Monday, April 12, 2010

Gospel Principles: The Holy Ghost

Sunday April 11, 2010
"Chapter 7: The Holy Ghost,” Gospel Principles, (2009), 31-33

Goal of the Lesson
To learn of the mission of the Holy Ghost and how He works in our lives.

1. The Holy Ghost Came to Adam and Eve
2. Attributes of the Holy Ghost
3. The Mission of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost Came to Adam and Eve
Why did Adam and Eve need the guidance of the Holy Ghost?
• They would need to be led and guided in their life.
• Their children would need to be led and guided.

How is our need for guidance from the Holy Ghost similar to that of Adam and Eve?
• No Father would send His children off to a distant, dangerous land for a lifetime of testing where Lucifer was known to roam free without first providing them with a personal power of protection. He would also supply them with means to communicate with Him from Father to child and from child to Father. Every child of our Father sent to earth is provided with the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Christ. We are, none of us, left here alone without hope of guidance and redemption. (Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 43–46)
     o What is difference between Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost?

• Throughout the ages, many have obtained guidance helpful to resolve challenges in their lives by following the example of respected individuals who resolved similar problems. Today, world conditions change so rapidly that such a course of action is often not available to us. Personally, I rejoice in that reality because it creates a condition where we, of necessity, are more dependent upon the Spirit to guide us through the vicissitudes of life. Therefore, we are led to seek personal inspiration in life’s important decisions. (Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 6–9)

Attributes of the Holy Ghost
How does the Holy Ghost differ from the Father and the Son?
• His is a spirit (he has no body)
• He has a unique mission as a member of the Godhead

Why is that difference important to us?
• From the book, “the Holy Ghost is the revealer and testifier of all truth.”
• From the book, “the Holy Ghost is our Heavenly Father’s messenger and is a special gift to us.”
• Joseph Smith said, “There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. [See Acts 10:1–48.] (“Chapter 7: Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),88–100)

The Mission of the Holy Ghost
What are some of the truths that the Holy Ghost reveals to us?
• He bears witness of Jesus Christ in all ages (D&C 20:25-27)
• He reveals to us that we are children of God and that we can become like Him (Romans 8:16-17)
• He reveals the truth of all things to us (Moroni 10:5)

The Holy Ghost bears a special witness in a way that we cannot deny it.

From the book: “When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into to soul and are more difficult to erase.” (p. 33 emphasis added)

Commentary: I've never heard this quote before, and when I read it, I was a bit taken back.  So powerful (and important) is the Holy Ghost, that even a visit from Jesus Christ is not as powerful as impressions from the Holy Ghost.  Do we really understand how powerful a gift we have?  What are we doing to use that precious gift?  Jesus understood how powerful the Holy Ghost is as well. Read 3 Nephi 19:9-22.

“Now, if you have the Holy Ghost with you—and every one ought to have—I can say unto you that there is no greater gift, there is no greater blessing, there is no greater testimony given to any man on earth. You may have the administration of angels; you may see many miracles; you may see many wonders in the earth; but I claim that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man. It is by this power that we have performed that which we have. It is this that sustains us through all the persecutions, trials and tribulations that come upon us.” (“Chapter 5: The Holy Ghost and Personal Revelation,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 46)

From the book, “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we should make ourselves worthy to receive this special messenger and witness of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

“You can know of things you need to know. Pray that you will learn to receive that inspiration and remain worthy to receive it. Keep that channel – your mind – clean and free from the clutter of the world.” (Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 43–46)

Share some times the Holy Ghost has helped you grow in your testimony.

Read of a personal experience I had after praying about the Book of Mormon.  The Holy Ghost bore a powerful witness to me as I prayed.
Invite others to share times the Holy Ghost has helped them.

Bear testimony of the singular mission of the Holy Ghost and how we have the most important gift anyone could have.