Each young man will understand that he can receive daily help from the Holy Ghost.
Materials needed: scriptures for each young man.
Many young men in the Church do not exercise the gift of the Holy Ghost as often as they could. The gift is there to bless and direct them each day but using it takes effort. This lesson should encourage the young men to exercise the gift of the Holy Ghost more often and to inspire them with the confidence that they can.
Suggested Lesson Development
The Gift of the Holy Ghost Is a Precious Gift from God
Suppose that after hours of thinking and looking you have finally decided on a birthday gift for a member of your family. You feel certain that he will use it and enjoy it. As you give it to him, he says, “Thank you,” and then puts it aside. After several weeks, you notice he has not used it once. How would you feel? Why?
What gift did Heavenly Father give you when you were baptized? (The gift of the Holy Ghost.)
How are you using this important gift?
How might Heavenly Father feel if you do not use this gift?
Explain that we receive the right to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion when we are confirmed members of the Church. The gift of the Holy Ghost is essential in helping us return to our Heavenly Father’s presence. To use this gift wisely, we should learn all we can about it and how it works.
Scripture and discussion
Who is the Holy Ghost? (The third member of the Godhead.)
If you were describing the Holy Ghost to someone who didn’t know about him, what would you say?
Have the young men read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 130:22. Be sure they understand that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit in the form of a man.
Quotation and discussion
Ask the young men to listen for what they can learn about the Holy Ghost from the following statement from President Lorenzo Snow:
“From the time we receive the Gospel, go down in to the waters of baptism and have hands laid upon us afterwards for the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have a friend, if we do not drive it from us by doing wrong. That friend is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which partakes of the things of God and shows them unto us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1899, p. 52).
What can we learn about the Holy Ghost from this statement?
Emphasize that he is our friend and that we must live worthily to have his companionship.
What does it mean to live worthily?
Have the young men discuss this question. You may wish to list their responses on the chalkboard.
Explain that living worthily includes such things as worshiping, praying, keeping our bodies clean and free from impurities, and avoiding vulgarity. When we go to unsuitable places or allow ourselves to drift into unrighteous situations, then our reception of the Holy Ghost’s messages will be poor, or we may receive no communication at all.
Scriptures and discussion
Have the young men read 1 Nephi 16:10.
What was the name of this compass or ball? (Liahona.)
Have them read 1 Nephi 16:28.
What caused the Liahona to work properly? (Faith, diligence, and attention.)
Have the young men read 1 Nephi 18:11–12.
When Laman and Lemuel tied up Nephi, what happened to the Liahona? (It stopped working because of their wickedness.)
Have the young men read 1 Nephi 18:21.
When did the Liahona begin to work again?
Where did the Liahona eventually lead Nephi and his family? (To the promised land.)
How is the Holy Ghost like our personal Liahona? (He also works according to our faith and righteousness. If we follow his promptings, we will be led to a promised land—the celestial kingdom.)
We Must Learn to Recognize the Influence of the Holy Ghost
Explain that hearing and understanding the promptings of the Holy Ghost takes practice and effort. We do not usually receive help from the Holy Ghost in a voice or a sudden manifestation. The whispering of the Holy Ghost often comes through our conscience. Because he can be recognized by a peaceful feeling that accompanies his guidance, the Holy Ghost is sometimes referred to as the “still, small voice.” He influences our minds and hearts (see D&C 8:2–3; 85:6).
Elder Boyd K. Packer has testified as follows to the youth of the Church:
“If you will listen to the counsel of your parents and your teachers and your leaders when you are young, you can learn how to follow the best guide of all—the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. That is individual revelation. There is a process through which we can be alerted to spiritual dangers. …
“If we can train you to listen to these spiritual communications, you will be protected. … You can learn what it feels like to be guided from on high. This inspiration can come to you now, in all of your activities, in school, and dating—not just in your Church assignments.
“Learn now to pray and how to receive answers to your prayers. When you pray over some things, you must patiently wait a long, long time before you will receive an answer. Some prayers, for your own safety, must be answered immediately, and some promptings will even come when you haven’t prayed at all. …
“The basic exercise for you to perform in your youth to become spiritually strong and to become independent lies in obedience to your guides. If you will follow them and do it willingly, you can learn to trust those delicate, sensitive, spiritual promptings. You will learn that they always, invariably, lead you to do that which is righteous” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, pp. 46–47; or Ensign, May 1976, pp. 31–32).
How can we learn to follow the whisperings of the Holy Spirit? (By following the counsel of parents and leaders while we are young.)
In what type of activities has the inspiration of the Holy Ghost helped you?
When have you felt the inspiration of the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost Will Protect, Comfort, and Inspire
Share experiences from your life when you have been protected, comforted, or inspired by the Holy Ghost, and invite the young men to do likewise. Depending on the time you have and the success of your discussion, you may wish to use the following accounts.
Bill was taking a speech class in school and was assigned to give a speech on a controversial subject. The speech would count for half his grade. Unable to decide on a topic, Bill prayed for help. The impression came to him, “If you’re looking for a controversial subject, choose the Book of Mormon.”
Hoping not to offend anyone, Bill began his presentation explaining the history and content of the book. But again the Spirit came upon him. He thought to himself: “I don’t care what happens to me, or what happens to my grade. The Book of Mormon is true, and they all ought to know it.” So he began to teach as if he were speaking to investigators, bearing his testimony of the Book of Mormon.
When he finished, he waited for the other students to make fun of him. Instead, they wrote very positive responses. A few wrote, “You have almost convinced me of the truth of what you said.” Another student wrote, “I really would like to know more about your church” (adapted from Gene R. Cook, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, p. 79).
Robert buried his face in his pillow. His throat was tight, and it hurt. He felt like crying. He had felt that way all evening, ever since the funeral had ended. It seemed so unfair.
His father really hadn’t been old enough to die, and it had surprised everyone. Again he felt overwhelmed by the loss and felt the tears coming. Then, remembering he hadn’t prayed, he slid out of bed onto his knees, and, out of habit, he began to pray. Suddenly he was really speaking with the Lord, telling him of his heartache and lack of understanding. Over and over he asked, “Why? Why did it have to happen?”
There was no voice, no light, and no visible answer, but suddenly Robert felt a calm, peaceful assurance. He knew his father was all right and that, in spite of the difficult moments of loneliness and loss that would follow, Heavenly Father knew his situation and through the Holy Ghost had given him the assurance that all was well.
How can the Holy Ghost comfort those in need?
Testimony and challenge
Admonish the young men to live worthily to receive the promptings of the Holy Ghost and to listen to the still, small voice as it directs their actions. Testify that, by so doing, the young men will avoid many problems and will find greater joy and happiness in life.
Challenge the young men to listen carefully for guidance from the Holy Ghost and to record such instances in their personal journals.