Receiving and Recognizing the Holy Ghost

James p. porter.

Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences at BYU

March 22, 2011

I am grateful and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak to you today. I still remember with fondness the day in 1971 when my friend and I loaded up his Volkswagen Bug and left Concord, California, for Provo, Utah, to begin our studies at Brigham Young University. Ever since we came around the Point of the Mountain and first saw the large block Y on the mountainside, I have had an abiding love of BYU. Brigham Young University is such a unique institution. I have a research lab in the Widtsoe Building and occasionally need to check on experiments over the weekend. One Sunday I brought my young son, Caleb, with me. We ended up parking pretty far away, because so many students were parked on campus for their Sunday meetings. I explained to Caleb that, on Sunday, many of the rooms on campus are used for church. This little seven-year-old boy made the following astute observation: “So, BYU is a school, it’s where you work, and it’s a church.” Yes, BYU is all of those things.

I pray that the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will be with me and with you during our time together. I want to talk about receiving and recognizing the Holy Ghost. I will draw on my background in endocrinology to provide analogies that illustrate many of the points I want to make. If you suffer from “biology anxiety,” let me assure you that I will make the analogies as simple as possible so as not to create undue stress. I also want to start with the disclaimer that when it comes to receiving and recognizing the Spirit, I still have many things to learn myself.

Endocrinology is the study of hormones. Hormones are chemical mediators that are delivered to the blood by endocrine glands. These hormones are then carried by the blood to distant cells, where they exert their effects. For example, growth hormone is secreted into the blood by the pituitary gland, a tiny gland at the base of your brain, and travels to distant sites, where it helps bring about growth during our developing years. Even though blood flows to virtually every cell in the body, not every cell is able to respond to a particular hormone. Only cells that have a receptor specific for the hormone will respond. A receptor is a protein on the surface of the cell that can bind to the hormone much like a key fits into a lock. Once the hormone binds to the receptor, a cascade of events is activated that leads to the hormone action in the target cell. However, even though the blood may be filled with a certain hormone, many cells will be unaffected by that hormone because they do not have the right receptor. The hormone passes right by these cells without exerting any effect. In a like manner, do the promptings of the Holy Ghost ever pass us by without being received?

Following baptism we were confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were given the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Melchizedek Priesthood holder who pronounced our confirmation used these well-known words: “Receive the Holy Ghost.” This exhortation makes it clear that we must do the receiving if we want to benefit from the ministration of the Holy Ghost. Much like a hormone cannot influence a cell without the appropriate receptor, the Holy Ghost cannot guide us, comfort us, and testify to us if we don’t develop our own “spiritual receptors.”

I love the story of young Samuel in the Old Testament that depicts the early stages of his acquiring spiritual receptors. You may recall that Hannah was unable to have children and made a vow that if Heavenly Father would bless her with a son, she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life. Hannah did have a son, and true to her promise she delivered him to Eli, the high priest, at the tabernacle in Shiloh. One night as this young prophet-to-be lay down to sleep, he heard a voice call his name. Thinking that it was Eli who had called him, Samuel ran to Eli’s room to ask what he wanted. Eli replied that he hadn’t called Samuel and told him to go back to bed. The author of the Book of Samuel explained, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him” (1 Samuel 3:7).

A second time Samuel heard a voice call his name, a second time he ran to Eli, and a second time he was told to go back to bed. When Samuel came to Eli a third time, Eli finally caught on that it was the Lord who was calling and told Samuel to go back to his room and when he heard the voice again to say, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9). How many times have we missed a prompting from the Spirit because our spiritual receptors were still developing? Like Samuel, we too require experience and sometimes mentoring to develop our abilities to receive the Holy Ghost.

Our understanding of endocrinology was slowed for many years because we didn’t have a way to measure blood levels of these chemical messengers. The problem is that the concentration of hormones in the blood is very low. It wasn’t until 1977 that Rosalyn Yalow received the Nobel Prize for her discovery of a method to assay hormones in the blood. If the concentration of hormones in the blood is so low, how is it that target cells can respond at all? The answer is that their receptors have what we call “high affinity” for the hormones that they bind. High-affinity binding means that there are strong intermolecular forces that readily bring the hormone and receptor together. What about spiritual receptors? Do they need high affinity?

While the Holy Ghost can sometimes communicate in strong, unmistakable language, more often He communicates through quiet promptings. It was Elijah the prophet who found this out while on a mountaintop:

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  [1 Kings 19:11–12]

Yes, because the Holy Ghost whispers instead of shouting, our spiritual receptors must also have high affinity. Elder David A. Bednar gave some important counsel about how we can keep ourselves ready and worthy to receive the Holy Ghost. He said:

The Spirit of the Lord can be our guide and will bless us with direction, instruction, and spiritual protection during our mortal journey. We invite the Holy Ghost into our lives through meaningful personal and family prayer, feasting upon the words of Christ, diligent and exacting obedience, faithfulness and honoring of covenants, and through virtue, humility, and service. And we steadfastly should avoid things that are immodest, coarse, crude, sinful, or evil that cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost.  [“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,”  Ensign,  May 2006, 31]

By doing the good things mentioned by Elder Bednar and by avoiding the bad, we can ensure that our spiritual receptors have high affinity. In some circumstances we may need our spiritual receptors to have even higher affinity. At those times we can increase our ability to receive the Spirit by fasting, seeking a blessing, attending the temple, or finding a private place where we can pour out our heart to Heavenly Father.

Sometimes, even when we are righteous and eligible to be guided by the Holy Ghost, we may miss His promptings and leave them unrecognized. This may happen, in part, because of the quiet nature of the promptings. It might also be because we lack experience in recognizing the whisperings. Or perhaps we lack confidence in our ability to be guided by the Spirit. We may wonder, Did that prompting come from the Holy Ghost—or did we make it up? How can we better recognize the Spirit in our life?

I am now going to stretch this analogy about hormone receptors about as far as possible. As I already mentioned, only certain parts of the body will respond to a given hormone depending on which cells have the appropriate hormone receptor. What parts of our body have spiritual receptors? I want to mention two in particular: the brain—or mind—and the heart.

In the early days of the Church, Oliver Cowdery was personally tutored by the Lord about recognizing the Spirit. We find those revelations in sections 6, 8, and 9 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

In section 6 we learn that Oliver had already received a divine manifestation of the truth of Joseph’s testimony about the plates but was seeking further assurance from the Lord. In verses 22 and 23, the Lord gave His answer:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

This answer helped Oliver and helps us to understand that sometimes the Spirit is received in our mind in the form of peaceful thoughts. This idea was reiterated in section 8 when the Lord granted Oliver’s request to help with the translating of the plates. In verse 2 the Lord said:

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

Not only does the Spirit speak to us in our mind in the form of thoughts, He also speaks to us in our heart in the form of feelings. If we seek to better recognize the promptings of the Spirit, we should pay more attention to our thoughts and feelings. But usually it is not our random thoughts and feelings that are important. Oliver learned another important lesson when he tried to translate the plates but failed. In section 9, verses 7–9, the Lord told him:

Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings.

It is usually when we are working on our part to understand a principle, to receive an answer to a prayer, to make a decision, or to choose a course of action, and so forth, that those thoughts come to our mind or feelings come to our heart from the Spirit.

One of my earliest recollections of a personal experience with recognizing the Spirit came when I was a missionary in Korea. I had the responsibility to present a lesson about something to the missionaries at an upcoming zone conference. I felt strongly the desire to teach something that would motivate, uplift, and help the missionaries in our zone. I remember the weight I felt on my shoulders as I pondered, prayed, and prepared for that lesson. It wasn’t a pleasant weight. It was a heavy weight that burdened me as I struggled to find the right idea for the lesson. Then one day I had a burst of inspiration. Thoughts came into my mind and almost instantly I knew what to teach. I knew it was right because the heavy burden that had weighed me down was lifted. Instead, I felt exhilarated. I guess you could say I felt peace. I remember thinking, “This must be what it feels like to be prompted by the Holy Ghost.”

In subsequent personal experiences with the Spirit I have noticed something. The peace that comes from the Spirit is often more recognizable when it comes in juxtaposition to a period of struggle and uncertainty. Perhaps the work and struggle on our part to study and ponder before receiving an answer is necessary because it makes the difference between our feelings of uncertainty and the feelings of peace offered by the Spirit distinct enough to be recognizable.

Another personal example of this happens in my calling as a high councilor. I am assigned most months to speak in a sacrament meeting. The stake president assigns a topic, usually an address from general conference, and we are expected to seek the guidance of the Spirit in preparing our talks. I have noticed as I read the conference address, ponder its significance, and consider the ward members to whom I will be speaking that the Spirit is always there to guide my preparation. Recently we were assigned to use Elder Donald L. Hallstrom’s talk from April conference, “Turn to the Lord.” One Saturday I was out for a morning run and noticed a large stand of daffodils in full bloom. I noticed how most of the flower heads were facing the same direction and suddenly remembered (and I believe this was a prompting from the Holy Ghost) about a principle of plant physiology that I had learned years ago called heliotropism. Heliotropism is the phenomenon whereby some plants and flowers turn toward the sun— S-U-N. As the sun moves across the sky, the plants gradually turn so that they are always facing it. I was able to use analogies of heliotropism in my talk to speak about “turning toward the Son—S-O-N.”

I give one last personal example of how the whisperings of the Spirit can come in the form of thoughts. Report card day for our oldest son, Ben, was never that great for him or for me. Though he was clearly smart and talented, his grades in math and science were never that good. This was difficult for me to understand because I had always loved math and science and had done well in those areas. It would be safe to say that more than once the Spirit was driven from our home because of contention over grades. One day when Ben was high-school age, I was pondering this issue of his grades and our contention when a thought came to me as clear as if it had been a voice: “You should be encouraging Ben in his strengths and worrying less about his weaknesses.” As I mentioned, Ben is extremely talented and creative. We decided to encourage him to take a photography class that he was interested in, art classes, and other classes that would allow him to show his strengths. He did well in those classes, and his grades got better. Interestingly, his grades in math and science also got better. Ben eventually made his way to BYU and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in animation. He currently works at Pixar Animation Studio in Emeryville, California.

At other times, I have been able to recognize the Spirit in the form of scriptural phrases brought to my remembrance. Jesus taught His Apostles:

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  [John 14:26]

One time when I was a bishop, I was struggling with knowing whom to recommend to the stake president as a new elders quorum president. I had narrowed the list to two very capable brethren. As I sat in the temple pondering this issue, the words of Doctrine and Covenants 121:41 came to my mind:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.

I immediately knew which brother to recommend, because one was the epitome of the virtues mentioned in that verse.

Another time years ago I was feeling some personal despair after my wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44. You can imagine the uncertainty I felt as I considered the possibility of losing Kathy and what that would mean for me and for our seven children, who ranged in age from 21 to two years. I remember one day in sacrament meeting when I was thinking about this, the words “lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days” (D&C 24:8) came to my mind. I didn’t even remember chapter and verse, but I knew Heavenly Father was sending me the comfort I needed by reminding me of a scripture passage. I later found the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, section 24. I am so grateful for that comfort and that Kathy survived.

These two experiences illustrate the importance of regular scripture reading and study in opening up avenues for the Holy Ghost to commune with us in ways that we can recognize. Elder Robert D. Hales elaborated on this notion when he said:

What a glorious blessing! For when we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  [“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,”  Ensign,  November 2006, 26]

Sometimes spiritual promptings are given to us even when we are not seeking them. According to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, these promptings are given to  impel  us to some action that we are not even considering. He wrote, “This type of revelation is less common than other types, but its rarity makes it all the more significant” ( The Lord’s Way  [Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Company, 1991], 30).

Kathy is a graduate from BYU’s College of Nursing and is a registered nurse. Years ago our daughter Sarah was a little under the weather and had a bit of a fever. There was really nothing to cause more than usual concern. But as Kathy walked past our bookshelf and saw her nursing books, she had a distinct thought, “I ought to read up on what to do if someone has a fever seizure.” Thankfully, she responded to the prompting and pulled out the book and reviewed the proper care for fever seizures. Not too long after Kathy finished the review, Sarah’s fever spiked and she started having seizures. Kathy was able to render the appropriate care until we could get Sarah to the hospital. Joseph Smith said:

A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas.  [ Teachings,  151]

Now back to hormone receptors. Sometimes hormone receptors do not function properly, and disease results. Type 2 diabetes is a good example of this sort of problem. In this disorder the receptor for the hormone, insulin, fails to carry out its normal function. Without this normal effect of insulin, blood glucose concentrations get very high and cause problems. This is known as a hormone receptor insensitivity disease. In a similar way, if our spiritual receptors fail to function properly, spiritual disease can result. Remember the description in the Book of Mormon of Laman and Lemuel who were “past feeling” and “could not feel” the word of the Lord? (1 Nephi 17:45)

How can we lose the ability to receive the Spirit in our lives? Look at Laman and Lemuel. We learn from Nephi’s account that they were prideful (see 1 Nephi 2:11) and unbelieving (see 1 Nephi 2:13). They were unwilling to follow the commands of the Lord (see 1 Nephi 3:5). They physically and verbally abused their younger brothers (see 1 Nephi 3:28). They were rebellious (see 1 Nephi 7:6). They also murmured a lot. As a result, “they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” (1 Nephi 2:12). In essence, they had a spiritual receptor insensitivity disease.

People with Type 2 diabetes can benefit from several treatments that improve the function of insulin receptors. For example, exercise and diet help. There are also some medications that make insulin receptors work better.

What treatment is available for those with spiritual receptor insensitivity? Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught that a dose of repentance could help. He said:

I invite you to ponder individually in a humble and prayerful manner and ask yourself: “Do I have the Spirit in my life? Am I happy? Am I doing anything in my life that is offensive to the Spirit and preventing the Holy Ghost from being my constant companion?” Have the courage to repent, if needed, and again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  [“The Unspeakable Gift,”  Ensign,  May 2003, 28]

As we repent and partake of the sacrament each week, we not only renew our baptismal covenants to be obedient and always remember the Savior, but Heavenly Father also renews His promise that we will always have His Spirit to be with us. How can we ever pass up this opportunity to weekly attend sacrament meeting and weekly receive this great promise?

Brothers and sisters, Heavenly Father did not send us to this earth without also sending the Holy Ghost to guide and protect us. One of the most important skills we must learn in this life is to receive and recognize the quiet whisperings of the Spirit. It is so crucial that our spiritual receptors have high affinity. We ensure this high affinity by being obedient, humble, and Christlike and by avoiding situations and practices that dull our senses. In order to better recognize the Spirit, we should pay more attention to our thoughts and feelings and make sure that we read the scriptures regularly. We should also attend our sacrament meetings and regularly partake of the sacrament. If we find ourselves “past feeling” because our spiritual receptors are insensitive, we need to repent and rely on the power of Christ’s Atonement to restore us to a condition in which we can again receive those promptings. I am amazed at how quickly the Spirit returns when I sincerely repent. May God bless us to continually improve our ability to receive and recognize the Holy Ghost, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

James P. Porter

James P. Porter was an associate dean of the College of Life Sciences at BYU when this devotional address was given on 22 March 2011.

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Confirmation

confirming the holy ghost lds

Confirmation is an ordinance in which a person is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The ordinance is performed after baptism .

The Fourth Article of Faith says the following:

Permission from a bishop or Mission president is required for a Melchizedek priesthood holder to perform a confirmation. Another priesthood holder may assist. The priesthood holder lays his hands upon the head of the newly baptized person and through the power of the priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ confers upon him/ her the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost becomes the person's constant companion, as long as the person remains worthy of this gift.

After the gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred, the priesthood holder may then pronounce a blessing upon the person. This blessing is often revelatory. It relays a personal message of encouragement from the Lord and is specific to the individual receiving it.

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Classic Talk: The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know

Boyd K. Packer, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know,” Ensign , Aug 2006, 46–52. Click here to go to the churches website for this article. Highlighting  is mine.

From an address given on June 24, 2003, at a seminar for new mission presidents, Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah.

My purpose is to teach you through doctrine and scripture why it is that we do things as we do. I will give some direction and suggestions as to how we can do things better in order that each member of the Church will be thoroughly converted and never will fall away .

Joseph Smith said: “You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” ( History of the Church, 5:499).

To prepare people for baptism without teaching about the gift of the Holy Ghost is like a sacrament meeting where only the bread is blessed and passed. They would receive but half.

