the gift of the Holy Ghost

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.

Part Four and the last of this series, I’ve chosen to post four thoughtful comments. I’m grateful to each of  you for your contribution to this important topic. Thank you.

Readers, any additional comments or questions?

“Hi Lily,
I was thinking that maybe you should ask your friend, with respect, how he knows that the Saviour is in his life ? Or does he? After all he cannot see or touch Him.  Surely he must FEEL that presence.

Also D&C 9:8-9. Gives some clarification on how we know if the solution we have arrived at to solve a problem is correct. We know in our heart and mind.” Marilyn B

“Hi Lily,
If you can’t rely on your feelings, then what can you rely on? It seems like such a depressing way to go through life.

I guess my response in its simplest form would be that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to testify of truth. The feelings I have when the Holy Spirit is communicating with me is different than when I just feel good. Joseph Smith once said, “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 151.)  I’ve felt that pure intelligence, and there is no mistaking the feeling is from God.” Graham

“I can understand the idea that depending 100% on feelings can lead to erroneous judgement. Some people are more emotional than others, people might not be emotionally stable, and it can be easy to misinterpret the feelings we have and what they mean… but they aren’t unimportant I think.

For me, when after facts have been examined, scriptures have been referenced, and study has been made, there can still be conflicting ideas. Your feelings can help to confirm something to be true. As in prayer, we puzzle out our problems first and make a decision then take it to the Lord in prayer. We don’t go in blind. Logic + Facts + Feelings = Truth” Krit

“Lily,

All true religion is a feeling. (Oscar McConkie.)

Yes, we study the Gospel intensely for true doctrine, but many times our concerns will be answered in the scriptures and through the written word. On occasion, the answers are not clear or clearly understood; therefore, we establish our best answer and then seek the Lord’s confirmation because all of us, for our stewardship, warrant revelation through the Spirit.

Numbers 11:29… “….Would God that all the Lords’ people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them.”

We believe that all of God’s children are entitled to that Spirit and revelation. No loving parent would ever send their children away without the opportunity to communicate and receive information from them. We need confirmation often from our loving Father in Heaven, and we can get that through the Holy Ghost.

D&C 121:33 “…As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri River in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.”

Joseph Smith was asked by the President of the United States, President Van Buren, “…what is the one difference between your church and any church on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith said (paraphrased), “The gift of the Holy Ghost.”

We are directed to D&C 9:7-9.
Here Oliver Cowdery was trying to translate the reformed Egyptian and he wasn’t able to do it. He became frustrated because he could not translate the language. Then he was admonished as follows:

7. Behold you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it be right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel it is right.
9. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feeling, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given to you from me.

When we study any question intensely, we make our own decision and then seek confirmation through the Holy Spirit. We study the scriptures, or the latest research, for the truth’s sake. Our Christian friends have studied the Bible intensely …for hundreds of years… and have developed conflicting dogma because they do not believe in revelation and some do not believe in the Holy Ghost. Thus, we have thousands of Christian churches.

The Prophets through the ages have always sought answers to their questions through revelation and through the Holy Spirit. It has always been this way in Christ’s Church.

Oh, that all people ..God’s children…were like the prophets…seeking truth through the Holy Spirit.” K.C. & Marilyn