The Science behind “Feeling the Holy Ghost”

There might not be anything more absurd to an atheist, than when a Christian says, “I’m feeling the Holy Ghost”. Whaaaaaa! Are you kidding?!…screams the atheist. You’re telling me that there is some being somewhere called the Holy Ghost that is recording all of our thoughts, words, and actions while simultaneously influencing and dwelling within each and every one of us? This is an atheist’s go to pitch against those crazy religionists.

But maybe we’re not so crazy after all. Maybe “feeling the Holy Ghost” is scientific! Regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, please just hear me out!

We believe that the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit and that his primary role is to communicate and testify of truth. He was and is called the “Comforter” by Jesus Christ. Because Christ cannot always be physically with us to inspire us, He assigned the Holy Ghost to teach and to testify and to comfort us.

So…how does the Holy Ghost comfort us? In order to understand this, we first need to understand who we are and who the Holy Ghost is.


We are spiritual beings and we’re filled with light. Light is something that can carry information. That is a scientific truth and it is used everyday through the use of fiber optics. Our spirits came from God and we were sent to this earth filled with light and intelligence. John 1:9 talks about the “light of Christ” that is given to every human being that comes to this earth. That light is either enlarged or diminished by the decisions we make. Joseph Fielding Smith’s favorite scripture was D&C 50:24 wherein it says that “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God receiveth more light.” Our spirits crave light because that is what they were used to in the presence of our Heavenly Father. We were cut off from the presence of our Father. That means no communication with Him…so how can we ever know and recognize truth with so much confusion around us? Jesus Christ’s role was to come and redeem us and to show us the way back to Heavenly Father. The role of the Holy Ghost was to communicate light and intelligence and to guide us in the direction that Christ pointed us.

The Holy Ghost is not an essence. He is a personage of Spirit.  He does not break himself into a billion little pieces and “dwell inside each of us.” That doesn’t even make sense to me when people say that… and that is why atheists have a field day with that claim. Like he’s  just hanging out with me inside of my body…but then in my neighbors body at the same time. C’mon. I can understand the atheistic confusion.

The Holy Ghost is in charge of dispensing knowledge and truth to us… but how is he doing that? How does it get to us? It seems incomprehensible…

But wait a minute! Do you realize that you witness that phenomenon take place each and every day. In fact, you’re experiencing it right now as you read this article. If you are reading this from a wireless laptop, you have something in your laptop called a wireless NIC (Network Interface Card). Some of you might be using your city’s or school’s wifi. You could be using whats called a Wireless MAN or a Wireless Metropolitan Area Network. Thousands of computers are being “influenced” by a central source called a router. You cannot see the information that is being passed with your natural eyes, but your computer can “feel” it…and interpret it. The router draws upon an almost infinite amount of information and disseminates that information according to each computer’s request. “Ask and ye shall receive”…right?

I earned my degree in computer information systems and I was fascinated with networking. I loved the basic structure of the OSI model and how information was stripped down and rebuilt in order to be passed from computer to computer. I studied fiber and the principles of light. I studied wireless technologies and the implementation of huge wireless networks. I realized that what we take for granted on a daily basis, was something that was laughed at and considered unfathomable by atheists. Mankind has implemented the same technology that many of us laugh at God for claiming to use. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe today utilize wireless technologies to send information back and forth through the air on invisible channels to a central source (a router) that is regulating the flow of information from an almost unlimited source of information, (a server). We can ask Google’s servers for almost anything we want to know, and if we’re on the right channel, and we have the right “ports” open, we receive answers back. Most of the time, because of the advent and portability of wireless laptops, tablets, and smart phones… we receive this communication through an invisible medium. Many of us don’t even understand how it works…but yet we KNOW that it works! Even the hardcore physicists don’t understand what light is. They just know that it exists. Now light is being used as the fastest and most reliable means for transmitting information across networks.

I commonly and respectfully refer to the Holy Ghost as a “giant wifi router in the sky”. Think about it! It makes perfect sense…and if humans can create a small device that can record all of the “thoughts, words, and deeds” of a computer, then imagine what a God can do! Are we not all computers of sorts? Is not our brain an instrument used to process data and interpret information? Do you realize that even our thoughts emit measurable energy that can be recorded on sophisticated enough devices? We look at a satellite and the fact that it can send us a live streaming video of something that is happening on the other side of the planet in real time and don’t even bat an eye…but tell someone that there is a God in Heaven and a Holy Ghost that can influence, teach and comfort people around the globe and you’re looked at as a lunatic.

So how does the Holy Ghost work?

God tells us that if you ask Him if something is right, He will cause your “bosom to burn within you”, and that you will “feel” that it is right. But… if it’s not right, you won’t have those feelings. In fact, you’ll have a “stupor of thought,” that will cause you to forget the thing which was wrong.

Can this be explained scientifically? Sure it can.

