Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On staying worthy of the Holy Ghost’s companionship

The Sunday school lesson 24 has a few questions and scripture lists that I thought were really good and I want to share them.

One question was, “After we have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, how can we be worthy of the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship?”

It’s one of those good questions that make you stop and think if you actually know how you can make this happen. I think I try to keep a good environment around me, but I haven’t been as intentional and focused specifically on keeping the Spirit. 

And when I think about it, keeping a good environment and intentionally keeping the Spirit are two slightly different things.  One is about controlling what is going on outside of you, and the other one is about controlling what is going on inside of you.

The scriptures listed are fabulous reminders.

. . . they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. (D&C 20:77)

Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him. (D&C 76:116, emphasis added)

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit… (D&C 6:14, emphasis added)

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32, emphasis added)

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion. . .  (D&C 121:45-46, emphasis added)

So, to summarize the ways we stay worthy are:
·      Take Christ’s name
·      Always remember Christ
·      Keep the commandments
·      Love God
·      Purify ourselves before God (repent)
·      Inquire of God for instruction
·      Obey God
·      Have charity to all
·      Let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly

These are all things that happen inside of us.  I like this list because it makes it so I can do a pretty quick self-check to see how I’m doing and whether there needs to be any repentance and changes make in my life. 

The next question the manual asks is one that at bottom we all wonder at one time or another: “How can we recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost?”

Then comes another list of scriptures.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth; (D&C 6:15)

Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? (D&C 6:23)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; (D&C 11:13)

34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;
35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words. (D&C 18:34-36)

Listing thing things we learn from these scriptures about how to recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost, we find:
Love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance, meekness
Peace in our mind

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. (D&C 23-24)

I will give away all my sins to know thee (Alma 22:18)

11 And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you. (Mosiah 5:11-12)

Also, it just so happens that the scriptures listed about how we can come to know God and gain eternal life say things that are similar to what is required to stay worthy of the Holy Ghost. So if we stay worthy of the Spirit, we will automatically come to know God as well.