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The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Talk I gave this morning at our friends' baptism.


Now that you have been baptized, you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. At your reception last night, you received many wedding gifts. But what good are they if you do not open them and use them? So it is with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar said, “These four words—‘Receive the Holy Ghost’—are not a passive pronouncement . . . . The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken” (Increase in Learning, 47). This is confirmed in D&C 88:33: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?” 

How, then, do we receive the Holy Ghost? Elder Bednar revealed, “Everything the Savior’s gospel teaches us to do and become is intended to bless us with the companionship of the Holy Ghost. . . . Praying, studying, gathering, worshipping, serving, and obeying are not isolated and independent items on a lengthy gospel checklist of things to do. Rather, each of these righteous practices is an important element in an overarching spiritual quest to fulfill the mandate to receive the Holy Ghost” (49–50). 

Why is receiving the Holy Ghost called a gift? It is a gift because the Spirit is a teacher and testifier of truth. Any answers you seek or guidance you need, the Holy Ghost will reveal to you. True to the Faith states, “His communication to your spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses” (82). 

It is a gift because teaching with the power of the Holy Ghost, “[has] more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else” (Alma 31:5). You can use the power of the Holy Ghost to expound the scriptures and confound your enemies. He will tell you what you need to say (D&C 24:5–6, 100:6).

It is a gift because the Holy Ghost can comfort you when troubled and bring peace and hope amid sorrow (D&C 39:6). It is a gift because He gives you other spiritual gifts (D&C 46:11).

It is a gift because He sanctifies you when you repent and are baptized—that is, He purifies you, makes you holy, sets you apart, and approves of you (3 Nephi 27:20, Moroni 6:4, m-w.com: “sanctify”). And any ordinance the Holy Ghost approves of—such as your baptism and your future temple marriage—is sealed for eternity (D&C 132:7). 

It is a gift because, as Gerald N. Lund shared, “When one is given the gift . . . of the Holy Ghost, he has overcome spiritual death to a degree, for he has come into the presence of one member of the Godhead” (Ensign, “Salvation: By Grace or by Works?”). 

For all these reasons, Joseph Smith said that the gift of the Holy Ghost is what sets us apart from other religions (Increase in Learning, 45). 

This gift we should desire more than anything else (3 Nephi 19:9). Elder Bednar reminded us, “The Spirit can be with us more than it is not with us. . . . Sometimes as Latter-day Saints we talk and act as though recognizing the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives is the rare or exceptional event. We should remember, however, that the covenant promise is that we may always have His Spirit to be with us” (41). 

We can know when He is with us because “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance ” (Galatians 5:22–23) and “the Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love” (Moroni 8:26). We know that perfect love to be charity, which “suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth” (Moroni 7:45–46).

It is crucial for your marriage to always have the Spirit with you and in your home. If you do not feel Him there, then you need to evaluate your thoughts and behaviors to discern what is driving the Spirit away. Moroni counseled us to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7:48), which will endure by continuing to pray diligently (Moroni 8:26). 

By receiving and keeping the Holy Ghost in your lives, you and your marriage will be greatly blessed, day by day and for eternity. 

Challenge: Receive the Holy Ghost constantly in your life.

Comments

DAD said…
great talk from as great lady
Anonymous said…
You did an excellent job on the talk.
Without the Holy Ghost in our lives, we would be lost.
Constance

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