A question was asked of me, “How do we understand the difference between Baptism of Fire, Holy Ghost, and the Second Comforter?” The Lord gave me the following:
A man pulled into a carwash, his car filthy with mud and dirt. He came out the other end clean. (Baptism of Fire)
He then drove straight to another station, his car given a fresh coat of white paint, sparkling and new. (Gift of the Holy Ghost and Born Again)
As he pulled out he wondered, “What should I do now?” He heard a tap on the window. He opened the passenger door and a man sat down next to him. The Lord said, “Shall we go for a drive? Lots of things I would like to show you.” (Second Comforter)
The words “Second Comforter” do not exist in scripture; however, it has become a term people use to describe their experience with the Lord. There are many today that declare they received their Second Comforter, and I rejoice in their faith. I do not give them my endorsement or opinion of whether it is, or isn’t; because it doesn’t matter. The Second Comforter is just the beginning. It is the first day of college, you still know nothing. It is wonderful and life changing, but is not a place of status.
I remember being in awe of anyone who claimed such an experience. Today I think, “Great, now what will you do?” For many who have been blessed with such things it is important to know that there are different kinds of Second Comforter experiences, and you should not feel that you have “arrived” until you have received a fullness as described in the previous section “Calling and Election Made Sure.”
There are Four types of Second Comforter experiences
Each experience with the Lord is sacred and important to our preparation for receiving the Calling and Election Made Sure. Each of these four types may occur during your life if you exercise faith and seek the Lord. Some never go as far as the first, or skip to the third or fourth type. Others, because of pride, feel that they have achieved a superior experience and discredit or discount anything that varies from their experience. We must encourage and inspire our brothers and sisters to have faith and follow the pattern of the Everlasting Covenant, to receive all that the Father desires to give us.
Type One: To see dimly
This is where the spiritual eyes are not open enough to see clearly. The ears may be open, but usually only an outline, or blurring form is visible. The experience is profound, and often the person is left desiring more.
Type Two: See and converse with the Lord, but more dreamlike. Not tangible; only to hear and to see.
Such an experience is very fluid, but has the feeling of a dream or vision. You are aware of your physical body during the experience and at times distracted by your body or random thoughts. Requires much focus to stay tuned in.
Type Three: An experience with the Lord in the physical body.
The Lord is seen with the physical eyes, but much is often withheld from the vision of the participant until they are properly prepared.
Type Four: A full encounter in the Heavenly Realm; to experience with hyper-realism; all senses involved.
This is a complete separation from your body, with a portion of your spirit remaining with your physical body. The spirit is completely unrestricted and the senses are so engaged that everything seems to happen quickly and with vivid detail; rapid communication, and introductions to various angelic hosts.
It is common for most who are on this journey to first experience a Type One experience before the Lord reveals more. This is not a sign of less worthiness, but that the spiritual eyes are not yet fully open. The Lord will often bless those struggling to see by giving sacred dreams, and then, as they grow in faith to see Him in vision. Anyone who discounts such spiritual manifestations and declares that the only legitimate Second Comforter experience is with the physical eyes and ears is lacking faith. The Lord will work with those lacking faith according to their righteousness, but they will lose sacred opportunities to receive the ministering of angels and to associate with the Church of the Firstborn. They will not ascend to the Throne to see and witness the glory of God in this life, because they have set up stakes. They may preach to you their philosophies; but pray to know for yourself, and ask the Lord what is truth. You must have your own witness. Be believing.
There are Four categories of Second Comforter experiences:
When you have your experience with the Lord it may follow a certain pattern. Each are individual and special, but I wanted to describe what myself and others have seen so you may understand how it may occur.
- Physical Encounter
Dreaming is a way for our spirits to experience things that we are incapable of, because our spiritual eyes are not yet open. It is a tender mercy of the Lord for us to confront our fears, to receive messages, and to learn from both the angelic ministers and the Adversary. It is required that there is an opposition in all things; therefore, do not think that the Adversary won’t also enter your dream state.
Those who have had Second Comforter experiences in dreams often have a dulled version of the full experience. They may not see the Lord’s face, or they may. Many who experience the Lord in dreams see him in a symbolic fashion. Comparing the description of the Savior amongst those who have seen Him in dreams are widely varied. This is not to discount them, as we often experience dreams in a symbolic communicative way. This means the Lord allows our sacred imagination to lucidly create what it needs.
Some dreams are far more vivid and powerful than others. The kinds that have a lasting impression are usually meant to stir our souls and come directly from the Lord, or the Adversary. If you can’t remember your dream it was only meant for your spirit; if you remember vividly and it stays with you, it was meant for you now. Dreams can be both a Type One or Type Two experience.
