this case the Book of Mormon] are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5). Having the gift of the Holy Ghost, however, requires faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift through the laying on of hands by an authorized servant of the Lord.[18]

If everyone has the revelatory power of the Light of Christ, what advantage comes with having the gift of the Holy Ghost? First and foremost, only with the gift of the Holy Ghost, through the ordinances of the gospel, can one be sanctified and thus attain salvation in the celestial kingdom of God. Even those who are the honorable men of the earth and who have a testimony of Jesus but who are not valiant in that testimony sufficient to receive the ordinances of salvation, are limited to a terrestrial glory in the hereafter.[19] In addition, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost maintains and enhances the testimony of the truth originally given by the Holy Ghost. Further, the gift of the Holy Ghost magnifies a person’s understanding of the scriptures and truths of the gospel.[20] Still further, the gift of the Holy Ghost may also strengthen and amplify whatever spiritual gift one is given. One of the gifts of the Spirit is the gift of teaching (see Moroni 10:9–10). Cannot a person be an effective, even powerful teacher without having the gift of the Holy Ghost? Certainly, but it is highly probable that that person would be even a better teacher if he enjoyed the gift of the Holy Ghost. The same principle may hold true with other gifts of the Spirit—language, wisdom, differences of administration, perhaps even faith in Jesus Christ to be healed, and so forth. Honest, honorable people can develop many good attributes with the help of the Light of Christ but not to the extent that those same attributes can be enjoyed if one has the gift of the Holy Ghost. Still another significant advantage of having the gift of the Holy Ghost is the promise that “the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion” (D&C 121:46) rather than the possibility of somewhat intermittent episodes of testimony or inspiration. That promise does not mean that the Holy Ghost, in person, will be constantly present. It does mean, however, that the power of the Holy Ghost is always near and available, comforting, teaching, urging one to an ever-growing commitment and obedience. President Joseph F. Smith taught, “Therefore, the presentation or ‘gift’ of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment.”[21] This constantly available power of the Holy Ghost to those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and who keep their gospel covenants, will in fact “show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). That includes, eventually, putting off the “natural man” and becoming a true Saint “through the atonement of Christ the Lord,” by yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, becoming “as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). During the process of becoming sanctified and putting off the natural man, the Holy Ghost is very much involved in his role as the Holy Spirit of Promise. “All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise . . . are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead” (D&C 132:7; see also D&C 76:50–54). Latter-day prophets and apostles have taught that when covenants are made and ordinances performed in worthiness, the Holy Ghost will seal or approve the action and the promised blessings. However, if there is subsequent disobedience, the Holy Ghost will withdraw his seal of approval, and the promised blessings will be withheld. To then have the seal and promised blessings restored requires genuine repentance and obedience.[22]

Once a person passes through “the gate” of repentance, baptism, and receipt of the Holy Ghost, Nephi testifies that all is not yet done. “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20). The promise of eternal life leads to a discussion of President Romney’s third phase of the Light of Christ, “the more sure word of prophecy.”

The More Sure Word of Prophecy

“The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood” (D&C 131:5). It means one’s calling and election has been made sure, and his exaltation is assured unless he becomes a son of perdition. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

Those who press forward in righteousness, living by every word of revealed truth, have power to make their calling and election sure. They receive the more sure word of prophecy and know by revelation and the authority of the priesthood that they are sealed up unto eternal life. They are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood.[23]

Concerning blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained:

If men have received the good word of God, and tasted of the powers of the world to come, if they should fall away, it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have crucified Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame, . . . and the power of Elijah cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals and power of the Priesthood.[24]

Additional information is given in the Doctrine and Covenants concerning what is required for a person to blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, thus becoming a son of perdition: “Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—they are they who are sons of perdition . . . concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame” (D&C 76:31–35), doing so “after the Father has revealed him” (D&C 76:43). Thankfully, as President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “The sin against the Holy Ghost requires such knowledge that it is manifestly impossible for the rank and file to commit such a sin.”[25]

But what of those who have been sealed up to eternal life and then commit sins that do not constitute denying the Holy Ghost but which are sins nonetheless? The Lord has made it clear that he “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1:31). That is true—even, and perhaps, especially—for those who have achieved high levels of spiritual knowledge and experience. Certainly deep repentance will be required. Beyond that, there may be suffering, even the buffetings of Satan, until justice is served and mercy redeems them and they are ultimately granted the promised eternal life (see D&C 132:26). Hence the Lord’s warning voice: “But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God; therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also” (D&C 20:32–34).

