Source: Willard Richards Pocket Companion
The Words of Joseph Smith: Page 5
Why I like this quote?
I love this quote because I have experienced it in my own life–sudden strokes of ideas, pure intelligence flowing into my mind, that I know were revelation from God through his Holy Spirit. It’s like a rush of a million thoughts and ideas at once, yet you are not overwhelmed by it. It such a powerful, efficient, and effect way to receive knowledge because it is spirit to spirit communication. Elder D. Todd Christofferson explained this experience he had as a youth when he prayed to know the truth about the Prophet Joseph Smith’s First Vision:
It was such a strong communication that it made me cry. It was also such a pure communication that it had no need for words. The Spirit does not need to be limited to words; He can communicate Spirit to spirit with a language that is unmistakable because it has no words. It is a communication of pure knowledge and intelligence from the Spirit, and I have come to know that it truly is the best way to acquire knowledge. It is stronger and longer lasting than touching or seeing; we can come to doubt the physical senses, but we cannot doubt when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. It is the surest witness. (see his talk called Strong Impressions of the Spirit)
This Joseph Smith quote also reminds me of a principle taught by Truman G. Madsen when he was my stake president in a BYU stake. He said once in a stake conference meeting that when we have a new calling or other new experience, that we should pay close attention to those first impressions by the spirit. He said it is in those first spiritual impressions that we will often get the most and best revelation from God. He said over time, Satan will try to talk you out of following those impressions, but if you stay faithful to those commands from God, you will be blessed.
Again, this is something that resonates with me because I have experienced it. I have received new callings and in those first days, even hours, I receive a flood of inspiration on how to carry out my duties. And, like Brother Madsen said, I have also experienced Satan planting doubt in my heart about those spiritual revelations. But I know that as I have followed those initial promptings from the spirit, the Lord has blessed me richly.