gift of the Holy Ghost

Gift-Cube-HD-WallpaperSurprised at the still small voice as I donned my earrings, I pondered the significance of what I heard.

Some months before, I had been taught during energy healing classes that our jewelry should be removed in order for energies to flow freely. The thought crossed my mind and briefly I wondered whether wearing earrings would stifle His ‘energy’.

Instantly I heard, “Nothing will stop the Holy Spirit”.

In less than an hour I would be confirmed and given the opportunity to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, promised to all believers by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“…Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off” Acts 2:38-39

How little I understood the reality of the indwelling personage of the Holy Ghost at that time. I am a bit embarrassed even now to admit that I thought this divine gift and power freely bestowed on those willing to partake, as simple ‘energy’. (Helllloooo… ‘Energy’ doesn’t have a voice.)

I am continually in awe that this holiest of Beings condescends to be a companion and comforter to all those willing to receive Him by the laying on of hands by those with authority.

This brings me to another point.

Twice recently, I’ve had opportunity to share how we Latter Day Saints are given this priceless gift. It is amazing to me how many deeply devotional and faithful people follow some of Christ’s teachings very closely, yet completely gloss over other plain and simple truths. And for different reasons.

One person may never have noted or seriously considered what the scriptures promise, while another justifies its existence with a far out theological explanation, abandoning the privilege of the companionship of the Holy Ghost as pertinent only to the New Testament days.

I remember several times when I was a brand new Latter Day Saint I would attempt in my clumsy fashion to explain to friends or family that my search for the Holy Spirit was what brought me to this church.

And these sweet people often responded, “But I have the Holy Spirit.” That usually left me speechless because I knew they genuinely felt and believed this to be true in their lives.

I had had enough experiences of a spiritual nature in my past to know it to be just as true for them. How can one expound the glories of the Lord when one does not totally know what all is available?

Today I am much more confident in my knowledge of the differences. It is as I’d supposed from reading the New Testament and more precious to experience firsthand.

Honest seekers of the truth do feel the influence of the Holy Spirit leading them to Jesus Christ. Certainly, countless times as I read my Bible I felt His influence.

However. The fullness of the blessings given through the Holy Spirit are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Having this gift means having the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead. Receiving guidance, inspiration, comfort, or serving and blessing others through spiritual gifts are only some of the joys of this divine gift.

“When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women…Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:12, 17

jm_600_GIA.pd-P3.tiffHow grateful I am for plainly stated scriptures. And deeply appreciative for the restored truths of the gospel in these latter days.

The gift of the Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit is one of Heavenly Father’s greatest gifts to His children.

“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus…And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them…” Acts 19:2,5,6

This is how the gift of the Holy Ghost is given. By the laying on of hands by those with authority to do so. If you haven’t heard yet that this gift is truly available to you this day, you need to know.

Seek the most sacred gifts and peace, joy and happiness will overflow your heart more than you can imagine.

In what ways has the Holy Spirit helped you?

A church minister and friend that I admire for his gentleness, humility and Christian example, posts daily on Facebook- uplifting and encouraging words that serve to remind his readers of the countless ways Jesus Christ blesses our lives.

While I was away last week this was one of his posts.

“Last evening I said to the crowd that if this was my last sermon, and knew I would never preach another…this is what I would preach…then did so. So, what would you say? If God said you could say something that the whole world could hear and you had one shot at it…what would you say? Would love to hear it….”

Friend, what would your response be if you had one shot at it?

If I had only one shot at it, this is what I’d say.

I’d tell the world about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation-where we come from, why we are here and where we are going. People crave deep in their hearts to know these truths.

Out of His great love for His children He is desirous that all progress and rejoin Him as His heirs in exaltation. To make this possible there had to be an atoning sacrifice.

He willingly sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the atonement-to bear the weight of our sin and pain in exchange for an abundant life; to be blessed with the promise and hope of exaltation-to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father forever.

I’d tell how that Beloved Son-our Spirit Brother promised-and was willing to suffer and give up His precious life that ours might become immeasurably blessed, way beyond what this temporal life has to offer.

Christ loves you and me so much that He willingly walked the mortal path, was killed, buried and was raised three days later. Resurrected, triumphant and powerful He lives to save each and every soul willing to pledge obedience, to do His will and follow in His footsteps while there is yet time.

I’d be sure to mention that during His mortal ministry, Christ promised that He would build His church on the rock of revelation so that we wouldn’t have to travel alone.

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven…on this rock I will build my church”. (Matthew 16:16-18)

He promised that the gift and companionship of the Holy Spirit would be available to enable each of Heavenly Father’s children to know the truth, to receive guidance and personal revelation.

