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WILLIAM - I sincerely appreciate all you do for those of us who are searching for deeper understanding, you do a wonderful
job and you are making a real difference. I am a 10 year convert and Ive noticed that a lot of people, especially in other churches
are quick to say "the Lord told me this or that". Ive been pondering this for some time and it seems that the Lord really doesnt
speak to us at all unless he speaks through His prophets or through the scriptures. So the voice in our head is who? My guess is that
it is primarily ourselves and maybe the enemy will sometimes try and implant a negative thought to entice us to do evil. Am I right
in this assumption according to the teachings of the church? I feel this is an important topic because I see alot of people get into
trouble by assumin! g the voice they hear is the Lords. I feel led to believe that the enemy is also blamed for many things that
people put on themselves by following their "natural man" as it is an enemy to God as outlined in the scripture.
JOEL - Sounds to me like you have figured things out quite well. In a way the Lord's voice is heard by all when His servants are inspired by
the Holy Ghost:
"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the
mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." (D&C 68:4)
The scriptures we read can also be described as the voice of the Lord(D&C 18:34-36.) Of course those who have been designated as prophets on this earth may actually hear the voice of God as He tells them what he wants His children to do; such as the prophet Joseph Smith(JSH 1: 17) or the prophet Enos who penned this very significant statement in his record in the Book of Mormon:
"And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind" (Enos 1:10).
Or the prophet Enoch:
"And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land, among the people; and as he journeyed, the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him.
And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto themóRepent, for thus saith the Lord:..."(Moses 6: 26-27)
But when most people say the Lord told them something, it is usually just a figure of speech, meaning that their thoughts have been
inspired by God. Any "voice" that is "heard" in our minds is probably not the actual voice of the Lord but rather the voice of our
own mind generating thoughts or ideas that have been inspired by the Holy Ghost, telling us what to do. The Lord, by revelation,
brings thoughts into our minds as though He were speaking to us. The Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early days of the
"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall
dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation." (D&C 8:2-3.)
Sometimes a voice is heard that does not come from our own brain. Harold B. Lee told the following story:
"As a little boy I had my first intimate touch with divinity. As a young boy I was out on a farm waiting for my father to finish his
day's work, playing about and manufacturing things to wile away the time, when I saw over the fence in the neighbor's yard some
broken-down buildings where the sheds were caving in and had rotting timbers. I imagined that that might be a castle that I should
explore, so I went over to the fence and started to climb through; then I heard a voice as distinctly as you are hearing mine:
"Harold, don't go over there." I looked in every direction to see where the speaker was. I wondered if it was my father, but he
couldn't see me. There was no one in sight. I realized that someone was warning me of an unseen dangerówhether a nest of rattlesnakes
or whether the rotting timbers would fall on me and crush me, I don't know. But from that time on, I accepted without question the
fact that there were processes not known to man by which we can hear voices from the unseen world, by which we can have brought to us
the visions of eternity." (Teachings of Harold B. Lee)
It is possible that voices from spirits of the unseen world might be able to communicate important messages to our minds. Both my wife and I have had such experiences.
And you are right about Satan. He can put thoughts into our heads but as human beings we are certainly capable of generating those
thoughts and committing sin completely on our own.