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How is the Burning in the bosom and Stupor of thought?


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#1 nellyleyva92

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:10 AM

How would you describe the burning in the bosom and the stupor of thought? Any experiences with these?

How can you tell when your feelings are a burning in the bosom and not your own desires / or if it is really a stupor of thought that comes from Heaven and not your own fears?

Thank you!

:conscience:

Edited by nellyleyva92, 19 December 2012 - 09:22 AM.


#2 Eowyn

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

Burning in the bosom is easier for me. I feel a literal swelling in my chest, but more than that, I feel peace.

I am by nature a fearful person, so the other one is hard for me. I've learned for myself that I need to pray to feel peace if I'm on the right track, and clarity if I'm not.

I think what many people forget is that it takes work sometimes to get to the right answers. We have to do our homework and pray always, and live in the way that keeps the Holy Ghost with us.
Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

#3 Anddenex

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

I am not familiar with the burning in the bosom, thus unfortunately I am not able to give anything substantial to this doctrine.

Here is one example of a stupor of thought, however there are probably many ways this is accomplished. My friend's mother was actually going to be engaged to another man than his father. The man had proposed, and then she went to the Lord in prayer. They had dated for about six months and the relationship was getting serious, obviously since he proposed.

When she knelt in prayer, and begin to pray, as she tried to say his name, her potential fiance, she could not remember his name. She continued to pray, and she still could not remember his name. After she closed her prayer, the moment she ended it appropriately, she remembered his name. She took this as a sign for "stupor of thought."

Six months after she said "No" the man was arrested for a felony and put in jail. She then met my friends father.

This is one example, however I am assuming a stupor of thought can be more subtle than this experience.

#4 anatess

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

It is different for everybody. I just gave this talk a couple weeks ago. The interesting thing about the Spirit is that we are taught to "listen" to the Spirit but actually don't "hear" the Spirit, we "feel" it.

Each person experiences this differently because a person's feeling is subjective and formed by a combination of experience and personality. A burning in the bosom, therefore, is unique for every person.

For me, I can pinpoint to several instances throughout my life where I felt the Spirit so strongly. Each experience is different so that I can't really say, when I feel this, that's the Spirit right there.

For example, one of these experiences is when I met my "favorite" missionary and I blurted out, "I want to be baptized right now". I had no plans of getting baptized. I was as shocked as the missionary was. It just seemed like everything I have been denying for the longest time just all of a sudden rushed to the forefront of my brain, my heart raced, my hands and knees shook, my thoughts were wiped except for one thing - I want to be baptized. And after I blurted it out, my heart stopped racing, my hands and knees stopped shaking and I felt so peaceful.

Another example was when I was sitting at the beach contemplating the Apostasy. I have tried to read the book The Great Apostasy (Talmage) and everytime I pick it up, I can't get past the first page. That day, I fasted and prayed and sat on the beach. When I picked up the book, I was so consumed that I read the book from cover to cover in one sitting under the hot rays of the sun. After I finished the book, I sat staring at the ocean and all these images of my experiences came flashing to the front of my brain (it's exactly like how I envisioned death would happen! When images from my past would race through my brain like a movie). It was then that I realized, I already know this. All my experiences have pointed to an Apostasy. I just did not look at it in that light because there was nothing else that made more sense. So, it was like a light just turned on in my brain and all of a sudden things that I've always wondered about now makes much better sense. I felt very peaceful instead of the turmoil that I feel after reading the first page of the book before.

The 3rd example is when I was contemplating eternal families. I have been thinking about it for quite a while - a period of months even. I was sitting at the patio with my family one day - the sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, it was a wonderful day. Then all of a sudden, I look at my family and everything seems a lot brighter - like an over-exposed camera shot. And it's like everything went in slow-motion and I see such peace and clarity in my brain. And my brain is wiped and all I can think about is - this is exactly where I want to be at exactly this moment. It gave me a solid memory that pops in my head everytime I think of eternal families. That it is the feeling that I would feel in eternity.

Lastly - while I was giving that talk a few weeks ago, I prepared this 3-page talk that I practiced and practiced giving. It was only 10-minutes long. I was having a hard time making this talk because I just couldn't get to a spiritual moment while preparing it. I don't know why but I really had a hard time with it. So, I told my husband to prepare a long talk because if the youth speaker only gives a 10-minute one as well, he'll need to talk for 25 minutes. So then the youth speaker spoke for 10 minutes and it was my turn. I go up to the podium with my 3-pages of paper, my heart racing, my hands and knees shaking, then I said "Good morning" and then these thoughts start pushing to the forefront of my brain and my heart stops racing, my hands and knees stop shaking and I started talking. When a pause happens in my brain, I try to look back at the paper to see where I'm going and more thoughts start popping so I kept going. Until now, I still can't quite remember what I said. Things on the paper were touched on but not in the manner I planned. Anyway, I got off the podium - 30 minutes later! - and I felt this amazing peace. Then we had the intermediate song and the 2nd Councillor announces the closing song and the closing prayer. We did not have enough time for my husband to give his talk (we share our building with another ward) and that's when I started to feel terrible...

Anyway, I have a common theme to how the Spirit speaks to me. It is usually through my brain first that I "hear" Him. I have this really wierd logical brain where everything has to make sense for me to even consider it. I get overly analytical at times. So, I guess that's what the Spirit uses to prepare me to hear what he has to say. And afterwards, no matter how apprehensive or nervous or distressed I was prior to the experience, I always feel this peace - like a relief of some sort. It's almost like the feeling I got when I was pregnant and craving for ice-cream and then I finally get that first bite of banana split. It's not always as "grand" as the experiences I mentioned above. It's usually a much smaller/milder experience. It's rare that I get those grand moments like I mentioned. Usually it's like a small nudge or a quick flitting thought. But I have learned to recognize it when it does happen.

So yeah, it will be different for you. The Spirit will speak to you in the manner that fits the way you learn things that are true. A Bible verse explains it - he knows you before you were born. He'll know how to get you to see the truth in the manner that you learn it when you diligently and humbly seek for it.

Edited by anatess, 19 December 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#5 Traveler

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

I think this is different for me - what I do not understand is what is going on with the rest of you. But for me the burning in the bosom is like an epiphany of understanding and knowledge. A realization that I understand and know the answer. The operative words here is understanding and knowing.

It is clear and there is no doubt - I have found what I am looking for - I have "the answer" and I know to the core of my being that it is right. For me it is not an - oh gee this feels good thing. That is the heart warming feeling I get when my wife cuddles close and tells me she loves me. This heart warming and good feeling but not the understanding and knowledge that from time to time comes from much effort.

And for me there are many time I get nothing - and to me this is not the "stupor of thought". It is what it is - nothing. Which means to me I have to work harder at understanding. This happens a lot to me in my quest for understand and enlightenment.

For me the stupor of thought is the opposite of the burning that I have found the right answer. It is like a wow - is this really off track, stupid and is sick and wrong. This is not the answer at all but a bad mistake. A realizing that this is not the intelligent direction to go or the effort to be supported. It is wrong! And there have been many things I have greatly desired that after study and effort I have still wanted but I have also had the notion that it is wrong - very wrong - despite all the logic, hope and desire otherwise. And if asked I can give specific examples that have resulted from discussions on this very forum - and when that happens I usually withdraw and end my comments or at least the logic I was employing.

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#6 anatess

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

I think this is different for me - what I do not understand is what is going on with the rest of you. But for me the burning in the bosom is like an epiphany of understanding and knowledge. A realization that I understand and know the answer. The operative words here is understanding and knowing.

It is clear and there is no doubt - I have found what I am looking for - I have "the answer" and I know to the core of my being that it is right. For me it is not an - oh gee this feels good thing. That is the heart warming feeling I get when my wife cuddles close and tells me she loves me. This heart warming and good feeling but not the understanding and knowledge that from time to time comes from much effort.