You ask Heavenly Father for knowledge. He defer’s to the Holy Ghost because that is His role. The Holy Ghost ensures that you are “on the right channel” or…worthy to receive knowledge. If you are on the right channel, you’ll receive “pure intelligence flowing into you”. Because your spirit craves light and intelligence, it will begin to illuminate and you’ll begin to shine through your mortal skin. The bosom was anciently known as your inner most core. It is more closely related with your stomach. Our bodies are considered a temple, and temples were considered anciently to be the “Omphalos” or center of the earth. The hub, or the “navel” where nourishment was received from our earthly and heavenly parents. The bosom represents the part of you that is beneath your physical body, giving life and nourishment to your body. As intelligence and light begins to cleave unto your spirit, it naturally would create heat… which would justify the saying that your “bosom would burn within you”. That good feeling you have is your spirit thanking your physical body for making decisions that open up the flow of communication from the Holy Ghost to your spirit. The Holy Ghost then uses the “Ether” (formerly called) or  “Dark Matter”, or the physical essence that all scientists agree are “in all things and through all things and round about all things” in this universe as a medium to send intelligence/light/information/data, and to testify of truth. That light within you “groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” if you are making decisions that keep an open static free channel to the Holy Ghost at all times. Remember how Moses was so bright that he was blinding people as he came down the mountain after having conversed with God “face to face”? He received so much light and intelligence from God that his soul was illuminated and his bosom was burning. Light cleaved unto light. He described God as a “consuming fire”. As we become more and more like God, that same fire within our bosom will burn brighter and brighter. We will feel it. We may not be able to describe it, but you will know it. Remember how Joseph Smith in the sacred grove recorded that he thought that the leaves of the trees were going to catch fire from the Father and the Son? Or the Angel Moroni filling the house with light? The Lord dwells in “everlasting burnings” which makes the phenomenon of the burning of the bosom even more understandable scientifically.

Conversely, if something is wrong or you’ve made decisions that put you out of alignment with the Spirit, you’ll be on the wrong channel and you’ll only be able to hear static… or get a “page cannot be displayed” error. The “check your connection” error is something all of us have seen before! This is what causes the stupor of thought. Because light and intelligence cannot reach  your spirit, your spirit will begin to declare war on your body. That is why you feel so physically horrible when you make decisions contrary to what you know is right. Your spirit is grieved…and is trying to tell you “Wait! don’t do that! I want to stay on the same channel as the Holy Ghost so that I can continue to receive more light, but your decisions are prohibiting that from happening.” The stupor of thought begins to set in because your spirit’s light is dimming. The spirit and the body together make the soul, and when the spirit and body are not in harmony, darkness and confusion sets in on the soul and the result is a stupor of thought. The instrument of your mind has been hindered because the source of all truth is only static to you now. What good is a laptop that can receive no communication from it’s source of intelligence. “It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be trodden under the foot of men.”

And there you have it! The science behind “feeling the Holy Ghost”. It is an actual science…because true religion and true science never contradict. God is the great scientist and he works within the bounds of natural laws. The next time you see 35,000 people in Angel stadium on their cell phones talking, texting, and sending pictures to Instagram and Facebook, remember that those people are sending loads of “invisible” information back to a very sophisticated device and it is being recorded somewhere. The function of the Holy Ghost doesn’t seem so incomprehensible anymore does it… Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t go to the source of all truth and get answers…because it is scientific and it works.


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  • Drew Hyer

    That was awesome. I loved this article. I’m going to print it and read it a few times to absorb it. This is a topic that has been on my mind since I lost my membership last July. My fears were great. My saga of pain expansive. But after the initial darkness and some despair, I have never felt better. My testimony has grown. I feel full of love. I have thought a lot about the difference in having the Holy Ghost as a constant companion and seeking and feeling it without the ‘gift’. I believe I have continued to be tutored and taught and guided through this past year. I finally put my finger on a word that described a certain aspect of my experience and my ability to utilize the Holy Ghost. Without it (at times) I feel a ‘confusion’ when trying to think through things. I’m still not left a lone if I choose to seek the spirit. It is just a little harder. I’ve wanted to understand this so that I can appreciate the Holy Ghost better when I have it given back to me. You put so much into words that I have believed. Our brains as receptors are amazing, our hearts, our bodies as a whole. Thank you. The truth and gospel really are compatible with science.

    • Greg Trimble

      Wow Drew! Great comments bro! Thanks for posting. Share it with a friend! 🙂

  • Gunnar

    For the Science of the HG post: I’m just curious how this only applies to Mormons… Seeing as the Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and other Christians claim the same “light” and “knowledge” from the same source described in almost the exact same way.. So how do you claim to have truth when all the others are claiming the same thing using the same logic. If everyone around the world in different faiths is feeling “burnings” or “feelings” that are good to them and they then claim knowledge from these.. How do we differentiate different faith claims as truth? Just curious..

    • Greg Trimble

      Mormons claim to have the keys and authority that Christ gave to His ancient apostles. They claim to have the priesthood and thereby the ability to bind and seal on earth. They claim to have apostles and prophets that receive revelation for God’s Church that has been established in the last days. We believe with all our heart that others can and do receive promptings from the Holy Ghost.

    • Robin

      Joseph Smith, when asked a similar question, stated something to the effect, “bring all the truth you have and let us show you what we can add to it.” Many of the modern prophets since have quoted or paraphrased that same idea. Everyone in the world knows truth (light) to one extent or another and the mission of the Church is simply to add to that truth (light) that each of us already has as we go about searching for more. That additional truth includes (as Greg has pointed out) those saving ordinances and principles of truth that people outside of the Church have not yet received. We believe that there are still many great and wonderful truths yet to be revealed (see Articles of Faith) and as we continue to search and work at it there will come a time (probably not in this lifetime unless you’re Moses) when we arrive at “that perfect day” when we have all truth (light) and our spiritual “computers” are humming along like we can now only imagine.

      • Brianna Call

        That was gorgeously said, I am an LDS member but I had never thought of it like that. I knew that all people were inherenty good and born with the light of Christ but I had never thought about the LDS church being something to add on to what they already know. Thank you for expanding my knowledge of this great church I am a part of.

    • your brother

      That is the light of Christ that he is talking about. It is a gift to all men, not just Muslims, or Buddhists, or Jews, or members of the church of Jesus Christ.. all men. And you differentiate by a living prophet.

      • Chet Lake

        Isn’t that begging the question?

        • dennis

          no, that’s the question that is begged by the article…

    • John

      If it’s actually truth, then everyone should be able to claim the same thing using the same logic. Truth is truth no matter where it’s found right?

      • Rebecca Ware

        Yes, truth exists unchanged, regardless of whether anyone believes it or not. Sadly, many who are commenting on this article, are putting words in the author’s mouth, making claims that he said only Mormons receive & recognize truth, but the author does not make that claim anywhere in the article. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not claim exclusive rights to the Holy Ghost, only promising the privilege of constant access to the Holy Ghost, after baptism & confirmation, conditionally, based upon the righteousness of the recipient. Confirmation is when the “gift” of the Holy Ghost is conferred upon the baptized member, through the laying on of hands, by authorized members of the priesthood.

        • dennis

          Actually the church does claim exclusivity since it is the only entity allowed by god to perform baptisms and laying on of hands where the “giving” of the holy ghost happens, so, they do claim to have a more reliable connection to the fantasy than anyone else…

  • natemills

    I love this type of discussion, and agree wholeheartedly with this direction of thinking. If you want to take this a step further, looking at Quantum Mechanics, String Theory and Unified Theories, there are even more mind-boggling ideas to ponder.

    For example, the study of Quantum Mechanics has shown us that particles can form bonds with each other, and act in unision with each other instantaneously, over any any distance…making even the speed of light a slog in the mud! The implications of that from a spiritual standpoint are astounding to me. The way God communicates and moves, the way every intelligence responds to His will, etc.
    If String theory is correct, there are more than just our three dimensions that we experience…and not just four. But up to 9 or 10 or 11 different dimensions. The fact that Spirits reside in a ‘plane’ that we cannot see, yet we know is near to us, would also suggest that this could be another instance where science could be so CLOSE to things of God, yet SO far away at the same time.

    • Rich

      Now those are some intriguing thoughts natemills. I can see all sorts of fascinating areas to explore. Quantum Mechanics to explain how mountains can be moved, water can be turned to wine, and waves can be stilled with just the spoken word.
      Or String Theory to help understand how great-great-grandpa Brigham could be present now for a few moments here in mortality in a present-day building.
      After all, the word “science” is just mankind’s way of expressing in English those processes that Elohim uses following natural and eternal laws.

      • lena

        very much like this thought process as well…. very fascinating

  • nellie83

    Greg I love this, I tweeted you some things but I’ll comment here too. In my patriarchal blessing in four different places and different wording I was blessed with the power to discern the spirit. I went 8 years away from the church and now have been back for almost 4 years. I feel the spirit better than I ever have because I live by my own testimony and I don’t rely on the testimony of others. This same light you refer to is very present in LDS pop singer David Archuleta. His music was the start of bringing me back to the gospel I love. If you’ve read the book “Why I’m a Mormon”, in his chapter he talks about how people would write him letters during American Idol and they would say they felt something but they didn’t know what it was. He realized they were feeling the spirit. I know of a lot of people who have came back to the church or were baptized because of him. Before and during his mission (not talking about the people from Chile where he served because I don’t know any of them). They all became members for the same reason, they wanted to know what that light is in him, what made him different than other pop stars they knew. Searching further they read the Book of Mormon, had missionaries teach them and became baptized. I really love your analogy with computers and information of light. I had never thought of it that way but it makes a world of sense. Thank you for your words!!! (you should try and have this printed in the Ensign or something)
    Janel~Pleasant Grove, Utah

    • Greg Trimble

      Janel –

      Thanks so much for your comment. It is so very encouraging to hear!



  • Becky

    I’m sorry to say, but this article didn’t show the science behind feeling the HG. The fact is that we cant provide evidence of feelings. It is frustrating for people to admit. Science uses evidence to back up claims. Theories are also based on evidence gathered. Feelings are due to an individual cause and effect situation. It’s sad that you don’t understand the difference. Your article was a comparison essay and a process essay. It was not persuasive as you didn’t use scientific research to back up your claims. I would never accept this work from one of my college students.
    Claiming that others don’t feel the HG because they aren’t Mormon is not accurate, even to to those who believe in the Bible. Read the NT passages when Christ ascended into heaven to see what Christ said regarding the HG.

    • Andrew

      I don’t recall the author stating that others don’t feel the Holy Ghost because they aren’t Mormon. In fact I think he would argue that stating such would prove unscriptural. For example, in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (ch. 5) he said:
      22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
      23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
      In my opinion, if there is no law against something there are no restrictions. (That is what laws do, restrict. Whether to protect or otherwise, they still restrict.) To say that only Mormons can feel the Holy Ghost would be like saying that only Mormons can pray and receive answers. But again, I do not see in the article where the statement was made. Also, could you please provide references as to your point about Christ’s ascension? I fail to see what point you are trying to make.