How might a person come to know that he or she is sealed up unto eternal life and understand what must be done to merit such a blessing? One way of knowing is to have the Lord personally deliver the message. President Romney cites several scriptural examples of the Lord letting his servants know that they have received this blessing, including Enos, the Nephite disciples, Moroni, Paul, and Joseph Smith.[26] He also cites the experience of Heber C. Kimball, who was told, “Thy name is written in heaven, no more to be blotted out for ever.”[27] The Prophet Joseph Smith added, “Isaiah, Ezekiel, John on the Isle of Patmos, . . . and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.”[28] Undoubtedly, many of the ancient patriarchs and prophets such as Moses, Alma, Enoch, the whole city of Zion, and hosts of others were so blessed (see Alma 45:18–19; Moses 7:18–21) .

Another way of knowing is “by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood” (D&C 131:5). Using the priesthood in this way requires the keys of the sealing power, restored to the earth by Elijah on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (see D&C 110:13–16; 2:1–3). The priesthood keys restored by Elijah seal husbands, wives, and children through generations and dispensations, as families, for time and all eternity. In addition, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “the power of Elijah is sufficient to make our calling and election sure.”[29] All priesthood keys restored to the earth in this last dispensation, including the sealing power brought by Elijah, have been passed down from the Prophet Joseph Smith to every succeeding President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those keys and the exclusive right to exercise them are held only by the current President of the Church. He may delegate to others certain priesthood functions, including any that have to do with the more sure word of prophecy, but all that is done must be done by virtue of the sacred priesthood keys he holds, and under his direction. Thus, when the Lord revealed that Hyrum Smith was “to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption” (D&C 124:124), it follows that Hyrum would function under the direction of Joseph Smith, who was “to be a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator, a revelator, a seer, and prophet” (D&C 124:125) and the only one holding all the keys of the priesthood, including the sealing power.[30] Whether the more sure word of prophecy comes from the Lord himself or through the “power of the Holy Priesthood” by those authorized to exercise that function of the sealing power, it comes as an invitation and not by application.

Although it is not appropriate to campaign to receive the more sure word of prophecy according to one’s own timetable, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.”[31] While pressing forward and waiting patiently, where should one’s focus be? It is interesting to note that not one of those who are named in the scriptures as receiving the more sure word of prophecy was seeking such a blessing at the time it was given. All of them were totally involved in the Lord’s service and seeking to know how to serve better. Consider, for example, the experience of Alma, recorded in Mosiah 26 and that of Nephi, son of Helaman, recorded in Helaman 10. Perhaps serving the Lord and waiting patiently as these brethren did is the best way for anyone to prepare to receive the more sure word of prophecy. Those who immerse themselves in the service of the Lord with “all [their] heart, might, mind, and strength”(D&C 4:2) are in the process of making their calling and election sure, even though they may not receive the more sure word of prophecy during their mortal lives. They can in the meantime enjoy the quiet whisperings of the Spirit that their lives are in harmony with the will of heaven and have the utmost confidence that the Lord’s promise of eternal life is sure.

