Monday, December 19, 2016

Talk on the Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

Tyler I would like to thank you for extending to me this honor of speaking on the Holy Ghost, and I pray that the Spirit will be with me as I speak and with you as you listen that we may all be edified.

The crowning chapter of the Book of Mormon, is 3 Nephi 11 when the Savior of the world appeared to the Nephites in the flesh. An interesting fact, baptism is mentioned 19 times and Holy Ghost 8 times between 3 Nephi 11:21 and 12:2 [only 22 verses].

Let's go on a journey back in time, to right before the Savior appeared to the Nephites.

  • Think about it... The great destruction is over and the 3 days of darkness has just lifted. 
  • Where are you at? 
  • What do you smell? 
  • What do you see?
  • What do you feel?

You stand up and walk over to a great multitude that had gathered together, round about the temple, and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and are showing one another the great and marvelous change which had taken place... They are also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.

3 And... while you were all conversing one with another, you heard a voice, as if it came out of heaven. You don't understood the voice. It's not a harsh voice, or a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce you to the center, insomuch that it did cause you to quake; yea, it did pierce you to the very soul, and did cause your heart to burn.
  • This is the Holy Ghost bearing record that what you are hearing is true.
4 And... again you hear the voice, and understood it not. 5 And again the third time you hear the voice, and did open your ears to hear it; and your eyes were towards the sound thereof. You understand the voice which you hear; and it says unto you: 7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him. 
  • Imagine, you just heard the voice of Elohim even God the Eternal Father.
You see a Man descending out of heaven; and clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in your midst; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another. He then stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: 

10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. 11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

So the 1st thing Jesus did was to show that He was the son of God, even Jesus Christ whom all the prophets had prophesied would come. He did this verbally but He also desired for each and everyone of them to know for themselves. He said, "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world." 
  •      Can you imagine actually being there and feeling his hands, feet, and side for yourself. It would be amazing!

The 2nd thing Jesus did, was to give the priesthood unto Nephi and others, so that they could baptize the people after He had again ascended into Heaven. Of all the things He could have done or taught, he chose to establish and teach baptism.

The next thing Jesus did was to teach his doctrine, which again includes baptism.

 32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. 
 
 33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
 
 34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. 
 
 35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
 
That is a simple doctrine. The Father commandeth...
  • all men, everywhere, to repent
  • believe in me 
  • whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Verse 35 contains a powerful key. "whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost." If we believe or in other words, have faith in Christ, the Father will confirm our faith in the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I find it very interesting how the Lord teaches us the existence of something, by the existence of something else. We are taught that because we exist thus God exists. Another favorite of mine is 2 Nephi 33:10

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

Same concept with the Holy Ghost. When we feel the Holy Ghost, we know that it comes from God because of our faith in His son, even Jesus Christ. So, because the Holy Ghost is real, and we know it is real because we feel it and it is discernible, then without any doubt Christ and God are real. Looking at it another way, the Holy Ghost is the undeniable and authentic signature or seal of God and His Christ. By the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives, we then have the presence of or approval of God and Christ in our lives.

Therein lies the doctrine of Christ. We must repent, so we can be baptized, and after we are baptized with proper authority, we are then baptized with or are given the gift of the Holy Ghost which testifies of God and Christ. With that one gift, we can be led to all truth. The Holy Ghost will be our Liahona or guide. Through the approval of the Holy Ghost, we know of a certainty that we have the approval of God and his Christ, in that thing.

1 Corinthians 12:3 "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 

This poses a question, if we can only know that Jesus is the Lord by the Holy Ghost, how is that true if you receive the Holy Ghost after baptism? 

The Lord in His goodness made it possible for the Holy Ghost to appear or manifest itself to any seeker of truth. This is known as the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Tyler, you were brought back to this point in your life because of the power of the Holy Ghost, and it has led you to the waters of baptism. Now it will be your privilege to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which can remain with you at all times.

This means that the Holy Ghost can be your constant companion to help you to become more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To be clear, the Holy Ghost can come upon any man, woman, or child regardless of their religious background, nationality, race, or personal worthiness but he cannot be their constant companion. That is why the gift of the Holy Ghost is so important. 

Genesis 5:22 it says, "Enoch walked with God." 

We too have that opportunity. As shown earlier, if we so live that we can feel the Holy Ghost with us in all we think, say, and do, then we literally will have the seal of God in all our thought, words, and deeds. We would become one with God, and if we are one with God, then He will be in us, and is this not walking with God? 

Tyler, you will soon have hands placed on your head and hear the words "receive the Holy Ghost."

The word receive is the key word. If I were to hold up $100 bill as a gift for you, what would you have to do to receive the gift?

That's right, you would have to take action, you would have to come and take the $100 bill from me. Would it be possible not to take the necessary action to receive the gift? Of course. 

Your Father in Heaven will give you the gift of the Holy Ghost, but you must take action to "receive" it. The action that you and I must take is to live worthy of that gift.

Alma poses these questions, "can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"

How will we know of God's image is in our countenances? As mentioned earlier, when we feel the Holy Ghost in our thoughts, words, and actions, we will know that God countenance is upon us. 

With the gift of the Holy Ghost we can become more fruitful servants of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and eventually become like Him. Parley P Pratt, a great missionary of the early church, summed up its transforming power:

The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."

I bear testimony that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion and lead us to all righteousness as we do our part to live worthy of such a great gift. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Craig

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