Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wilford Woodruff on the testimony of the Holy Ghost

Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) was called as an apostle in 1839 by Joseph Smith, and sustained as the 4th president of the Church in 1889.  He served until his death in 1898 at age 91.
"What is the greatest testimony any man or woman can have as to this being the work of God? I will tell you what is the greatest testimony I have ever had, the most sure testimony, that is the testimony of the Holy Ghost, the testimony of the Father and the Son. We may have the ministration of angels; we may be wrapt in the visions of heaven—these things as testimonies are very good, but when you receive the Holy Ghost, when you receive the testimony of the Father and the Son, it is a true principle to every man on earth, it deceives no man, and by that principle you can learn and understand the mind of God.
"Revelation has been looked upon by this Church, as well as by the world, as something very marvelous. What is revelation? The testimony of the Father and Son. How many of you have had revelation? How many of you have had the Spirit of God whisper unto you—the still small voice. I would have been in the spirit world a great many years ago, if I had not followed the promptings of the still small voice. These were the revelations of Jesus Christ, the strongest testimony a man or a woman can have. I have had many testimonies since I have been connected with this Church and kingdom. I have been blessed at times with certain gifts and graces, certain revelations and ministrations; but with them all I have never found anything that I could place more dependence upon than the still small voice of the Holy Ghost."
- Wilford Woodruff, discourse at the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, July 3, 1880; see JD 21:195-6
Click here to read the full talk

What an interesting insight this is! To have experiences like the ministration of angels, or to be wrapped up in the very visions of heaven are "very good"; but the greatest testimony of all, the most sure testimony, the principle that will lead us to "learn and understand the mind of God" is the simple witness of the Holy Ghost, the "still small voice" testifying of the Father and the Son.

President Woodruff did indeed know whereof he spoke. He had many opportunities in his life to have visions and sacred experiences. But he also knew what it was to be sensitive to gentle promptings, and had many miraculous experiences because of his sensitivity to those promptings. And those are the revelations of heaven that he most prized. How important it must be for us to learn to hear those witnesses!

I'm particularly impressed by the phrase, "by that principle you can learn and understand the mind of God." That's more of a treasure than it may appear to be at first glance. If we truly come to understand His mind and will, we will never doubt, never question. We will comprehend so much more of the events of the world, and in particular, the challenges in our own life. We will see as He sees and understand as He does; what a critical step in becoming like Him. And it starts with a still, small voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15