If you have a dream that involves the Savior communicating with you, ask yourself the following:
- Was He gentle and loving?
- Did I feel any darkness from Him, or only light?
- Was the message of the dream in harmony with what I know of the Lord? Do I need to revisit this to know for certain it was from Him?
If the dream awoke you to a sense of absolute love and desire to be with Jesus, it was likely from Him. I would pray and seek further knowledge at that point. If it left you feeling troubled with how the Lord treated you, it is likely darkness. This doesn’t mean that you won’t feel uncomfortable at times with the Lord in the dream. The power and majesty of the Lord’s presence, if He presents Himself to you this way, is very uncomfortable; but it passes quickly and you are left wrapped in His love and acceptance. His gentle demeanor is such a paradox to His absolute power.
Your dreams may find you with the Lord is particular places: walking through a landscape, a familiar place from your past, in a house with a symbolic meaning, in your current location, or even in Heaven. Angels may also come in a like manner. Be open to these experiences; they may be teaching you something to prepare you for more tangible experiences.
In the previous chapters where I described the process of receiving visions I talked about how this may occur. It is important to understand that although we can lay a visionary platform to invite the Lord, we cannot force such things to manifest. He comes when He chooses to come. I have learned to always ask for permission to enter His presence. There are times where He makes an unannounced visit, usually within the pillar of fire.
For me, this is always a vision Type Two experience. I am fully aware of my physical body and surroundings, but the Lord is there in His full glory within the pillar of light. Usually He is accompanied by a heavenly host. For someone whose eyes are beginning to open they would experience the Lord as a Type One experience and struggle to see Him, yet know He is there. This is what the Brother of Jared described as “the cloud.”
The vision experience may occur in the comfort of your own home and its surroundings, or in the outdoors. You may have people around you or be alone. You may be in a sacred place for you like a church, temple, or other building; or up in the mountains at your altar. He will come to you anywhere that the space is made holy. You are what makes the space holy.
You may also have a waking vision that is much like entering a dream; where you are taken somewhere and experience either a real-time communication, or a symbolic experience. “Real time” means that it is like having a conversation in the moment. A symbolic experience is where things are not realistic, somewhat strange; but seem to teach you something important.
It is easy for one without faith to dismiss a visionary Second Comforter experience as simply a whim of the imagination. If it comes and goes like a fleeting thought, it could be the prelude to a revelation, or setting the stage for a future event. If the vision rocks your world don’t discard it; you have received something from the Lord.
Once someone has experienced the Lord in vision, either as a Type One or Type Two, they should not think that was the finale of their experience with the Lord. You must continue to press forward until you have your calling and election made sure. Do not become comfortable and allow the familiar spirit to tell you that you should not seek more or that it is inappropriate to ask for more. The Lord desires you to come feeling after Him, to know Him on an intimate level; which means to walk with Him in His Heavenly abode. You must continue to seek Him in His fullness.
The Lord loves to interact with His servants. If there is a moment in our lives where His coming to us would create an epic moment – He will do it. The process is effortless for Him; He simply condescends a portion of His Spirit and houses it in a physical body that veils His glory. If He were to come in His full glory it would melt the earth. Usually, when He comes here it is within the pillar of fire; which is like a portal that doesn’t interfere with this lower glory.
The purpose for a physical Second Comforter experience may be varied. Often such a thing would transpire when an important event was occurring that involved many people. When there is a need for a body of people to have a witness of Him, yet they are not capable of exercising the faith necessary to ascend to the Heavenly Realm.
For example, after the Lord’s resurrection He was seen by many in and around Jerusalem. The two who walked with Him on the Road to Emmaus, the Apostles at their house, the women at the tomb. There were many more whose stories were not recorded, and also many who conversed with Him and never knew it until after they had died.
When the Lord came to the people of Bountiful He was resurrected in a fashion that would allow Him to withhold His glory. Each of the approximately 2500 people were able to feel the marks and have a personal Second Comforter experience with Him. Some whose faith was sufficient were able to ascend and have a fullness in the Heavenly Realm.
In the future, many who are called and chosen to be servants to gather the House of Israel will gather as groups and receive their Second Comforter in a similar fashion. If you have not raised your faith enough to enter the Heavenly Realm, the Lord will visit you in this realm when the timing is right; usually amongst a group or coinciding with an event.
Very rarely does one receive a Second Comforter Ascension without first having received dreams and visions with the Lord. He prepares you for the calling and election made sure. It is good that the timing of this event be right; because once you have the fullness your life will never be the same. Typically, it is the beginning of a major shift in your current mission and focus.
Each person will experience things differently. Much of what will occur for you will depend upon the Calling that you were foreordained to do before you entered mortality. If you did not make such an oath and covenant of priesthood before the world was created, but you are a recipient of the Everlasting Covenant, you may have a Second Comforter experience; but not an ascension until later.
In Zion, there will be those who have arisen to their Third Estate who will welcome those who come there. They will see the Lord when He walks among the people. They will be taken up when He comes in His glory. Those who are the Fourth Estate will be the ones to bring the Elect, the new Saints to Zion from throughout the world. They will exercise the sealing power and be the Saviors on Mount Zion. In your heart, the Lord will tell you who you are and what you will do first; then if you receive the calling and election made sure; you will know a fullness of what your oath and covenant entails. Do not be covetous of another; as all will eventually experience each estate in the process of knowing the Lord.
For those who receive an ascension it will change your perceptions of everything in this world.
For me, the ascension began as a vision, but then quickly accelerated into something more intense. My awareness of my body left me, and I was taken to the room above the earth. Here I spoke with a particular angel for the first time. Then I passed through a gate of light and entered a room with a blast of light beyond anything I had experienced before. I wanted to flee and escape, but was given a garment of light as quickly as I entered; which calmed my soul and gave me confidence. I was escorted for a short distance and invited to come to Him.
All things blossomed from this beginning introduction. I had seen Him before, had heard His voice and spoke with Him at times; but nothing as tangible and vivid an experience as this was to me. Each consecutive visit became more fluid and my confidence in the Lord’s presence increased. I now know what to expect and am always amazed at the experience.
I still have type One, Two, and Four Experiences. I have visions where I see Him in the pillar of light. These are all Second Comforter type events. There are times when I experience an ascension, but it vacillates between a Type Two and Four, as my body struggles. It helps to be fasting when I approach the Lord.
Type Three, physical-only encounters have only happened with me with translated beings. But, although it would be interesting to interact with the Lord this way, a Type Four experience is much more vivid to me. I can see in the Heavenly Realm far better there than I do with my glasses on here! I have experienced what the Lord is like in the physical body when I saw Him as the man of Galilee, and also how He appeared in His physical resurrected form to the people in Jerusalem and Bountiful. He has much freedom and control of how He introduces Himself.
The whole idea of a Second Comforter is based upon our desire as an LDS people to define a visit from the Lord while in the flesh. There are two distinct examples of the doctrine taught; one by Joseph Smith, and the other by Peter. The scriptures are filled with examples of people and prophets communicating with God; each of which is a type of Second Comforter. The true question to ask yourself is not whether you have had your Second Comforter; but how well do you know the Lord?
Joseph Smith was recorded saying the following:
In John 14:16 and 18, we read, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. . . . I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him.”
Joseph’s full Second Comforter experience was never recorded. He did see the Lord’s face and the Father in the Sacred Grove when his mortal journey began, but it was within the pillar of light and he later had to be taught and ascend to learn more of his mission. Joseph’s visions with Oliver Cowdrey and Sidney Rigdon were mild compared to what he received in private. In Doctrine and Covenants, the prophet made these revelations known:
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” D&C 93:1
“For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God. Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind. Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.” D&C 67:11-13
“And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; D&C 84:21-23
“Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.” D&C 88:68
The apostle Peter also taught the doctrine of the Second Comforter. He didn’t use that term, but simply referred to it as having your calling and election made sure.
1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [You have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost.]
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [He now lists the virtues of godliness.]
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [After receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost if you lose the Spirit you will be blind.]
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: [Receive the Second Comforter]
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [Christ Himself will minister to you.]
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. [This principle was taught much to the early saints.]
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. [He prophesies his death, and asks that they not forget these teachings.]
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. [A true witness, not stories.]
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. [Peter’s first Second Comforter experience on the Mt. of Transfiguration.]
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; [Calling and Election Made Sure] whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:1-19)
Why do people have such different experiences? It really comes down to two factors; first, your level of faith. Are you willing to believe what the Lord has given you; to exercise the gifts of the Spirit and to receive line upon line, precept upon precept? Second, how much priesthood do you need to accomplish the mission you covenanted to perform in this life? The Higher priesthood is not a privilege that can be bought and purchased, or given based on association. It must be sanctioned and sanctified by the Lord only.
Those who receive a fullness of the Lord, the calling and election made sure, never wear it as a sign of status. They do not become angry or mock others who claim such things. They rejoice in anyone who testifies a relationship with their Lord. They encourage all to receive the same blessings.
Is there a correct and proper way to receive the Lord? As I stated earlier, it is different for each individual; but ultimately is based upon your faith. Your willingness to seek revelation and to act upon it. We must follow the steps of progression in mortality and do all that the Lord asks us to do after this life.
