(Whose Bosom Does Not Burn)
Is Cornered and Pitchforked!
All below this ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ line until this ++++++++++++++++++++ Line
and in continuous red text is directly from Dan Corner's website on which he gives permission for it to be copied complete.
Should You Pray About
The Book of Mormon For a Burning in the Bosom
Pray About Book Of Mormon (pdf cartoon)
[Access by ‘control and right click’]
Mormon Missionaries Want You To Pray About
The Book Of Mormon For a Burning In The Bosom
Ask The Mormon Missionaries These Questions
Should you pray about the Book of Mormon? That is an important issue that will come up if you have ever dialoged with or witnessed to a Mormon. If you have, it usually isn’t too long before they want you to pray about the Book of Mormon and for the testimony of the Holy Spirit. They refer us to a passage in the Book of Mormon which is Moroni 10:4:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."
Sometimes the Mormon missionaries will supplement Moroni 10:4 with a Doc. & Cov.9:8, which says:
Doctrine and Covenants 9:8
"But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
Again, Mormon missionaries will use that Moroni passage from the Book of Mormon to try to get the potential convert to pray about the Book of Mormon. Doesn’t praying about something, including the Book of Mormon, sound good? It seems on the surface to be a completely safe thing to do, but is it really, or can the innocent be misled by such? The Mormons often say something similar to this email from a Latter Day Saint:
It is truly amazing what a loving God will reveal to those who humble themselves and ask with a sincere heart and real intent!
Please note they like to use the word sincere, which is their cop out before those who dangerously and wrongfully pray about the Book of Mormon, but experience nothing, that is, they receive no so-called burning in the bosom and testimony of the Holy Spirit. The implication is you weren’t really sincere. If you were, you would have received this (supposed) testimony of the Holy Spirit.
Is The Testimony of the Holy Spirit
(Burning In The Bosom) In The Bible
Sometimes the Mormons will also misuse Bible passages for confirmation about praying to see if you get that special burning in the bosom (or witness of the Holy Spirit)
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:27-32)
As one Mormon wrote regarding that passage:
Are you familiar with Luke 24:27-32? As Christ expounds the scriptures concerning himself, the Holy Spirit testifies of the truths He is speaking.
Did you notice the differences between what the Mormon suggested about evidence for the Book of Mormon from that passage and what the disciples experienced, as cited in Luke 24:27-32? Please note the following:
(1) They were already in the true faith before getting that burning;
(2) The disciples didn't pray about anything before getting that burning, not one thing,
(3) The burning came after Jesus taught about himself from the Old Testament (Moses and all the Prophets).
Hence, there absolutely is no connection between Lk. 24:27-32 and praying about the book of mormon -- the LDS Scripture associated with a Bible-defined false prophet (Joseph Smith).
The Mormon Challenge
To Pray About The Book of Mormon
The same Mormon followed up with this Mormon challenge:
Again, I challenge you. Are you affraid [sic] that God will answer you [sic] prayers and that you will have to change you [sic] thinking to His. His thoughts and words are higher than ours you know. ...he [the devil] can not duplicate the peace and joy that come from a witness from the Holy Spirit—from God. Throughout the Scriptures, when someone had an experience with God, there was NO ROOM FOR MISINTERPRETATION. Ask! Seek! Knock! I challenge you (Capital emphasis his).
They will try to apply the pressure, such as revealed there! Get ready for it.
A Christian Should Respond to the Mormon Challenge
With These Questions
How should a Christian respond to the Mormon challenge to pray about evidence for the Book of Mormon and the testimony of the Holy Spirit? You can ask them the following questions:
(a) Have you ever prayed about the Koran, the Jehovah’s Witness Bible or Avesta?
(b) Have you prayed about bowing before a Mary statue or reciting the rosary?
(c) Should you pray about robbing a bank and giving the money to the poor?
