“Tongue Cannot Speak . . . Neither Can Be Written”

K. Douglas Bassett

3 Ne.17:16-17; 28:13-14

[An experience similar to the one in 3 Nephi 19 was described by Elder Bruce R. McConkie. He, with the other Apostles, had been with President Spencer W. Kimball when the great revelation on the priesthood being made available to all worthy men was given.]
“On the first day of June in this year, 1978, the First Presidency and the Twelve, after full discussion of the proposition and all the premises and principles that are involved, importuned the Lord for a revelation. President Kimball was mouth, and he prayed with great faith and great fervor; this was one of those occasions when an inspired prayer was offered… . He prayed by the power of the Spirit, and there was perfect unity, and complete harmony, between the Presidency and the Twelve on the issue involved… . The Lord in his providences poured out the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous and marvelous manner, beyond anything that any then present had ever experienced. The revelation came to the President of the Church; it also came to each individual present… . The result was that President Kimball knew, and each one of us knew, independent of any other person, by direct and personal revelation to us, that the time had now come to extend the gospel and all its blessings and all its obligations, including the priesthood and the blessings of the house of the Lord, to those of every nation, culture, and race, including the black race. There was no question whatsoever as to the word and message that came… . There is no way to describe in language what is involved. This cannot be done. You are familiar with Book of Mormon references where the account says that no tongue could tell and no pen would write what was involved in the experience and that it had to be felt by the power of the Spirit. This was one of those occasions… . I cannot describe in words what happened; I can only say that it happened and that it can be known and understood only by the feeling that can come into the heart of man.” (Bruce R. McConkie, A Symposium on the Book of Mormon, 1979, pp. 4-5)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon