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The Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost

The talk I gave at a baptism last night.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is often underappreciated. Once we come to understand why his constant companionship is a gift, we value it more and do whatever we can to be worthy of keeping his presence in our lives.

Elder Bednar said, “Everything the Savior’s gospel teaches us to do and become is intended to bless us with the companionship of the Holy Ghost" (Increase in Learning, p. 49).

Why? Elder Gerald N. Lund stated, “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?", Apr. 1981).

With the perspective of having a member of the Godheadone who counsels with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christas a constant presence in our lives, it's easier to see how he is a gift and brings so many blessings to us through the many roles he plays.

He gives us guidance straight from the One who knows what we need and what the plan for each of us is. The Holy Ghost is a reliable source of truth and will never lead us astray. 

He testifies of gospel truths, leading to testimony and ultimately conversion. He also relays answers from heaven when we pray and ask for help.

He gives us warnings of physical and spiritual danger. Protection from sin is reason enough for us to desire and appreciate the gift of the Holy Ghost (Elder Eyring, “The Holy Ghost As Your Companion,” Oct. 2015 general conference).

Through him, we have continuous access to immediate comfort and peace. We can feel God's love through His Spirit.

The Holy Ghost gives us promptings of how we can help others. His companionship not only blesses us, but also allows us to bless others.

One of his most important roles that is often overlooked is sanctification. Baptism washes away our sins, and the sacrament enables us to continue to be cleansed from sin, but only through the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar explained this relationship in his talk last conference (Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins,” Apr. 2016):
Sometimes Latter-day Saints express the wish that they could be baptized again—and thereby become as clean and worthy as the day on which they received their first saving gospel ordinance. May I respectfully suggest that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son do not intend for us to experience such a feeling of spiritual renewal, refreshment, and restoration just once in our lives. . . .
As members of the Lord’s restored Church, we are blessed both by our initial cleansing from sin associated with baptism and by the potential for an ongoing cleansing from sin made possible through the companionship and power of the Holy Ghost—even the third member of the Godhead. . . . 
The act of partaking of the sacrament, in and of itself, does not remit sins. But as we prepare conscientiously and participate in this holy ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the promise is that we may always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us. And by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can always retain a remission of our sins.
Last of all, the Holy Ghost is a like a stamp of approval. He approves of the covenants we make in this life to make them valid in the next. He also gives us a way to measure our discipleship. If we feel his companionship constantly, then we know we are on the right track and are worthy of his presence. If we don't feel him, then we know we need to make changes to invite him back into our lives.

With these blessings in mind, it's easy to see how he is the greatest gift we can receive on earth, because he leads us to the greatest gift of all: eternal life (D&C 14:7).

Elder Clark confirmed this beautifully (“Eyes to See and Ears to Hear,” Oct. 2015 general conference):
Brothers and sisters, I know that if we will do these things, the Holy Ghost will come! We will grow spiritually and gain experience with the Holy Ghost, and He will be our companion. If we will look to Christ and open our eyes and our ears, the Holy Ghost will bless us to see the Lord Jesus Christ working in our lives, strengthening our faith in Him with assurance and evidence. We increasingly will see all of our brothers and sisters the way God sees them, with love and compassion. We will hear the Savior’s voice in the scriptures, in the whisperings of the Spirit, and in the words of the living prophets. We will see the power of God resting upon His prophet and all the leaders of His true and living Church, and we will know with a surety that this is God’s holy work. We will see and understand ourselves and the world around us the way the Savior does. We will come to have what the Apostle Paul called “the mind of Christ.” We will have eyes to see and ears to hear, and we will build the kingdom of God. 
Life may get hard, confusing, painful, and discouraging. I bear you my witness that through the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ will cut through the confusion, the pain, and the darkness. Whether it comes in a remarkable burst or in a gentle flow, that glorious spiritual power will infuse healing love and comfort into the repentant, wounded soul; dispel darkness with the light of truth; and cast out discouragement with hope in Christ. We will see these blessings come, and we will know by the witness of the Spirit that it is the Lord Jesus Christ working in our lives. Our burdens truly will be “swallowed up in the joy of [our Redeemer].”
 Challenge: Strive to always have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Comments

DAD said…
fabulous well thought out talk - love you

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