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The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Part 4: The Gift of the Holy Ghost

By Mormon.org
A man standing on a mountain path

Imagine that you’ve just begun a hike that you’ve never done before. You’ve heard that at the top is a view more exquisite than you’ve ever seen, and you want more than anything to get there. You’ve cleared the first step of actually getting to the mountain and finding the trailhead, but you’re not sure of the way. You know that on the way to the summit, there will be challenging stretches of the trail that you don’t know how to navigate, and without some help, you could get hurt or get off track.

However, at the trailhead a guide comes to meet you. You’ve talked to him on occasion in the past—in fact, he was the one who helped you decide to take this trail. Now, he’s going to be with you every step of the way and guide you safely to the top of the mountain.

So what does this have to do with the Holy Ghost?

After we have exercised our faith in Jesus Christ, repented of our sins, and been baptized, we have, in effect, found the “mountain” and started on the path back to God. The Holy Ghost, whose influence helps get us to the “trailhead” of baptism by testifying of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the truthfulness of His Church, becomes our constant companion to guide us along the path, through good times and bad, after we have made that baptismal covenant.

Who Is the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead and is a personage of spirit without a body of flesh and bones. Though all three members of the Godhead are distinct personages, They are united in their purpose to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

The Roles of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost fulfills many roles within His purpose of helping us return to God. Among others, He:

  • Testifies—One of the Holy Ghost’s primary roles is to testify of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ—that They are real and that They love us. He helps us know spiritual truths so powerfully that a witness from the Holy Ghost is more convincing than any other process of gaining knowledge.
  • Teaches—Jacob 4:13 in the Book of Mormon says, “The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be.” The Holy Ghost enlightens our minds and opens our understanding of spiritual truths, helping us see things “as they really are.” The Holy Ghost will only teach us what is true.
  • Warns—Sometimes the Holy Ghost comes as a warning voice to tell us to get out of a certain situation or let us know that we’re getting “off the trail” spiritually. When we do get off track, He can help us know what we need to change in our lives to repent and continue in our progress back to God.
  • Guides—Ever had a big decision to make and not been sure what to do? Seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost can help us have peace that the decision we’ve made is a good one. The Holy Ghost never forces, but He invites and guides us to do good, love, serve, forgive, and help each other.
  • Comforts—In times of trial and sadness, the Holy Ghost can be there to comfort us and assure us that because of the Atonement of Christ, all that is unfair about life will be made right. He is the means by which Heavenly Father envelops us in the arms of His love.

What Does the Holy Ghost Feel Like?

The Holy Ghost speaks to our minds and to our hearts, and people feel the Holy Ghost in different ways. Learning to recognize the Holy Ghost is a lifelong process, but we invite the guidance of the Spirit by living God’s commandments. In the New Testament, Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23).

Similarly, Gordon B. Hinckley, a modern-day prophet, said, “That’s the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God.” We can be sure that good things will always come from following the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Ghost will always invite us to do good.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is instrumental in helping us stay on the path back to God. Enduring to the end will be discussed in the final part of this series.

Learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ in part 1part 2, and part 3 of this series.