Elder Jensen Testifies of Holy Ghost at CES Devotional
Contributed by Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events
Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke about “the importance of the Holy Ghost and the unspeakable gift that He is,” as mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 121:26, at a Church Educational System devotional on Sunday, January 8, 2012.
The devotional was broadcast from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA. Elder Jensen emphasized the importance of the Holy Ghost by relating the Savior’s visit to the people in the Book of Mormon. After being taught by Him and by the disciples, the people said that the thing they most desired was “that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:9).
Later the Savior prayed to the Father that He would “give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in [His disciples’] words” (3 Nephi 19:19–21).
“I know of no scriptural passage that better expresses how important our Savior feels the Holy Ghost is,” Elder Jensen said.
Individuals should earnestly seek the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost, Elder Jensen said. He then outlined three themes:
The Missions of the Holy Ghost
“First, the Holy Ghost reveals or testifies of the Father and the Son,” Elder Jensen testified.
Also, the Holy Ghost testifies of all truth, he said, quoting Moroni 10:5: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost [they] may know the truth of all things.”
Third, He sanctifies. To sanctify means “to purify or make free from sin, a central message of the restored gospel,” Elder Jensen explained. “The Holy Ghost is the sanctifier, and because of Him and through the infinite Atonement we may stand spotless, clean, and pure.”
He mentioned that the sacrament provides a weekly opportunity for every person to become free from sin through the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost.
Finally, the Holy Ghost acts as the true teacher in that He carries the message of the gospel into our hearts.
“I witness to you that [the Holy Ghost] has other important responsibilities or missions,” Elder Jensen said. “He is the Comforter. He restrains or constrains, He leads, He warns, and He rebukes. I invite you to study them on your own.”
He then spoke about the conditions to receive the Holy Ghost.
Conditions to Receive the Holy Ghost
Elder Jensen outlined three requirements necessary to receive the Holy Ghost: (1) desire, which includes ask, seek, and knock; (2) worthiness; and (3) alertness—spiritual and physical.
He further explained the requirement of worthiness: “To have the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, we must keep the commandments. I believe you know what evils offend the Spirit, and I will not mention them. A sentence from my patriarchal blessing has guided me: ‘Jay, keep your body free from the temptations and evils that present themselves. Live clean and fine, for our Heavenly Father’s Spirit dwells in clean tabernacles. [He] does not dwell in unclean tabernacles.’”
How to Recognize Direction from the Holy Ghost
Although direction from the Holy Ghost is personal and often tailored to the individual, Elder Jensen listed a few patterns he has observed.
“I believe receiving ‘peace to the mind’ is one of the most common ways to recognize direction from the Holy Ghost,” he said, quoting Doctrine and Covenants 6:23.
He then expounded on the well-known scripture (see D&C 8:2–3) that direction from the Holy Ghost comes to the mind and to the heart: “I have learned from the First Presidency and from the Quorum of the Twelve, as well as through my own experiences, that revelations to the mind are often specific words, ideas, even sentences, while revelations to the heart are general feelings associated with peace,” he said.
Elder Jensen emphasized that members must study things out in their minds and then pray for guidance—and act upon it if they receive it.
He explained that for some, guidance from the Holy Ghost may be felt in a burning of the bosom—“an intensity of feeling, the peace to the mind and feelings to the heart mentioned earlier,” he said.
Finally, Elder Jensen testified that “having impressions that persist until we act are real and sacred.”
He concluded: “I humbly pray that you will desire more earnestly to be worthy of the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that you may grow in [your] ability to recognize His promptings, that you may ‘be still and know’ the Father and the Son through the Holy Ghost (see D&C 101:16), and that you will express gratitude for Him and His guidance.”
Three weeks after the broadcast, audio and video archives will be available at cesdevotionals.lds.org in multiple languages.
Archives of the video broadcast in English will be available under “Broadcasts and Events” several days after the devotional. Podcast feeds for audio and video will be available in many languages on LDS.org and on iTunes.