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How do I receive the gift of the Holy Ghost?

After we are baptized, we receive the ordinance of confirmation. As part of this ordinance, we are told to “receive the Holy Ghost.” This means the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion if we desire and invite His presence in our lives and faithfully keep the commandments.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and talks will help the young women understand how the gift of the Holy Ghost will help them and bless them throughout their lives?

Acts 8:14–17; D&C 33:15; Articles of Faith 1:4 (The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed by the laying on of hands)

1 Nephi 2:9–20 (Nephi’s example of being receptive to the Holy Ghost)

1 Nephi 15:1–11 (Disobeying the commandments prevents us from receiving the Holy Ghost)

1 Nephi 16:14–2918:8–22Alma 37:38–46 (Example of the Liahona)

D&C 20:77 (By partaking of the sacrament, we renew our covenants and can always have the Spirit with us)

D&C 121:45–46 (If we are virtuous and charitable, the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion)

David A. Bednar, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 94–97

David A. Bednar, “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 28–31

The Gift of the Holy Ghost,” True to the Faith (2004), 121

Let the Holy Spirit Guide,” Hymns, no. 143

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • As a class, listen to or sing the hymn “Let the Holy Spirit Guide.” What do the young women learn from this hymn about what we must do to receive the Holy Ghost?
  • Invite the young women to think about the day when they were confirmed members of the Church and told to “receive the Holy Ghost.” How has the gift of the Holy Ghost blessed them? What questions do they have about the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand what it means to receive the Holy Ghost. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Ask the young women to individually read 1 Nephi 2:9–19 and 1 Nephi 15:1–11. Invite half of the class to look for and discuss what Nephi did to receive the Holy Ghost. Invite the other half to look for and discuss what Laman and Lemuel did that kept them from receiving the Holy Ghost. Then ask them to write on the board what they found. What do the young women learn from these examples that will help them receive the Holy Ghost in their lives?
  • Ensure that each class member has a copy of For the Strength of Youth. Invite each young woman to choose one of the sections in For the Strength of Youth, read it, and mark things they must do and not do in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Invite them to share what they learn about the Holy Ghost from what they read. How will this help them receive the Holy Ghost in their lives?
  • As a class, read the last three paragraphs of the section titled “The Gift of the Holy Ghost” in Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Ask a young woman to summarize Elder Bednar’s main point. Assign each young woman to read one of the next three sections of the talk, looking for answers to questions like these: How do we qualify to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost? What can prevent us from receiving the Holy Ghost? Ask them to share what they find and what they plan to do to act on Elder Bednar’s counsel.
  • Show a picture of Lehi and the Liahona (see Gospel Art Book, 68), and ask the young women to share what they know about the Liahona. Invite half of the class to read 1 Nephi 16:14–29, and invite the other half to read 1 Nephi 18:8–22. Ask them to look for answers to this question: “How is the Liahona like the Holy Ghost?” Invite them to share their thoughts. What do the young women learn from the experiences of Lehi’s family that can help them receive the Holy Ghost? As part of this discussion, read together Alma 37:38–46.
  • Invite the young women to read the section titled “Withdrawing Ourselves from the Spirit of the Lord” from Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us.” Ask them to look for statements that help them understand how they can have the companionship of the Holy Ghost more often. Encourage them to think about the things they “think, see, hear, or do” in a typical day and evaluate whether those things invite the Holy Ghost or distance them from Him. Ask them to ponder any changes they need to make in their lives. Invite them to share some of their thoughts if they feel comfortable doing so.
  • As a class read Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46. Ask if there are any words in these verses that the young women do not understand, and help them define those words (for example, bowels means “the innermost part”; garnish means “enhance” or “improve”; wax strong means “become stronger”). What do the young women learn from these verses about how to receive the Holy Ghost?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to receive the Holy Ghost? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could: