by Caleb Jones

Abstract

Sustaining is an important aspect to Mormon faith. Sustaining brings unity and invites Christ into our church and faith. It is important that we not confuse sustaining with counterfeits like obsequious obedience, fundamentalism, authoritarianism, ideological surrender, leader worship, etc. The following introduces 14 “keys” that seek to anchor our sustaining to a foundation of faith, patience, forgiveness, repentance, love, and Christ-centered discipleship.

 

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Introduction

Sustaining is a key concept in Mormonism. We sustain symbolically and publicly in our congregations by raising our hands. In this manner we regularly sustain leaders of the church, local area leaders, congregational leaders, and fellow congregants who choose to serve in various capacities. I like this practice. Sustaining keeps the body of Christ together. But sometimes we can allow our sustaining to be unthinking which can lead to counterfeits to sustaining: obsequious obedience, fundamentalism, authoritarianism, ideological surrender, leader worship, etc. As I’ve pondered on what provides meaning, faith, love, wisdom, and strength to my sustaining I’ve been able to articulate this in various ways. The following is what I call “14 Keys to Sustaining Prophets”. My hope in sharing these is that we can strengthen our sustaining in ways which can weather the storms of life, acknowledge one another’s humanity, turn our hearts to God, and avoid the brittleness of counterfeits to sustaining.

 

First: We can sustain revelation and prophecy by seeking out goodness in whatever, and in whomever, the Spirit witnesses.

The Book of Mormon expands God’s voice and acknowledges how God “[commands] all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them” and that “[God] shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it”(1). We are encouraged to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom”(2); Joseph Smith said one of the grand fundamentals of Mormonism was to “receive truth, let it come from whence it may” (3) then summarized Mormonism elsewhere saying, “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”(4); and Brigham Young warned us not to be “sectarian” by only studying our own canon(5). God is pouring revelation onto all the world for all to receive if we will listen to one another.

While prophets have unique authority within our faith, we can sustain God’s revelations in righteous men and women throughout the world.

 

Second: We can sustain prophets by acknowledging and supporting them in their humanity.

Authoritarianism undermines the call to sustain prophets “in all patience and faith”(6). God warns against treating prophets as infallible people, “these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness… And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known”(7). Because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”(8), “we see through a glass, darkly”(9), and even “whether there be prophecies, they shall fail” without charity(10), we must seek ways to sustain which do not rely on authoritarianism.

Modern day prophet Jeffrey R. Holland echoed these words when he said, “Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with”(11). And Bruce R. McConkie pointed out that prophets can sometimes “err in doctrine” or “[give] personal views which are not endorsed and approved by the Lord”(12).

Demanding ideological perfection dehumanizes prophecy, God’s prophets, and the faith and trust we place in them. Leaders and prophets make mistakes and we can sustain by choosing to be forgiving towards and serving with one another. Doing so restores the need for and meaning of sustaining, rather that undermines it. We all serve better when we’re not trapped on pedestals.

We can sustain prophets in their humanity as we practice the gospel principles of charity and forgiveness.

 

Third: Christian prophecy testifies of Jesus Christ.

The prophet Joseph Smith, declared emphatically that “the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ… all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”(13). This fundamental is proclaimed by “all the holy prophets”(14).

And as prophets prophecy of Christ, they prophesy of the simplicity of the gospel as described by Jesus. The Lord has declared multiple times “this is my gospel” while testifying of faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and warning against contention(15). M. Russel Ballard underscored this when he said, “The Lord called the apostles and prophets to invite others to come unto Christ, not to obtain advanced degrees in ancient history, biblical studies, and other fields… “ and that LDS prophets’ “primary duty is to build up the church, teach the doctrine of Christ, and help those in need of our help.”(16)

This is the foundation which prophets have testified. And it is upon this foundation that we are commanded to build(17). There are many possible ways we can work together to build God’s Kingdom. Our call is to ensure what we are building rests firmly on this foundation.

With Christian prophets testifying of Christ and the gospel of Jesus, we can sustain these prophets as we work together to build on that foundation.

 

Fourth: We can sustain prophets by exercising faith in revelations which pass the test of charity.

