Chapter 5: The Holy Ghost

Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, (2000), 11–12


Introduction

As the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost acts under the direction of the Father and the Son. He performs many tasks for the benefit of God’s children upon the earth, His chief mission being to testify of the Father and the Son.

Doctrinal Outline

Supporting Statements

  • A.

    The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead.

    • “The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Spirit, in the form of a man. … The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, and has a spirit body only. His mission is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth.

      “As a Spirit personage the Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. He does not fill the immensity of space, and cannot be everywhere present in person at the same time. He is also called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:38).

    • “The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a personage, and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of the dove, but in sign of the dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be transformed into a dove; but the sign of a dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 276).

    • “The Holy Ghost as a personage of Spirit can no more be omnipresent in person than can the Father or the Son, but by his intelligence, his knowledge, his power and influence, over and through the laws of nature, he is and can be omnipresent throughout all the works of God” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 61).

  • B.

    The Holy Ghost performs a special mission to bless and benefit us.

    • “The Holy Ghost is the Messenger, or Comforter, which the Savior promised to send to his disciples after he was crucified. This Comforter is, by his influence, to be a constant companion to every baptized person, and to administer unto the members of the Church by revelation and guidance, knowledge of the truth that they may walk in its light. It is the Holy Ghost who enlightens the mind of the truly baptized member. It is through him that individual revelation comes, and the light of truth is established in our hearts. We read in the blessings on the sacrament that if we will keep … his commandments which he has given us, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us. This Spirit of truth, the Savior said, ‘the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him’; but the true followers of Christ, those who have been baptized for the remission of their sins and have had hands laid upon their heads for the gift of the Holy Ghost, by a duly authorized servant of Jesus Christ, are entitled to this companionship, for ‘he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:149–50).

    • “He [the Holy Ghost] is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. His mission is to perform all of the functions appertaining to the various name-titles which he bears. Because he is a Spirit Personage, he has power—according to the eternal laws ordained by the Father—to perform essential and unique functions for men. In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to his origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 359).

    • “The Holy Ghost is a revelator. Every worthy soul is entitled to a revelation, and it comes through the Holy Ghost. In Moroni’s farewell to the Lamanites, he says: ‘And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.’ (Moroni 10:5.)

      “He is a reminder and will bring to our remembrance the things which we have learned and which we need in the time thereof. He is an inspirer and will put words in our mouths, enlighten our understandings and direct our thoughts. He is a testifier and will bear record to us of the divinity of the Father and the Son and of their missions and of the program which they have given us. He is a teacher and will increase our knowledge. He is a companion and will walk with us, inspiring us all along the way, guiding our footsteps, impeaching our weaknesses, strengthening our resolves, and revealing to us righteous aims and purposes” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 23).

    • “‘And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.’ (Moro. 10:5.) He is broadcasting all eternal truth out into all immensity all of the time” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 16).

    • “The Holy Spirit of Promise is the Holy Ghost who places the stamp of approval upon every ordinance: baptism, confirmation, ordination, marriage. The promise is that the blessings will be received through faithfulness.

      “If a person violates a covenant, whether it be of baptism, ordination, marriage or anything else, the Spirit withdraws the stamp of approval, and the blessings will not be received.

      “Every ordinance is sealed with a promise of a reward based upon faithfulness. The Holy Spirit withdraws the stamp of approval where covenants are broken” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:45).