The obvious answer is, there is no need to pray about anything that is not Biblical and is outside of God’s will, including all of those. Because these things are unbiblical, if God would answer that prayer, it would always be in accord with His written word. But to ask God in prayer something he has already spoken about can be testing God, which is also forbidden.
Remember also that Paul never asked any potential converts to pray about his message. What he taught was found in the Scriptures and they could verify it and join the group of wise people, if they would repent and submissively place their faith in Jesus Christ to follow him. See Acts 17:11,12 cf. Acts 20:21; etc.
Again, be on your guard. To pray about something like the Book of Mormon (the LDS Bible) or bowing before a Mary statue can allow the devil to give you an experience that will deceive you. A burning in the bosom from such would not be the testimony of the Holy Spirit, as the Latter Day Saint people like to say/think. This is very important to remember and tell others about.
One of my family members prayed about the Jehovah's Witnesses and got a burning in the bosom about that false religion. Is God giving the burning in the bosom experience to the Mormons and people who pray about the Jehovah’s Witnesses too? It would be impossible because these two beliefs are poles apart from each other. (These facts would also be good to share with the Mormon missionaries when they get emphatic about you praying about the Book of Mormon.) Do you remember what the aforementioned Mormon wrote about peace and joy from the Holy Spirit? In part he wrote:
... he [the devil] can not duplicate the peace and joy that come from a witness from the Holy Spirit from God.
Is The Devil Deceiving People About LDS Scripture
Again the Mormons, like many others, are wrong about this. Yes, the devil can duplicate peace. That is what he does in transcendental meditation (TM) and also in Catholicism after one receives the Eucharist. The devil uses these and other experiences to deceive. Please remember this: Any experience, testimony, dream, vision, prophecy, teaching, etc. that is supposed to be from God but doesn’t align itself with the Bible is not from God at all. The devil can and has used all of the above.
Go by the Bible alone and be safe. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 tells us that the man of God (Christian) is thoroughly equipped for every good work with the Scriptures (the Bible) alone. Remember the Book of Mormon is not another testament of Jesus Christ, but is counterfeit Scripture similar to the Koran and like the perverted Jehovah's Witness Bible (The New World Translation).
Remember the evidence states the Latter Day Saint church and their LDS Scriptures are not of God. We, therefore, don’t lack wisdom about the Book of Mormon or Mormonism itself. Remember those truths when witnessing to Mormons. (So if they mention James 1:5 about any man lacking wisdom, answer as just cited.) It is not only futile to pray about the Book of Mormon it is also dangerous, for it can open a person up to a Satanic deception. The devil can give you a burning in the bosom and has done so to deceive precious souls.
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The New Creation In Christ Radical Change
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How You Can Live Forever and Never Die
Pray About Book Of Mormon Cartoon -- pdf
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The above, in its entirety, is Dan Corner’s facile argument about Latter-day Saint belief that the Holy Spirit will answer prayers and will often do so by causing the person’s bosom to experience an unusual warmth, although that is not the only way God breathes inspiration into a person that earnestly petitions him in prayer.
Leaving aside the fatuous comment that "the Book of Mormon is the LDS Bible," let us contine to ask whether the holy scriptures agree with Dan or whether he has painted himself into a corner?
QUESTION: Does Dan give credit to God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost for this burning?
ANSWER: No! Mr Corner, pretending that he knows everything, insists that the phenomenon common to many millions of Christians whether Latter-day Saints, or not is the Devil deceiving earnest petitioners, ignoring the scripture that promises us:
James 5:16b - The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [Emphasis added]
Next we will visit the Gospel according to Luke, the 24th chapter.
1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words,
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: [meaning they were slow to believe]
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Latter-day Saints comprehend the meaning of the words of the pair of disciples that had been accompanied by Jesus to Emmaus as one of the many ways in which testimonies of the Saviour are given by God through the Holy Ghost. Many, if not all, have had the same or similar experience. However, the touch of the Holy Spirit known as the ‘burning in the bosom’ is not confined to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a common religious experience well known and attested to by the singularly pious.
