Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Influence of the Holy Ghost

Usually I have a general topic in mind and some sort of plan for what I'll convey, if vague. But today, I'm wingin' it. I know that the Spirit will guide my words.

The Spirit. Yes. That is what I'll talk about.

The Holy Ghost has several names: The Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Comforter, just to name a few.

Who is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.   -Holy Ghost, Study By Topic

What does He do?
The Spirit has many roles. He comforts us when we are weary. He answers our prayers. He testifies of truth when it is taught. It is through his witness that we can obtain a testimony of God the Father and Jesus Christ. He also can guide us. When we are about to make a decision, the Spirit can help us to feel which way is right. This can be a matter of choosing whether you will obey your parents, which class you should take with your two leftover credits, which college to go to, or any decision. The Holy Ghost can also protect us. He does this by warning us when we are about to make a wrong choice or if we are in danger.

How do I know if I am feeling/ have felt the Holy Ghost?
This is difficult to answer. Everybody feels the Spirit a bit differently. Most people describe hearing a "still small voice" or feeling a warmth. Some people cry when they are feeling the Spirit very strongly; they cry in a good, happy way. Sometimes you will feel at peace. Sometimes you will feel elated and jubilant. Other times you will just feel still and calm.
Often, it takes a lot of practice to figure out when your feeling the Spirit verses over-analyzing your own thoughts. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes it's not. You can strengthen your ability to realize the promptings and feelings of the Holy Ghost by praying for help and putting yourself in situations that are conducive to the Spirit.  Ponder the scriptures after you read them. Sit in a few moments of silence after praying so you can feel God answering your prayers through the  Spirit.

How can I feel the Spirit more in my life?
Start off by reading your scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, daily. Pray daily with real intent and a sincere heart. Do not place yourself in places or situations where wickedness and crudeness abound. Participate in wholesome activities. Keep the commandments. Take the sacrament and keep your covenants.

I know that the Holy Ghost is real. He most definitely is! I have felt his wonderful, powerful influence in my life. Many nights I have almost cried myself to sleep, but then I have been filled with stillness, peace, and joy by the Holy Ghost. He loves us, just like Heavenly Father loves us and Jesus loves us.

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