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The Miracle of the Gift of Tongues in the Missionary Training Center June 25, 1978

Updated: Jun 23


Muosul doot goship sumnika?

From the journal entry picture above:

"I had a neat experience here at the LTM with the Gift of Tongues, they said that we might experience here. Well, as I was walking back to our room from the cafeteria, I saw a friend and waved, and he was going the other way as he said "Say something in Korean!"

Since he was going the other way I had no time to think of anything, but the general "idea feeling" was up in my head of what I wanted to say. Immediately and without knowing what I said, I said "뭣을듣고십습니카?" (pronounced Muosul doot goship sumnika?), which means "What do you want to hear?"

I thought, dumbfounded, wondering what I said, and after a couple of seconds I realized what I had said. And I was amazed! It was like a moment of couple of seconds of fluency. I don't know why, I usually take a few seconds to think a sentence out. It was neat."

Paraphrasing this journal entry. First of many of these journal entries we make on our missions are "slammed out" meaning that we hardly have any time to jot things down, let alone get the story straight or perfect in description of the events. You arrive to your room at night and its almost time to turn out the lights at 10 pm, sometimes if you want to get a journal entry in, you have to hurry or get cut off while in the thought, because lights out, on a mission, is lights out, at 10 pm. Its a rule. SO I remember specifically trying to get the "highlights" in the journal entry, and in so doing we might actually word it wrong, or use something like "after a couple of seconds" when what really happened actually took a couple of MINUTES. Speech can be like that, we don't know when we write sometimes how little details like that being casually stated would actually change the whole meaning and feel of the story. Its no big deal, for instance, if something takes only 2 measly seconds to figure out or realize, but what if it takes 2 minutes? Now that's a different story, but that is what happened. I was walking a long distance down a hallway sounding pieces of that sentence out and saying some things out loud, to decipher the Korean words and then build the sentence the regular way. It took minutes!

One might also apply this thinking and this truth to the various versions that Joseph Smith made at first about his first vision as he jotted some things down about his experience while he was younger, not realizing that at a future date some people might hold it against him if his account or history of it gets clarified later by himself as he adds more detail of what he actually remembers that he neglected to initially articulate. It doesn't mean he made things up later or embellished it, anymore than what I just did, because what I just stated above that differs from my original writing is the actual accurate account. I am doing that right here now, with my own journal, and can see that my initial fast and somewhat sloppy scribblings did not tell every single detail of the whole story. In fact, by leaving some details out, the journal version become less accurate. I have fixed that here with my actual memory and taking the time to carefully write the vivid details, a process that takes time (such as an hour or two) when compared to the limited time of say, 5 or 10 minutes just before you go to bed on a mission and in the early morning you are onto a new day, a new schedule, and there is no time slot for writing in journals. THAT is the limitation of not having enough time to write the account. Some details don't make the "cut." Having enough time to write and revise as more things come back to memory is a key part of the process of "getting it as right as possible." I am telling more details to my story here now, slightly differing from the one shown in the ACTUAL picture of my journal entry on the day it actually happened, June 25, 1978. Here is that effort taking place for the first time in writing, some 45 years later.

I remember writing more about this event at other times, and telling others of this event in my own words over the decades, and there was me putting more detail into it that was contained in the initial written version above. Here is what I also remember about this event.

I remember that I was passing this missionary friend at the LTM in the hallway as we were walking towards each other in a crowded hallway of other missionaries going both directions and he said first "where are you going on your mission?" and I said "Korea!" and he then responded "Say something in Korean!" to which I replied immediately "뭣을듣고십습니카?" and then he said "awesome!" and I kept walking towards our dorm room a ways down the hall and walking slowly and wondering what it was that I had just said! I did not know! It was not a couple of seconds as my journal said, that doesn't even make sense! It was a much longer time. I specifically remember walking and mumbling out the various Korean word sounds starting with the word for WHAT which was 뭣을 (muosul) and then I determined that this first word was "WHAT." I then went on to say doot, doot, doot, out loud trying to remember what this word meant, and finally it came to me like a flash card, it means "Hear." So I now knew I said what hear... and so I figured out the last part of the sentence (which are in reverse in Korean), and so the last part was the phrase for WANT, or the 고십습니카? part. So it was coming to me, I'm a little slow, but the sentence finally formed in Korean in my brain and I knew that I had said a minute or so ago, it was "what do you want to hear?" and I was blown away! The context of that sentence in answer to his question and done instantaneously, was fascinating to me at the time. It just blew me away. It was not a casual experience. I walked to my room blown away that I had actually said somerthing in Korean, a real sentence, spontaneously, just like that, without thinking it through. Gift of Tongues! Right there!

So my journal entry is a lesson in how casual or even incomplete journal writings sometimes are. They can be incomplete accounts, but jotted down in the fast pace of the moment, grabbing a tiny bite of time available, even to scribble with the handwriting. As a missionary in the language training center you are often trying to write in your journal when you can grab what is always a short moment of time... sometimes as the lights are about to be turned off. You have to hurry! You think you are getting all the "points" or highlights of the story (like an outline), but it is often missing some details. Details that can come back to you later as your mind more fully remembers the details. Such is life, and so a journal entry is just that, some entry. It may not be the full account, but just a highlight of the event and you want to get parts in there that you can remember.

Tongues, Gift of

A gift of the Holy Ghost that allows inspired individuals to speak in, understand, or interpret unfamiliar languages. We believe in the gift of tongues (A of F 1:7).

  • Then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, 2 Ne. 31:13–14.

  • Amaleki exhorted all men to believe in the gift of speaking with tongues, Omni 1:25.

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