Dan Corner asserts that it was the Devil that confirmed the testimony of the Christ to the two disciples from Emmaus. But the Bible does not say so. Which is right the Holy Bible or Dan Corner? Why doesn’t the Holy Bible tell us to pray to the Devil and save time and confusion if we want to know about the things of God? I will not attempt to answer that question since the answer is clear and self-evident.
Jesus advised his disciples to be prayerful. He was not concerned that the Devil would be the one to answer them.
Matthew 26:41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Prayer is the Christians vital breath as expressed by James Montgomery.
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heav'n with prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, "Behold, he prays!"
The Saints in prayer appear as one
In word and deed and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus at the Father's throne
For sinners intercedes.
O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod;
Lord, teach us how to pray.
What is a Christian that does not pray, and what is a Christian that orders others not to pray? Not a Christian at all.
In the Book of Mormon, Almighty God provides the answer for those wishing to know about his work.
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." Moroni 10:4
More Holy Bible promises from God that disciples will know the truth
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
[T]he Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17
Latter-day Saints believe that the Prophet Jeremiah spoke the truth when he bore his testimony to those hostile to his message.
But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears. - Jeremiah 26:15
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: - Acts 6:3-5
The Early Christian Church was unafraid of the Holy Ghost either in seeking that divine gift or in enjoying it when it filled them. Clearly, out of his own mouth, Mr Corner has departed from the Christianity of today and yesteryear. He is remarkable for being against Christianty and being hostile to other Christians. We have read Mr Corners frantic dissimulations and have seen where he is directly out of step with the sacred scriptures. So now we will look at what other non-LDS Christians have to say on the subject.
The late Pastor Jack Hyles, formerly of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for 42 years:
Conversion then is the work of the church and its members as they are led by the Holy Spirit to change the life and work of one who has been regenerated. Redemption is a work of God the Son. Regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught these significant truths:
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Peter had been a disciple of Jesus for a long time, but Jesus knew of his denial. He was saying,
"Peter, your tongue is soon going to be used for evil. When it happens, it will be converted later and be used again at Pentecost for Me."
He was saying,
"Peter, your feet are soon to take you out of My will for the purpose of wrong use, but you will be converted, and your feet will walk again in My will and be used for Me."
He was saying,
"Peter, you will soon warm your body by the Devil's fire, but your body will be converted and be used again for My glory. When it is, strengthen the brethren."
Our Lord was saying,
"Peter, as soon as you are converted, then start working at the task of converting others." - Luke 22:31, 32.
It is clear that only those that have the Holy Ghost or Spirit dwelling within them are able to teach and lead the disciples of Jesus Christ to the saving truths of the Gospel of Christ. Certainly, any that teach that the experiencing the Holy Ghost within one’s self is nothing more than the Devil at work are not capable or teaching or leading others.
It is no longer widely known that the early leaders of ‘enthusiastic’ Christianity were counted by their fellow Christians as being sent directly from old Pluto’s dark domains.
George Whitgift and the Wesley brothers were among these, and the founders of what has become the Pentecostal movement also suffered attacks and hostility from the more staid versions of Christians then common to Anglicanism. They were seen as doing the work of Satan and stealing sheep, charges that have not lost their resonance for those comparably accused by their successors. A few examples will suffice to illustrate this hatred.
The congregation being much too large on Sabbath to be accommodated in the Meeting House, were in the afternoon assembled in the grove, at the extremity of Lundy's Lane. All attention, solemnity and order! and the solemnity of the scene was heightened by the never ceasing roar of the Niagara Falls, which was calculated to awaken in the mind a remembrance of HIM, whose "voice is as the sound of many waters." [Italics original]
Before many witnesses twenty brethren stood up in the grove (most of them young men) assented to the solemn requirements of the church, and were ordained to the ministry.
