Part 1 of the talk I gave in stake conference on Saturday, October 17. As with my previous talk, I used an outline, so this isn't word for word.
How often do we feel on fire in enthusiasm for the gospel and commitment to keep the commandments after general conference, EFY, a temple trip, or any other spiritual experience, and then a short time later realize it's gone? President Uchtdorf said in the First Presidency message of the October Ensign, “As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have committed not only to begin the race but also to finish it—and finish it with our torch still burning brightly.”
We can keep our torch burning by inviting the Spirit into our daily lives. I don't think we realize the significance of the gift of the Holy Ghost. If someone asked you how our religion is different from others, you could probably name off a whole list of things. Joseph Smith said that we differ from other religions “in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We [consider] that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Increase in Learning, p. 45, emphasis mine).
Elder Bednar noted, “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” (Increase in Learning, p. 41).
Gerald N. Lund revealed, “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?”). The Holy Ghost is one in mind, purpose, and work with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. How awesome that we get to have the constant companionship of a member of the Godhead!
Why is it necessary that we are given the amazing gift of the Holy Ghost? He tells us everything we need to do, gospel related or not (2 Nephi 32:5). Elder Lawrence said in general conference that the Holy Ghost tells us our strengths and weaknesses. "The Holy Ghost really does give customized counsel. He is a completely honest companion and will tell us things that no one else knows or has the courage to say. . . . The Spirit works with us at our own speed.”
President Eyring stated another reason in conference: “The companionship of the Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive and temptation less compelling. That alone should be enough to make us determined to qualify for the Spirit to be with us always. . . . [W]e need a constant influence of the Spirit of Truth to spare us moments of doubt. . . . Only through the Holy Ghost can we see people and events as God sees them” (emphasis mine). This is confirmed in Moroni 10:5: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Note that it says “all things,” not just gospel truths, but any truth we seek to discern or know.
When we have a true understanding of the significant role the Holy Ghost plays in our lives, we naturally will desire to invite Him into our hearts and homes.