Showing posts with label Spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spirit. Show all posts

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Gift


Baptism as we know, when performed by one holding authority, washes away sin. We are buried in the depths of water as if dead and come out alive and new. At the very moment we emerge, we are clean every whit, we are new, and as children of our loving Heavenly Father, the goal is to stay as new as possible, even perfect, from that moment on, and throughout our mortal lives.

We know, however, that this is not possible, for we are human and not perfect. We do ere in our ways, but as the loving Heavenly Father that He is, He has prepared help, and never leaves us comfortless, or in need. There is always a way provided for us to do our very best and to achieve our desired goals.

To help us Father has given us a specific gift. This is not a gift just anyone can receive, this is a gift direct from God and is so special, that it can only be received like baptism, from those with the authority to give it. A worthy priesthood holder must be the one who not only performs baptism, but will also use the laying on of hands that we might receive this gift, as a token of our decision to come unto Christ and accept baptism and make covenants with Father in Heaven.

The gift is the gift of the Holy Ghost, who is a personage, or a spirit, that has been called of God to the specific calling of helping His children. He is a real spirit being that is with us always, in our minds, in our hearts, and in our lives. Its what the world might call our conscience, but as a gift from God he is even stronger and more powerful, and again, he is real.

It's a gift to not take lightly, for it is one of the greatest of all and will be lifesaving in our journeys, providing us with spiritual strength and inspiration, as well as helping us to recognize and understand the truth of all things. He will comfort us in difficult times and guide our decisions large and small as we work to bring ourselves and our families through the trenches of earth’s life to arrive safely back in the arms of God.

This gift is so powerful and so strong, and so real, that it will bring us the feeling of God’s love and we will recognize it and know beyond a doubt that He knows each of us by name, He and His Son Jesus Christ; and this will influence our daily lives in ways we can only begin to imagine.

John 14:26 teaches specifically of this truth stating: “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.”

However, though this is a gift and given freely to everyone upon baptism into His true church, it is conditional. Our ability to enjoy this divine gift depends on our obedience to Gods’ commandments.

The Holy Ghost is just that, holy, and cannot remain with those who do not live according to God’s teachings. If we drift or choose to continue in sin we lose the privilege of his guidance and inspiration. Therefore, it is extremely important from the moment we emerge from the waters of baptism, that we remain clean and pure and always strive to be worthy of his companionship.

Now let me stress the phrase ALWAYS STRIVE. If you are always striving to do our best and to live the gospel, he will never leave us and we WILL be lead. Do we have to be perfect, NO, we cannot. We only must be doing your sincere best and as we grow in the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as we gain knowledge, we will become stronger and stronger and the straight and narrow way laid before us will be a relief to travel and we will find the peace that comes with this gift.

Striving to keep the spirit with us can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, but remember, we are never left without direction or comfortless. In our desire to keep the Holly Ghost with us, and to live the commandments to the best of our ability, the Sacrament has been provided as a reminder of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The bread is His body and the water is His blood, and as we partake repenting of transgressions, we are promised to have the Holy Ghost continually with us. When we honestly and sincerely partake of the Sacrament each week, repenting daily in our prayers with a focus on the Atonement, we recommit ourselves to Jesus Christ in the same way that we do at baptism and we are then able to move forward in our progression.

As you, my friend, upon your baptism today, or your baptism in the past, are honest and sincere before God, covenanting before Him, I know that you will feel the gift of the Holy Ghost as it is given unto you, and your life will be, not perfect, but will change and your heart will be strengthened.

I testify of the truth of these things, that God our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ are real, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His true church upon the earth today, and that He indeed, knows each of us by name and will never leave us alone. The gift of the Holy Ghost is real, enjoy his company as you come unto the fold and continue life as a child of God.

Author Note: Talk written for Baptism August 2020 adapted for blog audience

References: Gospel Principles

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Not So Secret

 My shift is 3-11pm with a long hour drive to and from work.  As I drive to work I take time to think about the events around me.  What may be going on at work itself, whats going on with my kids and home, and about the world today and things we face.  Sometimes I may be having personal issues and need to focus and ponder on my faith and making it greater that I may understand my weaknesses, trials and tribulations, or sometimes I may be struggling to understand a principle or just why the world is such the state that it is.

