Hot, quaking, chicken-skin metaphors

[Oriignally published on April 12, 2009.]

A number of times during this morning’s Easter program in church the music so moved me that I felt a thrill fill my body as tears welled in my eyes . . . which leads me to some thoughts on those familiar feelings.

In addition to the Easter music, a recent presentation at BYU-Hawaii by S. Michael Wilcox — a Latter-day Saint Institute of Religion teacher at the University of Utah — helped spur these thoughts:

I recall as a teenager growing up in Salt Lake City that East High Seminary teachers, among others, used to tell us the story of how after Oliver Cowdery served for a while as primary scribe to Joseph Smith Jr. in 1829 , he desired to help translate the Book of Mormon. After unsuccessfully attempting to do so, the Lord told him in a revelation through Smith that the key — indeed, the key to knowing the truth of many things — was to first:

…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 [Doctrine and Covenants 9:8. A note to any non-Latter-day Saint readers, the Doctrine and Covenants is a canon of modern Mormon scriptures].

There it is: That “burning in the bosom” phrase that essentially defies the ability to clearly define it to someone who hasn’t actually felt such a sensation.

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