Jesus Christ lives. And He keeps His promise this day. He desires each of us to know Him intimately, to recognize and hear His voice and to follow His direction with our whole heart, mind and soul.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

I would share how that promised gift is priceless; His divine touch, His love, His kindness, His understanding, His comforting hand, His Spirit, His gentleness, His inspiration and direction. None else knows and fulfills the heart’s needs and desires so completely and perfectly.

Jesus Christ lives today, is exalted to the highest place and His name is above every name-

 “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Today, we may choose to not bend our knees in faith and humble adoration. However once the veil of forgetfulness is removed, we will remember that we were privileged to be present when He promised to give His life as the atoning sacrifice.

We will know that He endured His mortal ministry to the very end and arose triumphant. And as foretold, remember-every knee will bow in reverence and with inexpressible gratitude and praise for His faithfulness and infinite love-our Savior and Redeemer.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”   Hebrews 3:7,15 4:7

The beauty and wonder of the restored gospel is that by the Spirit of revelation we can know this truth for ourselves today.

Do you know with all your heart and soul that Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son, is Lord and Savior of us all?! He lives to lead His church in these latter days.

 

Every so often I’ll read a passage and suddenly my understanding is further enlightened. I wonder how I possibly could have missed it the other times I read that same scripture. Does this ever happen to you?

For many years it has been apparent to me that throughout the scriptures Heavenly Father communicates His love and desire for our peace, joy and well being. In return, He desires us to love Him with all our being. What does that truly look like? Great communication.

In this chapter of only 21 verses. words denoting communication are used a minimum of 32 times! Hear, hearken, look, heard, declare, spoken, tell, speak for example. There is a lot in 1 Nephi 20!

At the very start it is stated in the heading, “Compare Isaiah 48”. They are almost word for word. As I studied it further I found some differences, however the message is identical.

The fact that this passage is found twice in our Standard Works tells us that this message must be very important for God’s people to ‘get’.  He is addressing the converted.

I’ve listed most of those expressions and then I marked how often they are mentioned in each of the chapters for your convenience.

Expression

1 Nephi 20

Isaiah 48

Hearken

3

2

Hear

2

3

Thou hearest not

2

2

Ear not opened

1

1

Thou hearest

1

1

I showed them

5

3

Hath declared

3

2

Seen

1

1

Will not declare

3

3

Sing

1

1

Tell

1

1

Utter

1

1

Say

1

1

Thou knewest not   

2

2

I have spoken

4

1

Not spoken

1

1

 

A minimum of sixteen expressions of communication are mentioned by the Lord, some, several times within those 21 verses. We certainly get the picture of how important communication is seen from His point of view! I’ve not even included a few others like “mention”, “teacheth” and “leadeth”.

Forming this list I noticed a pattern of sorts->

  1.  7 times we are exhorted to receive God’s message. (hear, hearken, look)
  2. Our Lord clearly makes known His counsel 12 times in 1 Nephi, 6 times in Isaiah. (declares, show, spoken)
  3. We are commanded to share His message 7 times. (declare, tell, utter, sing, say)
  4. Our Lord admonishes those that do not share His message with others.  (Because we do not hear, know, or speak) 6 times this is mentioned.

God makes promises to those who do share the Lord’s messages->

  1. “The Lord hath loved him” (I believe this means that person will  feel/know the love of the Lord)
  2. “He will fulfill His word which He hath declared”
  3. “He shall make his way prosperous”
  4. “teacheth thee to profit”
  5. “leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go”

He gives 5 more promises in verses 18 & 19, if we listen to His commandments->

  1. “thy peace as a river”
  2. “thy righteousness as the waves of the sea”
  3. “thy seed as the sand”
  4. “offspring like the gravel”
  5. “name not cut off or destroyed”

I love the Lord’s thoughts regarding peace and righteousness-perhaps because I love water so.

And yet more promises to His redeemed people->

They:

  • Thirst not
  • Are led through the desert
  • Waters flow out of the rock for them (revelation)
  • Claves the rock and the waters gush out
  • The Lord does all this and greater also

I recognize a progression here very much similar to my own experience that began the day I received the gift of the Holy Ghost -from simply feeling filled, and led through experiences with revelation on to the promises of “the Lord does all this and greater also”.

I doubt you will dash off to your scriptures and study these chapters. 🙂  However, if you come across either and discover more morsels, I’d love to hear from you.

Do you understand these chapters differently?

Have you discovered anything else I’ve not mentioned?