      • Becky

        I meant to to refer to the comments made by others in the comment section. Mormons believe others can feel the holy ghost, but others don’t have the gift of the holy Ghost. The gift can only be given after baptism. The gift assures that the holy ghost is always with you unless you commit a sin grievous enough to to temporarily lose the influence of the HG, but the HG won’t leave them permanently. Mormons have interrupted John 14:15-26 differently than other people who believe in christ. Most others interrupt these passages to mean that the HG will never leave a believer. That’s very different than lds teaching which teaches one must be baptized and then can receive the HG to have with them always, however in the above passages christ never gave stipulations or conditions to the holy ghost always being with believers.
        Also, if someone resigns from the mormon church, they receive a letter from salt lake church headquarters saying that all covenants are void and they no longer have the HG with them always. This contradicts the interpretation of most believers in regards to the verses in John. This is one of several reasons why others say that mormons arent Christians because others dont see why a prophet’s words or revelation should contradict jesus’ words. However, as most people know, the validity of the bible is questionable as we don’t even have copies of copies of copies of the original texts of what is the culmination of the old and new testament. Bart Ehrman’s own research explains this in his book, “Misquoting Jesus”. Those who really want the truth will search with an unbiased agenda. This isn’t easy though. Also, the first pages of the “letter to a CES director” by jeremy runnels , details exactly how Joseph Smith copied texts from the bible, word for word. You can download this info by googling “letter to a ces director”.

        • John

          I would recommend that you review the scripture that you posted…specifically John 14:17. The World (meaning non-believers) cannot receive the Spirit. Non-believers are defined differently by different people. Some people regard non-believers as those who don’t believe what they do. Many call Mormons non-believers (or not Christians). So the Scriptures still holds true for Mormon beliefs as it does yours – it just depends on your interpretation. Personally, I liked the article – made a good analogy for a complex concept. Well done to the author.

        • Michael

          Acts 9:17 paul received the Holy Ghost before baptism
          Acts 10:45-47 every person who heard Peter speak received the Holy Ghost before being baptized and verse 48 Peter commanded them to be baptized so it is possible to receive the gift of the Spirit b4 baptism. If GOD is no respecter of persons it is still possible.

    • Logan

      I agree with you Becky, this is not a scientific article and it is misrepresented as such. I am a member of the LDS church (mormons). I do believe that God can and does communicate with us in some way, though of course I don’t have any scientific proof of that. I think sometimes we believers are eager to explain or “prove” to others what we feel very strongly about. How do you explain to somebody that what you experience is more than just an emotional response? Well I don’t think anyone can make anyone else feel something or know something. That is why the prescribed method of teaching in the church is to invite others to discover for themselves. Faith is needed (and I know atheists hate the faith is the answer thing). Even when Jesus was here and said “I am the way” most still did not believe. Even when people see miracles they still don’t believe. So I think that God simply gives us the information and then lets us choose for ourselves. It may be frustrating at times for people that want to see “hard evidence”.

  • Chet Lake

    What would it take for your claims to be falsified?

    • dennis

      I love your answer but the believers here don’t even understand your question…

  • Narwhal

    I have a similar theory about souls and the afterlife. My ipod died recently, taking a lot of precious information, pictures, and memories with it. I like to think of the unique content that an ipod gains while being owned as its soul. After my ipod died, the functions that kept it running, the functions that made it work and “think” had been shut down permanently. And yet the unique identity of the ipod was preserved in the icloud. So when I got a new ipod, I was able to retrieve the perfectly intact content of the dead ipod from the icloud. How is it possible, if the physical brain of an ipod dies, for it to retain it’s memory and identity in some mysterious invisible icloud? Even when the vessel dies, the ipod’s identity does not cease to exist. If man could create an “afterlife” for the “souls” of machines, couldn’t God easily do the same for us?

  • Quan

    I appreciate the metaphor; it’s articulate, a wonderful analogy for understanding, and I’m a believer. Unfortunately, this is not science and to say so is misleading. All the same, I like it!

    • Paul

      exactly my thoughts.

  • Tammy

    Interesting thought on the Holy Ghost. The older I get, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn in this life. But I can definitely say that a voice saved my life, and my son’s life, (I was pregnant at the time) when a car ran a red light on a highway and I was warned. I have a hearing loss and I am always guessing at what people are saying. Even with hearing aids, I still don’t always understand what is said to me. When I hear the Holy Ghost, there is no guessing in what I hear, it is instant in my brain. A little like telepathic. The day I was nearly hit, I was warned TWICE. The first was when I walked out of the store I was leaving (a good 5 minutes before the near miss) and I was told, ” Hesitate, make sure it’s clear”. I didn’t understand but it was unmistakable what I heard. I was on high alert as I started to drive home. I waited my turn at an intersection, no one was coming the other way so I started to turn left when the voice shouted, “STOP”! I pushed hard on the brake petal just as I heard a car coming fast. A young girl, teenager, went through the intersection on her red light going about 60 mph (she was speeding as well) and missed me by about 2 feet. I was a bit shaken up but there was no doubt about what could have happened. Listening to the voice not only saved my life but the young teenager to. I learned my lesson that day, when the Holy Ghost tells me something, I listen!!

  • Matt

    Call it science or not, but this post is fascinating. Thanks for writing it.

  • Shannon

    I loved reading this. It’s funny because just a few weeks ago I was installing a new AC wireless router in our home and my 6 year-old asked what I was doing. I told him what the router’s purpose was and how its influence was felt through the whole home, kind of like the Holy Ghost. He got excited and later told one of his friends about this new router and how it works, “Just like the Holy Ghost does.”

    I’ve also learned in life that there will always be critics to a message you share, no matter how true and logical your message is – Christ’s Gospel from the New Testament is the perfect example of this.

  • Rich

    Greg, I really appreciate the thought process and effort (not to mention the life you have already lived to this point) that went into putting this essay together. The few naysayers here quibbling about whether the essay meets some litmus test allowing it to be officially called “science” are really missing the most important point, I feel.