How great the contrast between this assemblage and the purposes of the meeting, and that of July, 1814, when two contending armies contested the palm of victory! In that terrible and sanguinary conflict, hundreds were slain,—their bodies committed to the flames, and the broken fragments of burned bones were left to whiten on the plains.' – Methodist Review Volume Three.
We are left to wonder whether it was nothing more than fancy, an illusion, or even a cynical ‘Dan Corner-type’ delusion sent by the Devil to mislead sincere Christian folks? Note that it was felt in the breast.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. – Romans 8:16-18
The burning in the bosom or heart experience of the Emmaus disciples was not Satan deluding them but God blessing them with a profound testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. Why would anyone doubt it unless Satan is deluding them to deny the revelation of Almighty God?
Other denominations and sects have attracted the same kind of hostile attention to those already holding the reins of Christian power. The following appeared in Britain’s daily Telegraph newspaper on 12 Feb 2011.
By some accounts, the San Francisco earthquake and the beginnings of Pentecostalism occurred at the same time. Indeed on the morning of the earthquake, April 18, 1906, a hostile report appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Times of a "weird Babel of tongues" at a meeting in a shabby wooden building at 312 Azusa Street, Los Angeles.
In Pentecostalism (£7.99), a new addition to Oxford's Very Short Introduction series, William K Kay, a theologian, begins his overview with a very compressed history of a tendency in Christianity, from the day of Pentecost, running through the second-century heresy of Montanus, and movements led in Luther's day by Thomas Müntzer (executed, 1525) and in Wesley's day by the Moravian revivalist Count Zinzendorf.
In fact Dr Kay's pages on this thread of history are so compressed they are hard to follow. He doesn't mention Zinzendorf by name, but he does mention the Methodist John Fletcher, whom Wesley outlived. Fletcher insisted on the importance of "baptism in the Holy Spirit".
Nor does Dr Kay have room for other prodigies in early Methodism. In the late 1750s at the Bedfordshire church of John Berridge (like Wesley a Church of England clergyman) people fell down, had convulsions, cried out, laughed and prayed in trances.
Such phenomena were a constant occasional feature of Wesley's own experience with congregations. They never disappeared. As late as 1786, when he was in his 83rd year, he wrote in his journal that at a meeting in London "the power of God came mightily upon us, and there was a general cry. But the voice of two persons prevailed over the rest, one praying, and the other shrieking as in the agonies of death." It is a vivid picture.
Wesley was well aware of a strange outbreak in 1731 at the cemetery of Saint-Médard in Paris (nearest métro station, Censier-Daubenton) among followers of the rigorist Catholic sect of Jansenism.
"There were men falling like epileptics, others swallowing pebbles, glass and even live coals, women walking feet in air," one account said. "You heard nothing but groaning, singing, shrieking, whistling, declaiming, prophesying." Even odder were the secours applied to relieve the agonies of the convulsionaries, such as beating with cudgels and pricking with swords.
Some of these phenomena, as Ronald Knox brought out in his historical survey Enthusiasm (1950), had been seen before among early Quakers and 17th-century Huguenot "Camisards" in the Cévennes.
The phenomenon of speaking in tongues found among the convulsionaries and Camisards suddenly appeared again in 1830 among the followers of Edward Irving, known as Irvingites (1792-1834). Irving connected renewal through the Holy Spirit with his millenarian beliefs.
His contemporary John Nelson Darby (1800-82), the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, worked out details of the "rapture" at the second coming of Christ. This is a hallmark of Pentecostal belief, but is also widely held, notably in America, by many hostile to Pentecostalism.