And for me there are many time I get nothing - and to me this is not the "stupor of thought". It is what it is - nothing. Which means to me I have to work harder at understanding. This happens a lot to me in my quest for understand and enlightenment.

For me the stupor of thought is the opposite of the burning that I have found the right answer. It is like a wow - is this really off track, stupid and is sick and wrong. This is not the answer at all but a bad mistake. A realizing that this is not the intelligent direction to go or the effort to be supported. It is wrong! And there have been many things I have greatly desired that after study and effort I have still wanted but I have also had the notion that it is wrong - very wrong - despite all the logic, hope and desire otherwise. And if asked I can give specific examples that have resulted from discussions on this very forum - and when that happens I usually withdraw and end my comments or at least the logic I was employing.

The Traveler


Traveler! I can completely relate to this!

#7 Anddenex

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:36 AM

I think this is different for me - what I do not understand is what is going on with the rest of you.



Clarify what you mean by what is going on with the rest of us? :)

But for me the burning in the bosom is like an epiphany of understanding and knowledge. A realization that I understand and know the answer. The operative words here is understanding and knowing.

It is clear and there is no doubt - I have found what I am looking for - I have "the answer" and I know to the core of my being that it is right. For me it is not an - oh gee this feels good thing.


In my experience, when I hear people speak about the burning of the bosom I am reminded of testimonies when someone prays and they say, "I felt an overwhelming peace, and I new it was right, my heart literally burned within me."

My experience with the spirit is as you have suggested, a ray of intelligence enters into my mind, and I know the answer is right -- or as you have suggested "an epiphany of understanding and knowledge."

A stupor of thought for me, I am still left with confusion.

#8 Wingnut

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

I don't think I've ever experienced a literal "burning of the bosom," and I suspect that most people haven't, either. We all feel the Spirit in different ways. For me, I know I'm feeling the Spirit when what I think and what I feel come together and align. The scriptures say "I will tell you in your heart and in your mind." That's how it works for me.

When I have a stupor of thought, I've learned to recognize it (typically in hindsight) as being when what I think and want seem like fine and good things (like Anddenex's friend's mom), but I have a different feeling that I can't shake, and it just nags at me. When my heart and mind are uncomfortably at odds, I am experiencing a stupor of thought.
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. -- C.S. Lewis

If we're going to be stupid about this, we're going to be stupid on my terms. -- my husband

#9 Vort

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:21 PM

I have experienced the "burning bosom", as have many others of my acquaintance.
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#10 mnn727

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

The only time I have had a burning in the bosom is once when I ate my cousins chili. That was spicy stuff -- talk about heart burn!

All I can say is you learn to recognize when the Spirit is touching you and that may or may not have anything to do with an actual burning in the bosom - it does not with me.
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#11 nellyleyva92

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

I don't think I've ever experienced a literal "burning of the bosom," and I suspect that most people haven't, either. We all feel the Spirit in different ways. For me, I know I'm feeling the Spirit when what I think and what I feel come together and align. The scriptures say "I will tell you in your heart and in your mind." That's how it works for me.

When I have a stupor of thought, I've learned to recognize it (typically in hindsight) as being when what I think and want seem like fine and good things (like Anddenex's friend's mom), but I have a different feeling that I can't shake, and it just nags at me. When my heart and mind are uncomfortably at odds, I am experiencing a stupor of thought.

Wow, for your friend's mom this was literal: "...you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong"

#12 nellyleyva92

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

Lol, I quoted the wrong post :P

#13 martybess

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

Allot of members start to cry while sharing something and I often wonder is this just their emotions or is the HG causing their hearts to swell with the love of God, even nonmembers feel this at times. This I believe is the burning that is talked about but I'm just guessing really. It's just that it does happen for most at some point.