  On the way to work I spend a lot of that time talking to Heavenly Father.  I have my prayers in the morning upon waking, but on that drive many times, its just a talk that I need to have with him, for things that I question or problems that need solving and often times its about scriptures or things that I've read to help me to better understand.

My drive home is usually spent streaming the Mormon Channel  from my cell phone (yes I'm a Mormon) and I like to listen to stories and examples and teachings that help to guide and give me strength; however, there are also those times when I leave it quiet.  When there is no streaming and no sound for the entire hour and its just me inviting the spirit in and listening.  I think about things I've read, the questions of my heart, or maybe I'm trying to wrap my mind around a concept or principle and often during this time, an answer will come, an understanding will be made clear, or a blog will pop into my mind and I am filled with great gratitude for the communication we can have with our Father in Heaven.

After arriving home and setting down; then is the time for my daily reading and study.  I have to take the time to have that Heavenly end, if you will, to my day.  I want the last thoughts I have before closing my eyes to be that of the Lord, so I end the day with a prayer and open my scriptures. 

In doing this I rotate my study between the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants and as I read I refer to references in each; ie cross referencing verses in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants with verses in the Bible.  In doing so I see how they all fit together and I gain a greater understanding of the information and instruction that Heavenly Father would have me learn.

This week my studies took me to the Book of Mormon and these are the thoughts that came to my mind.

The words "Secret Combination"  in the Book of Mormon mean to conspire to do evil, to make a pact and secretly destroy for personal gain. The book of Mormon and the Bible are replete with example of secret combinations that have come down from the begging of time, even from Cain himself as he conspired with Satan.  It is also full of words from prophets preaching, guiding and instructing not only those of their own day but also we in our day about repentance and how to guard and protect ourselves from "Old Scratch".   Their teachings help us to learn to stay clean and stay with God.  They tell us to choose carefully the things we would do and say for the Devil even that old serpent is sly and cunning and his ways will devour us and we will not even know that he has done so until it is too late.

When we as a people think of secret combinations, conspiracy, or evil I think we automatically think of the Mafia, Gangs, Politics, the Government, things that are or have become plainly evil in our day.  However I believe there is more to it and there are secret combinations right in front of us that are more successful in destruction yet, they have become so common place we don't always see them. 

This morning I was listening to a Professor of Ancient Scripture from Brigham Young University speak on just this subject and he said that when he talks to his class and explains secret combinations  he asks them how many of their family or friends have been killed by the Mafia or Gangs and maybe one now and then will raise a hand.  Then he asks how many of them have had family or friends lives destroyed from Alcoholism, Pornography or Tobacco and almost every hand goes up.  He then explains that the producers of many socially acceptable things are far more effective at destroying lives than some of these other groups.  The way they, the sellers of these products, do business with callous disconcern for people is destroying to get gain, therefore they fit the profile for being a secret combination, a destructive force in society.  So then we can say, a secret combination can be an organization or institution, but the attitude of gaining for oneself by preying on others is also very much a secret combination. 

Through the scriptures the words of the Lord have warned us:  

"Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: in consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you....."  Doctrine and Covenants 89:4

I believe that for today we must think about those things that we participate in, that we agree with, that we make a part of our lives, and choose carefully.  Even everyday things that we might not think of as being destructive could very well be.  If we prayerfully approach our daily decisions and live so that we may invite and retain the spirit with us always we can be protected from these forces that the world sees as normal but the Lord has warned us is not.

Satan is cunning this is something we should remember as we search our lives and make choices.   I hope and pray that I will be able to always remember this and will make those decisions that will be good in the eyes of Heavenly Father, I pray I can have my eyes wide open at all times and withstand the evil for myself and help my famiy to do so also..... and, I hope you the reader will too.....

With Love from Dixie

Monday, November 2, 2015