In 1988 I was serving as a counselor in a stake presidency in Northern California. Elder J. Thomas Fyans of the Seventy was assigned as our visiting general authority. None of us in the presidency had ever met Elder Fyans before. As is usual for visiting general authorities at stake conferences, they use Saturday afternoons to hold a series of leadership meetings. And so it was that day. Elder Fyans asked to meet with the stake presidency, our clerks, and the executive secretary in the high council room.
As we gathered, Elder Fyans asked us to be seated at our long high council table. But rather than sitting randomly, he instructed us all to sit in a row on one side of the table. He then sat looking at us from the other side. I happened to be seated directly across from him.
Following some words of greeting and an opening prayer, Elder Fyans proceeded to look directly at me and said, “President Domm, will you please tell us of a spiritual experience in your life?” The request came at me so quickly I was stunned. I wasn’t ready to for it. I first thought, “Why me? Couldn’t he ask someone else and give me time to think?” But in only a moment, a calmness came over me and I felt a strong impression to tell him of an event earlier in my life when, on a late evening while driving my family home from an activity, the Holy Ghost suddenly warned me to stop my car. I slammed on my brakes only to look to my right and see an out-of-control car racing across the intersection at well over 100 miles per hour. Miraculously, our lives had been spared by this voice I heard.
After I recited this event, Elder Fyans said, “Thank you, President Domm, for sharing that with us.” He then in turn asked the same question of every person in our presidency. These individuals were able to relate wonderful spiritual experiences they’d had in their lives. Each was touching and meaningful.
After we all had spoken, he asked us a very simple question: “Brethren, who else knows of these spiritual experiences you have shared with me today? Have you shared them with your wives or children? Do your friends and relatives know about them? Have you written them down for future generations to read?”
The point he made with us that day was that these very special spiritual events are sacred and should be shared to strengthen others too. Not only were they given to assist us with a specific event or situation in our lives, but to help others. They are gifts from God and should be cherished and used to strengthen others and to build stronger testimonies of a living, caring God.
This lesson has been a constant influence in my life ever since. He went on to say that Heavenly Father has given us spiritual experience for several reasons. The first is to testify to us as that He hears and answers our prayers. He loves us and these events testify of that great love. They testify to us that He lives and is always watching over each of us. Secondly, He gives us these spiritual blessings not just for our personal edification, but also to bless others who can learn and gain strength from hearing them. They testify to the world that He lives. We read in Luke 11:33, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” These events are a light to the world. We are duty-bound to share them.
We would have no Bible, Book of Mormon, nor modern-day revelations if the authors did not write their spiritual experiences down to share with us and with future generations.
In his Teachings of the Book of Mormon series, Hugh Nibley, the great scholar of ancient scripture, said that the greatest invention of all mankind was the ability to write. He says that taking 26 letters or symbols in the English language (or other characters in other languages) and arranging them in calculated manners gives mankind the ability to pass these sacred events forward from generation to generation. We can write things down—or, in other words, we can use these letters to make words, which make ideas. We then we use those words and ideas to pass on the many spiritual events we experience. If properly done, like in the Book of Mormon, our spiritual happenings could be read by generations many hundreds of years in the future.
Over the last few decades, Family Search has evolved into just such a vehicle to help carry our spiritual events forward. We can post pictures, stories, journals, and even verbal and video transcriptions on this site. In so doing, we know that they are safe and protected for now and hopefully forever. The Church has all but guaranteed that they will never be lost. Generations to come will either read, hear, or see them.
May we take the time to speak of these spiritual blessings to our loved ones in our lives and also to record them for all who are to come. Someone will surely be blessed by them.
About George Domm
George Domm was born and raised in upstate New York around historical LDS sites such as the Hill Cumorah and Palmyra. He was very familiar with the Church long before he was baptized in 1959. Soon after joining, he found himself serving a full-time mission for the Church in Berlin, Germany. That was his first of four missions! George currently lives in American Fork, UT with his wife, Margaret, and busies himself trying to keep up with their 11 children and 42 grandchildren. He loves to do family history and play golf with "all the old men in our neighborhood." His goal is to one day shoot his age, 74.