Book of Mormon: Holy Ghost or Elevation Emotion? – Part 3

When you read the Book of Mormon is the “burning in the bosom” you feel the Holy Ghost or is it, what Psychologists define as Elevation Emotion? Elevation Emotion is a result of the hormone Oxytocin. We learn to discern the Holy Spirit from Elevation Emotion by not trusting our hearts, but by trusting in the Bible for truth
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When you read the Book of Mormon is the “burning in the bosom” you feel the Holy Ghost or is it, what Psychologists define as Elevation Emotion?  Elevation Emotion is a result of the hormone Oxytocin being released from the brain creating feelings in your chest of joy, warmth and peace.  We learn to discern the Holy Spirit from Elevation Emotion by not trusting our hearts, but by trusting in the Bible for truth

Ava

Elders, have you heard of the phrase – Elevation Emotion?

 

Elder Smith

Can’t say we have.  What is it?

 

Ava

It’s a term Psychologists use to describe that “burning in the bosom” feeling you talk about in Mormonism.


Elder Young

That “burning in the bosom” is the Holy Ghost.

 

Ava

Or, it could be mistaken as a physical reaction – Elevation Emotion – that tells a person they have been moved or inspired.


Elder Young

 

I’m not sure I’m understanding.

Ava

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt defines Elevation Emotion: as a physical sensation of warmth, glowing, or openness in the chest, and sometimes a tingling in the skin. 

(insert video)

Emotional experiences can be prompted by many different circumstances.  The elevated emotions you feel when reading or praying about the Book of Mormon are similar, to someone’s feelings when they watch a touching scene in a movie, or hear a beautiful song, witness an act of compassion, or a soldier returning home to his family.   

Any one of those events can move a person to tears and swelling in their chest.  But such events do not necessarily convey spiritual or revelatory significance. 


Elder Smith

Elevation Emotion sounds like a scientific term for the Holy Ghost. 


Elder Young

Holy Ghost sounds better than Elevation Emotion.


Ava

What’s interesting, is that we can be told false or fictional stories in a movie or a book or a presentation, and feel our emotions get elevated.  Film makers are masters at creating elevated emotion to move us to tears or make our bosom swell within us.  Stories can touch us, uplift us, and inspire us.


Elder Smith

I agree with that.  In fact, I remember my father admired Paul H. Dunn, a Church General Authority, who wrote over 50 books and told many stories in firesides and conferences about the heroic events in his life – and it would inspire my dad. 

Only to find out in time that most of those stories were either embellished or fabricated by Elder Dunn.

Which resulted in Elder Dunn being released in 1989 from his Church leadership calling.     


Ava

So, if elevation emotion is effective in witnessing false stories as true, then we have to be extremely careful of this human emotion.  

What happens with Elevation Emotion is that a hormone in the brain known as Oxytocin is released – creating feelings in your chest of joy, satisfaction, calm, and peace.  It triggers a visceral response including love and a sense of wonder. 

Religions – including Mormonism, Non-Christian, and even Christian sects will utilize this Elevation Emotion as a sign of their truthfulness or their being directed by God. 


Elder Smith

Then how do we discern the Holy Spirit from Elevation Emotion? 


Ava

We just need to be aware that feelings and emotions are not a safe and sure way to know truth.  We can’t always trust our heart because it can deceive us.  We can fool ourselves into feeling something is right or true, only to discover it is not. 

We also need to be aware that men with evil intentions will try to deceive us into believing what they write or say. 

Paul warned about this in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 9.  Will you please read that passage?


Elder Young

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving head to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 


Ava

And 1 John 4 verse 1.


Elder Smith

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: Because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”


Ava

 

Trust not in what false prophets and teachers write and say.  Only trust in the Word of God contained in the Bible, whose teachings and doctrines were written by inspired men when moved upon by the Holy Spirit to write and speak for God.

 

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