I recall an event that gives me deep insight into the workings of the Spirit as described by the Mormons…
I was a “zone coordinator” and teacher at the MTC in the late 80’s. As zone coordinators, we basically managed 15-25 teachers and we were automatically the second counselor in an MTC Branch.
One time, at a zone coordinator’s meeting, we were asked to practice giving the new first discussion. We all sat in a circle and our director would point to one of us whereupon that person would begin giving the discussion until the director pointed to someone else. Everyone but me spoke the same language, Spanish. My target language, Portuguese is similar enough to theirs – in the same language family, but I could understand them better than they could understand me.
He pointed to me precisely at the beginning of the First Vision Story “I saw a pillar of light…” or “Vi uma coluna de luz…”
One important note is that I am an experienced actor – and was at that time too. So, I poured it on. I knew I was acting the whole thing as if I were emotionally touched by the story. And why not, I was onstage right? It’s a natural instinct. But it was a total act.
Don’t get me wrong, I believed it at the time but I knew I was being less than genuine to get a reaction. I knew how to cause an emotional reaction in an audience. I figured if the church could hire non LDS actors for their “spiritual” videos like “Together Forever” then I could as a member do even better.
Afterwards, our director went on and on about how strong the spirit was while I was speaking even though they couldn’t understand every word. He praised me for bringing the spirit into the room.
And THAT my friends is how the spirit works. It’s an act. Sometimes it’s fake but even when it’s genuine it’s an emotional reaction to something nonetheless. How could it possibly signal truth?