Few today will remember or be aware of the Skeleton Armies. In November 1882 the Bethnal Green [London, England] Eastern Post, lodged at The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, stated:
"A genuine rabble of 'roughs' pure and unadulterated has been infesting the district for several weeks past. These vagabonds style themselves the 'Skeleton Army'.... The 'skeletons' have their collectors and their collecting sheets and one of them was thrust into my hands... it contained a number shopkeepers' names... I found that publicans, beer sellers and butchers are subscribing to this imposture... the collector told me that the object of the Skeleton Army was to put down the Salvationists [the Salvation Army] by following them about everywhere, by beating a drum and burlesquing their songs, to render the conduct of their processions and services impossible...
“Amongst the Skeleton rabble there is a large percentage of the most consummate loafers and unmitigated blackguards London can produce...worthy of the disreputable class of publicans [owners of public ale houses] who hate the London school board, education and temperance and who, seeing the beginning of the end of their immoral traffic, and prepared for the most desperate enterprise."
Most would agree that the welfare and social services rendered by the Salvation Army are among the best in the world and British Soldiers will testify that their Red Shield canteens attached to military posts wherever the British Army has been render excellent service to servicemen far from home. Yet there was violent opposition to them in their early days.
When a new Salvation Army Corps was opened in Potton in Bedfordshire on 1 June 1890, large contingents of the Skeleton Army made fun of the local Salvationists. The War Cry reported:
"... the skeletons did all the shouting and we had only the opportunity of blessing them by showing unruffled love in answer to the disturbance in our proceedings"...."The skeleton flag was out with its coffin, skull and cross-bones as well as the whole Skeleton force, uniformed, beating a drum, playing flutes, whirling rattles and screaming through trumpets. One of their chosen leaders was carried shoulder high, ringing a bell and attired in an untrimmed coal-scuttle bonnet. I noticed that the publicans looked pleased to see this array and several waved their hats. But we were good friends of the skeletons, twelve of whom sat at our tea table... Their leaders were very courteous and sincerely desirous of keeping their somewhat rabble followers within bounds. Almost implicit obedience was given them. Their skeleton War Cry was freely sold, but doesn’t quite beat the original".
At Guildford the corps officer's wife was kicked unconscious close to a police station and a woman Salvationist fatally injured. At Shoreham too, a woman was killed when a stone hit her. [Potton Salvation Army on the Bedfordshire County Council website]
The mayor of Eastbourne stated he would, "put down this Salvation Army business" with help from the Skeleton Army if necessary. Skeletons attacked many Salvationists. Salvationists considered it incompatible with Christian principles to defend themselves but thought the police should protect them.
Yet each in turn eventually joined the league of broadly accepted Christian denominations. This inclusion left Christian rowdies with a shrinking collection of Christian denomination on which to shower their affections. Hence the attention given so generously to Mormons by the bedraggled band of hostiles that recognise themselves as Christians, but are unwilling to recognise any others as followers and disciples of the Son of God Jesus Christ.
What all these once-hated enthusiasts had in common was their insistence that the Holy Ghost must be demonstrated in the new lives of lately come believers.
We now refer to Paulinus of Nolus’ letter to Pammachius in AD 396, in which he praises the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, where he had recently attended a funeral, and observes:
“For the one faith of the Gospel sustains with its fourfold support the temple of our body; and since the grace by which we are reborn flows from that Gospel, and Christ by whom we live is revealed in it, it is sure that “a fountain of water springing up unto life eternal” is born there in us on the four columns of life.
“It waters us within and engenders heart inside us, but only if we can say, or deserve to feel, that we have “our hearts burning within us in the way,” enflamed by Christ as he walks along with us.” – [Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages: A Reader, University of Toronto Press., by Brett Edward Whalen]
Reading these extracts about the human heart being touched by our Father in Heaven as he confirms truth to our souls serves to remind us that God has not changed his methods of inspiring those he directs along his chosen pathway to eternal truths leading to salvation.
