No Other Effect

be-still-and-knowJoseph left us a very interesting statement about the Holy Ghost which has always intrigued me. It goes like this: “The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge…” (TPJS p. 149) There is more to the quote dealing with the effect upon Gentiles.

Mind and Heart

The statement is intriguing because the phrase “no other effect” excludes the role of the heart or feelings in revelation such as we find in D&C 8:2-3: “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…” This is further expanded in D&C 9:8-9.

Burning of the Bosom

“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. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…”

Manifest the Truth

I’ve written previously about the burning of the bosom as well as the stupor of thought. There are requirements to receive the power of the Holy Ghost in Moroni 10:4-5. One of the purposes and in fact, the real power of the Holy Ghost is to manifest to us the truth of all things. The requirements to receive this power are outlined as a sincere heart, real intent and faith in Christ.

Sent to Us by God

The Savior added to our understanding of the Holy Ghost and how it is received in John 16:7 – “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” It is interesting to note the Savior had previously said the Father would send the Holy Ghost or Comforter, in the name of the Christ.

Teach Us All Things

John 14:26-27 – “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Fill with Hope and Perfect Love

The Comforter clearly causes us to feel something when we receive it as evidenced by what we read in Moroni 8:26 – “…and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love…” I am fairly certain hope and love are both feelings of the heart. This is obviously much more than pure intelligence.

Makes Alive All Things

Moses 6:61 – “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things; which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.” The Comforter brings peace and fills with life.

Effects of Pure Intelligence

I think this sampling of scriptures is sufficient to demonstrate the presence of the Holy Ghost within us has additional effects other than upon our mind. This is especially evident because the Savior clearly identified the Holy Ghost as the Comforter, a source of peace and feelings of joy. So why would Joseph Smith make that statement about the Holy Ghost having no other effect?

The Comforter Touches our Heart

I have been pondering Joseph’s statement and wonder if we have taken it too far out of context. I have read posts on various blogs lately downplaying the influence of the Holy Ghost on what we feel in our hearts. That seems so contradictory even to the very name or title the Savior said is a function of the Holy Ghost – to be a comforter as we pass through this lone and dreary world.

Emotion is Not the Holy Ghost

Anybody who has attended a testimony meeting has seen the display of emotions gone amuck. Many who read this post have witnessed obviously contrived or forced “spirituality” by false preachers who expertly use emotion in their ministries. Emotion is not the Holy Ghost, but the Holy Ghost can and does affect our feelings, especially if are very still and focused in prayer.

The Still Small Voice

Still-Small-VoiceI’m sure you know the story of Elijah as he hid in the cave, experiencing the great wind, an earthquake, a fire and then the still, small voice. (1 Kings 19:9-13) How often have we been taught the importance of this scripture in hearing the voice of the Lord? I always think of this scripture when I pray. It helps me to focus, to be as still as I can, so I can hear the Lord’s voice.

Focus to Tune Our Spirit

For me, when I sit still and focus, not only do I find it easier to hear the voice of the Lord, I also find it easier to feel the influence of the Comforter. Meditation in and of itself is a good thing, but is a great tool to use to become “in tune” with the divine influence. A great deal of the work of hearing the voice of the Lord is simply learning to be still, meaning to stop earthly thoughts.

Be Still and Know That I Am God

Psalm 46:10 contains some of the best advice I have ever received on hearing the voice of the Lord. To be still, for me, means to both physically control myself, including my breathing as I pray, but also to control my thoughts, and, although I can’t explain it, to control my spirit. If I make a focused, concentrated effort, I can literally feel my spirit vibrate in tune with God.

Led By the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost helps me do this. He invites me, instructs me and leads me through the process of prayer. He encourages me to make the effort. He comforts me when the world would tear me from the peace of silent, secret prayer. This is obviously different from the kind of prayer where we cry mightily unto the Lord in an effort to obtain a much needed blessing from His hand.

It Causes My Heart to Burn

Revisit that statement of Joseph about pure intelligence. Couple it with the concept that we must be still in order to hear the voice of the Lord. What do you feel? You can do it right now. Focus, clear your mind of every worldly thought and strive to put your spirit in tune with the infinite. For me, it causes my heart to burn within me. The Comforter has come. He helps me to pray.

Enwrapped in the Heavenly Element

I feel at peace. I am not emotionally overwrought. I am calm. I can focus. I have all the time in the world. I ask questions. I listen. I wait for impressions. I feel answers. I hear the voice of the Lord. I learn to trust what I feel. This is pure intelligence. It invigorates me. It emboldens me. The cares of this world slip away for a few moments. I am enwrapped in the heavenly element.

