(August 21, 2015)
I think most people have gone through a period of trying to learn how to hear and understand the voice of the Spirit that whispers to us. We pass from the point where we ignore it entirely, to the point where we become aware of it but struggle to understand it. Then we reach a point where we hear the Spirit in everything, so that we confuse our own thoughts (“Don’t open that closet!”) with the whisperings that come from outside of us. Then, having passed through this process and reaching the point where we, as sheep, have learned the Shepherd’s voice, we are able to be taught by Him.
Even then, though, this is a difficult process. It is especially hard when the things that the Spirit seem to be teaching us make no earthly sense. We don’t give Mormon, then, enough credit for what he did here. He was able to hear the whisperings of the Spirit, and was sufficiently developed that he was able to follow them and include redundant material (that, of course, wasn’t redundant at all). Were it not for his spiritual awareness here, we would not know the origins of the Nephites and many of the best external evidences that we have of the Book of Mormon – evidences from the
Old World – would be missing.