I will say on 2 separate occasions I can with total honesty say I have felt this burning. I got up one night in my early 20's went into another room knelt down and poured out my soul for hours. As has been mentioned and as Enos states it takes work, but then again some do put in the effort and work and receive nothing but frustration. Even president McKay states one day he got off his horse prayed for the longest time and nothing. It wasn't until years later he came to understand he knew the church was true. Anyway on these two occasions the spirit hit me with such force I could hear it, yes like rushing wind or water and it hit me with great force. It also came from within me and got stronger and stronger and engulfed me totally, almost like a cloud but it wasn't really anything that could be seen, weird huh. I know it sounds totally like I'm making it up. It was so strong it frighten me and I asked for it to stop. I've wondered what I would of received if my faith would have been strong enough. My ears rang for hours afterwards, it was powerful! I will say that night was far from over as the advisory came in a show of force as well. Didn't see anything, no voices or anything but strange enough I heard the sound of a marching band coming down the hallway playing this horrendous sound. I prayed and prayed for it to go away only for it to start all over again just as I would fall asleep. Strangest night of my life. I'm not clairvoyant and anything like that. I have no idea why this all happen to me. That being said I can say with total certainty the gospel is true. If an angle came to me I would not feel anymore sure, sight is not as powerful as the spirit I testify to that.
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#14 skalenfehl

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:11 PM

You will know when you have a burning in the bosom. It is not an imagined or perceived burning. It is a tangible and literal burning in the bosom. It fills you're whole being and can be described as filling the entire room.

Once you begin to put your life in order, seek to put off the natural man, make a serious study of the scriptures through fasting and praying, and being obedient to all commandments, you will become purified and you will experience this. As you continue on this path to coming unto Christ, you will experience it more often.

#15 olytitan

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:49 PM

The burning in the bosom to me is often waterworks and a choked up feeling "knowing" that I need to say something, or that I am feeling something special. Stupor of thought, I can't say i've felt as much. I think mostly it would be that given two options and trying to figure which is the best decision, that the stupor of thought is that with the one choice I just cannot come up with any "good" reasons for it, or think clearly of it, where the other choice just seems to stay to the front and pushing the other out of the way more. Try to focus on the other choice anyway just to be sure it's been considered properly...and just cannot think of any good things for it. It just seems to not feel right, and not want to stick like the other options.

#16 skalenfehl

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

With respect, there is a distinct difference between a witness of the Holy Ghost and the fruits thereof. The tangible burning in the bosom is a witness of truth, revelation, etc. whereas, the peace, love, joy, or as otherwise affectionately known as "waterworks" or feeling "choked up" are fruits of the witness. This is not to say that the two do not occur simultaneously.

#17 heatwaveo8

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

How would you describe the burning in the bosom and the stupor of thought? Any experiences with these?

How can you tell when your feelings are a burning in the bosom and not your own desires / or if it is really a stupor of thought that comes from Heaven and not your own fears?

Thank you!

:conscience:


For most purposes, I can tell based on whether the burning feeling or stupor of thought came from my own effort. If yes, there's a chance I forced it. If no, then it was the Spirit.

#18 NightSG

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

For me, the stupor isn't so much forgetting the thing itself, but rather the reason I wanted to ask it in the first place. I guess that keeps me from asking the same thing over and over, while making it clear that it wasn't what I should have been asking for.

#19 missionary0204

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

This thread causes many memories to rush into my mind. Thank you for posting this!

I personally feel that there are often times when people do confuse emotion with answers to their prayers, but this is expected. We are all exercising our gift. Recieving an answer to ones prayer is a gift from God and like any other gift, must be exercised to grow. I believe it is usually easier for those who pray often with sincere prayer to better understand how prayers are answered. Prayers are answered through people or events all the time. Sometimes my prayers are not answered immediately, but the knowledge flows when the time comes due to use that knowledge, ie. teaching a lesson or giving a talk. For me, when I pray about a specific question, I do not feel as though I get an answer most of the time. I have to dwell on the subject even more, attack the question from other angles, and at some point I may find something I have missed or I become more concrete in the answer I believe is right. The scriptures teach us in D&C to try to come up with the answer we believe is right and take it to the our Father through prayer to find out if it is right or not.

Only becuase this is a blog, will I share a few peronal experiences that I will forever charish about how God can use us to answer the prayers of others and how the Holy Ghost can protect us in the same way that God uses him to anwer prayers with a direct answer.