Did not our hearts burn within us as we walked And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? [King James Bible "Authorized Version," Cambridge Edition Luke 24:32]
Latter-day Saints comprehend the meaning of the words of the two disciples that had been accompanied by Jesus on the road to Emmaus as one of the many ways in which testimonies of the Saviour are given by God through the Holy Ghost. Many, if not all, have had the same or similar experience, yet the influence of the Holy Spirit known as the ‘burning in the bosom’ is not confined to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a common religious experience well known and attested to by the singularly pious.
Jonathan Edwards was a preacher involved in the religious experience described as the Great Awakening. He attempts to express his own experience of being touched and informed by the Holy Ghost thus:
This I know not how to express otherwise, than by a calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the concerns of this world; and sometimes a kind of vision, or fixed ideas and imaginations, of being alone in the mountains, or some solitary wilderness, far from all mankind, sweetly conversing with Christ, and wrapt and swallowed up in God.
The sense I had of divine things, would often of a sudden kindle up, as it were, a sweet burning in my heart; an ardor of soul, that I know not how to express.
Sometimes, only mentioning a single word caused my heart to burn within me; or only seeing the name of Christ, or the name of some attribute of God.
Was Edwards wrong? Was he being deceived by the Devil, or by sophistry, or that he was confused because of his much learning? Who is to say that his experience was not God-given? Dan Corner? I think not.
John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism shared Edwards feeling although this agreement was strictly on account of an experience Wesley had.
Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and found little comfort in his religion. To Peter Böhler, a Moravian friend, he confessed his growing misery and decision to give up the ministry. Böhler counseled otherwise. "Preach faith till you have it," he advised. "And then because you have it, you will preach faith." A wise Catholic once made a similar statement: "Act as if you have faith and it will be granted to you."
John acted on the advice. He led a prisoner to Christ by preaching faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins. The prisoner was immediately converted. John was astonished. He had been struggling for years. Here was a man transformed instantly. John made a study of the New Testament and found to his astonishment that the longest recorded delay in salvation was three days--while the apostle Paul waited for his eyes to open.
The Moravians assured him their personal experiences had also been instantaneous. John found himself crying out, "Lord, help my unbelief!" However, he felt dull within and little motivated even to pray for his own salvation. On this day, May 24th, 1738 he opened his Bible at about five in the morning and came across these words,
"There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should partakers of the divine nature."
He read similar words in other places. That evening he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Luther's Preface to the Epistle to Romans. About 8:45 p.m. "while describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."
It took him some time to learn how to live the life of faith, for he was not always possessed of joy and thought he had fallen from salvation. It took time for him to see that it is not Christ and good works, but Christ alone who saves, resulting in good works.
As time went on, John Wesley was mightily used of the Lord to reform England. His Methodists became a national force. John rode thousands of miles (as many as 20,000 a year) preaching as only a man filled with the Holy Spirit can preach, telling the gospel to all who would listen. He acted "as though he were out of breath in pursuit of souls."
Wherever he preached, lives changed and manners and morals altered for the better. It is often conjectured that his preaching helped spare England the kind of revolution that occurred in France.
Sources for information about John Wesley:
-Egermeier, Elsie E. John Wesley, the Christian hero. Anderson, Indiana: Gospel Trumpet, 1923.
-Heitzenrater, R. P. "Wesley, John." Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. Editor, Timothy Larsen. Downers-Grove, Illinois: Intevarsity Press, 2003.
-Maddox, Randy L. Aldersgate Reconsidered. Nashville, Tennessee: Kingswood Books, 1990.
-Tomkins, Stephen. John Wesley, a biography. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003.
-"Wesley, John." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
I have yet to read any other Christian denouncing Wesley for describing his conversion experience by saying, “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” Indeed there are plenty of Christians that recommend all to seek and enjoy the same experience. This would not be the case if they blamed the burning in them bosom on the power of the devil as does Dan Corner.
Latter-day Saints continue to accept the thrilling gift of the Holy Ghost in whatever form our Father in Heaven deigns to bestow it upon our searching hearts.