We will discuss linking baptism in an absolutely tight relationship to confirmation and the conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Confirmation and Conferring the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Confirmation has two parts: to confirm as a member of the Church and then to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. The priesthood holder performing that ordinance “bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost by saying, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost’ ” ( Family Guidebook [pamphlet, 2001], 20).

There are two examples of the visible manifestation of the Holy Ghost I know of in the scriptures. The first was when the Lord was baptized:

“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 ; see also 1 Nephi 11:27 ; 2 Nephi 31:8 ; D&C 93:15 ).

The other example came on the day of Pentecost. The Apostles had no doubt been ordained, but the Lord had now left them. They wondered what to do. They remembered He told them to stay in Jerusalem, and so they obeyed. And then it happened. They were in a house, and there was “a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” ( Acts 2:2-4 ). Then they were authorized; they were prepared.

Then they could move about in the ministry that the Lord had called and commissioned them to do.

In the Doctrine and Covenants that pattern was repeated when the Lord said:

“Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost;

“But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old” ( D&C 35:5-6 ).

When Paul went to Ephesus he found 12 men who had been baptized, but they had not yet received the Holy Ghost. They said to Paul, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” ( Acts 19:2 ).

What happened next is significant. Paul had them baptized again. Then he conferred upon them, by the laying on of hands , the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 19:2-7 ).

Remember the fourth article of faith: “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.”

When parents are teaching their children and when missionaries are teaching investigators, preparing them for baptism by water, they must also think of the gift of the Holy Ghost-baptism by fire. Think of it as one sentence. First comes the baptism of water and then the baptism of fire.

Someone may ask the missionaries, “How are things going?” or “Are you teaching anyone?”

The missionaries automatically answer, “Yes, we have a family preparing for baptism and confirmation, for receiving the Holy Ghost.”

Or a father and mother might say to a child, “When you are eight years old, you will be ready to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.”

I repeat, to be baptized and to receive the Holy Ghost- link those two together.

All I say is evident and outlined in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants (see vv. 41-43, 45, 68 ). There are also some other references where this message is affirmed (see Acts 8:12, 14-17 ; D&C 33:11, 15 ; 36:2 ; 39:23 ; 49:13-14 ; 55:1 ; 68:25 ; 76:51-52 ; Articles of Faith 1:4 ).

Joseph Smith said, “The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use; they are necessarily and inseparably connected” ( History of the Church, 6:316).

Baptism of Fire

I want to talk to you about the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. I also want to talk to you about angels.

“When they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire” ( 3 Nephi 19:13 ).

An excerpt from another verse teaches that this will come “if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior” ( Mormon 7:10 ).

Again, there are two parts to baptism-baptism by water and baptism by fire or the Holy Ghost. If you separate the two, as the Prophet Joseph Smith said, it is but half a baptism.

Communication from the Holy Ghost

How does the Holy Ghost communicate?

There is an example in 1 Nephi chapter 17 where Laman and Lemuel had been brutal to Nephi. They, in fact, had tried to take his life. In due course he said to them: “Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words” ( 1 Nephi 17:45 ; emphasis added).

That communication seldom comes audibly. Most of the time it comes through your feelings , as it did in this case.

Another example: The Lord taught this principle to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: “You must study it out in your mind [work, study]; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you [the fire, burn]; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” ( D&C 9:8 ; emphasis added). This applies to all of us.

Speaking with the Tongue of Angels

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism-yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.” Now this important principle: “And then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

“But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire [that is the conferring] of the Holy Ghost, [ye] can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels” ( 2 Nephi 31:13-14 ; emphasis added).

Nephi explains clearly what happens after baptism and confirmation and the reception of the Holy Ghost: “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water [which is a symbolic witness of repentance]; and then cometh [the promise of cleansing for] a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost ” ( 2 Nephi 31:17 ).

We sometimes speak of baptism for the remission of sins. The remission, if you will read the scriptures carefully, comes through the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way.” Here is someone who has been baptized and received the Holy Ghost, and they wonder what they are to do. Nephi answers: “But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?

“Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

“Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” ( 2 Nephi 32:1-3 ).

Everything that missionaries are to know and to do is to bring their investigators to understand both baptism and confirmation. Then the investigators have their agency. Consider these simple words:

“Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

“For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

“Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh” ( 2 Nephi 32:4-6 ; emphasis added).

Now you must understand that baptism by water, as the Prophet Joseph Smith said plainly, is but half a baptism. Paul, when they had not received the Holy Ghost, started over again (see Acts 19:2-7 ).

You can receive this great blessing-to become familiar with the still, small voice and learn that this voice will tell you all things that you must do. The word we use to describe this communication is promptings, the way we feel. These promptings can come many times, through many experiences. That is the voice of the Lord speaking.

Nephi explained that angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, and you can speak with the tongue of angels, which simply means that you can speak with the power of the Holy Ghost. It will be quiet. It will be invisible. There will not be a dove. There will not be cloven tongues of fire. But the power will be there.

Missionaries sometimes think they are only to do half the work; they are to teach and then baptize by water, and that concludes their work. In many cases the other half, the teaching about the baptism of fire, never really gets done . Put the two together so that you almost forbid yourself to say “baptism” without saying “confirmation”-that is baptism of the water and confirmation and the conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost . Get that idea in your mind with those two fixed together so tightly that, as one, it becomes part of you. Then we will not have the first half done, as is often the case at present, and the other half left undone.

Remember what Joseph Smith said: “You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.”

Missionaries-and parents as well-are to teach both halves: “Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins [and the] Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” ( Articles of Faith 1:4 ). Make it one sentence. Fix it in the front of your minds so that when you say one, you say the other, and when you think one, you think the other. Then you will begin to feel and understand, and the promptings will come.

Opposition by the Adversary

One word of warning: there is also a spirit of opposition and evil. That warning can also be found in the scriptures: “Whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him” ( Moroni 7:17 ).

The spiritual communications from the Holy Ghost can be interrupted by the promptings and influence of the evil one. You will learn to recognize that.

To further our understanding of this principle, Nephi taught: “If ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray” ( 2 Nephi 32:8-9 ).

So when we speak of angels communicating by the power of the Holy Ghost and we are told by the prophets that we can speak with the tongue of angels, then we must know that there is an opposing influence. We must be able to detect it.

There is one word in the book of Jacob that should alert us: “Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption?” ( Jacob 6:8 ; emphasis added).

So the Spirit can be quenched!

Discerning Spiritual Experiences

When you receive these special spiritual experiences, they are not to be chattered about. They are private, and they are personal. You will come to know with a very personal conviction that the Lord knew you were coming that way.

You may learn by trial and error and say: “I knew I shouldn’t have done that. I knew I shouldn’t have!” How did you know? Because you knew. You were being prompted.

Or you will say regretfully, “I knew I should have done that and didn’t.” How will you know? You are being worked upon by the Spirit.

Promptings may come as “sudden strokes of ideas” ( History of the Church, 3:381).

“I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost” ( D&C 8:2 ).

“Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good-yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

“. . . I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;

“And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive” ( D&C 11:12-14 ).

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

Conversion does not always happen immediately . Nevertheless, it comes as a quiet thing. It is a still, small voice. There are these very interesting verses in the book of Alma:

“Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.

“Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe” ( Alma 32:16-17 ; emphasis added).

Investigators may say: “It looks right and feels right. I still don’t know about it. It just feels good.” Reason is prompting them, and they are baptized without stubbornness of heart . So the conversion comes.

Others may say: “You talk about this gift of the Holy Ghost and baptism by fire. Show me! Give me the witness, and then I will be baptized.”

For some it will take time. They may be disappointed when you say: “You will know after you decide! It takes an exercise of faith. You may not know at first and have that firm conviction, but it will come.”

The Word of Wisdom

Surely you can understand where the Word of Wisdom fits into this. How significant it is, “given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints” ( D&C 89:3 ).

This principle comes with a promise: “Run and not be weary, … walk and not faint” ( D&C 89:20 ). That is desirable.

But there is a more important promise: “And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” ( D&C 89:19 ).

Can you see the necessity of the Word of Wisdom? We press our people, almost beg our people, to behave themselves, to keep their spiritual person in tune so that they can have the reception of the Holy Ghost. Your body is the instrument of your mind and spirit. You must take proper care of it.

Never Will Fall Away

If people are properly taught, they never will fall away : “And as sure as the Lord liveth [that is an oath], so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them-yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth [a second oath], as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away ” ( Alma 23:6 ; emphasis added).

Those who have been taught and who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the baptism of fire, will never fall away. They will be connected to the Almighty, who will guide them in their lives.

The Comforte r

You never need to feel or be alone:

“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; …

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” ( John 14:16, 18 ).

“The field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.

“Open your mouths and they shall be filled. …

“Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you” ( D&C 33:7-9 ).

The baptismal prayer given in the Book of Mormon states:

“These are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:

“Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” ( 3 Nephi 11:24-25 ).

I bear witness of these words and of these Names. I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to the end that His Spirit will be with you, and you will understand and can move forward accompanied by that power of the Holy Ghost.

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4 Things We Know About the Holy Ghost

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What do we understand about the Personage we know as the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead? Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Prophets and saints in all dispensations have seen the Lord Jesus Christ in both the dreams of the night and the visions of the day, and also face to face as a man looketh upon and speaketh with his friends. Some have even been privileged to see the Father also. But with the Holy Ghost it is otherwise. His voice is heard; his influence is felt; his presence is manifest—but his person is kept hidden from view in all but rare instances.” 1

1. The Holy Ghost is a male spirit personage, a spirit son of God the Father.

In a sermon delivered in 1857, President Heber C. Kimball stated: “The Holy Ghost is a man; he is one of the sons of our Father and our God; and he is that man that stood next to Jesus Christ, just as I stand by Brother Brigham.” 2

This being is known by such name-titles as the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, the Witness or Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Sealer, and the Holy Spirit of Promise. Joseph Smith delivered to the Saints in Ramus, Illinois, significant doctrinal items of instruction on 2 April 1843: “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” ( Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 ).

We may infer, therefore, that he will eventually receive a physical body, like every other son and daughter of the Father who was faithful in the first estate. On 16 June 1844, only nine days before the martyrdom, George Laub, an early member of the Church whose journal is an important contemporary source of some of the teachings of Joseph Smith, recorded that the Prophet Joseph taught that while the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one, or agree in one, “the Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and waiting to take to himself a body, as the Savior did or as God [the Father] did.” 3

2. He has form, shape, and occupies space.

For a time during his grand panoramic vision, Nephi was tutored by the Spirit. He had seen the tree of life and desired to know what it represented, “for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another” ( 1 Nephi 11:11 ). Over the years, persons reading the Book of Mormon have wondered whether “Spirit of the Lord” refers to Jehovah, the premortal Christ, or the Holy Ghost. How would we know? One approach is to read every reference in the Book of Mormon where the phrase “Spirit of the Lord” is used. When we do so, we discover that this title is used about 40 times in the Book of Mormon, and in every case, it is quite clear that the being referenced is the Holy Ghost, or in a few cases, the Light of Christ. Not one of the references seems to apply to Jehovah himself. Elder James E. Talmage stated: “That the Spirit of the Lord is capable of manifesting Himself in the form and figure of man, is indicated by the wonderful interview between the Spirit and Nephi, in which He revealed Himself to the prophet, questioned him concerning his desires and belief, instructed him in the things of God, speaking face to face with the man.” 4

Having taught the members of the Church in Ramus, Illinois, that the Holy Ghost does not have a body, as do the first and second members of the Godhead, Joseph added, “Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us” ( Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 ). This statement requires some clarification, for the Holy Ghost, like the Father and the Son, can be in only one place at a time. Or, as President Joseph Fielding Smith noted, “As a Spirit personage the Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. He does not fill the immensity of space [as does the Light of Christ or the Spirit of Jesus Christ], and cannot be everywhere present in person at the same time.” 5 William Clayton recorded the following statement by the Prophet on 2 April 1843: “The Holy Ghost is a personage, and a person cannot have the personage of the Holy Ghost in his heart.” 6 “No member of the Godhead dwells in us in the literal sense of the word,” Elder McConkie wrote, “but all of them dwell in us figuratively to the extent that we are like them. If we have ‘the mind of Christ’ ( 1 Corinthians 2:16 ), which we receive by the power of the Holy Ghost, then Christ dwells in us. If the love of God abides in our souls, which love is a gift of God that comes by the power of the Holy Ghost, then God dwells in us. In some way beyond our comprehension, all of this is possible by the power of the Holy Ghost.” 7 The Prophet Joseph taught: “A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him” ( Doctrine and Covenants 130:23 ). 

“Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus. And lo, he heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him” (JST, Matthew 3:45–46 ). Luke’s account of the same event may confuse some readers: “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also came unto John; and being baptized of him, and praying, the heaven was opened; and the Holy Ghost descended, in bodily shape like a dove, upon him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased” (JST, Luke 3:28–29 ).

One could easily read these two accounts, especially Luke’s, and conclude that the Holy Ghost—remember, he is a male spirit personage—was somehow transformed into a dove. President Brigham Young, in speaking of this New Testament moment, clarified that “the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, it is said, rested upon him. This is not exactly the fact, though a natural dove descended and rested on the head of the Lord Jesus, in witness that God had accepted the offering of His Son. But the dove was not the Holy Ghost, but the sign that the Holy Ghost was given to him.” 8

3. As a member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost possesses all attributes, qualities, and divine characteristics in perfection.

Indeed, he is God ( Acts 5:3–4 ). Modern revelation affirms that “the Comforter knoweth all things” ( Doctrine and Covenants 42:17 ). Among the various titles and functions of the Holy Ghost are “the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment” ( Moses 6:61 ). He is not only the representative and witness of the Father and Son, but he is also one in mind with them. We learn in the Lectures on Faith that “these three are one; or, in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme, power over all things; . . . and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one.” 9

Even though Latter-day Saints believe in three members of the Godhead—three distinct persons, three distinct beings, three Gods—yet we consider ourselves to be monotheistic, meaning that we believe in one God—one divine Godhead, one supreme Presidency. The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants both teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one God. Consider the following passages:

“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way [the doctrine of Christ]; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end” (2 Nephi 31:21).

In the resurrection, everything will “be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” ( Alma 11:44 ).

“And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one” (3 Nephi 11:27; see also v. 36).

Those who are found guiltless at the judgment bar will “dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end” ( Mormon 7:7 ).

The Holy Ghost “beareth record of the Father and of the Son; which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end” ( Doctrine and Covenants 20:27–28 .

In short, we Latter-day Saints declare to the world that there are three members of the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Each member of the Godhead possesses all of the attributes and qualities of godliness in perfection. The love and unity between the members of the Godhead is of such magnitude that we can rightfully refer to them as one God. At the Last Supper, Christ declared to his apostles: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear [presumably from the Father and Son], that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” ( John 16:13–14 ).

Given the perfect unity between the three members of the Godhead, do we as Latter-day Saints worship the Holy Ghost? Is any facet of our worship directed specifically to the Spirit? He is the third member of the Godhead, the messenger and representative of the Father and Son, the one who bears witness of both. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son and possesses the qualities and attributes they do. There is evidence in holy writ that the Holy Ghost is God ( Acts 5:3, 4, 9 ), but no scripture or prophetic statement suggests we should worship him or pray to him.

4. His person must not be confused with his powers and influence.

Once again from Elder Talmage: “Much of the confusion existing in human conceptions concerning the nature of the Holy Ghost arises from the common failure to segregate His person and powers. Plainly, such expressions as being filled with the Holy Ghost, and His falling upon persons, have reference to the powers and influences that emanate from God, and which are characteristic of Him; for the Holy Ghost may in this way operate simultaneously upon many persons even though they be widely separated, whereas the actual person of the Holy Ghost cannot be in more than one place at a time. . . . The Holy Ghost may be regarded as the minister of the Godhead, carrying into effect the decision of the Supreme Council.” 10

Lead image from Getty Images

1. New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 254. 

2. In Journal of Discourses , 5:179. 

3. Words of Joseph Smith , 382. Franklin D. Richards recorded under date of 27 August 1843 that the Prophet Joseph said, “The Holy Ghost is now in a state of probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has” ( Words of Joseph Smith , 245). 

4. Articles of Faith , 144; see also Romney, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign , May 1974, 90–95.

5. Doctrines of Salvation , 1:38.

6. Words of Joseph Smith , 170. 

7. New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 271–72. 

8. In Journal of Discourses , 14:96. That Brother Brigham was a serious student of Joseph Smith is clear from the Prophet’s statement on this matter (Joseph Smith [manual], 81).

9. Lectures on Faith , 60.

10. Articles of Faith , 145.

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"Suppose we had the teachings, covenants, ordinances, organizational structure, apostolic leadership, and missionary system of the current Church and yet there was no gift of the Holy Ghost? What then?" asks author Robert L. Millet.

As Brother Millet shows us in this engaging and doctrinally sound discussion, the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in every aspect and facet of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is, for example, a revelator, teacher, testifier, comforter, agent of the new birth, sanctifier, and sealer, to name only a few of His roles. In The Holy Spirit , Brother Millet focuses our attention on the person of the Holy Ghost and examines His varied assignments in a way that is both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging. Nothing has been written about the Holy Spirit with as much breadth and depth for decades.

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Confirmation and Gift of the Holy Ghost

Confirmation and Gift of the Holy Ghost

Download pdf file here

Confirmation and Gift of the HolyGhost 

Instructions 

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Under the direction of the bishopric, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in a confirmation. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the one acting as voice:

1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

2. States that the ordinance is being performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterdaySaints.

4. States “receive the Holy Ghost” (not “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”).

5. Gives words of blessing as guided by the Spirit.

6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Teaching Children the Gospel

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Friend June 2019 “The Holy Ghost is…”  The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, a gift that comes with baptism, and a promise from Heavenly Father. He is a comforter, warning, teacher, messenger, friend.

. Moses 6:61 .

What do we learn about the Holy Ghost from this verse?

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “Hosea 1–6; 10–14, Joel” As you teach about Joel’s prophecy in  Joel 2:28 , consider how you can help the children prepare to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after they are baptized.

  • Read  Joel 2:28  to the children, and explain that the words “all flesh” mean everyone, including “sons” and “daughters” like them. Invite the children to draw pictures of the people referred to in this verse (sons and daughters, old and young men, old and young women), including themselves. Explain that one way Heavenly Father pours out His Spirit is by giving us the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are baptized.

What could it mean for the Spirit to be “poured out” upon us? Maybe you could demonstrate this by pouring a liquid and then contrasting it with a drip or a trickle.

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  • Invite the children to share what they know about the Holy Ghost. Help them understand that the Holy Ghost can teach us about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and can help us to know what is true (see  John 14:26 ;  Doctrine and Covenants 42:17 ). Share experiences to help the children understand the ways the Spirit can help us.

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Joel 2:28–29

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “Hosea 1–6; 10–14, Joel” Many of the children you teach have likely been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. How can you use these scriptures to help them understand the power and blessings that come from hearing the voice of the Spirit?

  • Invite the children to read together  Joel 2:28–29 , inserting each other’s names in place of the phrases “your sons” and “your daughters.” Write on the board a sentence like  The Holy Ghost can …  and invite the children to take turns completing the sentence. Encourage them to include things they learn from  John 14:16 ;  Moroni 10:5 ;  Doctrine and Covenants 42:17 , and other scriptures.
  • Place an object in a bowl, and let the children take turns pouring water over it. Explain that the object represents us, and the water represents the Holy Ghost. When we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is one way the Lord fulfills His promise to “pour out [His] spirit.” What must we do to receive the Holy Ghost? Invite the children to share times when they have felt the influence of the Spirit.

Friend February 2018 “Funstuff: The Holy Ghost” Fill in the blank with some things you can do to feel the Holy Ghost.

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Gift of the Holy Ghost

Friend August 2019 “Open Your Hearts to the Holy Ghost” Clips from President Henry B. Eyring’s talks about the Holy Ghost.

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Teaching Children the Gospel: “Lesson 37: Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites to Pray & They Receive the Holy Ghost” The lesson teaches about the importance of seeking for and obeying the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to be directed safely back to our heavenly home.

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Friend August 2023 “Confirmation and the Gift of the Holy Ghost”

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Friend August 2023 “Connect the Dots” After you’re baptized, you’re confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide and comfort you. Connect the dots to finish the picture.

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Doctrine and Covenants 52:10 ;  53:3 ;  55:1

Copy and paste each scripture to a word document or slide show. Leave the space empty where it says laying on of hands in each scripture. Have the children read the scriptures and find what is missing in each scripture.

“ Baptism  by water is but half a  baptism , and is good for nothing without the other half-that is,  baptism  of the Holy Ghost.” —  Joseph Smith  Jr.

Following a person’s baptism, men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood place their hands upon the person’s head, as shown in the picture. One of the men (usually the father, the bishop, a missionary, or a friend of the person being confirmed) says the prayer. During the prayer, the person is confirmed a member of the Church and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. ( Primary 3 “Lesson 12: The Gift of the Holy Ghost,” ) 

Tell the children about when you received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands after you were baptized.

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Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual “I Will Be Baptized and Confirmed”

Explain that after we are baptized, we are confirmed. Invite the children to say “confirmed.” Tell them this means that men who hold the priesthood put their hands on our head to give us the gift of the Holy Ghost.

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Review the fourth article of faith.

Sing “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105)

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Second Verse:

And when we are confirmed By sacred priesthood pow’r, The Holy Ghost is giv’n to us To guide us ev’ry hour.

Oh, may I always listen To that still small voice. And with his light I’ll do what’s right Each time I make a choice.

Doctrine and Covenants 39:6, 23

  • Use  Matthew 3:11, 16  to teach the children that the Holy Ghost descended on Jesus when He was baptized (a dove appeared as a sign to show that this had happened). Show the picture  The Gift of the Holy Ghost  (Gospel Art Book, no. 105), and explain that we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are confirmed.

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Friend May 2022 “Taking Turns for Church” Jenny and her siblings have to take turns going to church because their mom can only afford two bus tickets each week. Jenny misses the happy warm feeling she gets at church and the things she learns. When her mom and sister got home and shared what they learned at church, Jenny learns that she can feel the Savior close to her even at home.

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How Does the Holy Ghost Help Us

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Friend January 2024 “How Can the Holy Ghost Help Me?”

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John 14:26–27 ;  15:26 ;  16:13–14

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “John 14–17” Jesus taught His disciples important truths about the Holy Ghost. Consider how these truths might bless the children you teach.

  • Show the picture  The Last Supper  (Gospel Art Book, no. 54). Explain to the children that at the Last Supper, Jesus taught His disciples about the Holy Ghost. Share some of the truths He taught in  John 14:26–27 ;  15:26 ;  16:13–14 .

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For the Strength of Youth April 2023 “God’s Gift to Help You Learn” The spirit of learning and knowledge is one of the many gifts of the Holy Ghost. He can help you in so many ways, including in your learning.

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Friend October 2017 “Family Night Fun” Read “Sarah and the MRI.” When Sarah was comforted by the Holy Ghost, she felt like she was being wrapped in a blanket. Cut several strips of paper. Write a different way the Holy Ghost can help you on each one. Weave the papers together to make a blanket.

Friend August 2022 “Jesus Promised Us Comfort” Jesus Christ knew His disciples would need comfort after He died. So He taught them about the Holy Ghost. (See more at link.)

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He gives us thoughts in our mind and feelings in our heart through the Holy Ghost.

  • A feeling that Heavenly Father and Jesus loves us.
  • A feeling of comfort when we are sad or lonely
  • A good feeling when we hear beautiful music or see inspiring art
  • A peaceful feeling that everything is going to be okay.

  • He also sends people to help and comfort us.
  • God’s words, such as in the Scriptures, can also touch our hearts and help comfort us.

Friend April 2019 “ A Comforting Song “ Mia is feeling sad, so she sings a Primary song, and she feels the comforting influence of the Holy Ghost.

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Friend October 2017 “Sarah and the MRI” Sarah had to have another scary MRI where she was all alone in a tube. Her mother reminder her that there was someone who could be with her to comfort her—the Holy Ghost. Her dad blessed her that she would feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost, and she did. The Holy Ghost felt warm and comforting like being wrapped in a blanket.

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Friend June 2023 “A Prayer for Comfort” A close family friend died and Maycie was feeling sad. She was also worried about his family and how sad they were. She said a prayer for comfort for them and her family. After the prayer, she felt a wave of warmth come over her. She knew that it was the Holy Ghost comforting her.

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Testifies of Christ and Truth

Friend September 2015 “A New Feeling” – Child feels Holy Ghost while reading the scriptures

Friend September 2015

  • Share an experience when the Holy Ghost comforted you, guided you, or helped you know the truth. Testify that the Holy Ghost can help the children in similar ways.

Friend June 2023 “ Come, Follow Me  Activities”

Story:  Jesus taught His disciples about the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can comfort and teach us. He can help us know what is right. (See  John 14:26 .)

Song:  “The Still Small Voice” ( Children’s Songbook,  106–7)

Activity:  Go to  page 8  to make a cup telephone. Talk about how the Holy Ghost can help us hear what Heavenly Father wants to teach us.

Friend June 2023 “Can You Hear Me?” Make this play phone. Talk about how the Holy Ghost can help us hear what Heavenly Father wants to teach us.

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Friend June 2023 “ Come, Follow Me  Activities for Little Ones” Whisper “I love you” to your little one. Tell them that the Holy Ghost whispers words of love and truth to our hearts and minds. We can’t often hear them with our ears, but they make us feel loved and safe.

  • Together with the children, sing a song about the Holy Ghost, such as “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105). Invite them to listen for things mentioned in the song that the Holy Ghost does.

Teaching Children the Gospel “If I Listen With My Heart – Verse Three” Teaching ideas

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Doctrine and Covenants 91

As you read what the Lord told Joseph Smith about the Apocrypha, think about how this counsel could help the children discern between the truth and error they will encounter throughout their lives.

  • Read together the  section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 91  to help the children understand what the Apocrypha is (see also Guide to the Scriptures, “ Apocrypha ,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Help the children think of other places, such as in the media, where we might find “many things … that are true” and “many things … that are not true” ( verses 1–2 ). Then invite the children to search  section 91  to learn what the Lord said we can do to discern between truth and error.
  • Read together  Doctrine and Covenants 91:4–6 , and ask the children what these verses teach about the Holy Ghost. Invite the children to share a personal experience when “the Spirit [manifested] truth” to them. Also share your own experiences. In what other ways can the Spirit help us?

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Show the children a fake and real diamond jewelry item. Explain that one of the jewelry items has fake diamonds in it and one has real diamonds in it. Ask the children how much value a fake diamond would have. Then ask how much value a real diamond would have. Ask the children if they can tell which diamond is real and which is fake. Reveal which diamond is real.

Tell the children that there has been an increasing amount of imitation diamonds introduced into the world that some people try to pass off as the real thing. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the real and the fake. Many people are fooled into paying large amounts for fake items that are worthless.

Also explain that there has been an increasing amount of false teachings about religion being spread throughout the world, and many people have a hard time telling the difference between what is priceless truth and what is worthless lies. People are paying dearly with the consequences of buying into the deceptions.

Explain that Satan has a counterfeit or opposite teaching for every teaching of Jesus Christ, but because Satan’s counterfeits are worthless they do not bring real happiness or satisfaction.

• How can a person tell if a diamond is real or fake? It takes special equipment and study to be able to tell the difference.

• What is the special equipment we have been given to help us identify the difference between false teachings and true teachings? The scriptures, the Holy Ghost (remind the children that Alma was able to discern Korihor’s lies through the Holy Ghost), and we also have access to trained experts through the living prophets. (Lesson 20 – Korihor, the Anti-Christ)

Friend December 2020 “Come Follow Me for Little Ones”

Read  Moroni 10:5  together and help your little ones say, “The Holy Ghost helps me know what is true.” Some children mistakenly think the Holy Ghost is a spooky ghost. Explain that the Holy Ghost is a real person, like Heavenly Father and Jesus. He helps us have comforting, warm, happy feelings. You could cuddle up together in a blanket and watch the sing-along video for “The Holy Ghost” at  children.ChurchofJesusChrist.org .

Friend June 2020 A testimony is a good feeling from the Holy Ghost telling you that something is true.

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 18–19: “The Worth of Souls Is Great”

Doctrine and Covenants 18:1-5

Perhaps family members could share some of the “many instances” ( verse 2 ) in which the Spirit has manifested to them that the scriptures are true, just as He did for Oliver Cowdery. How can your family “rely upon the things which are written” ( verse 3 ) in the scriptures? How can you build your family’s foundation on the “rock” ( verse 4 ) of the gospel?

Latter Day Kids “Personal Revelation” Lesson ideas

Acts 2:36–47 also Acts 2:1–24

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Acts 1-5” When children learn to recognize how the Holy Ghost speaks to them, they will be inspired to listen and act on the inspiration they receive.

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“Lesson 36: The Day of Pentecost,” Primary 7: New Testament

Teach the children that when Jesus was with his Apostles he taught them many things. He knew he would not always be with them, so he promised to send a special gift to help them.

Read the following clues. Have the children stand when they think they know what the gift is and whisper the answer in your ear. If they correctly identify the Holy Ghost, have them remain standing.

  • I teach the truth.
  • I am a guide.
  • I give comfort.
  • I testify of  Jesus Christ .
  • I usually speak to your mind or heart.
  • I am a member of the Godhead.
  • I am a spirit person but do not have a physical body.

Write  Pentecost  on the chalkboard. Explain that  Pentecost  comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth. Pentecost was a Jewish celebration held every year fifty days after the Passover. Jesus gave the  sacrament  to his Apostles at the Last Supper, which happened at the time of the Passover. It was fifty days after the Last Supper that his disciples received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Write  Gift of the Holy Ghost  on the chalkboard.

  • On the day of Pentecost, how did the Holy Ghost come to Jesus’ Apostles? ( Acts 2:1–4 .)
  • What gave the disciples the ability to speak in tongues and be understood by people who spoke other languages? ( Acts 2:4 .) How does this spiritual gift of the Holy Ghost help the Church’s missionary effort today? (By helping many of the missionaries learn foreign languages. The gift of tongues can also help contacts understand the gospel message even when a missionary does not speak the language well.)
  • What caused the hearts of the people to be pricked after Peter had testified of Christ’s crucifixion and  resurrection ? ( Acts 2:33, 36–37 . The Holy Ghost.) What does it mean to have a pricked heart? (To have a sharp feeling of regret or sorrow.) How can the Holy Ghost help us feel sorry for things we have done?
  • What did Peter tell the people they needed to do to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost? ( Acts 2:38 .) What do we need to do to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost?
  • After the 3,000 souls were baptized, what were some of the things they did so the Holy Ghost would continue to guide them? ( Acts 2:42–47 .) (You could have the children find the answers in the scriptures and list them on the chalkboard.)

Read together  Acts 2:36–37 . What does it feel like when the Holy Ghost tells us something in our hearts?

Friend March 2020 “How Does Heavenly Father Speak to Us?”

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As a class, make a poster with the words  What shall we do?  at the top. Display the poster each week, and add ways the children can act on what they learn in each week’s lesson.

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Invite the children to read  Acts 2:41–47  and find the good things the people did after they were baptized. What good things can we do to show we are thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost we received when we were baptized?

Friend February 2018 “Funstuff: The Holy Ghost”

  • Friend October 2017 “Guided by the Holy Ghost”   Elder Robert D. Hales learned to follow the Holy Ghost to help others.

John 14:26 ;  15:26 ;  16:13

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “John 14–17” Have the children you teach received the gift of the Holy Ghost? What do they know about how the Holy Ghost can help them? Consider how you will help them better understand the roles of the Holy Ghost.

  • Give the children the following verses to read in pairs:  John 14:26 ;  15:26 ; and  16:13 . Ask them to find words that teach them what the Holy Ghost does. Write the words on the board.

Doctrine and Covenants 11:12–13

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 10–11: “That You May Come Off Conqueror”

Reading these verses can help your family members recognize when the Spirit is communicating with them. You could shine a flashlight on the floor and invite a family member to move to where the light is shining. How is this like following the guidance of the Holy Ghost? What personal experiences could you share?

Ensign July 2019  “Family Study Fun”( Acts 1:1–8, 15–26 ; 2:1–42 ; 4:1–13, 31–33 ) Finding someone in need by listening to the still small voice.

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  • Scatter pillows, couch cushions, and other soft objects throughout the room.
  • Assign someone in the family to be the “person in need” at the end of the obstacle course.
  • Place a blindfold on a member of the family and assign someone else to whisper directions into the person’s ear to guide them safely through the course to the person in need.

