My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

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Ilovechrist77
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My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 14 Dec 2019, 21:42

I know last I posted a topic called Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter. I didn't realize this before, but over time I found out I became a bit obsessed with obtaining this spiritual gift. I began a curiosity in the Second Comforter, visions or visitations of Jesus Christ, when I began studying the Book of Mormon personally for the first time. When I was twenty years old, I was still living with my parents and was becoming rebellious to them, much to their anguish. I realized at that time that I wasn't happy. I was existing then, not really living. Making some new friends in the young single adult group in my ward, I eventually developed motivation to develop my own faith. I began studying the Book of Mormon and I couldn't understand why the General Authorities weren't having revelations in similar ways the prophets in the scriptures did where they talked with God literally and learned new things about the heavenly family they never knew before. However, I put that aside, and I soon felt motivated to serve a mission after hearing a friend at a cottage meeting at a ward family's home talking about wanting to serve one. I got into my parent's van, prayed about if I serve a mission or not, and was convinced that I should. I drove home and when I got there I discovered that my late aunt was visiting. I apologized to my parents for being rebellious in the past and as I told my parents and my aunt I wanted to serve a mission, I was filled with the Spirit so strong that I broke down, for the first time in my life I felt forgiven of my sins.

I served a faithful mission and I was introduced from a friend in my young single adult branch to the book Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie. He had mentioned in talk of his the Second Comforter, so after his talk I mentioned to him about my patriarchal blessing mentioning an experience with the Second Comforter. He then referred me to the book Mormon Doctrine, and I thought what Bruce wrote was interesting about the subject.

Eventually I had my faith crisis in the church, which led to my faith transition. Sometime last year, my interest in the topic of the Second Comforter was re-woken and I began studying online guides of people that have claimed to have experienced the Second Comforter, since the LDS Church hasn't emphasized since Joseph Smith was prophet, or maybe Brigham Young. I could be mistaken about that. I've read Denver Snuffer's first, an online book from an author who wants to remain anonymous, another similar book by a different anonymous author, and a free downloaded PDF by yet another anonymous author on the subject. I'm recognizing an odd pattern here. I realize people do what they feel is write, but it seems to me that all the prophets in the scriptures, except the brother of Jared, revealed their names in their books. Although religious history on who wrote the books in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how they were written are messy at best, the ancient scriptures contain some degrees, which take intuition to sort through them. Around the time I was studying those guides on how to experience the Second Comforter, I began practicing meditation along with my prayer and scripture study, and I'll tell you...it has helped my spirituality in so many ways. A lot of bad habits have become more controlled and I feel really at peace with God.

Now, back to the Second Comforter. I've discovered that talking with some these people online, reading their blogs, and reading their PDF guides that many are more open minded and nuanced in many ways where more traditional LDS people are more close minded and black and white and more close minded and black and white where more traditional LDS people are open minded and nuanced. Weird, huh? For example, one of the anonymous authors believes that all illness is caused by demonic possessions and we've all been demon possessed at some time because we're flawed mortal human beings. He's also said that being gay, bisexual, transgender, queer is also caused by a demonic possession, although we should love them and not judge them. Wow! I don't know what to make of them. If life is really meant to be that way, then how does God expect others not to be afraid to even live their lives.

Now, I've come to the conclusion that I still want to experience the Second Comforter, but I've tried to make my faith a bit simpler and not worry when and how it might happen. I might be in the spirit world and experience it then for all I know. Since I meditate, a couple months I've began studying on the inner path and it seems to me that Jesus Christ talked about it a lot and living that way brought so much joy and peace to my life. Although I've grateful for the standard works of the church, flawed as they may be, I'm convinced that Joseph Smith and the ancient prophets were mystics and gnostics. I could be wrong about that, but I'm convinced of this because of how they talked about knowing the Lord and righteousness. Not as much knowing the Lord through merely feeling the Spirit, but having the more charismatic spiritual gifts. They may not be a bad thing necessary, but too often I think they over-emphasized it. However, I'm aware that many times they still did talk about seeking the Lord by having the Spirit with them always. What are your thoughts?

Roy
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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Roy » 16 Dec 2019, 16:55

