“Said the Prophet Joseph Smith after one of the most revelatory meetings in his life, “There was nothing made known to these men [the Twelve] but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive” (Teachings, p. 237). This is the religion of every man. Not “Take my word for my experience,” but “Duplicate it in your own life.” How far do I go with this? All the way.
Let me then come to a close. I have hiked, with my wife and at night, all the way from the base of what is known as Mt. Sinai to the top. (Incidentally, with a very sore toe. Climbing hurts, and the more you climb, sometimes the more it hurts.) We went up to where the air is thinner and the veil thinner. There isn’t time to describe the feeling, but we were able to recollect that Moses, there, had face-to-face communion with God. He came back down and said to the children of Israel, in the name of the God whose name he knew, “Now, you are invited to go back up with me.”
And they said, “Thank you. No. That’s for prophets. That’s for people who are a bit fanatical. We will stay here and you go up, Moses.”
In his absence they built an idol. The power of religious impulses goes in many directions. They built an idol—a thing—and were denied the privileges of Moses (D&C 84:23–25). That is what our generation is now doing again. We are staying down below and then claiming superiority for our judgment in doing so.” Truman G. Madsen, On How We Know, BYU Devotional Address, Sept. 20, 1994