Discussion: When was a time you felt directed by the Holy Ghost to help someone else? How did you recognize those promptings?

Sing a song about the guidance of the Holy Ghost, such as “ Listen, Listen ” (Children’s Songbook, 107). Ask the children what the song teaches them about how the Holy Ghost helps us.

Abraham 1:18 ;  2:8

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2” Abraham wanted to be righteous even though members of his family were wicked. The Lord said to him, “I will lead thee by my hand” ( Abraham 1:18 ). Just as God promised to help Abraham, He can lead the children you teach when they desire to choose the right.

  • Use “ Abraham and Sarah ” (in Old Testament Stories) to help the children understand that people around Abraham were doing bad things, but Abraham wanted to do what was right and the Lord helped him.

Old Testament Stories ” Abraham and Sarah”

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  • Read to the children  Abraham 1:18  and  2:8 , and invite the children to listen for a part of the body that is mentioned in both verses. How would it feel to have Jesus Christ lead us by the hand or to have His hand protecting us? Testify that Jesus leads us by guiding us through His Spirit.
  • How do Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ help us when we try to choose the right?

Gospel Media “He Will Lead Thee”

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Friend January 2021 “The Party Problem”  Luz felt uneasy about going to a graduation party. It didn’t sound like the kind of party where she’d be able to feel the Holy Ghost. She thought about it, made her choice not to go, and then asked Heavenly Father if that was the right choice. Afterwards she felt a wave of warmth and light and knew she had made the right choice. 

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  • Sing a song related to this principle, such as “ Teach Me to Walk in the Light ” (Children’s Songbook, 177).
  • Show several pictures of the Savior (see Gospel Art Book, nos. 38 ,  39 ,  40 , and  41 ), and help the children see things that He did with His hands. What can we do with our hands to help others?

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Below song includes a story about a boy that didn’t have any friends and another boy learns in FHE and then befriends the lonely boy.

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“You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit—that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God.”

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley  (2016), 121.

Helps You Feel the Love of Heavenly Father and Jesus

Friend October 2023 “I Feel My Savior’s Love” A girl feels the Savior’s love during singing time. Her mother tells her that the warmth and love she feels in her heart is the Holy Ghost helping her feel the Savior’s love.

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Friend July 2023 “Courage from the Holy Ghost” Mathias had extreme social anxiety and could only talk to close family members. He was seeing a counselor but didn’t seem to be getting any better. When he turned 8 he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. He knew the Holy Ghost would comfort him and give him courage. I decided to try to speak to his friend, Charlie. He tried all week, but couldn’t. Then one day when they were alone in the school garden, Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost helped him say hi to his friend. After that day, it was easier to complete more goals. Soon he was talking to pretty much everyone!

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  • Share an experience when the Holy Ghost guided you, comforted you, warned you, or testified of truth to you. Invite the children to share any experiences they have had. How did they recognize the Holy Ghost’s influence?

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  • Invite each child to draw his or her face on a paper bag. Shine a flashlight, representing the Holy Ghost, into each bag. Then put things in the bags that block the light, such as a pieces of cloth, to teach that our wrong choices can limit the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Let the children remove the things from their bags to represent repentance.

New Era January 2019 “How to Get Better Revelation Reception” Use a cup and string communication device and put folded papers on the string of things that might interfere with receiving revelation. (See article for more information.)

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Friend August 2012 “I Choose to Fill My Life with Things That Invite the Spirit” This game can be used for ideas on things that invite the spirit and things that block the spirit. If the game is played, I suggest players choosing characters on the board that the game is about.

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Matthew 3:11, 16

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3” Children are learning how to recognize and follow the Holy Ghost’s guidance. Help them understand that keeping their baptismal covenants will help them be worthy to receive His guidance.

  • Ask each child to read one of the following scriptures and to explain what it teaches about how the Holy Ghost speaks to us:  Helaman 5:30 ;  Doctrine and Covenants 6:23 ;  8:2–3 ;  11:12–13 .

Still small voice

Leadeth to do good

Fill your soul with joy

Enlighten your mind (Gives greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation.)

In your mind and in your heart

  • “How can I know when I am feeling the Holy Ghost?” (October 2012  Friend ) Several children share how they recognize the Spirit.

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  • Ask a child to read  Matthew 3:11 . How is the Holy Ghost like fire? For instance, fire can be comforting, and it gives light to guide us (see  John 15:26 ;  2 Nephi 32:5 ).

1 Corinthians 2:11–14

Show objects or pictures that represent ways we learn about the world (such as a school, book, or smartphone). What can we learn when we use these things? Explain that in  1 Corinthians 2:11, 14 , Paul taught that we can learn about God only through the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Ghost. What can we do to learn “the things of God”? ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

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Clap your hands as you say each syllable in the sentence “The Holy Ghost teaches us truth.” Ask the children to clap their hands and repeat the phrase. Share with the children an experience when the Holy Ghost helped you know that something was true. ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

Friend January 2022 “Dinis Finds an Answer” Dinis and his family had joined the church, but a couple of years afterwards Dinis was questioning that decision. He knew he needed to ask God if the Church was true. He prayed harder than he ever had before. Then Dinis felt something. The feeling was strong and warm. It grew until he felt it all over his body. He knew it was the Holy Ghost telling him that the church was true.

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Sing together a song about the Holy Ghost, such as “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105). Help the children find words and phrases in the song that teach how the Holy Ghost speaks to us and what He teaches us. ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

  • When Christ was on the earth, He promised he would send The Holy Ghost to comfort us, Our true, eternal friend. The Holy Spirit whispers With a still small voice . He testifies of God and Christ And makes our hearts rejoice .

Ask the children to make a list of ways we learn about the world—for example, books, school, and the internet. Then read together  1 Corinthians 2:11–14 . What do these verses teach about how we learn “the things of God”?( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

Tell about a time when you learned something through the Spirit of God. Help the children identify times when they felt the Spirit. What “things of God” ( 1 Corinthians 2:11 ) has the Spirit helped us understand?( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

  Friend April 2021 “Matt and Mandy”

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Invite each child to read one of these scriptures:  1 Corinthians 2:11–14 ;  1 Nephi 10:17 ;  Moroni 10:3–5 ; and  Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3 . Ask the children to share what they learned from these scriptures about how the Holy Ghost teaches us. Why are we grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost?( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7” )

Matching Activity:

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If you wanted to learn more about something like automotive mechanics or medieval architecture, how would you do it? According to  1 Corinthians 2:9–16 , how is learning “the things of God” different from learning the “things of a man”? Why must we have the Holy Ghost in order to understand the things of God? After reading these verses, what do you feel you should do to understand spiritual things more fully? How could Paul’s words help someone who is struggling with his or her testimony? Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 1–7”

For the Strength of Youth “Pepper Precautions” Object lesson

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Refine : Fire can help refine gold and burns off the impurities that can’t be seen.

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Ensign April 2016 “Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins” Conference address by Elder David A Bednar

“Additionally, the Holy Ghost is a sanctifier 13  who cleanses and burns dross and evil out of human souls as though by fire.

The Savior Himself proclaimed, “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name,  that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost,  that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.” 25

Receiving the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost in our lives creates the possibility of an  ongoing cleansing  of our soul from sin. This joyous blessing is vital because “no unclean thing can dwell with God.” 26

With the help of the Lord and through the power of His Spirit to “teach [us] all things,” 31  indeed we can be blessed to realize our spiritual possibilities.”

  • Invite the children to close their eyes and hold out their hands. Then lightly brush their palms with a feather or string. Invite them to tell you when they feel it. What does this activity teach about recognizing the impressions of the Holy Ghost?
  • Invite the children to share experiences they have had with the Holy Ghost. Why does keeping our covenants help us to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost?
  • A feeling that Jesus loves us and that the gospel is true
  • A comforting feeling when we are sad or lonely
  • A happy feeling after we have repented
  • A peaceful feeling that something is a good choice
  • A warning feeling that something is wrong

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Friend October 2017 “How Can the Holy Ghost Help Me?”

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Friend May 2017 “Why Do We Need the Gift of the Holy Ghost”

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Friend November 2023 “Conference Notes”

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President Eyring  said that he feels encouraged when he reads the story of Nephi getting the brass plates from Laban. Nephi didn’t know exactly what to do, but he was guided every moment by the Holy Ghost. When the Lord asks us to do something hard, the Holy Ghost will help us too.

This teaches me:

Personal Revelation

Doctrine and Covenants 42:61, 68

Read  Doctrine and Covenants 42:61, 68  with the children, emphasizing the phrase “revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge.” Explain that God does not reveal everything at once; instead, He gives us a little bit at a time. Show how a puzzle is built little by little, or use something similar to help the children understand this principle. Share an experience when you received revelation that blessed you.( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 41–44” )

Ensign April 2021 “Teaching about Overcoming through Jesus Christ” Personal Revelation

The Lord will give us revelation for our lives. “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge” ( Doctrine and Covenants 42:61 ).

  • Sit in a circle as a family. Take turns answering the question, “In what ways can I seek personal revelation?”
  • Give examples from the scriptures.
  • How do we “hear Him”?

Discussion:  What steps can we take as a family to help each other receive and recognize personal revelation?

Optional activity:  Read together President Russell M. Nelson’s talk “ Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives ,”  Liahona,  May 2018, 93–96.

Several of Joseph Smith’s family members and friends asked him to seek the Lord’s will on their behalf. Joseph was happy to do so, but the Lord was also willing to give them personal revelation. In  Doctrine and Covenants 11 , a revelation that Joseph received for his older brother Hyrum, the Lord said, “I will impart unto you of my Spirit, … and then shall ye know … all things whatsoever you desire of me” ( Doctrine and Covenants 11:13–14 ). What is the Lord trying to tell you about personal revelation?

Doctrine and Covenants 66

William E. McLellin had five specific questions for the Lord. Joseph Smith received answers to them in a revelation even though he did not know what William’s questions were. This experience could help you teach the children that God is aware of them and can answer their questions.

  • Tell about how the Lord answered William E. McLellin’s questions through a revelation from the Prophet Joseph Smith (see  Doctrine and Covenants 66, section heading ). Testify that Heavenly Father knows us and wants to help us. Ask the children to share how they know that God loves them.
  • Read to the children  Doctrine and Covenants 66:4 . Tell the children about a time when the Lord showed you what He wanted you to do. Read the verse again, this time inserting the name of one of the children. Repeat for each of the children.

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Friend March 2018 “Heavenly Father Listens” Elder Clayton felt the love of God as a teen when he prayed about some worries. Heavenly Father loves us and is interested in our lives just like a parent would be. (Activity page included: Find the hearts in the room of the girl who is praying.)

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Exodus 14:5–22

Moses knew by revelation how to lead the Israelites across the Red Sea (see  Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3 ). How can this story help the children you teach learn to act on personal revelation?

  • Display the picture of Moses parting the Red Sea in  this week’s outline  in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. Ask the children to review  Exodus 14:5–22  and share something they know about the story. What does  Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3  add to our understanding of the story? Tell about an experience when the Holy Ghost told you something in your mind or heart, and invite the children to talk about their experiences.

Friend January 2021 “The Bread Loaf Prayer” “How do you know when the Holy Ghost is talking to you?” Carver asked his parents. They decide to practice listening for the Holy Ghost. Carver’s mom bakes some bread and each person prays to know who to take it to. Carver thought of Sister Smith and he even listened and said the words to her that popped into his mind when he gave her the bread. He knew it was from the Holy Ghost.

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  • Remind the children of the story of Nephi following the Spirit when he went to get the brass plates (see  1 Nephi 4:1–6 ). Help the children see that Moses also had to follow the Spirit when he led his people across the Red Sea. Help the children write a new verse to “ Nephi’s Courage ” (Children’s Songbook, 120–21) about how the Lord provided a way for Moses when he showed courage and followed the Spirit. Sing the new verse together.
  • Additional Resources :

Matthew 16:13–17

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 15–17; Mark 7–9” How might Peter’s testimony in  Matthew 16:13–17  help the children as they build their testimonies?

  • Ask the children what they would say if someone asked them, “Who is Jesus?” Invite the children to read  Matthew 16:13–17  to find out how Peter answered that question. How did he gain his testimony of Jesus?

New Testament Scripture Stories “Peter Testifies of Jesus”

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For the Strength of Youth April 2023 “Caesarea Philippi” Learn about the place where the Savior asked, “Whom say ye that I am?”

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The backdrop for this event in the scriptures was both beautiful and instructive:

  • In biblical times,  the spring at Caesarea Philippi seemed to burst right out of the mountain, flowing out of a cave.
  • Jesus Christ  said that He can give us “living water,” which is “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” ( John 4:11, 14 ).
  • Jesus Christ  is the “source [of] a remission of [our] sins” ( 2 Nephi 25:26 ).
  • Jesus Christ  is the source of all priesthood authority and priesthood keys on earth (see  Doctrine and Covenants 107:2–4 ).
  • Revelation  from God is a pure source of a testimony of Jesus Christ.

Latter Day Kids “What is a Testimony” Lesson ideas

Friend January 2013 “How can I get a testimony?”

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  • Help the children compare the way we know spiritual truths with the ways we know other truths. For example, how do we know how tall a person is or what the weather is like? How do we know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Tell the children how the Holy Ghost has testified to you of the Savior.

Liahona April 2023 “Preparation and Progression” Come, Follow Me Family Fun: A Sense of Revelation

Peter saw and heard the Savior’s teachings. However, he received his testimony of Christ through revelation rather than through his physical senses—his “flesh and blood” (see  Matthew 16:13–17 ).

Gather a few objects (see ideas below). Take turns being blindfolded. Have each person use their other four senses to guess what the object is.

  • Smell a flower
  • Taste a treat
  • Listen to a song
  • Touch a soft sweater

Discussion:  Read  Doctrine and Covenants 6:14–15  and  8:2–3 . How can we learn truth through the spiritual sense of revelation rather than only relying on our physical senses? Note that everyone receives a testimony through the Holy Ghost but that some feel that influence differently than others. How can personal revelation through the Holy Ghost deepen our testimonies of Christ?

Friend September 2015 “A New Feeling” – Child feels Holy Ghost while reading about Jesus in the scriptures

How Does the Spirit Speak to Us?

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Friend January 2024 “Listen to the Holy Ghost”

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Doctrine and Covenants 85:6

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 85-87”

Elder Richard G. Scott said, “If you accomplish nothing else in your relationship with your students than to help them recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit, you will bless their lives immeasurably and eternally” (“To Learn and to Teach More Effectively” [Brigham Young University Education Week devotional, Aug. 21, 2007], 5, speeches.byu.edu).

  • Read to the children how Joseph Smith described the Spirit: “Yea, thus saith the still small voice” ( Doctrine and Covenants 85:6 ). Ask the children to name some things that are small (show pictures if they need help). Invite them to crouch down on the ground to be as small and still as they can. Help them think about how a voice can be small, and let them practice listening to and speaking in a small voice. Tell about times when the Spirit spoke to you in a still, small voice.
  • Teach the children a song about the Spirit, such as “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105). Invite them to sing it with you in a whisper. What does this song teach about the Holy Ghost? Help the children recognize when they may have felt His influence (such as when praying, singing hymns, or helping others).

The world has many distractions that can make it difficult to hear the Spirit. How will you help the children listen for the Spirit’s voice?

  • Ask the children what they would say if someone asked them how they know when the Holy Ghost speaks to them. Invite them to read about one way Joseph Smith described the Spirit’s voice in  Doctrine and Covenants 85:6 .
  • Play a hymn or children’s song quietly, and ask one of the children to guess what song it is while the others make distracting noises, such as clapping or stomping. Then ask the other children to stop, and discuss how this is like hearing the Holy Ghost when we remove distractions from our lives. Help the children think of distractions they can remove in order to feel the Spirit more often.

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 85-87”

How can you teach your family to recognize the still, small voice of the Spirit? Maybe you could play a game in which someone whispers important instructions amid distracting noises. What might be distracting us from hearing the Holy Ghost? Perhaps family members could share what they do to hear the voice of the Spirit.

Friend August 2021 “Scripture Time Fun for Little Ones”

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For  Doctrine and Covenants 85–87 :  Sing a hymn or Primary song very quietly. Practice concentrating on hearing and understanding the song. Help your little ones say, “I can listen for the Holy Ghost.”

Friend August 2016 “The Little Bottle of Silence” Gage’s grandfather gives him a empty bottle of “silence” at his baptism to remind Gage that quietness helps you hear the Holy Ghost. He feels the Holy Ghost comforting him during a sad time when he seeks quiet time.

