Thursday, September 5, 2013

 Letter 9-1-13


“We say unto  you, receive the Holy Ghost”


Dear California Santa Rosa Missionaries,


Have you ever wondered what that means or why the words don’t say:  “We say unto you, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”, or “we give unto you the Holy Ghost?”


Today, during my hour of prayer, I was able to reflect on many things and one of the things that I was able to learn is that I need to do better at putting myself in situations where I can receive the Holy Ghost.  I need to qualify to receive the Holy Ghost.


When we are confirmed members of the church and we are told to “receive the Holy Ghost” requires so much more than just having someone with the proper Priesthood authority to lay their hands on us and to give us the Holy Ghost.


Marion G. Romney said the following:


“Now, we have the Holy Ghost.  Every one of us who are members of the church has had hands laid upon our heads, and we have been given, as far as ordinance can give it, the gift of the Holy Ghost.  But, as I remember, when I was confirmed, the Holy Ghost was not directed to come to me; I was directed to ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’   If I receive the Holy Ghost and follow his guidance, I will be among those who are protected and carried through these troubled times.  And so will you and so will every other soul who lives under his direction.


“Now my bothers and sisters, we need to seek the Spirit.  We need to realize that it is a real guide.   The Lord has given us several tests by which we may know when we have that Spirit…..


“Now, I tell you that you can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”  (Marion G. Romney, “Seek the Spirit,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 947)


Do we feel like we have received the Holy Ghost?  What evidence is there that we have received Him with all His testifying and His promptings?  If not, let’s learn from the following:


“Now I am going to say something that maybe I could not prove, but I believe is true, that we have a great many members of the Church who have never received a manifestation through the Holy Ghost.  Why?  Because they have not made their lives conform to the truth.  And the Holy Ghost will not dwell in unclean tabernacles or disobedient tabernacles.  The Holy Ghost will not dwell with that person who is unwilling to obey and keep the commandments of God or who violates those commandments willfully.  In such a soul the spirit of the Holy Ghost cannot enter.  That great gift comes to us only through humility and faith and obedience.  Therefore, a great many members of the Church do not have that guidance.  Then some cunning, crafty individual will come along teaching that which is not true, and without the guidance which is promised to us through our faithfulness, people are unable to discern and are led astray.  It depends on our faithfulness and our obedience to the commandments of the Lord if we have the teachings, the enlightening instruction, that comes from the Holy Ghost.


“When we are disobedient, when our minds are set upon the things of the world rather than on the things of the Kingdom of God, we cannot have the manifestations of the Holy Ghost.  Did you ever stop to think what a great privileges it is for us to have the companionship of one of the members of the Godhead?  Have you thought of it that way?  That is our privilege, if we keep the commandments the Lord has given us.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, We Are Here to Be Tried, Tested, Proved, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, 25 Oct. 1961, pp. 4-5.)


I was chastised by the Spirit today during my Mighty Hour of Prayer for not qualifying to have the Spirit.  At times, I wonder what needs to be done and I realized that I need to not wonder but that if I am as faithful as can be and as I get rid of the natural man, I will be let by the Spirit in all things.  I should not wonder!


“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.”  (2 Nephi 32:5).


What an incredible promise that is our when we qualify ourselves to “receive the Holy Ghost” through our faithfulness, righteousness and obedience.


Nephi later tells us:  “…for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost, the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth in unto the hearts of the children of men.”  (2 Nephi 33:1).  Isn’t that what we all want?  If so, what are we willing to do or make of ourselves to speak with this great power? 


So when we doubt as to whether we are speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost or if we have any doubt that the words we speak are not carried in unto the hearts of the children of men, we ought to ask this one simple question:  “Have I received the Holy Ghost?”


It is my prayer that we do all within our power to receive the Holy Ghost and to keep it with us always – that is what is promised by the Savior and He always delivers!


My love to all,


President Alba

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