“The Greatest Gift,” Friend, Dec 1977, 38
Lorenzo Snow was baptized and confirmed in Kirtland, Ohio, when he was twenty-two years old. But he was disappointed that no miraculous manifestation (happening) took place after these ordinances were performed. Two or three weeks later, however, the young man, who was to become the fifth president of the Church, did have an unforgettable heaven-sent experience that he described in these words:
“One day while engaged in my studies, I began to reflect upon the fact that I had not obtained a knowledge of the truth of the work … and I began to feel very uneasy. I laid aside my books, left the house, and wandered around through the fields under the oppressive influence of a gloomy disconsolate spirit, while an indescribable cloud of darkness seemed to envelop me.
“I had been accustomed, at the close of the day, to retire for secret prayer, to a grove a short distance from my lodgings, but at this time I felt no inclination to do so. At length, I concluded I would not forego my evening service, and knelt as I was in the habit of doing, and in my accustomed retired place.
“I had no sooner opened my lips in an effort to pray, than I heard a sound, just above my head, like the rustling of silken robes, and immediately the Spirit of God descended upon me, completely enveloping my whole person, filling me, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and O, the joy and happiness I felt! No language can describe the almost instantaneous transition from a dense cloud of mental and spiritual darkness into [one] of light and knowledge. I then received a perfect knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and of the restoration of the holy Priesthood, and the fulness of the Gospel. It was a complete baptism—a tangible immersion in the heavenly principle or element, the Holy Ghost; and even more real and physical in its effects upon every part of my system than the immersion by water; dispelling forever … all possibility of doubt … that the ‘Babe of Bethlehem’ is truly the Son of God; also the fact that He is now being revealed to the children of men, and communicating knowledge, the same as in the Apostolic times. I was perfectly satisfied, … for my expectations were more than realized.
“That night, as I retired to rest, the same wonderful manifestations were repeated, and continued to be for several successive nights. The sweet remembrance of those glorious experiences … bring them fresh before me, imparting an inspiring influence which pervades my whole being.”