Jesus tells us to “hang all the law and the prophets” on the two great commandments: love God and love thy neighbor(18). Paul warned that prophecy, without charity, will fail(10). Moroni said anything that inspires us to do good and believe in Christ comes from Christ(19). Joseph Smith taught about the limits of priesthood authority(20). John said that we must overcome fear and put love first as God has(21). And Dieter F. Uchtdorf summarizes the imperative we have to love and stakes the legitimacy of our entire church on this imperative:

To put it simply, having charity and caring for one another is not simply a good idea. It is not simply one more item in a seemingly infinite list of things we ought to consider doing. It is at the core of the gospel—an indispensable, essential, foundational element. Without this transformational work of caring for our fellowmen, the Church is but a facade of the organization God intends for His people… No matter the outward appearance of our righteousness, if we look the other way when others are suffering, we cannot be justified.(22)

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are not obligated to accept anything that fails these measures. But, conversely, as disciples of Jesus Christ we are obligated to accept things which pass these tests — exercising faith and repentance.

We can sustain prophets by turning our hearts to Christlike charity and understanding their words in that light.

 

Fifth: Prophecy often challenges our narratives.

We are commanded to build on the foundation of Christ and that gospel foundation is very simple: faith, repentance, baptism, and Holy Ghost. This is analogous to the story of manna in the Old Testament(23). Manna gave the children of Israel life and nourishment, but it also expired and had a limited shelf life. As we build on the foundation of Christ, our constructions will have a limited shelf life as they necessarily use the material available in a certain time and place. We don’t build ex nihilo, but by organizing and reorganizing from surrounding spiritual material. Periodically, we will need to return back to our shared foundation in Christ, gather fresh manna anew, and build or renovate on that foundation.

This process can be uncomfortable, (restoration and renovation often are) but as we stay on the foundation of Christ this is the call and challenge of ongoing restoration. We plead with God when we feel the shaking of our faith, but it is often God who is shaking our world and our constructions(24) bringing us back down to the foundation to build something greater. Here, prophets are the “voice of him that crieth in the wilderness”(25) calling us back to Christ’s foundation. By responding to prophetic calls to repentance and restoration, we can be prepared to do the hard work of renovation and construction over again and again.

We can sustain prophets as we we respond to their calls back to the foundation of Christ, and engage with them in renovating, restoring, and building anew on that foundation.

 

Sixth: Prophets invite us to repent.

Throughout scriptures, prophets have called for repentance. This is a consistent and frequent message in the Book of Mormon(26). Repentance is a key part of Jesus’ gospel foundation and the scriptures testify that “none but the truly penitent are saved.”(27). Thus, if prophets are called to testify of Christ, then repentance is a key principle prophets will teach.

Jesus underscored the importance of repentance in the parable of the publican and sinner:

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.(28)

The surprising result is that it is the penitent sinner who was the righteous one – not the rigidly orthodox Pharisee. Indeed, regardless of whatever our strengths and virtues may be, “none but the truly penitent are saved.”(29)

We can sustain prophets as we answer the call to repent in ways that turn us to Christ.

 

Seventh: God teaches how we can discern the words of prophets.

Using the test of charity mentioned above, we are each charged with the responsibility to heed and discern the words of prophets for ourselves. Brigham Young once said:

What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation… Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.(30)

A prophet’s words are not true merely because they said them, a prophet’s words are true if those words turn us to charity, provoke us to do and become part of the good in the world, are spoken with “long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned”(31), and gives us a spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”(32). We are not required to obey words which fail these tests. But conversely, as disciples of Jesus, we seek to align our discipleship to words which do pass these tests, even and especially when that alignment requires repentance on our part.

We can sustain prophets when we prayerfully discern their words using Christ-centered principles.

 

Eighth: Prophets are forth tellers, not fortune tellers.

Many insights on the role and limits of prophets and prophecy are found in the story of Jonah. Jonah initially seemed to see his role as more of a fortune-teller who predicts an inescapable fate. He saw the people of Nineveh’s fate as already sealed and that he merely needed to put a stamp on it with a curse. But God had much wisdom to teach Jonah. After Jonah saw that Nineveh was not destroyed he had what might be called an existential crisis. His faith and narrative were challenged and he was shaken to his core. But God taught Jonah that humanity cannot be reduced to mere fate or curses and that human agency always has a role to play in our past, present, and future and that prophecy operates within that context.

Thus a prophet’s role is to provoke and persuade us to use our agency in ways that will turn us towards God and build God’s Kingdom. And it is through the use of our agency that we can bring about God’s work and will.