Feelings of Peace and Comfort

I think I get it now. There are feelings involved in the receipt of pure intelligence. They are strong and powerful, but they invoke reverence, peace, calmness and serenity. They are not thrilling or exciting in that they don’t fill me with adrenaline. This focused state can cause me to weep because of the warm feelings of love and comfort that always accompanies the Holy Ghost.

Expand, Enlighten and Enliven

What do you think? Are there feelings associated with the receipt of the Holy Ghost, or is it nothing more than a mental exercise? Have we perhaps misunderstood the words of Joseph when he said the Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence? Perhaps our understanding of pure intelligence needs to be expanded. The Holy Ghost enlightens and enlivens with truth.

19 thoughts on “No Other Effect”

  1. Hi Tim I think this is a great subject and very important. I started writing a post that I am almost done with that has examples of what I have found are the experiences of the Holy Ghost. I will send it to you tomorrow to look over and post if you are interested. Crazy enough a speech by Ghandi is one of my favorite on the subject of the spirit of truth.
    I agree adrenaline has nothing to do with it and emotions or thoughts have nothing to do with it although it will cause us to have emotions (fruits of the spirit) and pure intelligence. I still have to believe joseph smith was equating pure intelligence to glory “the glory of God is INTELLIGENCE…” I have heard people describe it as a warmth washing over them that feels “tingly”. Obviously it is not the chills or the goosebumps although it can definitely make our hair stand in end. “fire” is a good description. I have witnessed a handful of people as they experienced the Holy Ghost for the first time. It is beautiful. It transcends all 5 senses. Someone who was experiencing it for the first time I remember saying “this is undeniable!” A good brother I witnessed said “it feels like light from God is flowing through me!” To experience it and receive revelation by it leaves no room for doubt. Ha ha anyway I am quite convinced thousands upon thousands will begin to receive the Holy Ghost for the first time soon enough and they will be blown away. Thanks for the great thoughts.

    1. I hadn’t read Tim’s post til now and after reading yours just posted, I can totally see the parallel. I was going to mention this myself but you cut me to the chase.

  2. Thank you so much for this, Tim. Your words always edify and bring peace to me. You are so thoughtful and simple in your remarks. I never feel you “forcing” your teaching on me. You truly have a gift from the Heavens and I just want you to know how much I appreciate it.

  3. Perhaps the key word in the Joseph Smith quote about pure intelligence is not “intelligence” but rather “pure”–meaning the Holy Ghost has no other effect than giving the receiver unadulterated truth, discernment, or understanding. We tend to think of intelligence as information, but information can come from all kinds of sources and produce any number of thoughts. We require the Holy Ghost, however, to have CLARITY. Intelligence is the means to receiving truth; the Holy Ghost is the source that we can receive truth through.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to limit the ways the Holy Ghost can speak to us, to say for instance that God cannot use our emotions or scholarly texts or even pop culture references to teach us, particularly since “all things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44).

    I think the point is that unlike our emotions, our scholars, and our pop culture, which can be influenced also by adversarial forces, the Holy Ghost will not and cannot mislead us being the source and “record of heaven” and “the truth of all things” when we can, as you describe Tim, “vibrate in tune with God.”

  4. May I suggest Joseph’s statement is the product of a man who had had long experience with the Spirit? That is, he was relating his own experience at that point in time. To someone with, say, a lot less experience, the presence of the Holy Ghost is like this.

    Helaman 5
    44 And Nephi and Lehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory.

    45 And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.

  5. Another thought: throughout the scriptures, the heart is pretty synonymous with what we would define today as the mind, and feelings come from the bowels.

  6. I agree with Dani, “It’s not a good idea to limit how the spirit speaks to us.” Why would He deny anyone who is truly seeking His Spirit? He knows us each individually and can tailor His word for us in a way we can hear it. I believe that God is gracious to those who really want to know and be guided.

    There was a time that my life was in such pain and turmoil and I begged for direction. I told the Lord that I could not hear his direction because my mind and heart was in such upset. I ask Him to send someone that I trusted to deliver His word… that I might hear. He did. In fact, he sent three individuals. Each encounter was highly unusual but the message was exactly the same. “I was to wait and be patient.”

    Three years later, I receive a different message. It was during sincere prayer and it was a very clear message in my head. “Now is the time, the decision is yours.” I stood up buoyed yet calm and peaceful. I know the date and the exact time. I just knew in my head and my heart that the answer was for that time and that moment.

