“Did Not Our Heart Burn within Us?” Luke 24:32 and the Mormon Testimony
When the two disciples on the road to Emmaus realized the man with whom they had been speaking was Jesus risen from the dead, they made the following comment: Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32 KJV).
Mormons commonly cite this verse to support their claim that the way to know if something is true (such as the Book of Mormon) is to pray earnestly to receive a testimony from the Holy Spirit. In this paper, Rob Bowman examines Luke 24:32 in context and shows this is simply not what the verse is teaching.
In fact, the two disciples were in an unbelieving frame of mind, having abandoned hope in Jesus, and were not at all seeking a spiritual experience or witness to anything. The “burning” in their heart was an emotional reaction to their rather unique situation: they were hearing Jesus speak to them, and something inside them felt stirred by him, but they did not yet recognize him. What convinced them that Jesus had risen from the dead was that God finally allowed them to recognize Jesus—someone they had already known personally. Their “testimony” was to what they had seen with their own eyes, that Jesus had risen from the dead. They also knew that Jesus had fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the Messiah. They knew this, not because they had a burning feeling in their hearts, but because they heard it from the risen Jesus himself.
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