Small Voice did Pierce Them That Did Hear to the Center

Bryan Richards

The voice is heard three times but it is not the voice of an angel nor is it that 'still small voice' of the Holy Ghost. The voice heard was that of Elohim. Ezra Taft Benson remarked, "How few people in all the history of the world have heard the actual voice of God the Father speaking to them." (Witness and a Warning, p. 40) The voice of Elohim is described as being not a harsh nor a loud voice but penetrating so much so that it made their hearts burn and their frames shake. Elsewhere, His voice was described as a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper (Hel 5:45).

Interestingly, the scriptures give us a description of the voices of all three members of the Godhead. The descriptions are remarkably similar. The voice of Elohim is 'a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper…a small voice [that] did pierce them that did hear to the center' (Hel 5:46; 3 Nephi 11:3). The voice of Jehovah is described as, 'a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul' (Hel 5:30). The voice of the Holy Ghost is described by Joseph Smith as, 'the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake' (DC 85:6). Certainly, it is the Holy Ghost which speaks to us with a still, small voice to guide us through mortality, but the voice of God is one, just as the mind, will, and purpose of God is one. Therefore, if we were to hear the actual voice of the Father or the Son, it would sound much the same. It would be a small voice, a piercing voice, a mild voice, and a pleasant voice powerful enough to cause the heart to burn and the bones to quake.

"On the one hand, the voice of the Lord speaks softly, for it is a 'still small voice,' even 'a still voice of perfect mildness'-'a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper'; it is 'not a harsh voice,' neither is it a loud voice, but rather a voice that pierces to the very soul of man, causing the heart to burn. On the other hand, the voice of the world speaks loudly, imitating thunder, or some great and strong wind, the crashing earthquake, or the raging fire. The voice of the Lord says, 'Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved.' Indeed, it is the voice of the Lord that says to the righteous of every age: 'I will not leave you comfortless,' for 'peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.' The finger-pointing voice of the world, in contrast, is but the echo of the voice of Satan-the slanderer, that 'accuser of [the] brethren'-and it is the voice of accusation, of naysaying, of character assassination, gossip, and falsehood; it is the voice of ridicule and scorn, always speaking against the cause of Christ, promoting vice in the name of some virtue, and, like Korihor, speaking with missionary zeal." (Mark McConkie, The Father of the Prophet, p. 135)

Graham W. Doxey

"My testimony is that the Lord is speaking to you! But with the deafening decibels of todays environment, all to often we fail to hear him…I was interested in someone's observation: 'With TV and radio and tapes, what young person has time to listen?…Listening is a challenge for us all today." (Conference Report, Oct. 1991, p. 33 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 410)

Henry B. Eyring

"The still small voice is so quiet you won't hear it when you're noisy inside." (Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 409)

Henry B. Eyring

"Now, I testify it is a small voice. It whispers not shouts. And so you must be very quiet inside. That is why you may wisely fast when you want to listen. And that is why you will listen best when you feel, 'Father, thy will, not mine, be done.' You will have a feeling of 'I want what you want.' Then, the still small voice will seem as if it pierces you. It may make your bones to quake. More often it will make your heart burn within which will lift and reassure." (Ensign, May 1991, p. 67 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 409-10)

Marvin J. Ashton

"Small voices are heard only by those who are willing to listen. Soft and small voice communications with our associates make priceless friendships possible. I am appreciative of people who find no need to raise their voices as they try to impress or convince. It seems most people who argue and shout have ceased listening to what the small voice could powerfully contribute." (Conference Report, Nov. 1987 Ensign, p. 20)