    In any event, what humans call science at present is simply what is currently available and understood by mankind today. Science, as it is now known and defined in 2014 AD is subject to so very much more development and change. If there is not scientific proof here in this esaay, there is nevertheless insight and clarification which can lead others to comprehend how it is possible to have a central powerful influence (the Holy Ghost) create meaningful and useful messages that can be tailored to the individual needs and capacities of millions of recipients, and capable of being done simultaneously. To me that is the beauty of the analogy that you have chosen to increase understanding of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit and how he is able to accomplish his assignment.

    It also makes it clearer why the Holy Ghost is the one member of the Godhead who does not have a physical body. His task would be less effectively accomplished if he did.

    Additionally, it is always humorous to me that those whose religion is science (I hasten to add, certainly not all scientists are in that category) have yet to understand that the truths that they do now have, ALL had their origin in revealed truth from that same Holy Ghost. That’s correct. I assert that all truth, including the things we know about computer science which allowed you to share this essay with us, had its origin in revealed truth from diety. That process does not require that the recipient of such inspiration and revelation be a Mormon like myself, or even a religious believer at all. Being a theist (or even a particular type of theist) or an athiest, in this regard, is a non sequitur.

    In any event, my thanks for your insight and the effort put forth here to share. Your essay has found its way into my own gospel study Evernote notebook and into the Journal that accompanies my scripture studies. What a blessing it is to be alive at a time when a young man on the west coast of America musing on the Holy Ghost can share his ruminations at the speed of light with a 70+ year old in Panama. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Dee


      Your apologetic is unfortunately rambling and wrong.

      Science is a method, and mechanism through which things are proposed and tested then determined to be valid or invalid. Evidences arrive from sources, the more varied the sources and the more repeatable the tests the more robust the claims.

      Claims to the metaphysical, like the Holy Ghost or Prophets getting books from God are less testable (although still somewhat). In these matters the parts tested have failed the tests.

      You can make all of the claims you like with all of the feel good parallels you like but none of that gives then even the slightest hint of truth. It just reflects your own internal bias and blindness to the actual testing process.

      I could argue that there are 12 God’s on mount Olympus, try to refute it. It could make me feel good that Zeus looks out for me and i will be able to go to the Elysium fields after this life. The greeks were greatly concerned by the teachings of the Philosophers like Socrates, they felt he undermined religion and morality with his rational questioning ways. In the end they had him sentenced to death by hemlock. Yet were their claims to their religion factual? Did the rational questions of Socrates detract from morality?

      Why are your claims any different.

      The Enlightenment started in the 15/1600’s long before Joseph Smith.

      It happened because of doubts about religion and religious dogma. Prior to that religion tightly constrained free thought, it oppressed and killed those who asked questions.

      There is zero evidence that Newton was inspired by God. There is Zero evidence that Jon Locke was inspired by God. These are just blind claims made by you.

      The simple fact it, it took the decline of religious control and the rise of genuine free thinking and go anywhere questioning to bring about the enlightenment, the rise of science and the major societal and technological improvements we see in our world today.

      Nothing in scripture anywhere teaches any of this. It suppresses free enquiry – just look at the leaders of the church today telling people to steer clear of what they might read about the church on the Internet. Why? If the church is true its positions will withstand all critical evaluations, if they are not it will break. It’s like telling people not to believe the earth goes around the Sun, instead simply accept the geocentric model.

      Blind faith based on pseudo science sounding claims, false parallels, and unreasonable assumptions.

  • Rich

    Greg, I really appreciate the thought process and effort (not to mention the life you have already lived to this point) that went into putting this essay together. The few naysayers here quibbling about whether the essay meets some litmus test allowing it to be officially called “science” are really missing the important point, I feel.
    In any event, what humans call science at present is simply what is currently available and understood by mankind today. Science, as it is now known and defined in 2014 AD is subject to so very much more development and change. If there is not scientific proof here in this esaay, there is nevertheless insight and clarification which can lead others to comprehend how it is possible to have a central powerful influence (the Holy Ghost) create meaningful and useful messages that can be tailored to the individual needs and capacities of millions of recipients, and capable of being done simultaneously. To me that is the beauty of the analogy that you have chosen to increase understanding of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit and how he is able to accomplish his assignment.
    It also makes it clearer why the Holy Ghost is the one member of the Godhead who does not have a physical body. His task would be less effectively accomplished if he did.
    Additionally, it is always humorous to me that those whose religion is science (I hasten to add, certainly not all scientists are in that category) have yet to understand that the truths that they do now have, ALL had their origin in revealed truth from that same Holy Ghost. That’s correct, I assert that all truth, including the things we know about computer science which allowed you to share this essay with us, had its origin in revealed truth from diety. That process does not require that the recipient of such inspiration and revelation be a Mormon like myself, or even a religious believer at all. Being a theist (or even a particular type of theist) or an athiest, in this regard, is a non sequitur.
    In any event, my thanks for your insight and the effort put forth here to share. Your essay has found its way into my own gospel study Evernote notebook and into the Journal that accompanies my scripture studies. What a blessing it is to be alive at a time when a young man on the west coast of America musing on the Holy Ghost can share his ruminations at the speed of light with a 70+ year old in Panama.

    • thehornguy

      How do you know it’s “the holy spirit” and not a Hindu god playing tricks on you? How do you tell the difference and confirm it’s what you say it is? It could be….but HOW do you know? That’s what I’m interested in.

