Holy Spirit

Years ago, ‘Dora’ acquired a cute little house. At the end of our journey, always it was sweet joy to be greeted with her warm and exuberant smile. Always, supper’s tantalizing aroma greeted us in her bright kitchen as we embraced, happy to be together.

Everything about Dora’s home was welcoming and cozy, except for one slight flaw. The most annoying bathroom tap ever!tap trickle

Fully open, it allotted a quarter of a cup of water. Maybe even a third of a cup. Following that allowance, it then proceeded to trickle a ridiculously thin stream of water which quickly diminished to no water at all. By then, I would remember its idiosyncrasy and would open and shut the tap until I was able to coax a few more drops to rinse my soaped up hands.

Dora was quite fine, contentedly enduring this one malfunction, and happy in her home.  She lived like this for quite a while.

One day, feeling impatient and certainly ungraciously, I blurted, “I don’t know how you put up with that tap!”

Afterwards, Dora called for a plumber. The first thing that professional did when he got there was to peer underneath the sink into the cupboard and turn on a hidden “shut off valve”.  And Voila!

Eighty dollars later Dora shared this experience with embarrassment because of the simplicity of the solution and her chagrin at the high cost of a 15 second solution.

At last! Warm and cleansing, water conveniently flows– even gushes in her cozy little home.

Dora’s experience is very similar to those folks who read and study their scriptures, attend church services regularly and live faithful lives as best they can. Day after day, they do their best to love and serve God and they are content.

“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” Romans 5:5

Yet they do not have any idea that they are missing so much more that is available. How much more blessings could be flowing into their lives with the gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost!

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”        Titus 3:5

Too, this reminds me of some of our own brethren, who have been baptized and confirmed by those in authority. They may not have received or recognized that delightsome Personage in their lives, either because they have become lukewarm in their affections and dedications (prayer, reading scriptures daily and obeying the commandments) or do not seek His Presence in their lives. 

“The Holy Ghost is manifested to men on the earth both as the power of the Holy Ghost and as the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The power can come upon one before baptism, and is the convincing witness that the gospel is true. It gives one a testimony of Jesus Christ and of His work and the work of His servants upon the earth.

The gift can come only after proper and authorized baptism, and is conferred by the laying on of hands as in Acts 8:12-25.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have, whenever one is worthy, the companionship of the Holy Ghost. More powerful than that which is available before baptism it acts as a cleansing agent to purify a person and sanctify him from all sin. Thus it is often spoken of as ‘fire’ (Matthew 3:11)” Bible Dictionary

Just like the luxurious pleasure of washing in warm running water, the gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives adds a tremendous measure of the warmth of God’s love and cleansing power. Deeply grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and His blessings in my life, I desire the same for you.

Truth is truth. It is absolute. I LOVE that about truth. Even if you do not agree with me whenever I express a truth, it doesn’t matter! If it is truth I cannot change it.

We cannot change TRUTH to make it become what we might like it to be. We can attempt to bend, twist and make it convenient or more comfortable for our lifestyle but this still does not make it absolute truth.

TruthIt’s like black and white. Either it is truth or it’s not. I wouldn’t like just a little bit of truth. Been there. Done that. Just a little bit of truth is way too frustrating. I feel stuck. Or confused, I lose sight of the right path.

I’d like it all. Well, as much as I can humanly contain, please!

 

“Opinion? Of course, there is a difference of opinion; but again, opinion cannot change laws or absolute truths. Opinions will never make the earth to be flat, the sun to dim its light, God to die, or the Savior to cease being the Son of God.” Spencer W. Kimball

Truths are discovered. An unschooled four year old may not know that 2 +2 = 4. But it is true, even while he has not yet discovered it.

There was a time when people believed the earth to be flat. Still, this did not change the truth of its spherical shape. Before it was discovered to be so, opinions likely differed, but did not change this solid truth.

Spiritual truths, invisible to our mortal eyes are that much more absolute. Jesus Christ has said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). That has got to be an absolute truth.

Unchanging. Whole. Perfect.

We are promised that the Holy Ghost- He being Truth will guide us into all truth. On this temporal plane is it possible to know completely absolute truths?

“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13

Beginning with the tiniest grain of faith and believing what Jesus Christ has said, is a great start to seeking His guidance. Being led along we are able to increase our own knowledge of the truth little by little. Suddenly one day we shall see plainly that glorious absolute and perfect Truth.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).

Once Heavenly Father had occasion to shower me with His love and comfort, I went from believing that He is wholly love, to experiencing His all encompassing love filling and overflowing my heart and being until I could not contain it all.

The more times this happened, the more I have been able to learn from, imitate His love and feel a similar warmth, compassion and kindness for others. I am learning to become more like Him according to love.

“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 (NASB)

Like God’s love, truth works in my life in a similar way.  My first testimony of the true gospel proved to me that the Book of Mormon is true. However, I did not know the absolute complete truth of the restored gospel-yet. It was not fully revealed to me. If it would have been, I suppose my need for faith would have vanished and my progression would have been halted.

“The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the Origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration. For success, two ingredients are essential: first, unwavering faith in the Source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep God’s commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him.”                                Richard G. Scott

Instead, little by little I sought to know and understand more and I learned to ask of the Lord. “The Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). He reveals God’s truth when we seek it. I believed that He would reveal His truths, and believed and hoped that He would communicate with me. I was willing to persevere, seeking Him humbly and (sometimes) patiently.

And I had many questions. “Were we truly spiritual beings in the presence of our Heavenly Father before coming to this earth?” “Which is the only true church accepted by Jesus Christ?” “Was this church organized through revelation by the Savior?”

“Was Joseph Smith a true prophet?” “Is Thomas S. Monson the prophet called by the Lord today?” “Is there life after death?”

Some truths were confirmed even without my asking.

 “He has given the key. You may know. You need not be in doubt. Follow the prescribed procedures, and you may have an absolute knowledge that these things are absolute truths.

The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do. Revelation is the key.

God will make it known to you once you have capitulated and have become humble and receptive.

Having dropped all pride of your mental stature, having acknowledged before God your confusion, having subjected your egotism, and having surrendered yourself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to begin to learn. With preconceived religious notions stubbornly held, one is not teachable.

The Lord has promised repeatedly that he will give you a knowledge of spiritual things when you have placed yourself in a proper frame of mind.

He has counseled us to seek, ask, and search diligently. These innumerable promises are epitomized by Moroni in the following: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)

What a promise! How extravagant! How wonderful!”  Spencer W. Kimball

I love the clarity of truth. I love the feeling of expansion in my heart, in my mind and soul. I thrill that our hearts and minds are created to recognize truth.

If there was no such thing as truth, how could there be a right and a wrong?

I’m grateful for our loving Father in heaven who promises to reveal His truths and faithfully does so in remarkable ways. I know that once a person knows absolutely the truths of the gospel, even upon threat of bodily harm or death, it will not be denied. That perfect assurance is what I love about Truth.

Such a glorious and amazing weekend! We’ve been well fed, satisfied and grateful for our witness of the tremendous truths of the gospel and those lessons intended for our ears, at the 182nd Semi-annual General Conference! If you would like to know about the General Conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click here.

Most of us received a spiritual feast, but not all– I’ve learned that our friends ‘down under’ wait another week yet.  Wow, you have patience!

Originally, I had planned to post my favorite quotes from each of the speakers. As I prepared my notes, I realized that you would not likely desire a tome of thousands of words, no matter how rich their meaning.

Here’s what I’m choosing instead. I’ll give you my overall basic view. Then, I’ve focused on one speaker for the purposes of my blog because his complete talk was about the Holy Ghost-a lot of important information! I’m reining in my enthusiasm-hard- to not give you the whole of His talk either! If you’d like to listen to it, click here.

For several months I have pondered-often wondered -why it is that the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today, are most sweet, loving and gentle in their approach, in particular when they are addressing the church or/and the world.

Not that I dislike this, however, in most of our scriptures, the language and speeches of the prophets and even of Jesus Christ can be forthright, blunt and certainly to the point- No mincing of words.

I do appreciate that perhaps, because they are this way, the Spirit is magnified and therefore we each can feel the messages the Lord intends for us.

This time, I felt a change- a definite seriousness, firmness and intensity in our leaders that I have rarely noted. (Let’s not include Elder Holland here, okay!) Throughout each session, I felt that the messages strongly impressed a sense of urgency-a feeling that we are running out of time and we must get our act together. Study and know our scriptures, communicate with and obey the Lord, and do whatever we must do before it’s too late.

Was it just me, or did this conference feel different to you than those in recent years?

We’ve been taught and counselled to ask questions of Heavenly Father in preparation for conference. He, knowing our heart’s desire responds during the tutelage of His servants. As has happened in the past, a couple of the talks felt directed to me, so powerfully did I feel the influence of the Spirit. Grateful, and with extra attention I intend to return to those for my own benefit.

Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy’s talk is perfectly suited to a post on this blog. If you get an opportunity you’ll no doubt enjoy hearing it again and again.

  • …deep sense of gratitude for this unspeakable gift from God-the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • The Holy Ghost … knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts.
  • The Holy Ghost wants us to be happy.
  • Since He knows the challenge we will face, he can guide us and teach us all things we must do to return and live with our Heavenly Father once again.
  • He communicates to our spirits true feelings and impressions.
  • He has the unique responsibility of being an agent through which revelation is received.
  • In scripture, the Holy Ghost is often referred to as the “Holy Spirit”, “the Spirit of the Lord”, “the Holy Spirit of promise”, or simply “the Spirit”.
  • The primary purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of God the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ, and to teach us the truth of all things. A sure witness from the Holy Ghost carries far more certainty than a witness from any other source.
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than that truth can be imparted by personal contact, even with heavenly beings.
  • The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter. During times of trouble or despair, or simply when we need to know that God is near, the Holy Ghost can lift our spirits, give us hope and teach us the peaceable things of the kingdom, helping us feel the peace of God which passes all understanding.
  • The Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator-enlightens our minds and quickens our understanding.
  • We all have experiences with the Holy Ghost even though we may not always recognize them. As inspired thoughts come into our minds we know them to be true by the spiritual feelings that enter into our hearts.

“The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. While we speak of listening to the voice of the Spirit, one most often describes a spiritual prompting by saying ‘I had a feeling’. It is through these sacred feelings from the Holy Ghost that we come to know what God would have us do for this- is the Spirit of revelation.” Boyd K. Packer

  • Before baptism, all honest and sincere seekers of truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time, however the opportunity to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the fullness of all the associated blessings are available only to worthy baptised members who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands through those holding the priesthood authority of God.
  • Through the gift of the Holy Ghost we receive:
    •  added capacity and spiritual gifts
    •  increased revelation and protection
    •  steady guidance and direction
    •  the promised blessings of sanctification and exaltation in the celestial kingdom
  • All these blessings are given as a result of our personal desire to receive them and come as we align our lives with the will of God and seek His constant direction.
  • …the gift of the Holy Ghost is Heavenly Father’s precious and unspeakable gift to all who will come unto His Son, be baptised in His name and receive the Holy Ghost through confirmation in His church.

What was your favorite moment or quote at this General Conference? I truly would like to know.