“He Fell Unto the Earth As if He Were Dead”

Bryan Richards

Intense spiritual experiences often have the effect of draining one’s physical strength. With Lamoni, the Spirit was so powerful that he had collapsed completely, the power of God…had overcome his natural frame (Alma 19:6). Four other examples of the effect of the Spirit on the body are as follows: 1) Daniel sees the Lord in a glorious vision, then remarks, and there remained no strength in me (Dan 10:8), 2) Lehi collapsed on his bed after witnessing a vision, being overcome with the Sprit and the things which he had seen (1 Nephi 1:7), 3) Nephi said, I am full of the spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength (1 Nephi 17:47), and 4) Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw the vision of the three degrees of glory together while at the Johnson farm in Hiram, Ohio. There were other men in the room who witnessed their countenances as they received D&C section 76. One of these men, Philo Dibble recorded the scene as follows, “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 as used to it as I am.’” (Juvenile Instructor, May 1892, pp. 303-4)