  • Carrie

    Great post. I keep thinking about that scripture that talks about how all things denote that there is a Christ or testify of Christ. I often think of my body as a computer, as well, and I find myself relating gospel topics to my own job or life tasks, too! Thanks for sharing! I also appreciate that it’s clear in what you wrote that this concept of receiving light would be true for every person on earth and not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ.

  • Doug

    I used to love to theorize about deep, speculative ideas of how god actually accomplishes what’s taught in scriptures because I have this insatiable need to really understand what’s happening. I still do love to hear theories put forth from my friends that attempt to rationalize the doctrine of the church, and enjoyed this post.

    However, this eventually lead me to, what I believe, is the inevitable conclusion of this type of honest speculation. The scriptures contain contradictory, irrational, untestable, and incomprehensible claims. Not incomprehensible in the cosmic “woah this is wild” type way. Incomprehensible in the “My brain is incapable of understanding this” way. I’ve lost my testimony because of this, and while I don’t hold any negative feelings toward the church, or it’s members and believe it is filled with many genuine people, at the end of the day it’s just a nice story that doesn’t add anything to our understanding of the universe.

    If at the end of time and god is judging us, can he really condemn his child to eternal torment (the eternal concept is an entire other ball of wax) because he was unable to believe the claims of his 2000 year old books?

    • Rebecca Ware

      If you have a copy of the Doctrine & Covenants, you will find that the concept of eternal torment, as taught by the Catholic & most other Christian churches, is not necessarily what it appears to be on the surface. God does not visit eternal torment upon anyone, we do that to ourselves, through purposely making choices that put us in conflict with eternal laws, which in laymen’s terms, you could say that eternal laws are the actual laws of science, or truth. What causes the “torment”, is a realization that while in our mortal lives, we chose to separate ourselves from our Father in Heaven, preventing us from being in his presence eternally, with the end result being that we will be forever aware of this, & regret it. Those who make those choices, but do not repent & try to realign themselves with those eternal laws which lead to happiness, will spend eternity with others just like themselves. From the logical perspective, & the LDS teaching of the 3 kingdoms of Heaven, Celestial (highest), Terrestrial, & Telestial (lowest), this simply means that the beings who are in each kingdom of Heaven, will be in the level of Heaven which they are most comfortable in. (Hey, for murderers, liars & thieves, being with goody two shoes kind of people would be torture, but God does not inflict this upon them.) Only those who are like them, will be in that kingdom with them.

  • Phinfanlv

    You grossly misunderstand the word “scientific”.

  • I’m a physics major and a recent widow. Having a spouse on the other side makes you think and study a lot more about stuff like this. I wrote a very similar blog post in January. I talked about the ‘Electromagnetic spectrum’ instead of light but that’s just a fancy physics way to say light. I love to find people who independently come up with the same stuff I am getting too. “Out of the mouth of two witnesses is truth established. :)” Check my post out and see what you think.

    • Greg Trimble

      Really awesome stuff to think about! Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out!

    • dennis


  • Brettius

    Fggrr that’s a very broad scoping and inaccurate statement. I believe there ARE many members of the LDS community that do not do there own interpreting, and their own pondering on the word of God in the scriptures and the word of God that comes individually from the Holy Ghost, however, It is very clear in my experiences in the LDS church, that church leaders are not infallible, While there are times when Prophets are fully inspired and speak the word of God, they also council the members to seek after their own testimony of their words, This was a pattern used by Joseph smith. There are many quotes to the effect of “i do not blame anyone for not believe my history”. Further more there are known disputes in doctrinal opinions between the 12 apostles of the LDS church, just as the early apostles we’re occasionally at odds with each other. One such topic where there has been somewhat of a ‘grey area’ has been the role of evolution in the creation of man.

    In recent statements it the brethren have tried to make it clear that the position of the apostles is that they (and the prophet) are men called of god, given responsibility to lead the children of God to come unto Christ and to put forth His Gospel, however they are all human, and just as infallible as any human being.

    Collectively, they are less susceptible to being mislead, but the trump card fpr any individual member has and always will be personal revelation and confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Joespeh smuth taught that no one can be saved wuth out personal revelation from the holy ghost. Beleiveing the revelations that others have recieved goes not in and of itself build our relationship with the creator.

    I was Baptized into the LDS church 5 years ago at the age of 18. The reason? I heard the unmistakable voice of the Holy Ghost speak to me to the very depths of my soul that this was the right path, The Holy Ghost told me that the leaders of the church are lead by Jesus Christ. He told me that my happiness in life both here on earth and in the eternities would coem from following the Gospel and yeielding my will unto Him. I was couciled to give head unto the taching of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, because therein I would find servents of the Lord Jesus Christ humbly seeking the will of the Master. I followed this advice from the Holy Ghost and was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. I’ve since come to grow in understanding both of the church, and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 very separate things) the gospel and doctrine of Christ is infallible, the church and all the leaders in it who are there to lead their fellow brothers and sisters in following the gospel ARE fallible. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t lead, it just means that they are not “commanded in all things” Just as the apostles of old were not either. We all have to spend an amount of personal choice and free will in order to learn how to follow Christ and to grow and change to become more like him. I hope this helps shows to you at least one LDS member who has developed his beliefs by ” recieving his doctrine from the source, by asking the source himself”

  • conrad

    My terminology is The Holy Spirit. Have had gift of mercy since 1982. I agree with you as the Spirit works thru me. Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that grows into a magnificent tree and birds nest in its branches. I have felt this.

