Monday, January 31, 2011

The Witness of the Holy Ghost

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Each Sunday, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. Regardless of your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith 1:4)

Fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost

Have you ever had that feeling that you should call a certain friend, so you do and find out that they're having a really hard day and are so glad you called? Or experienced an overwhelming sense of peace about a decision you just made and you know it was the right one?

We believe that those are manifestations of the Spirit or Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, a personage of spirit without flesh and bone.  Through manifestations of the Spirit we can know the truth of all things, be guided in our decisions, receive Heavenly comfort, and feel that we are on the correct path.

Those experiences are just the influence of the Holy Spirit and can be felt by anyone who honestly seeks truth. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the right of His constant companionship and the reception of the fulness of His blessings, as long as we remain worthy. This gift is given by the laying of hands by those hold proper Priesthood authority, an ordinance usually immediately following baptism.

I know I have felt the presence of the Spirit in my life, confirming decisions and comforting me in times of trial. Sometimes, when I have a particularly good idea, I wonder if it was me that thought it on my own or the influence of the Spirit. But as long as it was good and in line with my beliefs, does it really matter? Other times, I know I didn't come up with it on my own, like a recent decision I came to about my job search, and I feel blessed to have a Heavenly Father who will communicate with me through the Holy Ghost.

How have you felt the influence of the Spirit in your life?

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