Saturday, January 9, 2016

Eldred G. Smith on spiritual communication through the Holy Ghost

Eldred G. Smith (1907-2013) served as "Patriarch to the Church" from 1947 to 1979, during which time he was sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator along with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. He was then released and designated an emeritus general authority; he was not replaced as presiding patriarch. Elder Smith passed away on April 4, 2013 at age 106.
"I think if we will apply some of the laws of electronics, that is, radio and television, we will be aided in a possible understanding of how we can receive a message from the Holy Ghost. We have a spirit mind and a mortal mind. Our spirit mind can receive messages from the Holy Ghost, who is a spirit.
"In this room now there are many waves going by of sound, of pictures, and even of colored pictures. We cannot detect them with our mortal eyes or ears, but if we set up a receiving set and put it in tune, then we pick up the sound or pictures by the mortal ears or eyes. Similarly, the Holy Ghost may be constantly sending out messages like a broadcasting station. If you put yourself in tune, that is, knock or ask or seek, you may receive the message. It may be as if you were to open an imaginary window or door between your spirit mind and your physical mind and permit the message to come through. Spirit can talk to spirit, and you are part spirit—just open that imaginary door and let the mortal mind receive. To open it requires study, prayer, action or works, or knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
- Eldred G. Smith, "How to Obtain a Testimony," Conference Report, October 1964, pp. 9-11
Click here to read the full talk

Half a century ago, there was still enthusiasm over the relatively new development of colored television! Elder Smith makes an analogy with some of the basic principles of radio and television electronics, in which content is broadcast through "invisible" waves through the air. The proper kind of receiver can not only find those waves, but "decode" them into complex messages of sound and image:

The key in this now-common analogy is that the receiver has to be changed or prepared, it has to be in the proper state to receive the message. Otherwise the transmission is useless. The process of putting ourselves "in tune," Elder Smith says, involves knocking, asking, seeking, studying, praying. It's up to us to make the connection and allow the spiritual promptings to get through to us.

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