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Friend September 2015 “Sister Pettigrew’s Lesson”  Elder Ronald A. Rasband tells how he learned to listen to the still, small voice

Friend September 2015

Friend June 2016 Poem about a quiet place to go to pray and feel the Spirit. Also includes lesson ideas.

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1 Kings CHAPTER 19

Jezebel seeks the life of Elijah—An angel sends him to Horeb—The Lord speaks to Elijah, not in the wind nor the earthquake nor the fire, but in a still, small voice—Elisha joins Elijah.

Friend July 2022 “Elijah and the Still, Small Voice”

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Latter Day Kids “Elijah and the Still Small Voice” Lesson ideas

1 Kings 19:9–12

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “1 Kings 17–19” With some guidance, young children can recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Ponder how you can help them.

  • Summarize for the children the story found in  1 Kings 19:9–12 , and read  verses 11–12 . Invite them to do actions to represent the strong wind, the earthquake, and the fire. Then invite them to sit very still as you read the end of  verse 12  in a soft voice: “after the fire a still small voice.” Ask them to try speaking in a still, small voice. Tell them about times when you have experienced a prompting from the Holy Ghost.
  • Help the children recognize when they may have felt the Holy Ghost’s influence. For example, play or sing a reverent song about Jesus, and ask them how they feel when they think about Him. Ask them how they feel during other reverent activities, such as praying with their families or partaking of the sacrament. Explain that these feelings come from the Holy Ghost. Tell the children how the power of the Holy Ghost has blessed your life.

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “1 Kings 17–19” The world is full of distracting noises that make it difficult to hear the still, small voice of the Spirit. How will you help the children hear it?

  • Ask the children to listen closely as you read  1 Kings 19:11–12  to them very quietly. Invite them to search  1 Kings 19  to find the verses you read and learn what Elijah was doing. Talk about what they had to do to hear what you were saying, and help them compare this to what we have to do to hear the “still small voice” of the Spirit. Let the children take turns quietly reading other verses from  1 Kings 19  while other children find those verses in the scriptures.
  • Share with the children some additional scriptures that describe how the Spirit communicates with us (see Guide to the Scriptures, “ Inspiration, Inspire ,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Ask the children to talk about times when they have felt the Holy Ghost guiding them or testifying to them. What were they doing? What can distract us from recognizing the Spirit? Read together  Moroni 4:3 , and encourage the children to choose one thing they will do so they can “always have his Spirit to be with them.”

Friend June 2022 “ Come, Follow Me  Activities: The Still, Small Voice”

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Story:  Elijah was a prophet. He learned that the Holy Ghost speaks in a still, small voice. You can read this story on  page 8  or in  1 Kings 19:11–12 .

Song:  “The Holy Ghost” ( Children’s Songbook,  105)

Activity:  Have everyone sit in a line. The first person whispers some words to the next person. Each person whispers the words to the next person. The last person tells everyone what they heard. What can you do to hear the Holy Ghost better?

“Lesson 33: Elijah Uses the Priesthood,” Primary 6: Old Testament  To help the children have a greater understanding of how the priesthood blesses their lives.

Friend November 2023 “Listening to the Holy Ghost” The Holy Ghost brings us messages from Heavenly Father. This is called  revelation . Have you ever had a warm, happy feeling when you sing in Primary? Or had a thought to help someone? Those good thoughts and feelings come from the Holy Ghost! Ask these questions to help you know when the Holy Ghost is speaking to you.

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3 Nephi 11:1–8

Ask the children to read  verses 5–7  to find out what the people did that helped them understand the voice.

Ensign September 2020 “Family Study Fun”

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Read  3 Nephi 11:3–7  together. Before Jesus Christ appeared to the people in Bountiful, they had to “open their ears” to the words of God.

  • Invite everyone to turn to each other and talk about their day.
  • Meanwhile, have someone softly read  3 Nephi 11:7 . Then ask the group if they can repeat what was said.
  • Read the scripture again, this time with everyone listening quietly. Now repeat the verse together.

Discussion:  Why was it easier to remember the verse the second time? How can we eliminate distractions and “open our ears” to the Spirit this week?

Ensign September 2020 “How Can We Hear God’s Voice”

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1 Samuel CHAPTER 3

The Lord calls Samuel—The house of Eli will not be purged by sacrifices and offerings—Samuel is recognized as a prophet by all Israel—The Lord appears to him.

1 Samuel 3:1–10

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “Ruth; 1 Samuel 1–3” When Samuel was a young boy, he heard the voice of the Lord but did not recognize it at first. How can you help the children you teach hear and act on the promptings they receive?

  • Invite one child to pretend to be Samuel and another to pretend to be Eli as you read  1 Samuel 3:1–10  (or show the video “Samuel and Eli,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What can we learn from Samuel about how to listen to the voice of the Lord? How do we show that we are willing to hear when the Lord speaks to us?

Old Testament Stories “Samuel the Prophet” Images

  • Invite the children to think about how they would explain to someone how the Lord speaks to them. Invite them to look for answers in one or more of the following scriptures:  Doctrine and Covenants 6:22–23 ;  8:2–3 ;  9:7–9 .

It might be fun to act out the story of the Lord calling to Samuel, or your family could watch the video “Samuel and Eli” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Family members could talk about times when they have felt the Lord speaking to them and how they acted on His words. Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 “Ruth; 1 Samuel 1–3”

Old Testament Coloring Book “Hannah and Samuel”

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Liahona June 2022 “We Follow Jesus Christ and His Prophet”

Samuel heard the Lord’s voice when he was a young boy but did not recognize it at first. Try this activity to learn about listening:

  • Blindfold one person or have them cover their eyes.
  • From another room, a family member will say the blindfolded person’s name.
  • If the blindfolded person can guess who spoke, the speaking person will give directions to help the blindfolded person find him or her.
  • Take turns being the blindfolded person and the person saying the name.

Discussion:  We can hear the voice of the Lord in the scriptures, the temple, and the teachings of living prophets. How do you hear His voice? Read or listen to President Russell M. Nelson’s April 2020 general conference talk “ Hear Him ” and look for ways we can hear the Lord’s voice better in our own lives. Talk about how you as a family can “hear Him.”

Friend June 2022 “Scripture Hero Cards”

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Old Testament Stories for Young Readers “Hannah and Samuel”

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  • Coloring Page: “The Lord Calls to Samuel”  (June 2010  Liahona  and  Friend )

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  • “Jehovah Calls Samuel”  (June 2010  Friend ) Even though Samuel was just a boy, Jehovah knew his name and had a plan for him.
  • “Labels”  (March 2005  Liahona  and  Friend )
  • President Thomas S. Monson retells the story of Samuel.
  • “Samuel, the Boy Prophet”  (May 1983  Friend )
  • Retelling of the story of Samuel.
  • “Scriptural Giants: Samuel”  (March 1987  Friend )
  • Samuel was a faithful prophet of God throughout his whole life.
  • Image: Old Testament, “Hannah Presents Son Samuel”

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  • Image: Scripture Stories, Primary Symbols, “Lord Calls Samuel”

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“Lesson 27: Samuel, the Boy Prophet,” Primary 6: Old Testament To encourage the children to listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

How to Feel the Spirit in Our Lives

Through scripture study.

Helaman 10

Nephi was blessed with revelation when he pondered the things the Lord had shown him.

Ponder means to meditate and think deeply, often upon the scriptures or other things of God. When combined with prayer, pondering the things of God may bring revelation and understanding. (Guide to the Scriptures)

What does it mean to ponder? (To think about and consider) The scriptures tell us that many prophets received revelation from the Lord as they were pondering upon the things of God. We also open ourselves up to revelation as we ponder upon our problems during scripture study, during church meetings, and during our prayers.

How can I be guided by the Holy Ghost? – Friend Jun. 2015 

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Doctrine and Covenants 76:12, 15–19 ,  114–16

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 76”

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received  Doctrine and Covenants 76  when they were pondering the scriptures. Help the children see how studying the scriptures can invite revelation through the Holy Ghost.

  • Ask the children if they know what Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were doing when they saw the vision in  Doctrine and Covenants 76 . Invite them to read  verses 15–19  to find out. Share a time when you received inspiration while reading the scriptures, and ask the children to talk about the spiritual feelings they have when reading the scriptures.
  • Ask the children to close their eyes and try to perform a task, like coloring a picture or opening the scriptures to a specific verse. What are some things that are difficult to do when our eyes are closed spiritually? Read together  Doctrine and Covenants 76:12, 15–19 ,  114–16  to find out what we need to do to have our eyes opened spiritually.

In Holy Places

Exodus CHAPTER 40

The tabernacle is reared—Aaron and his sons are washed and anointed and given an everlasting priesthood—The glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle—A cloud covers the tabernacle by day, and fire rests on it by night.

Exodus 40:17–34

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 “Exodus 35–40; Leviticus 1; 16; 19” The Lord commanded the children of Israel to build the tabernacle so He could “dwell among them” ( Exodus 25:8 ). You can help the children learn about the holy places God has given us today to help us feel His presence.The tabernacle not only allowed the children of Israel to have the presence of God with them, but it also taught them things they could do to become more like God.

  • Younger Children: Show a picture of a temple, and read  Exodus 25:8  to the children. Explain that in our day, God has given us holy places where we can be close to Him. Help the children list some of these places. Ask the children how they feel when they think about these holy places. Share with them that we can also feel close to God when we pray, no matter where we are.
  • Older Children: Ask the children to read  Exodus 25:8  to find out why the Lord wanted the children of Israel to build a “sanctuary” (or tabernacle). Help the children list places and situations where we can feel the presence of the Lord. How do these places help us become more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

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Friend July 2022 “I Can Feel the Holy Ghost”

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We Must Be Righteous to Have the “Powers of Heaven.”

Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 121-123”

In what seemed like a powerless condition in Liberty Jail, Joseph was given revelation about power—not the political or military power that had been exerted over the Saints but “the powers of heaven.” As you read  Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46 , what do you learn about God’s power? How is it different from worldly power? For example, look at the words the Lord uses in  verses 41–43  to describe “power or influence.” What do they teach about how God maintains His “power or influence”? Perhaps these verses could inspire you to ponder your life and what you can do to be an influence for good in your relationships with others.

  • Perhaps an analogy would help your family understand “the powers of heaven.” For example, you could compare God’s power to electrical power; what might prevent an electrical device from receiving power? What does this analogy, along with  verses 34–36, 41–45 , teach us about how to increase our spiritual power? Maybe family members could share stories from the Savior’s life that exemplify these attributes.

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 121-123”

  • Draw a line with the words  high power  at one end and  low power  at the other. Draw an arrow pointing at the middle of the line. Choose several words or phrases from  Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46  that teach how we decrease or increase heavenly power in our lives (such as “cover our sins,” “pride,” “gentleness,” and “love”). Invite the children to take turns picking a word, deciding if the word leads to a decrease or increase in power, and moving the arrow accordingly. Talk with the children about people they know who have been a good influence on others because they follow the Lord’s counsel in these verses.
  • Read  Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–42, 45 , and ask the children to list qualities in these verses that the Lord wants us to have. Help them define any words they don’t understand. Assign each child one quality, and help them think of a way that they can show it. Once they have all shared, ask them to read  verses 45–46  and list the blessings they will receive if they develop those qualities.
  • Read together the first line of  Doctrine and Covenants 121:46 . How can the Holy Ghost be our “constant companion”? Sing together “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105) or another song about the gift of the Holy Ghost. What does the song teach us about why we want the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion?

Liahona October 2021 “How Do We Draw Upon the Powers of Heaven”

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Object Lessons

Ensign July 2016 Recognizing promptings from the Holy Ghost: “I put various hard foods–such as rice, beans, pasta shells, and peppercorns–into opaque plastic containers, using two containers for each food item. We then challenged our children to match the foods by shaking the containers and listening carefully. After a few rounds I asked how this activity might be compared to identifying the voice of the Spirit among other distracting influences. Before long, the older children were telling about their experiences with the Holy Ghost, and we all gained an appreciation for what it means to hear and feel the still, small voice.” Anita L. Reeves

Ensign April 2017  “The Just Shall Live by Faith” Draw a features on a face blindfolded by listening to directions from friends or family.

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Helaman 13:2–5

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Helaman 13–16: Glad Tidings of Great Joy”

Ask the children how Samuel the Lamanite knew what to say when he was preaching from the city wall. Invite them to search  Helaman 13:2–4  for an answer. Tell about a time when the Holy Ghost helped you know in your heart what God wanted you to do or say. Ask the children to share any similar experiences they have had.

When Samuel the Lamanite was commanded to preach to the Nephites, Heavenly Father helped him know in his heart what he should say.

Teach the children that while we speak to each other using words, the Holy Ghost can communicate through feelings in our hearts. Invite them to hold their hands over their hearts each time you read the word “heart” in  Helaman 13:2–5 . Help them decorate heart-shaped pieces of paper that say, “The Spirit speaks to me in my heart.”

The Holy Ghost helps them know what Heavenly Father wants them to do and say.

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 6–9: “This Is the Spirit of Revelation””

In the fall of 1828, a young schoolteacher named Oliver Cowdery took a teaching job in Manchester, New York, and stayed with the family of Lucy and Joseph Smith Sr. Oliver had heard about their son Joseph, who was now living in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and Oliver, who considered himself a seeker of truth, wanted to know more. The Smiths described visits from angels, an ancient record, and the gift to translate by the power of God. Oliver was fascinated. Could it be true? Lucy and Joseph Sr. gave him advice that applies to anyone seeking truth: pray and ask the Lord. Oliver did, and the Lord answered, speaking peace and reassurance to Oliver’s mind.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:5, 15–16, 22–23 ;  8:2 ;  9:7–9

Doctrine and Covenants Coloring Book “Oliver Received Answers from the Lord”

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In spring 1829 Oliver Cowdery traveled to Harmony and volunteered to be Joseph Smith’s scribe as he translated the Book of Mormon.

For the Strength of Youth January 2021 “An Answer for Oliver”

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Doctrine and Covenants Stories “Chapter 5: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery” Video and Images

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints “Gospel Media: Days of Harmony” Video of Oliver Cowdery’s experience as Joseph Smith’s scribe during the translation of the Book of Mormon

Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants and Church History “Lesson 7: Joseph Smith Translates the Gold Plates,”  

With Oliver assisting, the translation of the Book of Mormon went faster. After working as scribe for some time, Oliver wanted to translate. He was given permission to translate but failed when he tried. Oliver thought that the ability to translate would be given to him by merely asking Heavenly Father for it, but he learned that it required great mental and spiritual effort. The ability to translate had to come through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 6–9: “This Is the Spirit of Revelation”

Oliver Cowdery tried to translate the Book of Mormon but couldn’t, so Joseph asked the Lord why. Read to the children the Lord’s answer: “You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right” ( Doctrine and Covenants 9:8 ).

Discuss with the children the process for making decisions that was revealed to Oliver Cowdery through Joseph Smith in  Doctrine and Covenants 9:8–9 :

  • Study the problem or question in your mind. Think about how you could solve the problem or answer the question.
  • Decide what you think you should do.
  • Ask Heavenly Father if your decision is right.
  • Listen with your heart and mind. If your decision is right, the Holy Ghost will give you a good feeling about it. If your decision is wrong, you will not feel good about it, and you need to make a different choice.

Friend January 2021 “The Party Problem” Luz felt uneasy about going to a graduation party. It didn’t sound like the kind of party where she’d be able to feel the Holy Ghost. She thought about it, made her choice not to go, and then asked Heavenly Father if that was the right choice. Afterwards she felt a wave of warmth and light and knew she had made the right choice.

Invite the children to touch their heads and their chests as you read the words “mind” and “heart” in  Doctrine and Covenants 8:2 . Help them understand that Heavenly Father speaks to us through the Holy Ghost, who gives us thoughts and feelings. Sing together a song about the Holy Ghost, such as “ The Holy Ghost ” (Children’s Songbook, 105). What does the song teach about how the Spirit speaks to us? Share an experience when you felt the Holy Ghost in your mind and heart.

Draw on the board a head and a heart. Help the children read the following verses and determine which describe the Holy Ghost speaking to our minds, to our hearts, or to both:  Doctrine and Covenants 6:15, 23 ;  8:2 ;  9:8 ;  9:9 . Tell the children, from your experiences, what it’s like when the Holy Ghost speaks to your mind and heart.

Latter Day Kids “The Holy Ghost” Lesson, song, and activity ideas

Show the radio to the children but do not turn it on. Ask the children if they can hear what is being broadcast, and briefly discuss why they cannot. Turn on the radio but do not have it tuned to a station. Point out that the radio is on, but the children still cannot hear what is being broadcast.

  • What must we do before we can hear the radio clearly?

Help the children understand that listening to the Holy Ghost may be compared to listening to a radio. Before we can hear what Heavenly Father wants us to know, we must be tuned in to the Holy Ghost. 

Joseph learned that he could not translate without the help of the Holy Ghost. One morning he was upset with Emma over something she had done. When he tried to translate, he found that he could not translate at all. Joseph went out into the orchard to pray and ask the Lord why he could not translate. He soon realized that he needed to make peace with Emma before he could have the help of the Holy Ghost. He came back into the house and asked Emma’s  forgiveness . He was then able to continue with the translation.

  • Make two columns on the chalkboard. Label one  Invites the Spirit  and the other  Offends the Spirit.  Help the children understand that the Spirit (the Holy Ghost) is very important in our lives. Explain that good things invite the Spirit into our lives while bad things offend the Spirit and cause him to leave (see  Moroni 7:12–13 ). Ask the children to think of actions to list in each column, such as listening to good music and being kind under  Invites the Spirit  and quarreling and being dishonest under  Offends the Spirit. Explain that the Holy Ghost will teach us, comfort us, protect us, strengthen us, and guide us (see  Gospel Principles  [31110],  chapter 7 ), but to receive his help we must do things that will invite him to continue to be with us.
  • Have the children look up  Doctrine and Covenants 8:2 , and have a child read the verse aloud. Discuss how each person can receive personal revelation by listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Share an experience when the Holy Ghost directed you, and invite the children to share similar experiences.
  • You feel happy and calm.
  • You feel selfish.
  • You feel generous.
  • You become easily discouraged.
  • You want to make others happy.
  • You want to get even.
  • You are forgiving and kind.
  • You feel happy when others do well.
  • Read the scriptures.
  • Perform an act of kindness or service (such as washing dishes or playing with a baby).
  • Sit reverently in church.
  • Sing or say the words to “Search, Ponder, and Pray” ( Children’s Songbook,  p. 109). Discuss what the song teaches us to do to obtain a testimony (you may need to explain that  ponder means to study or think deeply about).
  • Sing or say the words to “The Still Small Voice” ( Children’s Songbook,  p. 106) and discuss how the Holy Ghost speaks to us. Help the children understand that we do not often hear the Holy Ghost speak out loud. Usually the Holy Ghost gives us feelings or puts ideas into our minds about what is right.

Gifts of the Spirit

Friend June 2021 “Matt and Mandy” In FHE the family discusses the seventh article of faith about gifts of the spirit.

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1 Corinthians 12:4, 7–12

Ask the children to draw a picture of a favorite gift they have received. Explain that Heavenly Father gives us spiritual gifts to strengthen our faith and help us bless others. Share with the children some of the spiritual gifts described in  1 Corinthians 12:7–11 . (Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8–13” )

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Write a note for each child, describing a spiritual gift you have seen in him or her (or you could invite parents to write these notes). Put the notes in envelopes. Allow the children to open the envelopes, and help them read about their spiritual gifts. (Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8–13” ) .

Cut out cards. Give one card to each parent to fill out. The name of the child goes on the top line.

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Easy, Peasy, and Fun “Printable Gift Box”

Semigloss Design “Gift Card Holder Template – Free Printable Template”

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Friend March 2017 “What Are Your Spiritual Gifts? ” This activity from the Friend can help family members learn about their own spiritual gifts.

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1 Corinthians 12:4, 7–12, 31 ;  13:1–8

Ask the children to write on the board the spiritual gifts they find in  1 Corinthians 12:7–11 ;  13:2 . Invite them to find any additional gifts mentioned in  Moroni 10:8–18  and  Doctrine and Covenants 46:13–26 .

See Gospel Principles “Chapter 22: The Gifts of the Spirit” for a description of the different gifts and ideas on how they could be used.

The Red Crystal has black and white copies that the children could fill out.

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“Write the gifts named in Moroni 10:9-16 on strips of paper, and put them in a gift box. Write the numbers 9 through 16 on the board, and invite the children to take turns picking a paper from the box and matching it to the verse number on the board. What do we learn about these gifts from verses 8 and 17-18?”

( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 46–48” ) If possible, show objects or pictures that represent each gift. Pause occasionally to ask the children how these gifts could bless someone.

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Share with them some additional spiritual gifts mentioned by Elder Marvin J. Ashton: “The gift of asking; the gift of listening; … the gift of avoiding contention; … the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; … the gift of caring for others; … the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony” (“ There Are Many Gifts ,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 20). Invite the children to talk about the spiritual gifts they see in each other. (Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8–13” )

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After reading these verses together, consider giving everyone a piece of paper with the name of another family member (or classmate) at the top. Ask everyone to list the spiritual gifts they notice that person has. You could then pass the papers in a circle until everyone has had a chance to write about each family member’s gifts. Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8-13”

Before class, ask the parents of the children in your class about the gifts they see in their children, or think about the children’s gifts yourself. Tell the children about these gifts. Invite the children to write down one way they will use their gifts to bless someone this week. (Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8–13” )

One truth you might recognize is that  the Lord gives each member of His Church at least one spiritual gift to bless others with . New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) “1 Corinthians 12”

Could put the card in one of the below boxes or envelopes.

Share different situations in which people could use a spiritual gift from  1 Corinthians 12:7–10 . Invite the children to identify the spiritual gifts that could be used in each situation. (Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “1 Corinthians 8–13” )

See Gospel Principles “Chapter 22: The Gifts of the Spirit” for description of the different gifts and ideas on how they would be used.

Friend December 2006 “The Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit” When a child finds one of the words have them tell how they could use that gift.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Friend September 2019 “Family Night Fun” How many different kinds of fruit can your family name? Read “ Paul’s Letters ” (FJ4). One thing the Apostle Paul taught the people of Galatia was about the “fruit of the Spirit.” Like a tree that gives us fruit, the Holy Ghost can give us wonderful blessings. Talk about what blessings come from the Holy Ghost. (For a hint, look at Galatians 5:22–23 .)

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Display or show pictures of several kinds of fruit, and ask the children to describe how each fruit tastes. Explain that just as fruits have different flavors, we can feel the Holy Ghost in different ways, such as love and peace. Describe some of the ways you have felt the Holy Ghost in your life, and let the children share how the Holy Ghost feels to them. ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Galatians” )

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Read  Galatians 5:22–23  with the children, and explain words they may not be familiar with. Invite each child to select a fruit of the Spirit mentioned in these verses, and help them think of a time when he or she has experienced it. Invite the children to draw simple pictures of their experiences. ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Galatians” )

Latter Day Kids “The Fruit of the Spirit” Lesson ideas

confirming the holy ghost lds

The Red Crystal

confirming the holy ghost lds

Give each child a piece of paper (you could cut the paper into fruit shapes), and ask the children to find a “fruit of the Spirit” listed in  Galatians 5:22–23 . Invite them to write one of the fruits on one side of their paper and a word that means the opposite on the other side. (Help them understand words they aren’t familiar with.) Invite them to share their fruits with the class. What can we do to have the Holy Ghost with us always? ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Galatians” )

Friend September 2023 “ Come, Follow Me  Activities”

Story:  When we keep the commandments and listen to the Holy Ghost, we receive blessings in our lives. Paul called these blessings “the fruit of the Spirit” ( Galatians 5:22–23 ).

Song:  “The Still Small Voice” ( Children’s Songbook , 106–7)

Activity:  Turn to  page 8  and do the activity to learn more about the fruits of the Spirit. What other blessings does the Holy Ghost give you?

Friend September 2023 “Fruits of the Spirit”

confirming the holy ghost lds

Invite the children to read about the fruit of the Spirit in  Galatians 5:22–23  and write about or draw a picture of a time when they felt one of those fruits. Ask them to share their story or picture with another person in the class. Why is fruit a good way to help us understand how the Spirit influences us? ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Galatians” )

confirming the holy ghost lds

Ensign September 2019 add some fun to your discussion of Galatians 5:22–23, your family could label different fruits with words Paul used to describe the “fruit of the Spirit.” Then each family member could select one, define it, and talk about someone who exemplifies that fruit. This could lead to a discussion about ways your family could invite the Spirit into your home and cultivate this fruit. After the discussion, you could enjoy a fruit salad together.

Moroni 10:8–20

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Moroni 10: “Come unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him”

Moroni described the gifts that God gives to His children when they have faith in Him.

Write the numbers 9 through 16 on separate pieces of paper, and wrap each paper like a gift. Let the children take turns unwrapping the gifts. (or put all the papers in one gift box and let the children take turns picking a paper from the box) As they do, read together verses from  Moroni 10:9–16  that correspond with the numbers, and help the children identify each spiritual gift. Explain that these are gifts Heavenly Father gives His children so we can help each other and do His work.

Tell the children about spiritual gifts you have noticed that Heavenly Father has given them, such as the gifts of faith, wisdom, testimony, kindness, and the ability to learn. Let the children talk briefly about favorite gifts they have received.

E nsign December 2020 “Family Study Fun”

confirming the holy ghost lds

Use this activity to talk more about  Moroni 10:18  (“every good gift cometh of Christ”).

  • Ahead of time, wrap a Book of Mormon with many layers of wrapping paper or colored cellophane. Tell your family you’ll share clues about what’s inside this gift.
  • As you share each clue (for example, “This teaches us about Jesus Christ”), invite a family member to take off a layer of paper and guess what’s inside.
  • If someone guesses correctly, continue unwrapping and take turns sharing truths about the Book of Mormon.

Discussion:  Once the book is unwrapped, end by reading  Moroni 10:18  together. What can your family do to share the gift of the gospel with others?

Ensign December 2020 “How Can I Seek Spiritual Gifts”

confirming the holy ghost lds

Scripture Stories Coloring Book: Pearl of Great Price “7th Article of Faith: Spiritual Gifts” Match each picture to its spiritual gift.

confirming the holy ghost lds

Doctrine and Covenants 46:13–26

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 46–48”

In Kirtland, many of the new members that Parley P. Pratt and the other missionaries had baptized had plenty of zeal but little experience or direction in how to live the gospel. They had been drawn to the restored gospel by the promise of marvelous manifestations of the Spirit. Soon, some unusual expressions of worship—including falling to the ground or writhing like a snake—were introduced into their Church meetings. Many found it hard to discern which manifestations were of the Spirit and which were not. Seeing the confusion, Joseph Smith prayed for help. The Lord revealed that spiritual manifestations are real and clarified what they are—gifts from a loving Heavenly Father, “given for the benefit of those who love [Him] and keep all [His] commandments” ( Doctrine and Covenants 46:9 ).

Doctrine and Covenants Stories “Chapter 20: Gifts of the Spirit” Images and video

Write on pieces of paper some of the spiritual gifts found in  Doctrine and Covenants 46:13–26  and  Articles of Faith 1:7 , and hide them around the room. Invite each child to find one of the papers and search the verses to find where that gift is mentioned in the scriptures. Then read together  Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–9, 12 . Why does Heavenly Father give us spiritual gifts?

See also  Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants and Church History “Lesson 19: The Saints Are Taught to Recognize Good and Evil,”

Friend May 2021 “What Are Your Gifts? ” Spiritual gifts are blessings or abilities that God has given to each of His children.

confirming the holy ghost lds

Doctrine and Covenants Coloring Book “Gifts of the Spirit”

confirming the holy ghost lds

Friend May 2021 “Scripture Time Fun for Little Ones” Read  Doctrine and Covenants 46:11 . Then help your little ones fill in the blank: “I am good at …” Help them recognize their talents and spiritual gifts.

confirming the holy ghost lds

Friend May 2021 “Scripture Time Fun” Talent Time:

confirming the holy ghost lds

  • Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” ( Children’s Songbook,  78–79).
  • Heavenly Father gave each of us spiritual gifts (see  Doctrine and Covenants 46:11–26 ). That means He gave us special talents. Everyone is unique and important to Heavenly Father!
  • Think about what gifts you have. Then put on a family talent show! Share the gifts Heavenly Father has given you with others.

Latter Day Kids “Spiritual Gifts” Videos and lesson ideas

Ponder what your spiritual gifts are—and how you can use them “for the benefit of the children of God” ( verse 26 ).

Give a child something that can be shared, like a piece of bread or two toys. Ask the child to share what you have given him or her with another class member. Explain that Heavenly Father gives us gifts, and He wants us to use them to help others. Tell the children about a time when you were blessed because someone shared his or her spiritual gifts.

Help the children list on the board the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in  Doctrine and Covenants 46 . As each gift is listed, talk about how that gift can be used to bless others. The descriptions in “ Chapter 20: Gifts of the Spirit ” (Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 77–80) can help. Tell the children that they each have spiritual gifts. Encourage them to ask Heavenly Father to help them recognize their gifts and how they can use them to help others. ( Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 “Doctrine and Covenants 46–48” )

Elder Robert D. Hales: “These gifts are given to those who are faithful to Christ. They will help us know and teach the truths of the gospel. They will help us bless others. They will guide us back to our Heavenly Father” (“ Gifts of the Spirit ,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 16).

Ponder why it is important that you “always [remember] for what they are given” ( verse 8 ). How can these truths help you “not be deceived”? ( verse 8 ).

See also Gospel Topics, “ Spiritual Gifts ,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

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See this page in the original 1992 publication.

Author: McConkie, Joseph Fielding

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father. It is fundamental Church doctrine that God is the Father of the spirits of all men and women, that Jesus is literally God's Son both in the spirit and in the flesh, and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit separate and distinct from both the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Eternal Godhead, and is identified also as the Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, and the comforter. All three members of the Godhead were manifested at Jesus' baptism ( Mark 1:9-12 ; see also Dove, Sign of the ). Regarding them the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "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" ( D&C 130:22 ). In a figurative sense, the Holy Ghost dwells in the hearts of the righteous Saints of all dispensations ( D&C 20:18-21 ).

Joseph Smith also stated that an "everlasting covenant was made between three personages before the organization of this earth, and relates to their dispensation of things to men on the earth; these personages…are called God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the witness or Testator" ( TPJS , p. 190).

Latter-day Saints understand that by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel Adam received the Holy Ghost and thus learned that redemption from the Fall will come through Christ to all who accept him ( Moses 5:6-9 ). Thus, the gospel was preached from the beginning, being declared by angels, by the voice of God, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost ( Moses 5:58-59 ; cf. 2 Pet. 1:21 ). Nephi 1 (c. 600 B.C.) testified that the Holy Ghost is "the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men…. For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come" ( 1 Ne. 10:17-19 ).

Joseph Smith taught that the influence of the Holy Ghost, which is the convincing power of God of the truth of the gospel, can be received before baptism, but the gift, or constant companionship, of the Holy Ghost, which comes by the laying-on of hands, is obtained only after baptism ( TPJS , p. 199). "You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man," he said, "if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost" ( TPJS , p. 314). Thus, a person is expected to receive the witness of the Holy Ghost to the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of scripture, and of the words of the living prophets before baptism; the full outpouring of the Spirit does not come, however, until the person has complied with the command to be baptized. Only after baptism can the gift be conferred by one in authority ( Moro. 10:3-5 ; D&C 76:52 ). And even then the Holy Ghost cannot be received by someone who is not worthy of it, since the Holy Ghost will not dwell in the heart of an unrighteous person. Thus, the actual companionship of the Holy Ghost may be received immediately after baptism or at a subsequent time, when the one receiving the promise becomes a fit companion for that holy being. Should the individual cease thereafter to be clean and obedient, the Holy Ghost will withdraw ( 1 Cor. 3:16-17 ).

The Holy Ghost is a sanctifier. Because no unclean thing can dwell in a divine presence, the whole system of salvation centers on the process of sanctification; people are saved to the extent that they are sanctified. Sanctification and holiness are inseparable. "To be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, one whose body has been renewed by the rebirth of the Spirit. Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel" ( MD , p. 675).

The Holy Ghost is a revelator. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that "no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations" ( TPJS , p. 328). To enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost is to enjoy the spirit of revelation ( D&C 8:2-3 ). Without revelation there can be no competent witness of Christ or his gospel ( Rev. 19:10 ). The Holy Ghost is the source of all saving knowledge. Those who sincerely and prayerfully seek this knowledge are promised that everything expedient will be revealed to them ( D&C 18:18 ). Nephi testified that Christ manifests himself "unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith" ( 2 Ne. 26:13 ; cf. 1 Cor. 2:11-13 ; D&C 76:116 ).

The Holy Ghost is a teacher. All who will be saved must be tutored by the Holy Ghost. The things of the Spirit can only be understood when taught and learned by the Spirit ( D&C 50:11-24 ). The divine commission to teach the truths of salvation rests with the Holy Ghost. Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost ( Luke 4:1 ). "He spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him" (JST Matt. 3:25 ). The Father gave Christ the Spirit without measure ( John 3:34 ). Angels also speak by the power of the Holy Ghost ( 2 Ne. 32:3 ). Such is the standard for all who go forth in Christ's name. "Ye are not sent forth to be taught," the Savior said to the early Latter-day Saints, "but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit; and ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken" ( D&C 43:15-16 ).

Describing the influence of the Holy Ghost as it fell upon him and Oliver Cowdery, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, "We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of" ( JS-H 1:73-74 ; cf. Alma 5:46 ). The Holy Ghost also brings to remembrance that which has previously been learned ( John 14:26 ), directs that for which one should pray ( D&C 46:30 ), and makes known what is to be spoken in preaching and teaching ( D&C 84:85 ).

The Holy Ghost is the Comforter. A distinctive characteristic of the truths of salvation is that they are attended by a spirit of comfort and peace. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to lift burdens, give courage, strengthen faith, grant consolation, extend hope, and reveal whatever is needed to those having claim on his sacred companionship ( Moses 6:61 ).

Jesus taught that no sin is greater than the sin against the Holy Ghost ( Matt. 12:31-32 ). A latter-day revelation explains, "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God" ( D&C 132:27 ). Joseph Smith observed further that such a one rejects the Son after the Father has revealed him, denies the truth, and defies the Plan of Salvation. "From that time he begins to be an enemy…. He gets the spirit of the devil-the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life-the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance; they make open war, like the devil, and awful is the consequence" ( TPJS , p. 357-58; cf. D&C 76:31-38, 43-48 ; see also Unpardonable Sin ).

The Holy Ghost is such an uplifting power and source of necessary gospel knowledge that to have his constant companionship and influence is the greatest gift a person can receive in mortality (cf. D&C 121:46 ). It is reported that on one occasion, when the Prophet Joseph Smith was asked, "Wherein [the LDS Church] differed from the other religions of the day," he replied, that it was in "the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying-on of hands,…[and] that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost" ( HC 4:42).

Bibliography

McConkie, Bruce R. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , chaps. 28-31. Salt Lake City, 1985.

McConkie, Joseph Fielding, and Robert L. Millet. The Holy Ghost . Salt Lake City, 1989.

JOSEPH FIELDING MCCONKIE

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LDS365: Resources from the Church & Latter-day Saints worldwide

Special Issue of Friend Magazine on Baptism and Confirmation

by Larry Richman | Oct 24, 2023

Special Issue of Friend Magazine on Baptism and Confirmation

To help children better understand the covenant of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a special Baptism and Confirmation issue of the Friend magazine is now available.

This new resource was created for parents, children, leaders, Primary teachers, and missionaries. It includes stories, activities, and learning resources that help children prepare for baptism and confirmation and strengthen them along the covenant path.

Leaders and Primary teachers are encouraged to help families access this resource digitally or in print and may consider ordering copies at store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org for children who attend church without a parent or guardian, new members, and people in their unit being taught by missionaries (see General Handbook, 38.8.7 ).

Additional Baptism Resources

  • For Primary—Preparing Children for a Lifetime on God’s Covenant Path
  • For Parents—Preparing Your Children for a Lifetime on God’s Covenant Path
  • Friend to Friend: Baptism, the Holy Ghost, and the Sacrament

The above text is from a Church notice dated September 28, 2023, from the Priesthood and Family Department and the Missionary Department addressed to local leaders.

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Confirmation Prayer

bdub

By bdub , January 13, 2014 in LDS Gospel Discussion

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I will be baptizing and confirming my daughter in a few weeks and have a few questions regarding the confirmation prayer.

I am sure these are very basic questions but this is my first time doing it.

My main question is when confirming I am suppose to say:

4. bestows the holy ghost with such words as "receive the holy ghost" (not "receive the gift of the holy ghost")

Saying "receive the holy ghost" doesn't really flow very well, how is this normally said in the flow of the prayer?

Also when confirming would I place both hands on my daughters head or just one? There will be probably 7 or 8 others in the circle?

Thanks for the help guys.

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estradling75

estradling75

"Receive the Holy Ghost" Is the wording and it does stand out (aka does not flow very well). If it helps note that it is worded as a command to the person you are confirming. We talk about it being a gift like it is something we are awarded or given which makes us think it is would be nice but during the confirmation the person is commanded to receive it...

The hands change when the numbers are to large for everyone to place both hands... I find more then 4 is about the max for two handed.

Just_A_Guy

I think the Church actually tries to discourage set verbiages for ordinances like this; but what I hear very often is something along the lines of ". . . we confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and we say unto you: Receive the Holy Ghost. . . ."

The Folk Prophet

The Folk Prophet

The handbook does not say "such words as". It says:

4. Uses the words “Receive the Holy Ghost” (not “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”).

This is clearly defined, unlike a lot of the prayer. The specifics of how you lead into this isn't defined. Typically, you hear "I say unto you..." or something along those lines. But reasonably one could simply say, "Receive the Holy Ghost." as a complete statement with no filler before or after.

MarginOfError

MarginOfError

If you think the phrasing JAG has offered is awkward (which I do), we can try to come up with alternative phrasings.

Fill in the rest--

"Confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints......"

--that you may receive the Holy Ghost

--in preparation for you to receive the Holy Ghost

--and instruct you to receive the Holy Ghost

--with a charge to receive the Holy Ghost

--and authorize you to receive the Holy Ghost

So, as awkward as I find JAG's phrasing, I don't find it any less awkward than any of the alternatives I've imagined up. Maybe someone else can do better than me.

mnn727

From the Church Handbook of Instructions:

Instructions for Performing a Confirmation Under the direction of the bishopric, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in a confirmation. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the person who performs the ordinance: 1. States the person’s full name. 2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. 3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4. Uses the words “Receive the Holy Ghost” (not “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”). 5. Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs. 6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Vort

This points up an important distinction.

With something like the Priesthood, we CONFER the Priesthood on a man. Before the conferral, the man has no Priesthood authority. After the conferral, the man has Priesthood authority, and must then begin learning how to use it with power.

In the case of the Holy Ghost, we do not "confer" that "power" or "authority" on anyone. It is not, strictly speaking, a "power" or an "authority". Rather, it is a gift bestowed by a loving Father. The command "receive the Holy Ghost" might be thought of rather like God's commandment to Adam and Eve to "multiply and replenish the earth", perhaps more of a blessing and wise, urgent counsel. (Which is just what a commandment is, after all.)

A man who lacks the Priesthood CANNOT give a Priesthood blessing or ordinance, no matter how righteous he might be. But a righteous person who is not baptized can yet feel and be guided by the Holy Ghost.

The command/counsel/blessing "receive the Holy Ghost" is absolutely essential for a member of the kingdom of God (aka the LDS Church). A person can serve effectively in the Church only to the degree that person has the Holy Ghost guiding him/her.

While conforming to the letter of it, I'm not sure this one fills the spirit of the instruction, which is to tell them, in no uncertain terms, to Receive the Holy Ghost. Phrasing it this way makes it ambiguous. Leads to potential questions. Did I really receive it? Was that valid? Etc... Better to be explicit.
  • JohnsonJones

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You may be correct if we assume that the instruction to use the words "receive the Holy Ghost" is intended to indicate that it is to be issued as a command. But the instructions in the Handbook lead me to believe that the intended message was that we are to confer the Holy Ghost and not the gift of the Holy Ghost. I'm not entirely convinced that the instructions in the Handbook necessitate the force of command we often associate with the text.

I think a more valid quibble with the phrasing you highlighted would be the idea of reception of the Holy Ghost being contingent on membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. while it is implied in baptism, I don't know that there's a doctrinal basis to claim that confirmation into the Church must preceed reception of the Holy Ghost (though as a practical policy, it makes complete sense to me)

I like MOE's wording about a "charge to receive the Holy Ghost"--conveys an impression of "it's there, if you want it--but it's up to you to go and get it".

FWIW, I think the conventional reading of "receive the Holy Ghost" as a command comes 1) from the way confirmations for the dead are done in temples, and 2) from the fact that the word "receive", when used in this ritual in foreign languages, is used in the imperative tense (at least, in Portuguese).

. . . the idea of reception of the Holy Ghost being contingent on membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. while it is implied in baptism, I don't know that there's a doctrinal basis to claim that confirmation into the Church must preceed reception of the Holy Ghost (though as a practical policy, it makes complete sense to me)

MOE, could you flesh this out this a bit more? It seems to me that LDS teaching has been pretty clear that there's a distinction between "power" and "gift" of the Holy Ghost; and that the former can come before baptism but the latter only afterwards.

You may be correct if we assume that the instruction to use the words "receive the Holy Ghost" is intended to indicate that it is to be issued as a command. But the instructions in the Handbook lead me to believe that the intended message was that we are to confer the Holy Ghost and not the gift of the Holy Ghost. I'm not entirely convinced that the instructions in the Handbook necessitate the force of command we often associate with the text. I think a more valid quibble with the phrasing you highlighted would be the idea of reception of the Holy Ghost being contingent on membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. while it is implied in baptism, I don't know that there's a doctrinal basis to claim that confirmation into the Church must preceed reception of the Holy Ghost (though as a practical policy, it makes complete sense to me)

Modern day scripture pretty clearly set the doctrinal basis for this in D&C 33:15. “Whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.” I think it's fairly conclusive and we can safely accept that it is, indeed, contingent upon confirmation into the church.

However, after thinking about it a bit, I acquiesce to your first response in that it doesn't seem to really matter if it's a "command" or not. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a response to the confirmation. The wording in the prayer seems to be a statement to the confirmed to accept it. My personal take remains, in that I think it should be stated as an explicit directive, but I'm not as adamant as before on this point.

Really good information guys, I appreciate all the good answers. The one I have heard the most is the "and say until you receive the holy ghost." Not to derail the conversation but what if someone was to word the prayer wrong. Would the be required to say the whole thing over again or would the presiding authority let it go as long as it was close?

If you catch yourself at the moment, simply say it over again. Otherwise, talk to the presiding authority about it.

I like MOE's wording about a "charge to receive the Holy Ghost"--conveys an impression of "it's there, if you want it--but it's up to you to go and get it". FWIW, I think the conventional reading of "receive the Holy Ghost" as a command comes 1) from the way confirmations for the dead are done in temples, and 2) from the fact that the word "receive", when used in this ritual in foreign languages, is used in the imperative tense (at least, in Portuguese). MOE, could you flesh this out this a bit more? It seems to me that LDS teaching has been pretty clear that there's a distinction between "power" and "gift" of the Holy Ghost; and that the former can come before baptism but the latter only afterwards.
Modern day scripture pretty clearly set the doctrinal basis for this in D&C 33:15. “Whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.” I think it's fairly conclusive and we can safely accept that it is, indeed, contingent upon confirmation into the church. However, after thinking about it a bit, I acquiesce to your first response in that it doesn't seem to really matter if it's a "command" or not. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a response to the confirmation. The wording in the prayer seems to be a statement to the confirmed to accept it. My personal take remains, in that I think it should be stated as an explicit directive, but I'm not as adamant as before on this point.
My thought process had been that the gift of the Holy Ghost is something that follows baptism, and that the intervening requirement of confirmation into the Church was a procedural step that was not strictly necessary. church just blew that thinking out of the water with his use of the Doctrine and Covenants. So my "better quibble" turned out not to be a better quibble at all.
That question kind of puts the whole thing into a proper light in a way. The answer is that unless it was really, really, really wrong, nothing would be said and the confirmation would still be valid. It is not like the baptismal prayer or sacramental prayer which must be repeated if not said exactly. If you said something really mistaken, like reference to a spaghetti monster or something, I'm sure they'd ask you to do it again.

A gift must be received to be of any use. I would venture that as my guess as to why we word it as we do.

I guess that depends on the nature of the 'mistake.'

some hypotheticals

If you were to say "receive the gift of the holy ghost," and I were in the circle with you, I might whisper to you to correct it to "receive the holy ghost." (as long as I felt I could do it without distraction)

If you were to say "receive the gift of the holy ghost," and I were not in the circle with you, I would pursue one of three options. 1) have you repeat just the portion of the ordinance until you say "receive the holy ghost" and then end it, 2) wait until the meeting is over and have you and pull you and the recipient into a private area to do what I described in 1), or 3) ignore it and go on with life. My decision would probably be informed my how I felt about the level of embarrassment the given actions would impose on you and the recipient. I'm not willing to ruin a special moment for technical accuracy when there is strong precedent that the presiding authority may authorize the completion of ordinances where such minor infractions have occurred. (And I'd only care at all because the Handbooks are so specific on the matter)

If you were to say, "accept the Holy Ghost," I'd ignore the discrepancy.

If you were to say, "accept the Holly Ghost," I'd stifle my giggle and tease you about it later.

Ultimately, I would hope that the presiding authority would focus first on making sure that the Spirit is felt and the participants are uplifted before worrying about the exact words spoken.

I've always seen them as inseparable (confirmation and the ordinances). Baptism is prerequisite for confirmation, The gift of the Holy Ghost follows. But the idea of being baptized and then not becoming a member isn't really a valid idea. One cannot do it. Not in the cards. So whether the gift of the Holy Ghost follows baptism or Confirmation isn't really relevant. They are, all three, tied together.

That being said, I had always, sort of, thought technically the same as you, that it was baptism that led to it. The D&C vs I quoted was a learning point for me as well.

I've always seen them as inseparable (confirmation and the ordinances). Baptism is prerequisite for confirmation, The gift of the Holy Ghost follows. But the idea of being baptized and then not becoming a member isn't really a valid idea. One cannot do it. Not in the cards. So whether the gift of the Holy Ghost follows baptism or Confirmation isn't really relevant. They are, all three, tied together. That being said, I had always, sort of, thought technically the same as you, that it was baptism that led to it. The D&C vs I quoted was a learning point for me as well.
I'd have to do more research, but before the Doctrine and Covenants, I'm not sure all three of them were tied together. They may have been and it just isn't recorded in the scriptural texts, or it may have been a matter of policy that just wasn't required of them. But those are extremely academic questions that are entirely irrelevant to how we practice today (as opposed to my poorly founded quibble which would have only been almost entirely irrelevant).

Tee hee. Like the family member of mine who meant to say "Our hearts are full" in a sacrament meeting prayer, but mixed up his "h" and his "f".

I keep on quoting you...I'm not trying to pick on you, I promise :)

Even in the baptism and sacramental prayers, I've seen situations where bishops have permitted mistakes to pass. I've seen instances where the baptismal prayer was said incorrectly, and on the third incorrect attempt, the bishop signaled the witnesses to let it go, so as not to let the quest for a perfect prayer interrupt the spirit of the meeting.

I've seen instances where young men with reading and learning disabilities have been given the approving nod after not getting the sacramental prayer exactly right.

My favorite memory of such an instance was when I was passing the sacrament as a member of the young men presidency. One of our young men was a refugee from Africa who struggled to speak English. He was a convert of several months and we had finally built him up to where he was ready to bless the sacrament. We sent him home and encouraged him to study the prayer over the week so he would be comfortable when his time came. Then I listened as he said in his thick accent, "bless and sanctify this wine..." I thought that was odd, and the bishop asked him to do it again. He repeated "bless and sanctify this wine..." and it was at this point I realized he was speaking faster than he could read. He had gone home, studied, and memorized the prayer as recorded in the scriptures. In my opinion, that deserved some credit, so I tried to signal the bishop to let it go. Fortunately he did (he did later ask me why I was so bold as to tell the bishop how to exercise his authority. Fortunately, when I told him, he agreed that I'd made the right call). We corrected the young man later and in private. He was a little embarrassed, but laughed it off and continued to bless in following weeks.

Fun memories.

Interesting. I would guess that in the ancient church, they were tied together in some way. And I would contend that in BOM times they were certainly. But I could be wrong on both counts. In the example Christ set there was no confirmation described prior to the descent of the Holy Ghost...though Christ being confirmed to his own church wouldn't necessarily make sense...but there are no real other examples of confirmation of his disciples either, and yet that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Either way, I agree. It's irrelevant to how we practice today.

I keep on quoting you...I'm not trying to pick on you, I promise :) Even in the baptism and sacramental prayers, I've seen situations where bishops have permitted mistakes to pass. I've seen instances where the baptismal prayer was said incorrectly, and on the third incorrect attempt, the bishop signaled the witnesses to let it go, so as not to let the quest for a perfect prayer interrupt the spirit of the meeting. I've seen instances where young men with reading and learning disabilities have been given the approving nod after not getting the sacramental prayer exactly right. My favorite memory of such an instance was when I was passing the sacrament as a member of the young men presidency. One of our young men was a refugee from Africa who struggled to speak English. He was a convert of several months and we had finally built him up to where he was ready to bless the sacrament. We sent him home and encouraged him to study the prayer over the week so he would be comfortable when his time came. Then I listened as he said in his thick accent, "bless and sanctify this wine..." I thought that was odd, and the bishop asked him to do it again. He repeated "bless and sanctify this wine..." and it was at this point I realized he was speaking faster than he could read. He had gone home, studied, and memorized the prayer as recorded in the scriptures. In my opinion, that deserved some credit, so I tried to signal the bishop to let it go. Fortunately he did (he did later ask me why I was so bold as to tell the bishop how to exercise his authority. Fortunately, when I told him, he agreed that I'd made the right call). We corrected the young man later and in private. He was a little embarrassed, but laughed it off and continued to bless in following weeks. Fun memories.

Meh. I keep quoting you too. 'sall good. :)

I think there are plenty of instances of mistakes in ordinances that does not invalidate them. My point was simply that, in principle, certain ordinances are explicitly defined as "to be repeated exactly" and others are not. The Handbook 2 instruction on the wording of receiving the Holy Ghost falls into a bit of an ambiguous category. Concerning baptism, for example, the handbook says: "the baptism must be repeated if the words are not spoken exactly as given in Doctrine and Covenants 20:73 or if part of the person’s body or clothing is not immersed completely." No such instruction is given for the confirmation.

Good stuff guys. Hopefully I wont be prompted by the spirit to talk about the spaghetti monster or muddle any words, though that is always possible with me. I figure I managed to bless her in front of the whole ward. If I screw up this time it will only be in front of half the people.

Just promise me that if you do have a prompting to speak of the Flying Spaghetti Monster that you immediately write down what you said and share it with us. Such a prompting could revolutionize Mormonism.

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LDS Blogs

The Holy Ghost and a Can of Pop

by Laurie W | Nov 1, 2007 | Home and Family | 0 comments

Mormon Primary

The first Article of Faith states: We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost can be a difficult concept to relate to children. It’s easy to describe what the Holy Ghost does for us: Yet the idea of the Holy Ghost isn’t always easy to explain in a clear way for children to understand.

Mormon Primary

You’ll need two cans of pop, one of them emptied. Though it’s not necessary, you could try putting a paper cutout of a child on the cans.

Hold up the empty can.

When we don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are easily crushed by temptation. Some of those temptations may be: cheating on a test, stealing, lying to stay out of trouble, hitting a brother or sister, yelling at your mom or dad, etc. (As each temptation is listed, crush the can in your hand.)

Now grab the full can.

When we have been blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are not easily crushed because the Holy Ghost strengthens us enough to resist temptations. (Try crushing the can.) When we choose the right and obey God’s laws, we can be filled with the Holy Ghost and harder to crush.

You could invite some of the smaller children to try and crush the full can (I wouldn’t recommend the older children…the clever things might find a way to actually make it happen). If you know of some soda-addicts, see if you can use their empty, uncrushed, cans so each of the kids can have one to crush. Rinse them out first, of course.

Be sure to explain there is a difference between having the gift of the Holy Ghost , and having the influence of the Holy Ghost. Everyone can experience the influence from time to time. Only those who have been baptized as members of the LDS (Mormon) Church and are then confirmed by the proper Priesthood holders with the gift of the Holy Ghost can have it’s influence all the time, so long as they constantly try to keep the commandments.

Whether it’s for Family Home Evening, Sharing Time, or a talk on the Holy Ghost at a baptism, try this idea. My sister-in-law said many of the children who’ve seen this think about the Holy Ghost every time they see a can of pop.

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According to Mormonism, the Holy Ghost is a child of God from the  preexistence  who does not have a body of flesh and bones, as do Heavenly Father and Jesus. He is the third member of the Godhead who is sometimes described as the Holy Spirit and other times described as distinct from the Holy Spirit. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism explains:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father. It is fundamental Church doctrine that God is the Father of the spirits of all men and women, that Jesus is literally God’s Son both in the spirit and in the flesh, and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit separate and distinct from both the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Eternal Godhead, and is identified also as the Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, and the comforter ( Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:649 ).

Official church manuals explain the Holy Ghost’s personhood and purpose:

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead (see 1 John 5:7; D&C 20:28). He is a “personage of Spirit” (D&C 130:22). He can be in only one place at a time, but His influence can be everywhere at the same time ( Gospel Principles , 2009, p. 32 ).

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). He is often referred to as the Spirit, Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the comforter ( True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 2004, pp. 81-82 ).

The gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before your baptism, you could feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time, and through that influence you could receive a testimony of the truth. Now that you have the gift of  the Holy Ghost, you have the right to the constant companionship of that members of the Godhead if you keep the commandments (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, 2004, p. 83) .

In Mormonism, having a body is vital for an individual to progress to godhood. Since the Holy Ghost does not have a body, some have asked if he will ever receive a body. Typically, leaders such as Charles Penrose, a member of the First Presidency, chalk it up to the category of nobody knows. He said,

The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are three personages. Two are persons of tabernacle. Now, questions arise as to whether the Holy Ghost will ever get a body. I do not know anything about that, because the Lord has not revealed it; and if our brethren, while trying to be wise when they are not always so, would leave out of their preachings and their speculations that which they think may be in the future, but do not know, there will be a good deal of contention avoided. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, as Jesus Christ was when he was Jehovah ( Conference Reports, April 1921, p. 12).

Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith explained several decades later, “Why not leave matters which in no way concern us alone, and devote our time in gaining knowledge essential to our salvation through the inspired guidance of the Holy Ghost?” ( Answers to Gospel Questions 2:145).

There are certain requirements for someone to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. For one, the person must be baptized in the LDS Church, with someone with Melchizedek authority confirming the person who then remains obedient. Without that last part, the Holy Ghost’s influence is lost. Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency, explained to a general conference audience,

Our families can be given a gift to know what God would have them do and to learn it in a way that will encourage them to do it. God has provided such a guide. It is the Holy Ghost. We cannot give that to our family members as a companion, but they can earn it. The Holy Ghost can be their constant companion only after they have been faithful and after they have received the ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands by those with proper authority (“A Legacy of Testimony,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1996, p. 62 ).

What Does Christianity Teach

According to the Bible, the Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit, is the third Person of the Trinity . He is not a force or lesser being than God. Instead, He is God. He has a will and volition whom people can try to lie to, as did Annanias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11). Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit as a comforter, and it was the Holy Spirit who filled the Jewish believers at Pentecost (Acts 2) as well as the Gentiles (Acts 10). When a person receives Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit takes entrance and baptizes that believer. While there will be many spiritual battles in the believer’s life, the goal is to remain filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18).

Other articles to consider

  • Is the Holy Spirit of Mormonism Trustworthy?
  • Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Test your understanding

  • Which of the following is NOT true of the Holy Ghost?

A) A spirit man    B) Does not have a body of flesh and bones    C) Separate from the Father and Son     D) Third member of the Godhead   E) All of the above are true

2. T/F  According to Mormonism, the Holy Spirit can only be in one place at a time

3. T / F  The influence of the Holy Ghost can be felt before a person gets baptized but the gift of the Holy Ghost is available to only Mormons

4. What is something a person does NOT have to do to be able to get the Holy Ghost?

A) The person must be faithful

B) The person must have been confirmed by someone with proper priesthood authority

C) The person needs to go through the temple

D) The person must be baptized by proper priesthood authority

5. T / F  The Holy Spirit will be a constant companion to the Mormon, even when the individual is willfully sinning

Answers to this quiz

Return to the “Crash Course Mormonism”  Index

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Purpose in Christ

What Happens at a Mormon Confirmation Ceremony?

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A Mormon “confirmation ceremony” is performed soon after a person is baptized.  The purpose of a confirmation ceremony is to confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost to the newly baptized convert.

The confirmation ceremony is very simple and short.  Confirmations are sometimes given immediately following a baptism at the same ceremony, or they can also be given during a church meeting of the entire congregation on a Sunday.  Usually, the confirmations are during a Sunday meeting so that everyone can congratulate the new convert.

I’m writing this article to help those who are going to be confirmed so that they understand what it’s like and what to expect, and also for those who may have been asked to attend a confirmation ceremony, so you also know what it’s like.

The ceremony is very simple.  A few Priesthood holders (people authorized to perform the ordinance) lightly place their hands on the person who is being confirmed a member of the church.  The person being confirmed sits on a chair and those performing the ordinance stand to the side.  One of the priesthood holders then says a simple prayer.

The person saying the prayer says the name of the person being confirmed, and then says something to the order of “In the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, I confirm you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost.”

Then, the person giving the blessing gives certain blessings to the person being confirmed during the prayer.  For example, one may be blessed with understanding as he or she learns more of the gospel, or faith in Jesus Christ, etc.

Those in the congregation bow their heads and quietly listen to the prayer that typically only lasts a minute or two.  When the prayer ends, all say “Amen.”

After the confirmation, the person being confirmed usually stands up and shakes hands with those who gave the blessing, but this is not part of the confirmation ceremony.  Then, the person walks back to their seat and the rest of the meeting continues.

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“General Instructions,” Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings (2018).

“General Instructions,” Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings.

General Instructions

For information and direction on priesthood ordinances and blessings, see “ Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings ” in chapter 18 of General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

IMAGES

  1. Laying on of Hands

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  2. What is Confirmation Like for Mormons?

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  3. Gift of the Holy Ghost

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  4. A DAILY CONSECRATION TO THE Holy Spirit

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  5. Book of Mormon Evidence: Filled with the Holy Ghost

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  6. The Holy Ghost inspires, testifies, teaches, and prompts us LDS

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VIDEO

  1. The Mormon Holy Ghost #mormon #lds #latterdaysaint #cult

  2. Mormon Lies About LDS Beliefs

  3. Youth Seeking for The Holy Ghost 3/22/13

  4. Being Yourself VS Being "The Natural Man"

  5. How the Holy Ghost Teaches Today!

  6. 4 January 2024: Verse of the Day

COMMENTS

  1. Confirmation

    Confirmation includes more than conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. To confirm means to "make more sure." The ordinance of confirmation completes the ceremonial process of becoming a member of the Church, and as such, it is complementary to water baptism. See also Baptism. Confirmation

  2. Holy Ghost

    As part of this ordinance, called confirmation, the person is given the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before baptism, a person can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time and through that influence can receive a testimony of the truth.

  3. 18. Performing Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings

    Confirmation and gift of the Holy Ghost Conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordination to an office (for men) Temple endowment Temple sealing For information about performing these ordinances for those with intellectual disabilities, see the following: For baptism and confirmation ( 38.2.8.1)

  4. Confirmation (Latter Day Saints)

    A Latter Day Saint confirmation. In the Latter Day Saint movement, confirmation (also known as the gift of the Holy Ghost or the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost ), is an ordinance essential for salvation. It involves the laying on of hands and is performed after baptism.

  5. Receiving and Recognizing the Holy Ghost

    Following baptism we were confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were given the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Melchizedek Priesthood holder who pronounced our confirmation used these well-known words: "Receive the Holy Ghost."

  6. Confirmation

    Confirmation is an ordinance in which a person is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The ordinance is performed after baptism.. The Fourth Article of Faith says the following: . We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second ...

  7. Confirmation

    The Doctrine and Covenants specifies: "And whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them" ( D&C 33:15 ). The ordinance of confirmation is usually performed at a baptismal service or fast and testimony meeting.

  8. Classic Talk: The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What ...

    Confirmation has two parts: to confirm as a member of the Church and then to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. The priesthood holder performing that ordinance "bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost by saying, 'Receive the Holy Ghost' " (Family Guidebook [pamphlet, 2001], 20).

  9. Gospel Q&A: How Do I Tell If It's the Holy Ghost or Just Me?

    As the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost (also referred to as the Spirit, the Comforter, and the Spirit of God) has been given the specific responsibility to testify of truth and...

  10. 4 Things We Know About the Holy Ghost

    1. The Holy Ghost is a male spirit personage, a spirit son of God the Father. In a sermon delivered in 1857, President Heber C. Kimball stated: "The Holy Ghost is a man; he is one of the sons of our Father and our God; and he is that man that stood next to Jesus Christ, just as I stand by Brother Brigham." 2

  11. Learning to Recognize the Holy Ghost

    The Great Gift of the Holy Ghost. After baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This divine gift provides help from a member of the Godhead throughout our lives. We are promised that as we strive to live worthy of this gift, the Holy Ghost "will show unto you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:5). The Holy Ghost confirms truth ...

  12. Confirmation and Gift of the Holy Ghost

    1. Calls the person by his or her full name. 2. States that the ordinance is being performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. 3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterdaySaints. 4. States "receive the Holy Ghost" (not "receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"). 5.

  13. Holy Ghost: Lesson Ideas

    Friend August 2023 "Confirmation and the Gift of the Holy Ghost" Friend August 2023 "Connect the Dots" After you're baptized, you're confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide and comfort you. Connect the dots to finish the picture.

  14. Holy Ghost

    The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Eternal Godhead, and is identified also as the Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, and the comforter. All three members of the Godhead were manifested at Jesus' baptism ( Mark 1:9-12; see also Dove, Sign of the ). Regarding them the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "The Father has a body of ...

  15. Special Issue of Friend Magazine on Baptism and Confirmation

    To help children better understand the covenant of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a special Baptism and Confirmation issue of the Friend magazine is now available. This new resource was created for parents, children, leaders, Primary teachers, and missionaries. It includes stories, activities, and learning resources that help children prepare for

  16. The receiving of the Gift of the Holy Ghost

    pam Administrators 57.5k Location: San Antonio,TX Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Posted November 19, 2011 (edited) Confirmation after baptism is so that the new member can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not to be confused with the influence of the Holy Ghost.

  17. Chapter 21: The Gift of the Holy Ghost

    The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of God's greatest gifts to us. Through the Holy Ghost we may know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that His Church has been restored to the earth. We may have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to show us all the things we should do (see 2 Nephi 32:5). The Holy Ghost sanctifies us to prepare us for ...

  18. Confirmation Prayer

    Location: Out of my Mind Religion: My own spin on the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ Posted January 13, 2014 "Receive the Holy Ghost" Is the wording and it does stand out (aka does not flow very well). If it helps note that it is worded as a command to the person you are confirming.

  19. The Holy Ghost and a Can of Pop

    The Holy Ghost and a Can of Pop. The first Article of Faith states: We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can be a difficult concept to relate to children. It's easy to describe what the Holy Ghost does for us: Yet the idea of the Holy Ghost isn't always easy to explain in ...

  20. Crash Course Mormonism: Holy Ghost / Holy Spirit

    For one, the person must be baptized in the LDS Church, with someone with Melchizedek authority confirming the person who then remains obedient. Without that last part, the Holy Ghost's influence is lost. Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency, explained to a general conference audience,

  21. Gift of the Holy Ghost

    Sometimes the Holy Ghost is manifested through feelings of hope and joy (see Romans 15:13). The Holy Ghost is an important way we learn truth (see John 14:26; Moroni 10:5). Things to think about. Watch the video "Feeling the Holy Ghost: Power of the Holy Spirit" (3:17) to see how some Church members feel the Spirit. What are some ways the ...

  22. What Happens at a Mormon Confirmation Ceremony?

    The person saying the prayer says the name of the person being confirmed, and then says something to the order of "In the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, I confirm you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost."

  23. General Instructions

    General Instructions For information and direction on priesthood ordinances and blessings, see " Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings " in chapter 18 of General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This publication outlines instructions for performing priesthood ordinances and blessings.