The Candle of the Lord

The Candle of the Lord - The Candle of the Lord By Elder...

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The Candle of the Lord By Elder Boyd K. Packer Of the Quorum of the Twelve From a talk given at a seminar for new mission presidents, 25 June 1982. The Candle of the Lord I have chosen, after much thought, to speak as though your missionaries, your elders and sisters, were here in your place, and to present thoughts more fitted to them, the beginners, the inexperienced, than to you. I hope that through you, I may share with them some things I have learned about the Spirit and how we may prepare ourselves to receive it. We do not learn spiritual things in exactly the same way we learn other things that we know, even though such things as reading, listening, and pondering may be used. I have learned that it requires a special attitude both to teach and to learn spiritual things. There are some things you know, or may come to know, that you will find quite difficult to explain to others. I am very certain that it was meant to be that way. What Does Salt Taste Like? I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. ―You are wrong,‖ I said, ―there is a God. I know He lives!‖ He protested, ―You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!‖ When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. ―All right,‖ he said in a sneering, condescending way, ―you say you know. Tell me how you know.‖ When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate. Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28 .)
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When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, ―I don’t know what you are talking about.‖ The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. ―You see,‖ he said, ―you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.‖ I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith : ―A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.‖ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp.
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The Candle of the Lord - The Candle of the Lord By Elder...

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