The first Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” These three individual personages comprise the Godhead and make one unit with one acting as head and the other two as counselors.
The Father and the Son are personages of tabernacle, meaning They have glorified bodies of flesh and bones. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, meaning He has only a spirit body, which is in the form of a man.
The scriptural support for this statement is found in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”
The scriptures teach about the Holy Ghost and refer to Him as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, or the Comforter. According to these scriptures, the Holy Ghost is a person. Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as a male person when He said to his disciples, “… It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
The Holy Ghost works in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son and plays several roles in helping us live righteously and receive the blessings of the gospel. He is a witness for the Father and the Son. He teaches truth. He leads us in the path to eternal life. He is the Comforter and soothes our fears as a loving parent soothes a crying child. He sanctifies us as we repent. He is the Holy Spirit of Promise and puts His seal of approval on all those who have proven their worthiness by their continual faithfulness and are acceptable to God.
The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth. The Holy Ghost has been present in every dispensation of time since the days of Adam and Eve. The Holy Ghost sits in counsel with the Father and the Son and then reveals to mankind those matters that the Father wants to be revealed.
The Holy Ghost is manifested both as the power of the Holy Ghost and as the gift of the Holy Ghost. The power of the Holy Ghost can come upon a person before baptism and often does as a witness of the Jesus Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and the truthfulness of the gospel. The gift of the Holy Ghost comes only after proper and authorized baptism, and it is bestowed by the laying on of hands by authorized priesthood bearers.
When we speak of the gift of the Holy Ghost, we speak of the right to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost as long as we live worthy of it. The gift of the Holy Ghost brings the additional power to cleanse and purify our souls. This power is often spoken of as “fire.”
When a person speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost that same power carries the conviction into the heart of the hearer. The Holy Ghost knows all things and can lead us to know of future events.
President Joseph Fielding said, “The Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings. Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten.”
This is a very powerful message. When the Holy Ghost speaks to us, His message becomes part of us and becomes impossible for us to forget. A message from the Holy Ghost has greater impact on us than a visit from an angel or other heavenly beings.
The Holy Ghost manifests the truth to honest people everywhere. He will manifest himself to any individual who asks for the truth. As he prepared to close his record and bury the golden plates, Moroni wrote this promise: “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” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Moroni 10:4-5).
I know that we can know the truth of all things by asking God and receiving the knowledge of the truth through the power and/or gift of the Holy Ghost. Anyone who is honestly and sincerely seeking truth can have it manifested to them by the power of the Holy Ghost. If the person has not been baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost will deliver the testimony and depart; however, He may linger longer with someone who has received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We can all receive guidance and reassurance through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, but we must meet several requirements. (1) We must be worthy of having the Holy Ghost come to us. (2) We must be humble enough to ask God for assistance. (3) We must be willing to be obedient to the answer we receive. (4) We must then put our trust in God and let Him work miracles in our lives. (5) We must remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive.
I am very grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and for His frequent visits to me. I thank God for this great gift every single day because I would be lost trying to make my way through this life by myself. I know there is a God in heaven who loves us. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, lives and stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet of God today. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s kingdom on earth. I know these things through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.