  • Logan

    He has not abandoned you or I and he will listen and reply if you speak with him

    • dennis

      I tried that for years. It doesn’t work.

    • dennis

      “He” cannot have abandoned me, “He” does not exist. You are delusional talking to your imaginary friend. Just because your delusion makes you feel good doesn’t mean the thing you are deluded about exists.

      • Logan

        You call me delusional and I would say you have a hard heart. The evidence of God is all around us. We are more than just creatures who are playing the cruel game of survival of the fittest. We have higher purpose than existing for 80 years and then ceasing to exist. Compared to the universe are lives are so short as to not even be worth mention. I believe that there is something more than just that.

  • Anna

    Hi Greg! Thanks for posting this! I am teaching a lesson on the Holy Ghost in Relief Society tomorrow and love how I was studying about Him in greater depth this past month and happened to stumble upon your blog. Another example of being led by the Holy Ghost. I’ve often thought about those very same scriptures on light, but had not yet thought of some of the things you articulated in your blog. I just want to say thanks. I wish I was brave enough and articulate enough to put my inner thoughts out into the opinionated and often ruthless internet. I appreciate that you do! Good luck in your endeavors!

    • Thanks a lot Anna! Good luck with your lesson!

  • Clairissa

    im sorry guys but im pretty sure ive learned not to bible bash and im pretty sure that is what is happening.

  • Susan

    God cannot “make” you believe. you must come to your own conclusions. this is called free agency –the gift our Father in Heaven has given us. If you pray with an open heart and mind, you will fully understand and appreciate the idea Brother Trimble is putting forth.

    • Dee


      this is nonsense, for instance i want to believe, i just don’t though. Why do i not believe, well because of all of the factual and scientific data disproving it. There is no lack on my part in terms of genuine search, it’s just that the data does not stack up.

      You could argue i should just have faith, but faith based on what exactly? For example, having read the Quran, i find fault with the book, it’s claims, and the claims made for the revelations given to it’s author – should i ignore all of that data and simply have faith that the Quran is true – Muslims tell me if i do i will give in to the spirit of the book and it will fill me with light and peace. Oddly that is a very similar claim to that made by Latter-Day Saints.

      For example, i could just have faith that Noah built an Ark and put a pair or several animals, insects, birds etc of every kind on there, and did the same with all the varieties of the plants and seeds on the earth.

      However, i took the time to look at the data. All of the measurements for the Ark are provided in the Bible. Using those measurement you can work out the cubic milimetres of space in the Ark.

      That then tells me how much room i have to fit all of those items in. What i noted immediately is that i’d be hard pushed to fit in just the animals from NY Zoo let alone the more than 8 million documented species on planet earth.

      I even tried to give the story greater latitude. What if i just took one of each kind, and to make it really really simple, i take a tiny embryo of each in a test tube, so i can then stack test tubes 20mm x 150mm floor to ceiling, wall to wall, throughout the Ark – how many test tubes can i fit in.

      The answer is, not enough. Even filling every last cubic millimetre there is not enough room for all of the varieties of creatures on the earth today and the plant species.

      Some argue that it must have been a localised flood – well how does that work when Joseph Smith claimed it baptised the Earth? LDS Baptism does not allow for sprinkling, it’s a total immersion concept.

      I have exactly the same problem with the story of Moses – it’s based on a much early legend from another regional tribe, everything from the boy in the basket of reads floated down the river, to him becoming a prince.

      Adam and Eve are found in much earlier texts.

      We have buildings that go back before 12,000 years ago, so the biblical genealogies to Adam circa 6000 + years ago means he could not have been the first man.

      So yes, i could blindly believe anything if i so chose to, and it could make me feel really good as i’d convince myself to find inner meaning and peace, and pick up a free community in the process, but none of that means it is true or factual.

      Humanity matters, civilisations and society matters, living in peace, friendship, with justice matters. We need to found those things on true, factual rational ideas, not on myths.

  • I’ve actually had the same ideas myself after pondering on verses like John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:10 and 3:6-7 I can correlate the scientific workings of nature with God. It’s great to see some people with similar thoughts

  • Dee


    The Church has known for a long time that you can induce feelings in people, and people will be moved by those feelings to behave in certain ways.

    There is an inner dialogue that takes place around, the minds narrator. May i remind you that the science in this is understood, even at Bonneville Communications – a church owned company that produces all of their videos and many of the church’s promotional materials.

    They call it Heartsell, and until recently you could find an interesting write up about how they use this exact process and offer their services doing this exact thing – manipulating emotions to drive our behaviours – for companies across the US.

    Here is what Bonneville Communications had to say about this:

    “Our unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. We call this uniquely powerful brand of creative ‘HeartSell’® – strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response.”

    They changed their webpage recently, but fortunately the internet stores previous versions, here is the link if you wish to read it in context:

    There can be no doubt that the ‘Feeling’ of the Holy Ghost is psychologically induced. For example, when Paul H Dunn spoke from the stand, many many members noticed how powerful his stories were, and they claimed to have felt the spirit testify during those talks. Later we find out that those stories were made up. How then do we explain the discrepancy?

    Science can explain how we receive information from external stimuli and how it affects both the internal voice we experience as we process its meaning quietly in the background of our minds, and it can explain how this then affects our feelings which in turn drive our behaviours. This occurrence happens every single day to everyone who takes the time to slow down in their environment and recognise it.

    However, the idea that the Holy Ghost is like wifi isn’t a scientific position. It’s a hypothesis with zero supporting information. Therefore there is little in your piece to support the idea that Science behind the Holy Ghost is anything like you depict it.

