When a man speaks scripture, then it is revelation from God.

D&C 1: 37-39:
37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.

D&C 68: 2-6:
2 And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth–
3 And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
4 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.
5 Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.
6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

Revelation is being moved upon by the Holy Ghost to speak the words of God, to speak scripture.

Words of Howard Coray:

One morning I went as usual into the office to go to work. I found Joseph sitting on one side of a table and Robert B. Thompson on the opposite side, and the understanding I got was that they were hunting in the manuscript of the new translation of the Bible for something on priesthood which Joseph wished to present or have read to the people the next conference. Well, they could not find what they wanted, and Joseph said to Thompson, “Put the manuscript to one side and take some paper, and I will tell you what to write.”

Brother Thompson took some foolscap paper that was at his elbow and made himself ready for the business. I was seated probably six or eight feet on Joseph’s left side, so that I could look almost squarely into Joseph’s left eye — I mean the side of his eye. The Spirit of God descended upon him, and a measure of it upon me, insomuch that I could fully realize that God, or the Holy Ghost, was talking through him. I never, neither before or since, have felt as I did on that occasion. I felt so small and humble, I could have freely kissed his feet.

Now, that’s revelation!

Our job is to get to the point where we can sense or discern whenever the Holy Ghost is speaking through a person, and when that person is only speaking his own words. It doesn’t become scripture unless the Holy Ghost is actually speaking through the man.

I have had a couple of Latter-day Saints tell me that they have felt impressed to look up during a prayer; and, they actually saw a conduit of light coming from heaven into the man’s head while the man giving the prayer was speaking the Words of God under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

That’s revelation from God.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Marvelous Are the Revelations of the Lord”, Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.31:

These were incredible times, as the spirit of revelation moved powerfully upon the Prophet Joseph Smith. Often others were present with him when revelations were received, and they bore witness of the Spirit and the outward manifestations that were present on these occasions. Typically, they spoke of a whiteness or a brightness that surrounded Joseph. For example, as the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants was given, Philo Dibble wrote that Joseph “seemed to be dressed in an element of glorious white, and his face shone as if it were transparent.” And Brigham Young testified that “those who were acquainted with [Joseph] knew when the Spirit of revelation was upon him, for his countenance wore an expression peculiar to himself while under that influence. He preached by the Spirit of revelation, and taught in his council by it, and those who were acquainted with him could discover it at once, for at such times there was a peculiar clearness and transparency in his face.”

Some who shared in this marvelous revelatory experience were impressed with how smoothly these revelations from the Lord flowed, and how, except for minor corrections such as spelling or punctuation, they required no editing. Said Parley P. Pratt: “Each sentence was uttered slowly and very distinctly, and with a pause between each, sufficiently long for it to be recorded, by an ordinary writer, in long hand. There was never any hesitation, reviewing or reading back, in order to keep the run of the subject; neither did any of these communications undergo revisions, interlinings or corrections. As he dictated them so they stood, so far as I have witnessed; and I was present to witness the dictation of several communications of several pages each.”

Interestingly, it was those who knew Joseph best who were most astonished at this process. They understood more than anyone else the limitations of his formal education and natural ability. Consequently, they had the clearest view of the miraculous way God spoke through His living prophet.

Joseph’s wife Emma bore a testimony similar to Parley P. Pratt’s in that she continued to be amazed at the process through which revelations came. Years after the Prophet’s death she said: “I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, [Joseph] would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he could at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him.”

My dear brothers and sisters, do we appreciate the marvelous miracle of revelation? Through revelation we have received the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, which contain the words of God to us, His children. Oh, how marvelous are the revelations we have received from the Lord! I have often said either Joseph Smith was the Lord’s instrument by which the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness was accomplished, or he was not. There is no possible compromise of this doctrine. I raise my voice to the whole world in testimony that I know without reservation or question that Joseph Smith opened this dispensation through divine revelation and began the restoration to the earth of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Among the most marvelous of revelations ever given to man is the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, often referred to simply as “The Vision.” This vision may have been one of the Prophet Joseph’s most powerful and significant spiritual experiences. As he and Sidney Rigdon prayed to understand the resurrection of the just and the unjust, this glorious vision – or actually a series of six visions – burst upon them. Joseph and Sidney literally conversed with the Lord for about an hour and a half as the Savior showed them what Joseph later described as “eternity sketch’d in a vision from God, / Of what was, and now is, and yet is to be.” As it commenced, the two men viewed the glory of the Son of God on the right hand of the Father and were moved to exclaim: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father.”

In sequence, Joseph and Sidney next saw Lucifer in the premortal world as he fell from the presence of God because of his rebellion. They then saw the sons of perdition and what will become of them in the eternal worlds. Next, they viewed visions of the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms, and they learned the requirements for attaining each of these kingdoms and the differences in glory of each respectively. They learned that those who qualify for celestial glory “shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.”

What a wondrous experience for the Prophet Joseph and Sidney. For more than an hour, the Lord showed them our premortal life, earth life, and life after death. As a result of that revelation, mankind’s understanding of Heavenly Father’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace was expanded and enhanced to a remarkable degree. Of course, it should be noted that Joseph was instructed not to record everything that he saw in vision. The Saints at the time were not prepared to receive all of the new information that he was given. But as we look at the Prophet’s later teachings, we see what appear to be bits and pieces of this great revelation being taught – here a little and there a little – as the Saints grew in their spiritual understanding.

When was the last time the Holy Ghost took control of you and started speaking through you? If you haven’t had that experience yet, then you haven’t experienced revelation in the same way that the Prophets of God experience it.

Others Saw Glory, Felt Power, But Did Not See Vision, LDS Church News, 1989, 04/22/89:

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were not alone when they received the vision recorded as D&C 76. One of those present was Philo Dibble, who wrote an account of the receiving of the revelation:

” . . . there were other men in the room, perhaps twelve, among whom I was one during a part of the time-probably two-thirds of the time,-I saw the glory and felt the power, but did not see the vision. . . .”

Dibble further wrote: “Joseph would, at intervals, say: ‘What do I see?’ as one might say while looking out the window and beholding that all in the room could not see. Then he would relate what he had seen or what he was looking at. Then Sidney replied, ‘I see the same.’ Presently Sidney would say ‘What do I see?’ and would repeat what he had seen or was seeing, and Joseph would reply, ‘I see the same.’

“This manner of conversation was repeated at short intervals to the end of the vision, and during the whole time not a word was spoken by any other person. Not a sound nor motion made by anyone but Joseph and Sidney, and it seemed to me that they never moved a joint or limb during the time I was there, which I think was over an hour, and to the end of the vision.

“Joseph sat firmly and calmly all the time in the midst of a magnificent glory, but Sidney sat limp and pale, apparently as limber as a rag, observing which, Joseph remarked, smilingly, ‘Sidney is not used to it as I am.’ ”

(Juvenile Instructor 27:303-304, as quoted in The Doctrine and Covenants Speaks, 2:12.)

This explains in part what is truly happening whenever a person receives a revelation from God or speaks while being moved upon by the Holy Ghost to speak the Word of God.



Additional Commentary and Revelation