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The Holy Ghost in the Book of Mormon


The Holy Ghost in the Book of Mormon

From the Bible we learn important truths about the Holy Ghost, who is also called the Spirit of God, Holy Spirit, or simply the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bone. In the New Testament we read, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” (Matthew 3:16). The Holy Spirit testifies of all truth. With God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. We can learn much from the Holy Bible about the characteristics of the Spirit (see, for example, 1 Kings 19:11–12; Galatians 5:22–23; Ephesians 5:9). Another book of scripture, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, shares additional teachings about the Holy Ghost.  

How can the Holy Ghost bless my life?

The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, is a witness of God and Jesus Christ. By giving you a confirming feeling of warmth and truth, the Holy Ghost validates the gospel of Christ. In the New Testament, Peter explained, “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). The Book of Mormon also shares examples of the important roles of the Holy Spirit.

Gives guidance

The prophet Nephi described a time when he “was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). The Spirit can guide you in important decisions in your life.

Bestows spiritual gifts

The Holy Ghost can bestow spiritual gifts, that is, special blessings or abilities given by God to bless our lives and help us serve others. Moroni wrote: “Deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them” (Moroni 10:8). ­

The Book of Mormon lists some of these spiritual gifts: “To one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach . . . ; and to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; and again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; and again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; and again, to another, all kinds of tongues; and again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; they come unto every man severally, according as he will” (Moroni 10:9, 11–17). 

Changes hearts

The Spirit can change your heart, helping you be spiritually reborn and ridding you of unrighteous desires. This principle is illustrated in a Book of Mormon story about a group of people who gathered to hear a prophet teach. As they listened, the people were filled with the Spirit: “And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).

Confirms the truth

The Holy Ghost can help you “know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). Specifically, you can experience this power of the Holy Ghost when you pray to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God; it can also help you to know that other aspects of the gospel are true. The prophet Moroni urges readers of the Book of Mormon to pray about the book’s truthfulness to receive an answer: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5).

How can I have the Holy Ghost in my life?

The power of the Holy Ghost is different from the gift of the Holy Ghost. The power of the Holy Ghost is offered to anyone and is felt as the Holy Ghost testifies of Jesus Christ or seeks to influence people to make good choices. But the gift of the Holy Spirit is something people can receive only after baptism. People who have been baptized and have received this gift can have the presence of the Holy Spirit with them continually, like a constant companion. The scriptures explain the qualities needed to keep the Holy Ghost with you. 

Be humble

The scriptures use terms like hardhearted and stiffnecked to describe people who lack humility. In contrast, humble people recognize the power of God and prioritize His will and understanding above their own. The prophet Nephi wrote, “There are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught” (2 Nephi 33:2).

Exercise faith

“Faith,” according to the Bible, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a critical component for people seeking to have the Spirit in their lives. The Book of Mormon confirms, “As many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith” (Jarom 1:4). 

Remember Christ

Jesus promises that the Spirit will be with people who remember what He has done for them. After His Resurrection, Jesus visited people in the ancient Americas, an event described in the Book of Mormon. There, just as He had done in Jerusalem, Jesus introduced the sacrament (or Communion), a sacred practice in which bread and water (or wine) are consumed in symbolic remembrance of Him. He said, “This shall ye do in remembrance of my body. . . . And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you” (3 Nephi 18:7).

The Holy Spirit is an immeasurable source of guidance and comfort that can guide you toward great blessings and confirm important truths.

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