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 21:42
I know last I posted a topic called Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter. I didn't realize this before, but over time I found out I became a bit obsessed with obtaining this spiritual gift. I began a curiosity in the Second Comforter, visions or visitations of Jesus Christ, when I began studying the Book of Mormon personally for the first time. When I was twenty years old, I was still living with my parents and was becoming rebellious to them, much to their anguish. I realized at that time that I wasn't happy. I was existing then, not really living. Making some new friends in the young single adult group in my ward, I eventually developed motivation to develop my own faith. I began studying the Book of Mormon and I couldn't understand why the General Authorities weren't having revelations in similar ways the prophets in the scriptures did where they talked with God literally and learned new things about the heavenly family they never knew before. However, I put that aside, and I soon felt motivated to serve a mission after hearing a friend at a cottage meeting at a ward family's home talking about wanting to serve one. I got into my parent's van, prayed about if I serve a mission or not, and was convinced that I should. I drove home and when I got there I discovered that my late aunt was visiting. I apologized to my parents for being rebellious in the past and as I told my parents and my aunt I wanted to serve a mission, I was filled with the Spirit so strong that I broke down, for the first time in my life I felt forgiven of my sins.
I feel that we in the church are accustomed to expecting our GA to perform miracles and have supernatural knowledge. This is not fair to them and it is not fair to us. Unrealistic expectations are a recipe for disappointment.
I am not sure what is meant by the second comforter referenced in the NT scriptures. JS thought that this was visions or visitations of JC. He also felt that this was synonymous with having your calling and election made sure. I speculate that in the Nauvoo period this idea evolved into the second anointing.
In the earlier writings of JS he seemed to feel that the endowment of power was an individual and spiritual quest. After the Kirtland temple dedication and the outpouring of spiritual gifts on that day (similar to on the day of Pentecost recorded in the NT) - that was felt to be the endowment of power. Still later "the endowment" came to mean a portion of the temple ordinance. It became something that could be performed and recorded and repeated.
I speculate that the second comforter with the accompanying calling and election made sure traveled a similar journey to become the second anointing temple ceremony.
Referring back to your paragraph above, it sounds like you were inspired by some good people to make positive changes in your life and you felt a confirmation from HF that it was good. Nobody can take that away from you. Good is good is good.
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 21:42
I served a faithful mission and I was introduced from a friend in my young single adult branch to the book Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie. He had mentioned in talk of his the Second Comforter, so after his talk I mentioned to him about my patriarchal blessing mentioning an experience with the Second Comforter. He then referred me to the book Mormon Doctrine, and I thought what Bruce wrote was interesting about the subject.
BRM wrote lots of speculation in his book. Unfortunately he wrote it with a voice of authority that he was not authorized to use.
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 21:42
Around the time I was studying those guides on how to experience the Second Comforter, I began practicing meditation along with my prayer and scripture study, and I'll tell you...it has helped my spirituality in so many ways. A lot of bad habits have become more controlled and I feel really at peace with God.
Once again, that is good! I have lots of habits. Some I have made peace with as being a hardwired part of who I am. Some I channel or redirect in order to make better life choices than I would otherwise. Playing video games is a good example. Playing is fun and good. Playing with family or friends can be positive. Playing to the exclusion of other activities is bad. Moderation is an important factor.
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 21:42
Now, back to the Second Comforter. I've discovered that talking with some these people online, reading their blogs, and reading their PDF guides that many are more open minded and nuanced in many ways where more traditional LDS people are more close minded and black and white and more close minded and black and white where more traditional LDS people are open minded and nuanced. Weird, huh? For example, one of the anonymous authors believes that all illness is caused by demonic possessions and we've all been demon possessed at some time because we're flawed mortal human beings. He's also said that being gay, bisexual, transgender, queer is also caused by a demonic possession, although we should love them and not judge them. Wow! I don't know what to make of them. If life is really meant to be that way, then how does God expect others not to be afraid to even live their lives.
Yes, everyone has their own blind spots. We are all predisposed by our life experiences. It is hard for me to believe in the demonic possession theory because prayer - holy water - priesthood blessings have a lousy track record for overcoming illness whereas antibiotics have had huge successes in this area. There are millions of theories. I feel empowered to choose to believe in the religious theories that A) make me feel hopeful for the future B) feel right in my heart and mind and C) are similar to what my family and faith community believe allowing me to feel connected to other people.
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 21:42
Now, I've come to the conclusion that I still want to experience the Second Comforter, but I've tried to make my faith a bit simpler and not worry when and how it might happen. I might be in the spirit world and experience it then for all I know. Since I meditate, a couple months I've began studying on the inner path and it seems to me that Jesus Christ talked about it a lot and living that way brought so much joy and peace to my life. Although I've grateful for the standard works of the church, flawed as they may be, I'm convinced that Joseph Smith and the ancient prophets were mystics and gnostics. I could be wrong about that, but I'm convinced of this because of how they talked about knowing the Lord and righteousness. Not as much knowing the Lord through merely feeling the Spirit, but having the more charismatic spiritual gifts. They may not be a bad thing necessary, but too often I think they over-emphasized it. However, I'm aware that many times they still did talk about seeking the Lord by having the Spirit with them always. What are your thoughts?
I personally am not much worried about it. I focus on living a good life. If this life is all there is then I do not want to spend too much of it worrying about an existence that might never come. If there is an afterlife then I believe that God will honor my good faith attempt at living an honest and honorable life and helping others along the way.

That's my perspective. Your mileage may vary.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 16 Dec 2019, 22:45

Thank you, very much, Roy, for your comment. I always enjoy your and Curt's comments. You two say a lot of things in ways I've never thought of before. Bruce R. McConkie did make a lot comments in his book that made it seem like it represented Mormon doctrine when they really different. For example, him teaching black males would never receive the priesthood when eventually the ban was lifted. I remember a friend of mine that I met from my mission told me what Bruce said and I was shocked he said say that. I'm glad Bruce admitted he was wrong about it when things turned out differently. You're right. We all have blind spots. I've come to the conclusion after learning so much and learning more that the only constant thing that the Lord asks of all of us is to learn to love. That seemed to sum up the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Old-Timer » 17 Dec 2019, 07:14

People want certainty that their sincere efforts will be rewarded, especially those who are dedicated and have sacrificed greatly.