    I was a product designer for years. There were times that I struggled with a project, and other times ideas just flowed through me. It was an unbelievable creative flow. I knew at the time the flow was from another source, it did not come through my education or previous experience. There was no struggle, or back off…. the flow came quickly. There were other designers on the team that testified of having the same experience.

    Tim, you mentioned that you sit and focus. Thank you. I also find I can focus more clearly in a sitting position. I have often felt guilty that I don’t always kneel, but when I do, my attention is more on getting off my painful knees than on my prayer.

    Log sited Helaman 5 and I have not yet had that experience, which I desire but have not been blessed with. Many of my communications are generally simple promptings that often come out of the blue. I find that when I don’t follow those promptings immediately, the opportunities are often lost. I have learned to pay and attention and act.

    So… Tim… my point of view is that the Spirit can be manifest in various ways, including feelings as well as pure intelligence. I think the most important thing is to develop and understand the pattern of how he speak to us individually so we are not deceived by those spirits that are not of Him.

  7. Tim,

    Thank you for bringing this up to the forefront concerning the Holy Ghost. Below will be much new information many will be shut off from. I suggest Moroni 10:3-5 before this reading. If many do not wish to read, just skip the comment. This is new to your thoughts and may challenge your already perceived knowledge. It is beautiful to me and has increased my desire for submissiveness, serving others, seeing the face of the Lord and treating others as I would have them treat me. Is this not good for me? Could this be good for others? I know not. Pardon the long writing. If it is good, you will not want to stop reading. These are taken from various volumes and is only a speck.

    “30. And this is not strange doctrine, for Jesus taught it when He did come even among the Nemenhah.
    Surely He did teach us to love our neighbor and esteem him even as we do esteem ourselves. Wherefore do all Nememhah speak all my relations when they make themselves pure before the Lord. Is this not the gospel that He also taught? Do we not wish to emulate Him in all things?
    31. Trifle not with these things and do not think that your little children will learn them without you. It is
    not certain that your children will seek the face of God without that you do, also, teach them. Do not leave this task unto other instructors. This thing you must teach them, yea, and with your own voice you must do it. Not with the rod, but with longsuffering and charity, exhorting them to take all things whatsoever you may teach them and speedily inquire of the Lord as to their utility. And insomuch as they do ask of Him, verily, the Holy Ghost shall write upon them the truth of the teaching. Behold, this is the Law of the Gospel.
    32. Now, when such a child has learned at the feet of their father and their mother, and after that they have made a confirmation of the things their parents have taught them, is it possible that they shall turn to men and their ways when it comes to the sacrifice? I say unto you, Nay! But they will go straightway even unto the Creator and learn of Him what manner of sacrifice is expedient in them. Behold, this is the Law of Sacrifice
    39. And this is because that the people had taken up the wisdom and the teachings and the doctrines of men and had not sought the face of their God for such things. This is the beginning of wisdom. You have questions? Then rely upon He who has answers to those questions.

    Raise not up bodies of doctrine to justify yourselves in your beliefs, but rather, resort even unto the Creator to learn of His doctrine and uphold all that
    He shall teach you.

    40. For behold, our God is great and He is mighty to save. He shall surely teach you all things and the
    Holy Ghost shall write His doctrine upon your souls. And does this require justification from any man? Can this be learned at the feet of any man? I say unto you, Nay. Of a surety, we may hear the words of great men and great women, but how shall their words profit us if the Holy Spirit of Promise brings not a confirmation of them? I say unto you, Such wisdom is as sounding brass.
    18. And this is the question which does plague me. From what does their obedience save them? Their
    shepherds shall teach them that their obedience is mighty to save and that there shall be no salvation but through it. Yea, they shall live every day by the words of their prophets, and this because they believe they shall be called elect and exalted. But from what are they saved? Are they saved from sin? I cannot think so, for they shall sin as much as any man. Are they, then, saved from the effects of sin? Then I ask you, of what efficacy is the sacrifice of the Peacemaker?
    19. Or, what are the effects of sin from which they must be saved? Behold, they shall read of the
    wickedest of men who did do the most awful things unto their neighbors. Yea, they shall stand upon their
    stands and preach out of the good books of men who persecuted even the Christ, but yet became Apostles. Behold, the effects of sin are that they do cause us to turn our faces from Christ. And this thing does bring upon them a separation from the Peacemaker. But behold, there is no power possessed of man that can separate God from him.
    26. And behold, it is good for us to understand that we had all arrived at a different station and that we
    were not equal as yet in our understandings, nor in our emergence. But when we consecrated all things that we had created, even all through which we had progressed, yea, when we took of everything that we each were individually and gave it all up unto the Chosen One, through that wonderful power of the Holy Ghost, did we not take of our different lives and make of them one life eternal?
    27. This is the beginning of that faculty whereby the Holy Ghost may bring all things to our remembrance.
    And it is a wondrous gift. Behold, we may remember all the things which we did offer up unto the
    Peacemaker in that great circle or council unto which our Father did call us. Yea, He did call us out of our
    own work, wherein we did labor to save and exalt ourselves, and we were made aware of a new and better way. In it, we may continue to work to affect our own emergence out of the Telestial World into the Terrestrial, but we may also do a great work that is not in behalf of our own desires. Yea, our work is
    eternal, even as our Father?s and our Mother?s work was eternal.

