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Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Holy Ghost


My A to Z blogging theme is characters in (people from) the scriptures. Since my blog is a book blog, this theme would fit right in and help me strengthen a weakness at the same. How fantastic is that?!  This challenge is a blessing. Thank you A to Z Challenge team!  *Book: LDS quad combo scriptures: KJV Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. (p)1989, (c)1979.

We have already covered the first two members in the Godhead (the Father, the Son).  Today we will discuss the third and final member, the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost has many roles.  A couple of my favorites would be as a comforter (James 14:26) and as a revelator, "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:5). 

An interesting tidbit that I learned through this study was the Holy Ghost's role at stamping approval of promises in every ordinance and withdrawal of that stamp of blessings if the person violates the covenant of the ordinance. 

“The Holy Spirit of Promise is the Holy Ghost who places the stamp of approval upon every ordinance: baptism, confirmation, ordination, marriage. The promise is that the blessings will be received through faithfulness.
“If a person violates a covenant, whether it be of baptism, ordination, marriage or anything else, the Spirit withdraws the stamp of approval, and the blessings will not be received.
“Every ordinance is sealed with a promise of a reward based upon faithfulness. The Holy Spirit withdraws the stamp of approval where covenants are broken” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:45).

I knew that the Holy Ghost cannot dwell in unclean temples (bodies) as Apostle Paul taught in first Corinthians, chapter 3 this stamping/withdrawing just broaden my understanding of the depth of the Holy Ghost's residence in me.  Cool.

Well, I'm not always great with words so I leave you with the Bible Dictionary's definition.  Note the different between the power of the Holy Ghost vs the gift of the Holy Ghost:

Holy Ghost. The third member of the Godhead and, as the name implies, a personage of Spirit, not possessing a body of flesh and bones (D&C 130:21–22). The Holy Ghost has been manifest in every dispensation of the gospel since the beginning, being first made known to Adam (1 Ne. 10:17–22; Moses 6:51–68). The Holy Ghost is manifested to men on the earth both as the power of the Holy Ghost and as the gift of the Holy Ghost. The power can come upon one before baptism, and is the convincing witness that the gospel is true. It gives one a testimony of Jesus Christ and of his work and the work of his servants upon the earth. The gift can come only after proper and authorized baptism, and is conferred by the laying on of hands, as in Acts 8:12–25 and Moroni 2:1–3. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have, whenever one is worthy, the companionship of the Holy Ghost. More powerful than that which is available before baptism, it acts as a cleansing agent to purify a person and sanctify him from all sin. Thus it is often spoken of as “fire” (Matt. 3:11; 2 Ne. 31:17; D&C 19:31). The manifestation on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) was the gift of the Holy Ghost that came upon the Twelve, without which they were not ready for their ministries to the world.

For some reason not fully explained in the scriptures, the Holy Ghost did not operate in the fulness among the Jews during the years of Jesus’ mortal sojourn (John 7:39; 16:7). Statements to the effect that the Holy Ghost did not come until after Jesus was resurrected must of necessity refer to that particular dispensation only, for it is abundantly clear that the Holy Ghost was operative in earlier dispensations. Furthermore, it has reference only to the gift of the Holy Ghost not being present, since the power of the Holy Ghost was operative during the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus; otherwise no one would have received a testimony of the truths that these men taught (cf. Matt. 16:16–17; 1 Cor. 12:3). When a person speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost that same power carries a conviction of the truth into the heart of the hearer (2 Ne. 33:1). The Holy Ghost knows all things (D&C 35:19) and can lead one to know of future events (2 Pet. 1:21).

Other names that sometimes refer to the Holy Ghost are Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, Comforter, and Spirit.

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