If the idea of a Second Comforter helps people endure difficult things and brings them peace, I am fine with that. It doesn't do that for me, and I am fine with that. When it turns into bragging rights or a competition or a promise for everyone that brings guilt or pressure or disappointment or condemnation or criticism, I am not fine with that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Roy » 17 Dec 2019, 12:00

Old Timer wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 07:14
People want certainty that their sincere efforts will be rewarded, especially those are dedicated and have sacrificed greatly.

If the idea of a Second Comforter helps people endure difficult things and brings them peace, I am fine with that. It doesn't do that for me, and I am fine with that. When it turns into bragging rights or a competition or a promise for everyone that brings guilt or pressure or disappointment or condemnation or criticism, I am not fine with that.
I agree and wish to expand upon what Old-Timer said. Let's take temple marriage or priesthood sealing as an example because it is much better defined than the second comforter. Let's suppose that a couple started their marriage with a temple sealing and felt that this ordinance/ceremony symbolized their enduring commitment to each other. Suppose they both use this premise as a foundation to remain mutually invested and engaged in their relationship and to build for the future. Suppose that this couple goes through some difficulties and the eternal promises of the wedding ceremony help them to weather the storm and come out ok on the other side. Suppose that they feel that the power of the ceremony will bind them to their family forever and they take comfort in that. These are all good and positive things that bind people together in love and community and give hope and comfort for an unknown future.

Now suppose that another couple is married outside the temple and other people look down on them for their non-temple marriage. Suppose that someone tells them that they will be separated from each other and their children upon death because of their choices. Suppose that a couple that started with a temple marriage need later to have a divorce. Suppose that people condemn or look down on them as covenant breakers that did not endure to the end (unless the spouse did something unpardonable thus a need to defend the divorce by blaming it on the spouse). Suppose a child is not following the "Covenant path" and we heap guilt upon them for breaking up the eternal family unit. These are all bad and negative things causing division, pain, worry, rejection, and isolation.

So too with the second comforter IMO. If you have an experience that you feel qualifies as a second comforter then wonderful. I hope it is a source of hope, comfort, and joy unto you. If an individual does not have such an experience then I would hope that they would not interpret the absence as some sort of divine rejection as though they were not doing enough to be accepted by God.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Old-Timer » 17 Dec 2019, 16:17

Not to derail the post, so, please, do not turn this into a discussion of any particular person or movement, but:
If an individual does not have such an experience then I would hope that they would not interpret the absence as some sort of divine rejection as though they were not doing enough to be accepted by God.


This is my biggest issue with the whole Denver Snuffer movement and others like it. They present an actual godly visitation as normal and attainable for anyone who is faithful enough, even though that absolutely is not the standard in scripture or modern Mormon history. I see that view as extremely damaging, and it preys on the most faithful, black-and-white perspective that is prone to suffer from perfectionism efforts already.

/Back to the discussion of the actual post. :D
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 17 Dec 2019, 18:11

Curt, I agree with you. I'm not trying to refer people to that. I agree it's not always not always been the standard in Mormon history. I don't understand what you mean by it not being the standard in the scriptures. I can think of a handful of prophets or people in the scriptures that have had this experience. It seemed like Moses, Noah, Lehi, Nephi (his descendant prophets), the sons of Mosiah, Alma the older and the younger, Helaman, Peter, James, John, Mormon, and Moroni. Captain Moroni had the spirit of prophecy. After the Lamanite King Lamoni was taught the gospel by Ammon, a missionary, Lamoni had a charismatic spiritual rebirth, some might call it his baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Please, I'm not trying to argue. I just want to understand. Please explain but what you mean by it not being the standard in the scriptures. Name some examples or scriptures.

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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Old-Timer » 17 Dec 2019, 18:33

I am talking in that comment about a very narrow experience: being visited by God.

I am not talking about charismatic conversions or experiences. Lots of people have those. They are spiritual in nature, and they include visions. There are very few scriptural accounts of something that unequivocally can be described confidently as a visitation.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 17 Dec 2019, 19:01

Okay, I get what you're saying now. I appreciate that. Maybe studying the experiences about the people claiming to have experienced the Second Comforter has made me a bit biased, which I believe many of those people that have experienced have become. But then again, as Roy pointed, everyone has their blind spots. Thanks so much for explaining. God bless you and your family this Christmas and New Years. Same to you too, Roy.

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Re: My Revised Understanding of The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 17 Dec 2019, 19:34

Since you mentioned visions, Curt, I think that's how people are describing their experiences with the Second Comforter. They describe it like a vision. Anyway, all of you have a merry Christmas.

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