    1. Now, doubt not because I say that we have changed the order in which we do observe the Laws of the Temple. For behold, we have not taken ought away from the ordinances of the High Place because we desire first to know God before we make sacrifice unto Him. And I do not do away with the Law of Sacrifice by placing it after the Law of the Gospel.

    104. Elohim Heavenly Father: The Endowment of Power that We have attained – to organize matter and to give it life and perception may be combined with Holy Ghost?s ability to influence the actions and
    development of Our children without disturbing their bodies. We allowed a measure of our experiences to be added unto theirs. All that we know has been imprinted upon them, worlds without end. All that they know has been imprinted upon us, lives without end. Do you begin to see the Endowment of Power of the Holy Ghost People?
    113. Holy Ghost: One who has finished the Everlasting Covenant may do it. Then, having completed the work, if that One were to receive Me prior to the ending of one last creation, I would receive all the experience necessary for Your children to overcome the natural man. Then, unto those of Your children who receive Me, I will imprint that knowledge in the same way Your experiences were imprinted upon the people who participated with You in the world You created for them. Let a covenant be made between Us such that every person who receives that Chosen One and the Holy Ghost might through this Atonement be made perfect like You through the transference of experience like that which You have seen take place in the world You created for them. But, the Chosen One must allow this transference to take place before that last death. Then, because of this great gift, it may be possible for many of Your children to attain to Your stature in but one lifetime. But One so chosen must make the sacrifice freely. It is the only way that all of the experiences may be brought together.

    I know this isn’t for everyone. There is not a compelling nature to this comment. It is only enlightenment if you so choose. Thank you for the space, Tim.

  8. sfort I’m am not clear on the source of where this material can be found. Will you please share the origin of your reference. Thanks.

  9. My thoughts are that the effect of the Holy Ghost is pure intelligence – “expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding” – AND the associated warm feeling or burning of the bossom is the Spirit of the Lord validating/witnessing that the message is from the Holy Ghost.

  10. John B

    I think I understand what you are suggesting but if I could throw our an idea to think about. The Holy Ghost is a revelator and it is his job to confirm truth . This is all over the scriptures. If you replaced part of your statement about the Holy Ghost with the light of Christ, and then the Spirit of The Lord with the Holy Ghost it would make a lot more sense. The “burning” confirmation is the Holy Ghost. By the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things. The Spirit of The Lord is many times more powerful than a burning of the Holy Ghost.


    I have to say if you think that Joseph Smith was more experienced with the Holy Ghost than nephi and lehi is almost laughable. Plus it seems people love to use the quote about the Holy Ghost having no other effect than pure intelligence but they do not ever couple it with the quote by joseph smith about pure intelligence FLOWING INTO the person. This is the burning and the glory that was talked about in the Nephi and Lehi experience.
    Why did Moroni feel to warn us about those who seek to deny the power of the Holy Ghost? Could it be because everyone in our day seeks to deny it all of the time?

    1. To Minority:
      I noticed in your reply to Log that :….”I have to say if you think that Joseph Smith was more experienced with the Holy Ghost than nephi and lehi is almost laughable.”

      Why in the world would you bring that up? Why are you even comparing the two? Why would you think Joseph Smith would not have the same opportunities and experiences as anyone else?
      Then you wrap up the post with this:…”Why did Moroni feel to warn us about those who seek to deny the power of the Holy Ghost? Could it be because everyone in our day seeks to deny it all of the time?” Everyone…? Really?

  11. Tim has the first Volume. He will give to you. You may start there and proceed with more. I gave you excerpts from the 2nd and the 6th volume. He can send you the first along with my email if you so desire. I would that all could know what I know regarding the immense beauty of these writings if they would be open to them. Much will come forth soon I believe. These are not for the confirmation of man but only with confirmation of the Spirit. Bless you on your journey.

  12. Nathan Shackelford


    Thank you for your comments about the Holy Ghost. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately.

