“The Holy Ghost has touched my heart and mind from time to time. But I will need it consistently if I am not to be overcome or deceived. Is that possible?”
With all of our uniqueness, we all have some things in common. We are all in the probationary test of mortality. And, wherever we live, that test will become increasingly difficult.
The key for each of us will be to accept and hold the gift we have been promised by God. After you were baptized, authorized servants of God promised you that you could receive the Holy Ghost. The Lord also promised that those who have accepted the gift of the Holy Ghost in their lives would not be deceived (see D&C 45:56–59).
If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life.
Most of you have felt the effects of that promise being fulfilled in your lives. You have felt the quiet confirmation in your heart and mind that something was true. And you knew that it was inspiration from God. You feel peace, hope, and joy when it speaks to your heart and mind that something is true.
Now, if you and I were visiting alone (I wish we could be), where you felt free to ask whatever you wanted to ask, I can imagine your saying something like this: “Oh, Brother Eyring, I’ve felt some of the things you have described. The Holy Ghost has touched my heart and mind from time to time. But I will need it consistently if I am not to be overcome or deceived. Is that possible?”
It will not be easy. But it is possible.
There will be at least three requirements. First, have faith in our Heavenly Father and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Second, be clean. Third, have pure motive. If you want to receive the gifts of the Spirit, you have to want them for the right reasons. Your purposes must be the Lord’s purposes.
The path to receiving the Holy Ghost is to exercise faith in Christ unto repentance. We can become clean through qualifying for the effects of the Savior’s Atonement. The covenants offered in baptism by authorized servants of God bring that cleansing. We renew our pledge to keep those covenants each time we partake of the sacrament. And the peace we all seek is the assurance that we have received forgiveness for our sins of omission or commission.
The Savior is the one who has been given the right to grant that forgiveness and to give that assurance. If you have difficulty in feeling the Holy Ghost, you might wisely ponder whether there is anything for which you need to repent and receive forgiveness.
If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life. For that reason and many others, you would do well to put yourself in places and in tasks that invite the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost works both ways: the Holy Ghost only dwells in a clean temple, and the reception of the Holy Ghost cleanses us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can pray with faith to know what to do to be cleansed and thus qualified for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the service of the Lord. And with that companionship you will be strengthened against temptation and empowered to detect deception.
This article originally appeared in the June 2014 New Era.