We can sustain prophets by heeding their warnings and deciding how we can each respond in ways that will turn us to God.

 

Ninth: We cannot abdicate our moral responsibility to prophets.

Mormonism places a strong emphasis on prophets and prophecy. This is an important part of the restoration and a key heritage in the Mormon faith. Much is gained from the gift of prophecy, and several Mormon prophets themselves have warned against abdicating personal moral responsibility to leaders and prophets. Joseph Smith warned that people must “deliver their own souls” and that they cannot do so simply “depending on the Prophet”(33); Brigham Young taught that church members cannot “be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding” which leads to being “dictated to do in every trifle, like a child”(34); Dallin H. Oaks taught that general authorities “preach general principles”, “don’t try to define all the exceptions… to some rules”, and that “you must work that out individually between you and the Lord”(35); Jeffrey R. Holland echoed that by saying that we “lead specific lives and must seek out the Lord’s guidance regarding specific circumstances”(36); and M. Russell Ballard emphasized that “I am a general authority, but that doesn’t make me an authority in general” and that he “worr[ies] sometimes that members expect too much from Church leaders and teachers, expecting them to be experts in subjects well beyond their duties and responsibilities”(16).

We can sustain prophets by seeking personal revelation to guide our lives as also understand their words.

 

Tenth: All can seek the gift of prophecy.

Against the backdrop of a variety of types of prophets in the scriptures, in the LDS church our prophets are also the ecclesiastical leaders of the church. This places the role of prophet in an official place of institutional authority. The scriptures and modern teachings of LDS prophets also disperse the gift of prophecy to more than just ecclesiastical leaders. Moses expressed a desire “that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!”(37); John the Revelator and Joseph Smith both taught that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”(38). And Wilford Woodruff sought to endow the gift of prophecy on all when he said “He is a prophet, I am a prophet, you are, and anybody is a prophet who has the testimony of Jesus Christ, for that is the spirit of prophecy”(39).

We can sustain prophets as we join our testimony with others as we each seek the gift of prophecy.

 

Eleventh: Prophets communicate “after the manner of their language.”

In the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord frames the limits of prophecy stating that “these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.”(40). In the Book of Mormon, Alma points out how “the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have”(41).

William James described human limitations in religion when he said, “Religious language clothes itself in such poor symbols as our life affords”(42). As long as God respects human agency, religion and prophecy are limited to the capabilities of those it finds expression in (more on that here). While God can enlighten our minds and hearts, God cannot and will not override our own agency. And the scriptures are full of stories where prophets struggle to communicate using the culture and language available to them.

James E. Talmage warned about how our biases affect our ability to know God when he said, “[Mankind is] prone to conceive of the attributes of God as comprising in augmented degree the dominant traits of their own nature.”(43). And like Paul’s “[seeing] through a glass, darkly”(9), Brigham Young taught that revelation is an imperfect process:

I do not even believe that there is a single revelation, among the many God has given to the Church, that is perfect in its fullness. The revelations of God contain correct doctrine and principles so far as they go; but it is impossible for the poor, weak, low, grovelling, sinful inhabitants of the earth to receive a revelation from the Almighty in all its perfections.(44)

Through acknowledging how prophecy operates within the context of the limited knowledge, aesthetics, culture, language, symbols, etc. in individuals and societies, we can find empathy with and better choose how we sustain prophets in context.

 

Twelfth: We can sustain prophets “in all patience and faith”.

In the 21st section of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord commands that we “shalt give heed” to the “words and commandments” which prophets “shall give unto you”(45). Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about this need for patience and faith for past and present leaders saying “we don’t really know what it was like to live in that time, in those circumstances”, “how encouraging it is to know that God was able to use them anyway”, and that this wisdom of patience and faith applies today as we can “know, though we are imperfect, if our hearts are turned to God, He will be generous and kind and use us for His purposes.”(46).

Jeffrey R. Holland has spoken about the need for realistic expectations about ourselves and others as we engage together in the Lord’s work emphasizing that “except for Jesus, there have been no flawless performances on this earthly journey we are pursuing” and that we should avoid expectations of “toxic perfectionism” which can “make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future, or the possibility of godliness.”(47)

God would not have called us to “give heed” to prophets in “all patience” if there was no need for patience.(45) Prophets are imperfect (even when acting as prophets) and we are imperfect (even when we may feel led by God), but God calls us to extend patience and forgiveness to one another as we serve together in Christ.

We can sustain prophets in “all patience and faith”(45) and feel the blessings of the same as we serve and extend that same “patience and faith” to one another.

 

Thirteenth: Prophets draw their power from “principles of righteousness”.

One of the most moving passages of Mormon scripture teaches on the nature of power and authority:

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and … the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile – Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.(48)

Just as Jesus taught that “the law and the prophets” hang on the two great commandments to love God and love others(18), power and authority that prophets use come from “principles of righteousness” and not “by virtue of the priesthood” alone.

We can sustain prophets as we respond to and uphold the principles of “persuasion”, “long-suffering”, “gentleness and meekness”, “love unfeigned”, “kindness”, and “pure knowledge”.

 

Fourteenth: Charity is essential to sustaining in failings and disagreements.

What might it mean to “hang all the law and the prophets on charity”?(18) Certainly, interpreting their words through the lens of charity is one way. Another way to bring charity into sustaining comes when failings and disagreements arise. What are we to do when we are unable to find charity in what a prophet says or does? How are we to respond to the failings of their humanity?

One way is to ignore it all together. With our best intentions, we may simply ignore the failings and errors of prophets. Or, worse, we may pretend such things don’t exist — an implicit infallibility. But we give up an important opportunity to bring charity into our sustaining when we do this. Moral agency is more complex than perfect obedience or ideological perfection will allow. And moral agency is why such things as faith, patience, love, and forgiveness are basic principles of the gospel. If the words of prophets require perfect obedience or are assumed as ideologically perfect then they would end up undermining these basic principles and moral agency rather than supporting them.

Another approach divides the body through contention. An example of this is Peter’s defense of Jesus as he was arrested. The defense of Jesus was a righteous desire. Unfortunately, his zeal that lead to violence was out of line.(49) We should be ashamed when any ears are cut off in our church today. Swords are drawn on various sides as some members who are hurting are cut off or pushed out and swords of indignation are swung at some of the flaws in the church. We even see this play out in families where faith can become a contentious wedge rather than a healing balm.

Contrast both of these approaches with Jesus’ response to Peter and Malchus as he stops Peter and heals Malchus’ ear. Can we see in this example how Christ is perhaps calling us to put away our ideological weapons and instead see and heal the suffering of others? With so many who are hurting today, we have a much greater need for healers and peacemakers than we do for zealots. I think we all have the responsibility to find ways to put injured ears back on and begin listening to one another.

The question then isn’t whether prophets are always right or whether we must be perfectly obedient, the question is, “How can we charitably respond to one another’s failings and disagreements as we seek to follow the Spirit?” Seeking by the Spirit to find charitable ways to sustain when failings and disagreements arise requires courage and a deep sense of love and personal agency. Seeking to sustain with charity requires us to “dig deep”(50) to ensure we are on a solid foundation. Seeking to sustain with charity requires faith. In short, it requires Christlike discipleship and it places Christ at our head. Compared to obsequious obedience or indignation, this can create a sustaining that is more robust, more centered on Christ, and more able to weather the storms of failings and disagreements when they occur.

Rather than see our only options as total agreement or apostasy, we can sustain prophets as we use our agency in charitable ways as we serve with one another despite failings and disagreements.

 

Conclusion

While not exhaustive, these 14 keys have helped me find meaning, faith, love, wisdom, and strength in how and why I sustain. They help me avoid counterfeits to sustaining which undermine my faith and help me find Christ. My testimony is strengthened as my sustaining helps me see that the church is a living, breathing, bleeding body. And as I seek to be charitable and forgiving in my sustaining towards imperfect people, I too can have faith that others can seek to be charitable and forgiving in their sustaining of me as I imperfectly work with them to build up the Kingdom of God.

