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Dove, sign of

A prearranged means by which John the Baptist would recognize the Messiah at Jesus’ baptism (John 1:32–34). “The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. … The sign of a dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence” (Joseph Smith, HC 5:261). See 1 Ne. 11:27; 2 Ne. 31:8; D&C 93:15; Abr., fac. 2, fig. 7. Though we usually associate the sign of the dove with John the Baptist, from the latter reference we learn that it was manifested to Abraham also. We suppose that it has been similarly made known to other prophets on occasion since the time of Adam.