Living in a Way That Helps Us Be Receptive to the Spirit
After we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, what can we do to receive the companionship of the Spirit? Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “Teaching by the Spirit requires first that we keep the commandments and be clean before God so his Spirit can dwell in our personal temples” (“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 9).
To be “clean before God,” we can remember the Savior in all we do, always acting as true disciples. We can repent of our sins. We can seek things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13). We can study the scriptures daily and with real intent, seeking to be “nourished by the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4). We can read good books and listen to uplifting, edifying music. We can “stand in holy places” (D&C 45:32) by attending church and partaking of the sacrament and by going to the temple as often as possible. We can serve our family members and neighbors.
Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that “spirituality, while consummately strong, reacts to very delicate changes in its environment” (“I Say unto You, Be One,” Brigham Young University 1990–91 Devotional and Fireside Speeches , 89).
We should take care to completely avoid anything that would cause us to lose the Spirit’s companionship. This includes shunning conversations and entertainment that are inappropriate or light-minded. Our clothes should never be immodest. We should never injure others, even with idle talk. We should not take the name of the Lord in vain or use any other vulgar or coarse language. We should not rebel against or criticize the Lord’s chosen servants.
The Blessings of Receiving the Companionship of the Spirit
Heavenly Father does not require us to be perfect before He grants to us His Spirit. He will bless us for our righteous desires and faithful efforts to do the best we can. President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of some of these blessings:
“The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate with each other. We are more calm in our relationships. We have a greater capacity to love each other. People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit. We are more godly in our character. As a result, we become increasingly more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things more clearly” (“Seek the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 4).