Great counsel was given in conference on how we can more fully utilize the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives. For times ahead this counsel is critical.
From President Thomas S. Monson
“We read in First Corinthians: ‘There are…so many kinds of voices in the world.’ We are surrounded by persuasive voices, beguiling voices, belittling voices, sophisticated voices and confusing voices. I might add that these are loud voices. I admonish you to turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head after you were baptized, confirming you a member of the Church and saying, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’ Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice which testifies of truth. As the Prophet Isaiah promised, ‘Thine ears shall hear a word. . .saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.’ May we ever be in tune, that we might hear this comforting, guiding voice which will keep us safe.”
From President Henry B. Eyring
“During our confirmation we heard these words: ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’ 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, but always…
“To always have the Spirit with us is to have the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives. We can, for instance, be warned by the Spirit to resist the temptation to do evil.
“For that reason alone, it is easy to see why the Lord’s servants have tried to increase our desire to worship God in our sacrament meetings. If we partake of the sacrament in faith, the Holy Ghost will then be able to protect us, and those we love, from the temptations that come with increasing intensity and frequency.
“The companionship of the Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive and temptation less compelling. That alone should be enough to make us determined to qualify for the Spirit to be with us always.
“Just as the Spirit strengthens us against evil, He also gives us the power to discern between truth and falsehood. The truth that matters most is verified only by revelation from God. Our human reason and the use of our physical senses will not be enough. We live in a time when even the wisest will be hard-pressed to distinguish truth from clever deception…
“Confirmation of truth comes to a son or daughter of God who has claimed the right to receive the Holy Ghost. Since falsehoods and lies may be presented to us at any time, we need a constant influence of the Spirit of Truth to spare us moments of doubt…
“So, for many reasons, we need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We desire it, but yet we know from experience that it is not easy to maintain. We each think, say, and do things in our daily lives that can offend the Spirit. The Lord taught us that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion when our hearts are full of charity and when “virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly.
“For those who are struggling with the high standard needed to qualify for the gift of the Spirit’s companionship, I offer this encouragement. You have had times when you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. It may have happened today.
“You can treat those moments of inspiration like the seed of faith that Alma described. Plant each one. You can do that by acting on the prompting you felt. If it was to pay tithing: pay it. Whatever it was: do it. And keep doing it. When you have shown your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more impressions of what God would have you do.
“As you obey, the impressions from the Spirit will come more frequently, closer and closer to constant companionship. Your power to choose the right will increase.
“You can know when those impressions to act are from the Spirit rather than from your own desires. When the impressions square with what the Savior and His living prophets and apostles have said, you can choose to obey with confidence. Then the Lord will send His Spirit to attend you.”
From President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Brothers and sisters, living the gospel doesn’t need to be complicated.
“It is really straightforward. It could be described like this:
• Hearing the word of God with earnest intent leads us to believe in God and to trust His promises.
• The more we trust God, the more our hearts are filled with love for Him and for each other.
• Because of our love for God we desire to follow Him and bring our actions in alignment with His word.
• Because we love God, we want to serve Him; we want to bless the lives of others, and help the poor and the needy.
• The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.
“And so it goes, each step leading to the next and filling us with ever-increasing faith, hope, and charity.
“It is beautifully simple and it works beautifully.
“Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you.”
From Sister Carole M. Stephens
“Every worthy confirmed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Fasting, prayer, scripture study, and obedience greatly enhance our ability to hear and feel the promptings of the Spirit.
“When your mind is filled with doubt and confusion, the Father and the Son will send the Holy Ghost to warn you and guide you safely through the dangers of this mortal journey. He will help you remember, comfort you and fill you with; ‘hope and perfect love.’”
From Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer
“When we as members make the decision to stand up and powerfully witness for God’s doctrine and His church, something changes within us. We take his countenance upon us. We become closer to His Spirit. He in turn will go before us and be on ‘(our) right hand and on (our) left, and (His) Spirit shall be in (our) hearts, and (His) angels round about (us), to bear (us) up.’”
From Elder Kim B. Clark
“Simple obedience brings the Spirit into our hearts. In our homes we pray in faith, search the scriptures, and keep the Sabbath day holy. In our chapels we partake of the sacrament and make sacred promises to our Heavenly Father in the name of Christ. In holy temples we participate in sacred ordinances on behalf of our brothers and sisters on the other side of the veil. In our families and in our assignments from the Lord, we reach out to others lifting their burdens and inviting them to come unto Christ.
“Brothers and sisters, I know that if we will do these things, the Holy Ghost will come! We will grow spiritually and gain experience with the Holy Ghost, and He will be our companion. If we will look to Christ and open our eyes and our ears, the Holy Ghost will bless us to see the Lord Jesus Christ working in our lives, strengthening our faith in Him with assurance and evidence. We increasingly will see all of our brothers and sisters the way God sees them, with love and compassion. We will hear the Savior’s voice in the scriptures, in the whisperings of the Spirit, and in the words of the living prophets. We will see the power of God resting upon His prophet and all the leaders of His true and living Church, and we will know with a surety that this is God’s holy work. We will see and understand ourselves and the world around us the way the Savior does. We will come to have what the Apostle Paul called ‘the mind of Christ.’ We will have eyes to see and ears to hear, and we will build the kingdom of God.”
From Elder David A. Bednar
“I have observed in my Brethren at least a part of the Lord’s purpose for having older men of maturity and judgment serve in senior leadership positions of the Church. These men have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord whom they represent, serve, and love. They have learned to understand the divine language of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s patterns for receiving revelation. These ordinary men have undergone a most extraordinary developmental process that has sharpened their vision, informed their insight, engendered love for people from all nations and circumstances, and affirmed the reality of the Restoration.”
Again from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Satan, our adversary, wants us to fail. He spreads lies as part of his effort to destroy our belief. He slyly suggests that the doubter, the skeptic, the cynic is sophisticated and intelligent, while those who have faith in God and His miracles are naive, blind or brainwashed. He will advocate that it is cool to doubt spiritual gifts and the teachings of prophets.
“I wish I could help everyone to understand this one simple fact: we believe in God because of things we know with our heart and mind, not because of things we do not know. Our spiritual experiences are sometimes too sacred to explain in worldly terms, but that doesn’t mean they are not real.
“Heavenly Father has prepared for His children a spiritual feast, offering every kind of exquisite food imaginable—and yet, instead of enjoying these spiritual gifts, the cynics content themselves with observing from a distance, sipping from their cups of skepticism, doubt, and disrespect.
“Why would anyone walk through life satisfied with the light from the candle of their own understanding when, by reaching out to our Heavenly Father, they could experience the bright sun of spiritual knowledge that would expand their minds with wisdom and fill their souls with joy?”