Lesson 6: The Holy Ghost

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), 18–21


Objective

Each young man will develop a closer companionship with the Holy Ghost and will learn to benefit from his promptings.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      Two pencils and two sheets of paper.

    3. c.

      One electric light bulb.

  2. 2.

    Write each of the following scriptures on a separate piece of paper. Fold the papers and put them all in a container. Do not include the statement following each scripture reference. These statements are for you as the adviser; write them on the chalkboard during the lesson as you discuss each scripture.

Suggested Lesson Development

Functions of the Holy Ghost

Scripture chase

Divide the young men into two groups and give each group a pencil and a sheet of paper. Let each group alternate in drawing a folded paper from the container until all the papers with the references are divided equally between the groups. At a given signal, have each group begin looking up their references. As they locate and read the scriptures, they are to determine who the scriptures are referring to and write a few key words beneath each reference stating what this person does. When both groups have finished, continue with the lesson.

  • To whom are these scriptures referring? (The Holy Ghost.)

Chalkboard and discussion

Write the words Holy Ghost at the top of the chalkboard. Write each scripture reference on the chalkboard and have the two groups state what each scripture says concerning the Holy Ghost. Write each statement by the reference it refers to.

Obtaining the Companionship of the Holy Ghost

Story

Read the following story:

In the monthly fast and testimony meeting, Andrew had witnessed the confirmation of his younger brother, Brian, as a member of the Church. The words of the confirmation prayer, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” had been particularly impressive to Brian. After the service, however, he confided in Andrew that he really didn’t think he had received the Holy Ghost since he did not feel any different after being confirmed than he had before.

Quotation and discussion

  • If you were Andrew, how would you explain receiving the Holy Ghost to your brother?

Let the young men discuss this question. Then read the following quotation by President Marion G. Romney:

“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” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1961, p. 60).

Explain that when we are confirmed members of the Church, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, but not necessarily the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

  • What is the difference between the gift of the Holy Ghost and the companionship of the Holy Ghost?

Object lesson

  • How do we obtain the companionship of the Holy Ghost?

Hand a young man an electric light bulb and ask him to make it glow.

  • What must we do to make an electric light bulb glow?

Have the young men discuss the necessary requirements for enjoying electric light in their homes. Bring out the following points:

  1. 1.

    Have confidence that electricity will work before having it installed.

  2. 2.

    Have the house wired and prepared to receive electricity.

  3. 3.

    Have money to pay the cost of the electricity used.

  4. 4.

    Connect the wiring in the house with the main power line.

  5. 5.

    Have a properly working lamp plugged into an electrical outlet.

  6. 6.

    Put the bulb into the socket and turn the switch that will allow the electricity to light up the bulb.

  • What similarities are there between using electricity in the home and obtaining the companionship of the Holy Ghost?

As the young men discuss what is necessary to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, make sure they understand that we must:

  1. 1.

    Desire the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

  2. 2.

    Learn more about the Holy Ghost.

  3. 3.

    Sincerely request through prayer the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

  4. 4.

    Live worthy of this holy companionship.

Listening to and Benefiting from the Holy Ghost

Thought questions

Point out to the young men that recognizing the influence of the Holy Ghost is sometimes difficult. Ask the following thought questions, but do not have the young men answer aloud.

  • How does the Holy Ghost give guidance?

  • How can we recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost?

  • How can we know that we are being guided by the Holy Ghost?

  • If we make a right decision, how will we know?

  • If we make a wrong decision, how will we know?

Scripture and discussion

Explain that there are many different ways that the Holy Ghost can give guidance. Oliver Cowdery, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s scribe in translating the Book of Mormon, was given some helpful guidelines.

Ask a young man to read Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–9 while the others mark these verses in their scriptures.

  • When we desire an answer to a problem from the Lord, what does this scripture tell us we should do? (Study the problem out in our mind and make a decision. Then pray and ask if our decision is right.)

  • How will we know whether we have made the right decision? (We will have a burning in our bosom if we made the right decision. We will have a stupor of thought if we made the wrong decision.)

Quotation

Tell the young men that the following statement by Elder Marion G. Romney further explains how we may be guided by the Spirit:

“Now, my brothers 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. This you can do if you will discipline yourself to yield your own feelings to the promptings of the Spirit. Study your problems and prayerfully make a decision. Then take that decision and say to him, in a simple, honest supplication, ‘Father, I want to make the right decision. I want to do the right thing. This is what I think I should do; let me know if it is the right course.’ Doing this, you can get the burning in your bosom, if your decision is right. If you do not get the burning, then change your decision and submit a new one. … I know what it is to have this burning witness. I know also that there are other manifestations of guidance by the Spirit” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1961, pp. 60–61).

Remind the young men that all righteous decisions must be made with the help of our Father in Heaven. Even the Savior never did or said anything that was not the will of his Father (see John 5:30).

Conclusion

Adviser presentation

Emphasize that the gift of the Holy Ghost is a great blessing given to those who have been confirmed members of the Church. If we live worthy of his companionship, he will help us to complete our missions here on earth successfully. He will do this by guiding us, protecting us, comforting us, and helping us to come to Christ.

Story

Read or relate the following story of how the Holy Ghost helped Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve Apostles:

“One of my earliest childhood recollections is of riding a horse through an apple orchard. The horse was tame and well broken, and I felt at home in the saddle.

“But one day something frightened my [horse], and he bolted through the orchard. I was swept from the saddle by the overhanging limbs, and one leg slipped down through the stirrup. I desperately hung to an almost broken leather strap that a cowboy uses to tie a lariat to his saddle. My weight should have broken the strap, but somehow it held for the moment. Another lunge or two of the stampeding horse would have broken the strap or wrenched it from my hands and left me to be dragged to injury or death with my foot entangled in the stirrup.

“Suddenly the horse stopped, and I became aware that someone was holding the bridle tightly and attempting to calm the quivering animal. Almost immediately I was snatched up into the arms of my father.

“What had happened? What had brought my father to my rescue in the split second before I slipped beneath the hoofs of my panic-driven horse?

“My father had been sitting in the house reading the newspaper when the Spirit whispered to him, ‘Run out into the orchard!’

“Without a moment’s hesitation, not waiting to learn why or for what reason, my father ran. Finding himself in the orchard without knowing why he was there, he saw the galloping horse and thought, I must stop this horse.

“He did so and found me. And that is how I was saved from serious injury or possible death” (“Hearken to the Spirit,” Friend, Sept. 1972, p. 10).

Discussion

  • How did the Holy Ghost help Elder McConkie? (The Holy Ghost told his father where to go and how to rescue him.)

Tell the young men of times when you have been led by the Spirit and allow them to do so as well.

Explain that many people may not feel they have had such experiences, but they likely have not learned to recognize when they are being inspired and led by the Holy Ghost.

Testimony and challenge

Bear your testimony of the importance of being worthy to receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost and of being willing to listen and follow his promptings.

Challenge the young men to listen and respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in their daily lives.