“They Heard This Voice”

Brant Gardner

Compare this description of the voice to the later description from 3 Nephi:

3 Nephi 11:3

3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.

Obviously both of these passages are not only describing the same phenomenon, the voice of the Lord, but they are doing so with a similar set of vocabulary. This suggests that the basic terminology has a common source, which might be found either in Mormon’s vocabulary or that of Joseph Smith. In this case, we have no comparable phrasing from the New Testament that we have seen become the model for Joseph’s vocabulary. We are probably seeing an accurate translation here of Mormon’s terminology for the effect of the spirit.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon