Today I had the privilege and opportunity to speak in Sacrament Meeting. I was given the topic, "The Holy Ghost as Your Companion," by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His full General Conference talk is in the video above. Sacrament meeting is our main meeting of worship on the Sabbath where we congregate as a ward family based on a geographical demographic. There are wards throughout the world and most likely one near you...Check and C4yourself as we welcome visitors warmly. Each week a member of the bishopric calls upon two - three speakers to speak the following week on various gospel topics. We do not have a pastor or preacher or any paid clergy. I spoke with a recently returned missionary, Elder Gomez, who served the past two years in the Milan, Italy mission. He first spoke about being a witness of Jesus Christ unto others.
I wanted to share some thoughts from my message today:
Have you ever felt lost before? Lonely? In despair?
Our loving Heavenly Father designed a perfect plan of happiness and progression for each of us to grow and gain experience. He has given us certain gifts to help us progress in this life. The following are some of the gifts we have been given and can yet obtain:
1. Free Agency - Each of us chose to follow the Savior, Jesus Christ's plan in the pre-mortal existence and therefore progressed to come into this earth life and receive a mortal body.
2 Nephi 2:27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
2. Gift of Mortal body/Fallen world - Testing of our faith/probationary state
Alma 34:32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
2 Nephi 2:11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things...
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
3. Gift of baptism/Gift of Holy Ghost - Matthew 3:16 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.
This is a two way covenant (promise) when we choose to exercise faith unto repentance and get baptized in Jesus Christ's name. We promise to take upon ourselves His name and to follow Him and His teachings in this life. In return, our loving Heavenly Father blesses us with the Gift of the Holy Ghost to help lead and guide us safely through this life.
One of the purposes of baptism is to symbolically wash away our sins, but even Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, was baptized. Jesus was baptized because it is a commandment and he wanted to provide a perfect example of obedience to Heavenly Father’s divine guidance.
Each Sunday we have the opportunity to return to church and partake of the sacrament in remembrance of the Savior's life and sacrifice in our behalf. During this meeting we renew our baptismal covenant so we may ALWAYS have HIS SPIRIT to be with us.
"During our confirmation we heard these words: “Receive the Holy Ghost.”1 From that moment, our lives changed forever.
We can, if we live worthy of it, have the blessing of the Spirit to be with us, not only now and then, as in such remarkable experiences as we’ve had today, but always. You know from the words of the sacrament prayer how that promise is fulfilled: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them.”And then comes the glorious promise: “That they may always have his Spirit to be with them” (D&C 20:77) -President Henry B. Eyring, The Holy Ghost as Your Companion
Having the gift of the Holy Ghost with us always brings the following blessings:
a) Warns of danger - to resist temptation to do evil
b) Discern truth from falsehood
c) Truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ verified
d) Confirms light and truth - D&C 50:24-25
e) Comforts during loss or times of struggle
f) Guides and teaches the truth of all things - Moroni 10:5
Galatians 5:22-23 - Fruits of the spirit
4. Gifts of the spirit - Corinthians 12
Doctrine and Covenants 46:11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
5. Gift of Temple Endowment - In a general sense, a gift of power from God. Worthy members of the Church can receive a gift of power through ordinances in the temple that gives them the instruction and covenants of the Holy Priesthood that they need in order to attain exaltation. The endowment includes instruction about the plan of salvation.
6. Eternal Marriage/Gift of Sealing - Doctrine and Covenants 132:15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
7. Gift of Eternal Life - Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
A PROMISE to each of us...Doctrine and Covenants 11:12-13
12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, 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.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
I am so grateful for the witness of the Holy Ghost which has testified and continues to witness to me the truthfulness of these things. Throughout my life, He has led and guided me, comforted me, warned me of dangers, and continues to teach me daily. He helps me to grow by increasing in light and truth of our Savior's restored gospel line upon line, and precept upon precept. I know that the Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and that He is the head of His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so thankful to be a member and on this path of progression and happiness. My heart is full of joy and gratitude this day. ~ C.J. Poulsen