Mormon Lectionary Project: The Day of Pentecost—Whitsunday



Mormon Lectionary Project
The Day of Pentecost—Whitsunday

Collect: Thanks be to thy name, O Lord God of Israel, who keepest covenant and showest mercy unto thy servants in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom, lending us grace to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, even tongues to sing thy praise and to proclaim thy lovingkindness in all the Earth: Hallelujah to the Father! Hallelujah to the Son! Hallelujah to the Holy Spirit! Amen.

Readings: First Reading: Acts 2:1–21; Psalm: Psalm 104:25–35, 37Epistle: 1 Cor 12:3b–13Gospel: John 20:19–23; Small Plates: 1 Ne. 31:11–13; Mormon’s Plates: Helaman 5:20–50Jean_II_Restout_-_Pentecôte; Later Revelations: D&C 109:34–37.

Anciently the children of Israel celebrated the time when God delivered the law to Moses upon Mt. Sinai during The Feast of Weeks. It was upon such an occasion, falling fifty days after the celebration of Passover, that the disciples of the Lord were gathered at Jerusalem following His miraculous post-mortal appearances and ascension into Heaven. Now the kingdom was committed to their keeping, and He had promised them the gift of the Holy Ghost as a comforter or advocate (Greek: paráklētos). On this occasion, an outpouring of the Spirit occurred and was attested by signs both external (a sound as the rushing of a mighty wind), and internal (the speaking in tongues) to the disciples. It is, thus, in the gift of the Holy Ghost that we recognize God as fully transcendent (beyond us) and immanent (within us).

This gift is present among the Saints in our day also. Those who have experienced the quiet power of the Holy Ghost are never the same again. They know that they have been given a gift that transforms the inner person and calls them then to transform the world beyond.  Nephi testified that the Holy Ghost was the power by which Angels spoke the words of Christ, and he commended to us the quest to do likewise. May the word of God find lively and willing witnesses in us, through the exercise of His matchless Gift.

Hymn: The Spirit of God

According to this source, W. W. Phelps wrote this hymn after a pentecostal experience he had in company with the school of the prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. Later, at the dedication of the Kirtland temple, all six verses of the hymn, as printed at the end of Church’s first hymnal, were sung. Note that two of the verses do not appear in the current LDS Hymnbook.

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning;
The latter day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning;
The angels are coming to visit the earth.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout with the armies of heaven:
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever: amen and amen!
The Lord is extending the saints’ understanding—
Restoring their judges and all as at first;
The knowledge and power of God are expanding
The vail o’er the earth is beginning to burst.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
We call in our solemn assemblies, in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions, and blessings, and glories of God.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
We’ll wash and be wash’d, and with oil anointed
Withal not omitting the washing of feet:
For he that receiveth his PENNY appointed,
Must surely be clean at the harvest of wheat.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
Old Israel that fled from the world for his freedom,
Must come with the cloud and the pillar, amain:
A Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua lead him,
And feed him on manna from heaven again.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire;
And Ephraim be crown’d with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariots of fire!
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.


  1. Whitsunday, the Day of Pentecost, has long been important to me, in some ways even more important than that much more significant Christian holiday, Easter. Because it is in association with Whitsunday that we who sojourn as pilgrims and strangers here on earth are called to remember–that I remember–those gifts by which the promises of Easter are made real for us, for this time. We look forward to better gifts, to the fullness of forgiveness and the atonement, the fullness of fullness, as it were. That’s not what we get in this life–at least, many of us don’t. But we do, nonetheless, receive comfort, reminders, and gifts. We have to hold to them, since they are our means to, as you say, “transform the inner person and …transform the world beyond.” Thank you for this on this Sabbath evening, Morgan.

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  3. I happened to be in London today, and just attended Mattins at St. Paul’s. The sermon spoke about the messiness of life, and how the Holy Spirit can sometimes surprise, confront, or found us. It does this both to individuals and to the ecclesia, the lector said. This day, we commemorate the occasion on which the Holy Spirit “set the church on fire,” he said.

  4. Correction for the above: The Holy Spirit can surprise, confront, and confound us.

  5. This really is a great reflection on Pentecost — thank you so much for putting it together. It provided an inspirational uplift when I saw it yesterday. Reading that you were able to celebrate it in St Paul’s Cathedral made me happy as well. That is one of the most inspiring buildings in the world (for me).

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