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  1. RWW

    Has anyone with credibility actually claimed that any modern prophets and apostles have seen the Lord? I’m not aware of any such claim, and I find it an interesting contrast to the very open and direct reports of Joseph Smith’s experiences, as well as those recorded in the ancient scriptures.

  2. Often these type of spiritual experiences (the Second Comforter kind) are not shared openly and widely because of the sacredness of them, but I am sure that it does happen more often than we may realize. When the prophets and apostles say that they are “special witnesses” of the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that they mean it in the most literal sense. When they bear solemn testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is because they are testifying of Him in the most real sense. The direct reports from Joseph Smith of the visions he had were necessary for the restoration of the gospel and the church, and to restore the doctrines and principles. There have been other such visions published, even D&C 138, which was given by President Joseph F. Smith on the vision he had of the redemption of the dead.

    There have been accounts of other modern prophets and apostles seeing the Lord. One that comes to mind is an account of President Lorenzo Snow upon the death of President Wilford Woodruff. It’s interesting that it occurred upon the death and succession of a prophet. This is from the Improvement Era, September 1933, under the title “An Experience of My Father’s” By LeRoi C. Snow:

    President Snow put on his holy temple robes, repaired again to the same sacred altar, offered up the signs of the Priesthood and poured out his heart to the Lord. He reminded the Lord how he plead for President Woodruff’s life to be spared, that President Woodruff’s days would be lengthened beyond his own; that he might never be called upon to bear the heavy burdens and responsibilities of the Church. “Nevertheless,” he said, “Thy will be done. I have not sought this responsibility but if it be Thy will, I now present myself before Thee for Thy guidance and instruction. I ask that Thou show me what Thou wouldst have me do.”

    After finishing his prayer he expected a reply, some special manifestation from the Lord. So he waited,—and waited—and waited. There was no reply, no voice, no visitation, no manifestation. He left the altar and the room in great disappointment. Passing through the Celestial room and out into the large corridor a glorious manifestation was given President Snow which I relate in the words of his grand-daughter, Allie Young Pond, now the wife of Elder Noah S. Pond, recently president of the Northern States Mission:

    “One evening while I was visiting grandpa Snow in his room in the Salt Lake Temple, I remained until the door keepers had gone and the night-watchmen had not yet come in, so grand-pa said he would take me to the main front entrance and let me out that way. He got his bunch of keys from his dresser. After we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor leading into the celestial room, I was walking several steps ahead of grand-pa when he stopped me and said: ‘Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me at the time of the death of President Woodruff. He instructed me to go right ahead and reorganize the First Presidency of the Church at once and not wait as had been done after the death of the previous presidents, and that I was to succeed President Woodruff.’

    “Then grand-pa came a step nearer and held out his left hand and said: ‘He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though He stood on a plate of solid gold.’

    “Grand-pa told me what a glorious personage the Savior is and described His hands, feet, countenance and beautiful white robes, all of which were of such a glory of whiteness and brightness that he could hardly gaze upon Him.

    “Then he came another step nearer and put his right hand on my head and said: ‘Now, grand-daughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grand-father, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior, here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face.'”

    LeRoi Snow tells that President Heber J. Grant confirmed the testimony given and that President Snow had accounted the same vision to him and the Twelve:

    When we had finished, then and not till then, did Brother Snow tell us that he was instructed of the Lord in the temple the night after President Woodruff died, to organize the Presidency of the Church at once.

    President Anthon H. Lund also witnessed the same testimony given by President Snow:

    He also said that he heard father tell a number of times of the Savior’s appearance to him after he had dressed in his temple robes, presented himself before the Lord and offered up the signs of the Priesthood.

    The spirit often constrains men to reveal more than is appropriate about their spiritual experiences because of their sacredness. But every so often they are permitted to recount their experiences, as was President Snow.

  3. John Lambert

    There is very high credibility to statements that Lorenzo Snow saw the Lord in the Salt Lake Temple in 1898. The credibility of statements that David O. McKay saw Jesus Christ in the Los Angeles temple may not be quite as high, but I have heard it from people who heard him state such.

  4. Wow..how did I miss that when I read Elder Packer’s “The Holy Temple”?
    Anyways, great post…and while you’re at it, you might look up the account of Zebedee Coltrin in the School of the Prophets minutes, where there is a said appeareance of not only the Lord, but Heavenly Father. What happens to one of the disciples concerning appearance and strength is pretty interesting.
    Indeed, I also believe, if I remember the account correctly, that they had lifted their arms up in prayer…

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