Suggest a Site
General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Now accepting banner ads!
TOM - Of course you are familiar with the story in Acts chapter 2 about the day of Pentecost. My question is about the word "other".
Of course we know that the word "other" is used to denote languages that were not spoken by the men speaking them. And we know that because of the other people that came from every other nation, as stated in the following versus, to that area for the day of Pentecost, who were surprised to hear these man from Galilee speaking in the tongues from which these visiting men were from.
My ultimate question is this… How can I help others to understand that the gift of tongues does not mean to speak in languages that other people do not understand i.e. gibberish?
I have some friends who are not Latter Day Saints who do not enjoy the luxury of a living prophet and his interpretation of the Scriptures as we do. They claim that in their churches people at random times can be overcome with the spirit and can speak in a language only known to them and to God. They also say the reason for this is so that Satan cannot understand the conversation that is being between that person and God.
Are there any other verses in the Bible that teach about how languages spoken with the gift of tongues are real languages spoken by people on earth and not languages that no one on earth understands?
JOEL - The idea of speaking in gibberish as you call it probably comes from the following scriptures.
For he that speaketh in an tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (Mark 16:17)
This speaking in "new" tongues sounds like a person must speak in a language that nobody but God can understand (ie gibberish); meant to be in some religions, a representation of how close a person is to God.
Actually there is the ancient Adamic language, spoken by Adam in the Garden of eden and by the Jaredites as they escaped the tower of Babel, that some can, by using the gift of tongues, speak which others would not understand.
Moses said: "And a book of remembrance was kept, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled." (Moses 6:5-6.)
During the millennium, it appears that men will again have power to speak and write the Adamic language. Of that day the Lord says he will "turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." (Zeph. 3:9.)
So besides being able to speak in languages already known to man, in some instances when the saints speak in tongues, it could be the pure Adamic tongue.
In the early days of the LDS church the concept of the Adamic language grew among Latter-day Saints out of statements from scripture, comments of early Church leaders, and subsequent tradition. Many believed that they could speak this language when moved upon by the holy ghost.
Here's what Joseph Smith said about speaking in tongues:
"I read the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, also a part of the 14th chapter, and remarked that the gift of tongues was necessary in the Church; but that if Satan could not speak in tongues, he could not tempt a Dutchman, or any other nation, but the English, for he can tempt the Englishman, for he has tempted me, and I am an Englishman; but the gift of tongues by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church, is for the benefit of the servants of God to preach to unbelievers, as on the day of Pentecost. When devout men from every nation shall assemble to hear the things of God, let the Elders preach to them in their own mother tongue, whether it is German, French, Spanish or Irish, or any other, and let those interpret who understand the language spoken, in their own mother tongue, and this is what the Apostle meant in First Corinthians 14:27." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 195.)
So it really should be limited to actual languages that someone can understand somewhere in the world. A few other things Paul said indicating that it is better to prophesy in the church rather than speak in tongues:
"If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"
(1 Corinthians 14:23)
"But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."
(1 Cor. 14:3-4)
"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." (verse 14)
President Joseph F. Smith has said:
The devil himself can appear like an angel of light. False prophets and false teachers have arisen in the world. There is perhaps no gift of the Spirit of God more easily imitated by the devil than the gift
of tongues. Where two men or women exercise the gift by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, there are a dozen perhaps who do it by the inspiration of the devil. Bless your souls, apostates speak in
tongues, apostates prophesy, apostates claim to have marvelous manifestations and what is that to us? . . ." (Conference Reports, p. 41, April, 1900)
The gift of tongues is not something for the entertainment of members, nor is it for the purpose of creating awe or to increase faith in those who are weak. The gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues are given for the purpose of helping to build up and strengthen the kingdom of God by being able to communicate his word to the world.