    Why should there be such a almost addictive like reliance on quotes, scriptures and other people’s experiences?

    Where is the presence of the Holy Ghost when we speak?

    Where is God’s truth, my truth to be found, received and testified of?

    If the Holy Ghost truly is what we proclaim, why the minimization of such a Heavenly Gift (identity, relationship)? Is something “more” true if I say Nephi said it … Jesus said it?

    Specific to the law of witnesses … is it that someone has had a first-hand experience, records this in there own words testifying of it and then a second person reads their book and testifies that the book is right or true, quotes it and says it is “true”? Wouldn’t a second witness be someone who actually receives and testifies of having had the same experience? Knowing it is “true” because they have individually applied to the same path, had a similar experience, and now speak as a 2nd witness? Maybe I’m a little off on this question … what I’m trying to express is …

    Why does “truth” have to be qualified with a quote? Isn’t truth self-evident? Does the “sun” need intergalactic space missionaries traveling the galaxy telling everyone that there is a sun… or testifying of the qualities and attributes of the sun?

    Isn’t it the invitation of Heaven that all receive these things? Isn’t “Zion” the very experience of a critical mass of individuals who have ALL become one in process, one in application, one in receiving, one in truth … not the “same,” but one?

    For me (and it being a new year), I’m choosing to step more deeply into Heaven, into truth and allow for deeper receiving. Can this occur if I continue to displace the very truth (ie. Holy Ghost) or experiences Heaven is attempting to bless me with on other individuals, other’s writing, other’s testimonies? I will chose to reclaim these things, rather than passing along the experiences of others with citation attached.

    Thank you again for the emphasis on the Holy Ghost, and its gateway capacity to open the door for receiving greater things.

  13. Kathryn,

    I know the texts that sfort has quoted, I’ve read all of them. They are called “The Mentinah Archives” (see links below). These are purported translations of ancient Native American artifacts containing records, scriptures, whose stories parallel the time lines and stories of the Book of Mormon. The Mentinah Archives tell the story the “Nemenhah” (people of the truth) who trace their history from the journey of Hagoth into the Land Northward into what is now known as the “four corners” area. The hallmark is the alleged “rest of the story” of Samuel the Lamanite. A visit of Jesus Christ and a presentation of his teachings are featured as well.

    They were “translated” principally by Phillip “Cloudpiler” Landis and published in the early 2000s. (links below)

    As I mentioned I’ve read them all and they are fascinating. I’m also somewhat familiar with and have spoken with Phillip Landis several years ago. I met him at a meeting held at a friends home. He was then attempting to form a Zion society based on the teachings of the Book of Mormon and the Mentinah Archives and his “authority”. He claimed angelic visitations and the ability to translate ancient records. He was a charismatic fellow and, when I met him, was quite brash. As I understand he is former LDS. He is now the “High Priest” of his church “The Nemenhah Band” which is centered in Missouri. There’s quite a bit of info online about him and the Nemenhah.

    I don’t write any of this as a “warning” of any kind, but rather purely to inform. There is nothing to fear here. Very interesting reading (and at times enlightening) if you choose to read them. I found them interesting and helpful in the vein of “The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East”. The Holy Spirit will reveal the truth and lack thereof.

    All the best to you.

    Here are links to pdfs of the Archives:

    Info on Phillip Landis:

  14. BeStillAndKnow

    Thank you for these links. In about 2007 I met a fellow at a meeting and he introduced me to this information. I stayed up for several nights reading this material. After awhile, I felt I was peeking into something that I had no business reading, and it was not my time to study such material deeply. I closed the links and have not thought about them until this post. Only a couple of the volumes were published at the time.

    This is the material that was found in caves in the mountains above Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah. Strangely enough, my ex husbands family were from Spring City. They settled the area upon request of Brigham Young.

    James Allred and his wive came from Nauvoo. He had been one of Joseph Smiths body guards at one time. His son James Tellman Allred brought his family and wives to the area also. He and his first wife were in the Mormon Battalion. His wife … Bridget Manwaring Allred was a cook and did laundry for those in the march.

    Out of the Allred family came the polygamist leader Rulon C. Allred who was the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, a Mormon Fundamentalist polygamist group. He was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, head of a rival polygamist group.

    My ex-husbands family did not come through that direct line of the Allred family.

    I cannot remember the name of the guy who introduced me to the Mentinah material. Like I said, at the time, I was not ready for it.

    Again, thank you for the links. I appreciate having them now at my disposal.

  15. Heart mind and strength represent the 3 departments of government. Heart is the civil, mind is the spiritual or education, and strength is economic. I believe that is what JS was talking about.

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