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?

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”,
www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

Last weekend, at a friend’s funeral our stake president warmly and sincerely addressed her family promising them that whenever they faced struggles and endured difficult times, their beautiful wife and mother would be nearby.

“Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us”  E. T. Benson

And then in our Sunday lesson (The Restoration of the Priesthood) we discussed the authority and blessings that have been restored with the Aaronic Priesthood, one of which is ‘the keys of the ministering of angels’.

So, I’ve pondered some this week about the role of angels in our lives.

Here are a few quotes that may give you some insight about these special beings who minister to those on the earth.

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ” 2 Nephi 32:3

“When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants.

The ancient prophets who died were those who came to visit their fellow creatures upon the earth. They came to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; it was such beings—holy beings if you please—who waited upon the Savior and administered to him on the Mount. The angel that visited John, when an exile, and unfolded to his vision future events in the history of man upon the earth, was one who had been here, who had toiled and suffered in common with the people of God.

… In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.” Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970, pp. 435–36.)

“That means, as I interpret it, that if you live worthy of the priesthood, you have the right to receive and enjoy the very power of heavenly beings to guide you, to protect you, to bless you”. Gordon B. Hinckley

President Brigham Young taught that the postmortal spirit world is on the earth, around us. (Teachings: Brigham Young [1997], 279).”

The ministering of angels, available to all church members, can occur through personal appearances and can also be unseen. “Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind…Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen”. Dallin H. Oaks

“If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates” (Teachings: Joseph Smith [1977], 226).

“And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.” Moroni 7:35-37

Aren’t you deeply grateful that Heavenly Father has provided so much for our protection, guidance, comfort and to bless us with confidence in His tender mercies as we travel this mortal plane?! I am! I believe very  harsh times are coming soon and we will need all the help we can get.

What do you believe?

 

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.