 


Citations:

  1. 2 Nephi 29:11-12
  2. Doctrine & Covenants 88:118
  3. Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:499
  4. Article of Faith 13
  5. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:34
  6. Doctrine & Covenants 21:5
  7. Doctrine & Covenants 1:24-28
  8. Romans 3:23
  9. 1 Corinthians 13:12
  10. 1 Corinthians 13:8
  11. Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe”, April 2013 General Conference
  12. Bruce R. McConkie, Letter to Eugene England, 19 February 1981
  13. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 121
  14. Mosiah 15:11, and Jacob 4:4
  15. Moses 6:62, Doctrine & Covenants 33:11-12, Doctrine & Covenants 39:6, 3 Nephi 11:30, 3 Nephi 13-21
  16. Russel M. Ballard, BYU Devotional Address: November 14, 2017
  17. Ezra 3:11; Luke 6:46-49; Helaman 5:12; Doctrine & Covenants 10:69; Doctrine & Covenants 18:5; Doctrine & Covenants 50:44
  18. Matthew 22:37-40
  19. Moroni 7:14-16
  20. Doctrine and Covenants 121:36-37, 41-42
  21. 1 John 4:18-19
  22. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, ‘The Pattern, the Path, and the Promise’, address to the Salt Lake City Inner City Mission, given December 4, 2015 – https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/president-uchtdorf-transcript-salt-lake-inner-city-mission
  23. Exodus 16:14-20
  24. Job 9:6; Psalms 29:8
  25. Isaiah 40:3; Psalms 29:8; Mark 1:3; Doctrine & Covenants 88:66
  26. 1 Nephi 1:4; 1 Nephi 10:18; 1 Nephi 14:5; 1 Nephi 22:28; 2 Nephi 2:21; 2 Nephi 6:12; 2 Nephi 9:23-24; 2 Nephi 28:32; 2 Nephi 30:2; 2 Nephi 31:11; Jacob 6:5,11; Mosiah 4:10,18,22; Mosiah 11:20-25; Mosiah 12:8,12; Mosiah 16:12-13; Mosiah 26:30,32,36; Alma 5; Alma 7:9,14; Alma 8:29; Alma 9:12,25; Alma 10:20,23; Alma 12:24,33,37; Alma 13:10, 18, 21; Alma 14:1; Alma 19:36; Alma 22:16; Alma 24:10-11; Alma 26:35; Alma 29:2; Alma 34:31; Alma 37:22,25-26; Alma 39:8-9; Alma 42:4; Alma 54:6-7; Alma 60:24; Alma 62:45; Helaman 4:14-16; Helaman 5:29,32; Helaman 7:17-19,22-23; Helaman 9:21-22; Helaman 10:11-12,14; Helaman 11:4,14; Helman 12:23; Helaman 13:8,10-11,13,39; Helaman 14:9,13; Helaman 15:1-3,14,17; 3 Nephi 3:15; 3 Nephi 9:2,13,22; 3 Nephi 10:6; 3 Nephi 11:32,37-38; 3 Nephi 12:19; 3 Nephi 16:13; 3 Nephi 18:11,16, 31-32; 3 Nephi 20:15,20; 3 Nephi 21:6,14,20,22; 3 Nephi 27:20; 3 Nephi 30; 4 Nephi 1:1; Mormon 2:10; Mormon 3:2,22; Mormon 5:22,24; Mormon 7:5,8; Ether 2:11; Ether 4:18; Ether 5:5; Ether 7:26; Ether 8:23; Ether 9:28; Ether 11:1,6,8,20; Ether 13:20; Moroni 7:34; Moroni 8:10,16,27; Moroni 9:22
  27. Alma 42:22-24
  28. Luke 18:9-14
  29. Alma 42:22-24
  30. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 150, 12 January 1862
  31. Doctrine & Covenants 121:41
  32. 2 Timothy 1:7
  33. Joseph Smith, May 26th, 1842, History of the Church, Volume 5, Pg. 19
  34. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pg. 312
  35. Dallin H. Oaks, Dating versus Hanging Out”, Ensign, June 2006
  36. Jeffrey R. Holland, “General Patterns and Specific Lives,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Feb 2008
  37. Numbers 11: 26-29
  38. Revelation 19:10; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119 & 160;Journal of Discourses 13:165
  39. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 13: 165
  40. Doctrine & Covenants 1:24
  41. Alma 29:8
  42. William James, “The Varieties of Religious Experience”
  43. James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, ch. 32
  44. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, Deseret Book, 1977, p. 40
  45. Doctrine & Covenants 21:1-5
  46. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2017 October Conference, “A Yearning for Home”
  47. Jeffrey R. Holland, 2017 October Conference, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually”
  48. Doctrine & Covenants 121:34-46
  49. Luke 22:49-51; John 18:10-11
  50. Luke 6:48