Looking to our history, our critics may see little of divinity in the great work of the Prophet Joseph Smith and those associated with him. Were our forebears human? Of course they were. They doubtless made some mistakes. Some of them acknowledged making mistakes. But the mistakes were minor when compared with the marvelous work that they accomplished. To highlight the mistakes and gloss over the greater good is to draw a caricature. Caricatures are amusing, but they are often ugly and dishonest. A man may have a wart on his cheek and still have a face of beauty and strength, but if the wart is emphasized unduly in relation to his other features, the portrait is lacking in integrity.
How do these marvelous gifts of the Holy Ghost function? Elder Parley P. Pratt (1807–57) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: “It quickens all the intellectual faculties; increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. … It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. … It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.” Persons enjoying these gifts have “light of their countenances,” and their presence is “a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy.”
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