Conclusion

God the Father, the Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost have provided a revelatory power that proceeds forth from their presence to fill the immensity of space to bless all mankind. Although this power is referred to by different names and operates at varying levels, it is all the same “power of God” (see D&C 88:5–13). Thus what is usually referred to as the Light of Christ is a certain measure of this power given to every person born into the world, to enlighten them in all righteous endeavors, teach them right from wrong, and encourage them to believe in Christ. This Light of Christ will not cease to strive with humankind until they willfully reject the light and become degenerate and ripe in iniquity. Those who faithfully follow the Light of Christ will be led to the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which provides them with a higher manifestation of the revelatory power, even the power and gifts of the Holy Ghost, who uses the Light of Christ to perform his labors. And those who live in harmony with the guidance of the Holy Ghost in their strivings for salvation may receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means they will know, “by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood” that they are sealed up unto eternal life (D&C 131:5). Those who are not so informed can make their calling and election sure by steadfast righteousness.

Even beyond the more sure word of prophecy, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught of the possibility of receiving not only the first Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, but the second Comforter, who is the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

There are two Comforters spoken of. One is, the Holy Ghost. . . . The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted &c. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter. . . . Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more or less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. . . . When any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the Heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions—Isaiah, Ezekiel, John on the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born &c.[32]

The revelatory power of God will indeed lift humankind spiritually as high as they choose to go through obedience to the laws of heaven, which laws also govern in all the immensity of space.

Notes


[1] Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954), 1:50.

[2] Marion G. Romney, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, May 1977, 43.

[3] See 1 Nephi 2:20; 13:12–19; Ether 2:9–12, 15; 13:1–12; D&C 57:1–3; 101:16–23; 1:1–7; 42:58.

[4] Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 31.

[5] See 3 Nephi 11:32–40; 27:13–22; D&C 39:6; 76:50–53.

[6] See Ether 2:9–12, 15; 9:20; 15:19; Mormon 5:16; Moroni 8:28; 9:4; 1 Nephi 17:32–38; Alma 10:19, 23; 37:28, 31; 45:16; Helaman 13:14; 2 Nephi 28:16; D&C 18:6; 29:9; 86:7.

[7] James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1962), 160.

[8] See Alma 11:44; 3 Nephi 11:27, 36; 2 Nephi 31:21; John 17:20–22.

[9] See Matthew 27:19; 3 Nephi 11:25; D&C 20:73; Alma 11:44.

[10] See 1 Nephi 11:11; Ether 3:4–16; see also Talmage, Articles of Faith, 159–60.

[11] Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 61.

[12] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:40.

[13] See Joseph Smith’s explanation that the Holy Ghost was not transformed into a dove but that the dove’s lighting upon Jesus was a prearranged sign given to John that Jesus was the Son of God. Joseph Smith, Journal, December 1842–June 1844; book 1, in Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Richard L. Anderson, eds., Journals, Volume 2: December 1841–April 1843, vol. 2 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011), 251.

[14] See Moses 1:24; 5:9; 7:11; 2 Nephi 31:18; 3 Nephi 11:32, 36; 16:6; 28:11; D&C 20:26–27.

[15] See 1 Corinthians 12:1–31; Moroni 10:8–23; D&C 46:8–33.

[16] Joseph Smith, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost,” Millennial Star, July 3, 1876, 427.

[17] Joseph Smith, “Sabbath Scene in Nauvoo,” Millennial Star, August 1842, 59.

[18] See 2 Nephi 31:4–18; D&C 20:43; 33:15; 35:6; 39:23; 49:14; 55:1; 68:25; 76:52.

[19] Compare D&C 76:71–80 with D&C 76:50–70; see also D&C 88:20–24.

[20] See Joseph Smith—History 1:73–74; D&C 76:5–10, 114–18.

[21] Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 60–61.

[22] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:98–99; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1977), 361–62.

[23] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:46–47.

[24] Joseph Smith, “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star, February 9, 1861, 88.

[25] Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), 123.

[26] See Enos 1:5, 27; 3 Nephi 28:1–3; Ether 12:37; 2 Timothy 4:6–8; and D&C 132:49, respectively.

[27] Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1975), 24.

[28] Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978), 3:381.

[29] Joseph Smith, quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, “Elijah the Prophet and His Mission,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, January 1921, 16.

[30] See D&C 132:6–8; 21:1, 9.

[31] Smith, History of the Church, 5:389.

[32] Joseph Smith, “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star, May 5, 1855, 278–79.