When i was a missionary serving on an Indian Reservation, my trainee, a team teacher, and I were teaching a part memeber family. Half-way through the lesson, I had a powerful impression come over me. I ended the lesson immediately, closed with a prayer, and left. My companion was furious with me and kept asking me "what are you doing? Why did you end that lesson before we were done?" I told him that I did not know exactly, but something was wrong. We drove off the reservation back towards town. I told the driver to pull into a subdivision. I was so confused, but did not understand what I was feeling. I saw a home of a family that we reactivated and baptized the children just two months prior. The feeling came over me to visit them. After knocking on the door, the wife opened the door and looked to be in shock. She began to cry and I was really confused. We entered the home and met her parents who were not members of the church. We had an amazing lesson which I will not forget. It lasted for about 1.5 hours. After the lesson, the parents wanted to go to church and continue taking the lessons in their home area. The wife told me that her and husband had tried to contact us all day, but we never answered called her back. She said that she kept pleading with God to send the missionaries over to teach her family. I now understood what happened. God wanted to answer his daughters prayer. To end such a beautiful story, I have since recieved pictures of both families, along with their three little children, all dressed in white at the temple. The point of this story is that God does not always give you a direct answer when you ask.

Towards the end of my mission, I planned on extended it. One day I knelt in prayer one night when I couldnt' sleep and stayed up until 11:30 reading my scriptures. I asked God if I should extend my mission. I just wanted confirmation. I recieved such a powerful answer IMMEDIATELY-NO! I literally thought I heard the words in my mind and my whole body felt an overwhelming sensation at the same time. I think the words "it shook me" would be appropriate. I never get answers like this but they do happen. I contacted President the next day and explained to him that he needed to find a new AP after all. I don't know for sure that it is related, but the day after I returned home, I ran into an old friend, taught and baptized him within a few weeks, and he told me that the day I met him, he was desperate for help.

One final story just to give insight to anyone interested as to how God can answer prayers in a very unusual way. Let me first state that I do not share this story and charish it. I have never had an experience like this before or after.
My companion and I would go on splits every weekday in the evening to cover more ground and teach more families. One brother came out with us weekly. He was so dedicated and I loved him dearly. We were driving down a road in a residential neighborhood. Roughly 300 yards away, there was a turn to the left. At the turn, there was a large tree that blocked the view of home and their driveway. I saw a man run out of him home in a hurry and he disappeared behind the large tree. A powerful impression came over me and I had an experience that i have to describe as a vision. I saw this man jump into his car, and slam the gas in reverse down the driveway. I knew by the experience that he was going to hit us. I yelled out before realizing it and said "STOP!" Without hesitation, the driver hit the breaks and asked, "What is going to happen?" I replied with "We are going to get hit." Immediately after that, right in front of us, the car came barrelling across the road out from behind that large tree blocking the driveway. This was right in front of us. It was literally at the exact spot we should of been if the driver did not hit the breaks. The driver put his hand on my knee and said, "you were inspired to say that." I was shaken up and very emotional. Take what you want from the story. I did not change any facts, but I will forever charish memories like these, but they are RARE.

I have often wondered how our spirituality is coupled with experiences in life and how we recieve answers to our prayers. My mission was the most spiritual time in my life where I sacrificed everything without hesitation and believed in obedience with exactness. Missionaries pray non-stop. After the mission you return home, you are not surrounded with constant spirituality, you do not pray as much, and life seems to distract you in so many ways.

I do know that God does answer our prayers, we just have to exercise that gift and keep attempting to better understand it and I promise you it will grow.

I want to say thanks to all of the posters so far. I agree with what has been said. You have provided great examples of how prayers are answered.

Edited by missionary0204, 09 January 2013 - 09:50 AM.
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#20 nellyleyva92

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Thanks missionary0204. Indeed, experiences of that kind are rare, and I guess you've had them because God knows you act immediately without hesitation whenever he prompts you to do something.
So they key is to pray non-stop?




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