John 16: The Mission of the Holy Ghost

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 88–89


Have you ever been separated from your parents and lost in a crowd? How did you feel? Jesus knew He would soon be gone, leaving His disciples to carry on the work without Him there giving His direction and strength. He told them He would not leave them alone and promised to send the Holy Ghost to be with them. As you read John 16, look especially for what Jesus taught about how the Holy Ghost can give strength in time of need.

Understanding the Scriptures

John 16

Prince of this world (v. 11)Satan (see “Understanding the Scriptures” for John 12:31, p. 85) 
Spirit of truth (v. 13)The Holy Ghost 
Travail (v. 21)The pain of childbirth 
Hitherto (v. 24)Until now 

John 16:1–3—“Whosoever Killeth You Will Think That He Doeth God Service”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “Sincerity has almost nothing to do with gaining salvation. Men who slay the saints can be just as sincere as those who thus become martyrs. Men can believe so devoutly in falsehood that they will even lay down their own lives for it. What does it matter that those who killed the prophets, either ancient or modern, thought they did God service? The thing that counts is truth, pure God-given truth” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:752).

John 16:33—“I Have Overcome the World”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle, taught, “Christ has overcome the world—our world—and His gift to us is peace now and exaltation in the world to come. Our fundamental requirement is to have faith in Him and follow Him—always. When He bids us to walk in His way and by His light, it is because He has walked this way before us, and He has made it safe for our own travel here” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 66).

If we are faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and endure to the end, we shall also overcome the world (see D&C 63:47).

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activity A or B as you study John 16.

Activity A iconGet the Antidote!

An antidote is something that relieves or counteracts the effects of something bad. For example, there are antidotes that can be taken to counteract the effects of some poisons. President George Albert Smith once taught: “The companionship of the spirit of the Lord is an antidote for weariness, for hunger, for fear, and all those things that sometimes overtake us in life” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1945, 115–16).

  1. 1.

    What did the Lord warn His disciples about in John 16:1–4?

  2. 2.

    How can the Holy Ghost be a spiritual antidote to those spiritual challenges?

  3. 3.

    How can the Holy Ghost be an antidote to some of the bad things that overtake you in life?

Activity B iconInterview a Mother

woman with baby
  1. 1.

    Invite your mother (or any mother) to answer the following questions:

    1. a.

      What sacrifices, struggles, and pain did you experience bringing a child into the world?

    2. b.

      What feelings did you experience after the birth of the child?

    3. c.

      How did your feelings affect your attitude about the sacrifices, struggles, and pains?

  2. 2.

    Describe what Jesus compared the struggles of birth to in John 16:19–22 and how the promised joy would be received.

  3. 3.

    Describe how you hope to feel when you see the Savior again.