    Please try to be more objective in future, such random claims whilst ‘blind faith’ promoting, do mankind a disservice.

  • Dee

    Brent, this is a hypothesis with no actual scientific support.

    Compare this with what we can test for. A parable is given, the person contemplates it and has that eureka moment believing they’re detected the meaning, and the meaining is consistent with other teachings they’ve received. They feel good about themselves, the internal dialogue is rewarding – behaviour follows.

    There is zero evidence of any external intervention or messaging. There are multiple ways to test this hypothesis – Brigham Young denied black males the priesthood, this remained in the church for 150 years – such a sizeable slight against a race was ignored by God? Are we to conclude these men could feel the spirit in all matters but that of prejudice – meaning all mormon prophets were racists until the 1970s?

    Paul H Dunn taught with his wonderful but false stories – people felt the spirit, his book sales were huge. Yet they were not true.

    Mark Hoffman sold the Salamander letter to the church and the church paid $30,000 for it despite it being a forgery. Dallas H Oaks wrote a detailed apologetic about how what the Salamander letter said was still within the compass of LDS teachings so no need to panic.

    At no point did any of the Holy Ghost inspired Prophets, Seers, and Revelators feel prompted to point out that the document was a forgery – they all totally believed it.

    There are many such cases i could cite, but all seem to be met with an over simplified ‘they were speaking as men’ or ‘men of their time’.

    This is a very flawed apologetic. For example, todays leaders grew up in an era when women had less say in society – How about the Ordain Women movement?

    What i’d expect to see in a church really led by God is a church at the forefront of societal change, actually leading the charge on civil rights and race equality. I’d expect the church to be a leading voice the movement to end slavery.

    What is the point of revelation if the world realises what is good or bad before the church and we only get there after they did? That’s not exactly leading anything, it’s just permission to follow.

  • Dee

    Interesting that all of my comments, both historically and scientifically accurate, also polite were either deleted or never approved. I guess the science of the Holy Ghost does not extend to the consideration of counterpoints in discussion – that is knowingly intellectually dishonest Greg.

    By the way, you actually sound like an interesting chap away from all of the apologetics.

    • I don’t just sit around moderating comments. None of your comments have been deleted but thanks for the censure.

      • Dee

        Apologies Greg, I fully withdraw my remark/complaint. i wish only to engage in accurate and polite discourse. Thank you for uploading them.

        Kind regards,


  • synchronized18

    I learned my faith by myself. And by studying the Bible and all the other clues he gave us to his existence. I suggest you do the same before you write off God because there was a time i had doubts in God. All i had to do was search, and i knew he was there. I can promise you with no doubt now; he is very real

    • dennis

      So basically you brainwashed yourself into believing something there is zero evidence for. Good job.

  • James

    A very interesting idea for sure, and as a network security engineer I believe the thought pattern has merit, if only to help people understand the nature of God. However much of this is conjecture and based on your feelings. Feelings are from the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 and 10 tell us to not trust the heart. The only one who can truly understand our hearts is the Lord.
    I myself am a born again Christian and I say that as I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ the son of god who dies for our sins. Through this he saved us from our failures as long as we submit to what Holy Spirit helps us to understand. To doubt the Word of God or to believe in an apostasy that hasn’t happened where the Church (The body of Christ) is the mother of all doubt’s in the power and awesomeness of God. Jesus said many will come in his name. That we should test the spirits to know they are true. This would be overwhelmingly obvious for those that have the spirit inside of them as it (God) would be the interpreter of any spiritual experience. So for Joseph Smith to say that he saw Jesus, and God face to face. Without his face glowing brighter than anyone could tolerate without a veil over his head, and coming away with the understanding that the Church (The body of Christ) had completely failed enough for God to remove the keys from this earth. I would submit to you that Joseph was either lying for some nefarious purpose. Or he was involved in a Huge “Man in the Middle attack” in which the personages of God and Jesus were nothing but an evil masquerade causing a huge amount of people to believe that only through works and not Faith that someone could somehow be able to become a God. Seems more like the talk of Satan to eve at the tree in Genesis.

    I mean no disrespect to your faith, your efforts or your knowledge. However as a Christian I would suggest you spend some time seeking God directly through prayer and study of his word. (The Bible) and ask honestly who you worship. Be that what your end goal is, celestial marriage and your own planet, Or the modern day prophet that filters what you supposedly hear from God. Or the one true God/Son/Holy Spirit. Exodus 20:3. While I know you don’t know me from Adam, I would hope the fact that I claim to be a Christian hold enough weight for you to reevaluate your beliefs,

  • thehornguy

    What are “spiritual senses”?

  • Jenn

    Wow. I’m crying …. This is me. I get every word. As bad as it hurts, I get it. So many don’t get it. So many want to go against what you say. Say they have a reason for what you saying. Just look & see between the words. God is speaking. The Holy Spirit is near.

  • Anthony Tietjen

    Very interesting point of view. I also found the following article enlightening:

  • almark

    If our hearts aren’t open to Jesus, we won’t feel anything, remember that. Our hearts MUST be open to receive him, it’s that simple, then we will feel his Holy Spirit wanting to enter, but many do not open the door to the Lord, and wonder why they fall away so easily. Our lives must reflect his, as it says The Lord jealously longs for his spirit that is in us” Remember what said about the wineskins? Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”. Living in a life of sin doesn’t allow him inside of us, it just pushes him aside.

  • Jake Evans