I received this question from someone: “How should we act if someone is false in their claim of having the Second Comforter?”
I personally always consider someone’s witness as true when I first hear it. It isn’t fair for me to assume anyone is false based on rumors or assumptions of others. Also, those who receive Second Comforter experiences sometimes assume things that may not be true because the details are unfamiliar to them.
It is not uncommon for someone to believe they had the full gift of the Holy Ghost, when they had received only a baptism of fire. Some have thought they had their calling and election made sure, when it was a Second Comforter encounter with the Lord without the fullness. It is common to try and explain experiences based upon our knowledge at the time. The definitions we use can come from years of study from church manuals and theologians that don’t always fully understand the doctrine.
When I start to judge for myself that someone’s experience is false, it is when I sense they are exercising unrighteous dominion. If they begin to seek the acceptance of others to gratify their pride, speak contentiously about other’s experiences to bolster their own, or claim superior authority to everyone; then I know I should be cautious. We are all equal in the sight of God. I have been guilty of judging too quickly myself. Despite how I feel, I never share my approval or disapproval in public. We must discern and judge for ourselves according to personal revelation from the Lord.
I know there are many of you reading this who are hungry to have your experience with the Lord. “What more can I do?” is often the words of one who feels they must be lacking in some area of their life or the Lord would have already revealed Himself to them. Before I received my Second Comforter the Lord revealed to me the following revelation:
“Last night I went to the Lord in solemn prayer asking Him what more I must do to finally come to Him and receive my Second Comforter. I wanted to know my standing with God and to do His will, to be His servant. The answer I received as I heard His voice was a blessing to me. He said, “You will receive this Gift at the moment before your mission begins. Until then, you will continue to fulfill the other tasks you have been given. All things will come at their appointed times.”
It wasn’t that I wasn’t worthy yet, it was that the experience of receiving my Second Comforter would come with an assignment that would take a course that required perfect timing for what the Lord has planned. Timing is EVERYTHING with the Lord. Our Second Comforter is not an achievement that God simply bestows upon us when we reach a summit of righteousness, but occurs, if we are worthy, at the proper time appointed so that we can perform the mission for which we were called in the Grand Council.
I was reminded of the Savior Himself, who patiently waited until the Father said it was time to begin His ministry. He went to his cousin John, was baptized and received the Holy Ghost, then went into the wilderness to receive detailed instructions. It was here that the Father comforted Him and sent Yeshua on His mission that would last 3.5 years. There are many at this time seeking their Second Comforter. Yes, you should continue to seek, but know that it will happen precisely when the Lord needs you to receive Him. For now, until the time comes, it is your job is to be faithful, purify your heart, and stand in Holy places.
 “Another part I was not aware of is that only those who are called and chosen, who have a mission to begin, preordained in this life are caught up to be the Lord and have their calling and election made sure. This means that they are taught specifically how to do their missions. This is why it is not a common event. There is a purpose and it is tied closely to fulfilling a mission. To those who have received their Holy Ghost they are prepared to see the face of the Lord. This can occur either in a preparatory vision, dream, or In the Spirit. When Zion is established he will come and present himself to the righteous, those who have been made clean, but it will be in a resurrected physical body that those here on earth can withstand.” (Personal Journal)
 2 Nephi 31:19-20
 This is new information for most. One type of resurrection is when a being of high glory condescends to a lower glory and resurrects their spirit in a temporary tabernacle of flesh. The body in this case is more like a translated being, not subject to the same physical laws of the temporal body.
 “Another resurrection is to transform a glorified body to take on flesh in a lower sphere. By this, one can withhold their glory. This can be done using a new body as Christ did while leaving the marks, or as a translated body leaving the marks of aging. Manipulation of the bodily vessel from one glory to the next is a common practice of the Lord.
It requires higher priesthood to perform such a resurrection. (Patriarchal) In the next life it will be evident that the act of resurrection is one of the most common events in the realm of the Spirit.” (Personal Journal)
 Moses 7:3-4, Abraham 3:11, Ether 12:39, Genesis 32:30, Deuteronomy 5:4, Ezekiel 20:35-36
 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 150-151 This particular scripture in John14:16,18 refers to both comforters. Verse 14 is the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then the Lord refers to Himself in verse 18. This quote can be confusing the way it was written.
 There is no scriptural reference I am aware of for this. But I know from what I was taught in the Heavenly Realm.
 D&C 110
 D&C 76
 On a couple of occasions, I have asked the Lord face to face about people specifically, sometimes to be surprised by the answer. We must be very careful not to judge without the Lord’s revelation to us.