The Disciples Prayed for the Holy Ghost

Church Educational System

The twelve disciples, whom Jesus had chosen, prayed “that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:9). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the meaning behind the request:

“There is … a difference between the gift of the Holy Ghost and the enjoyment of the gift. All saints after baptism receive the gift or right to the sanctifying power of the Spirit; only those who are worthy and who keep the commandments actually enjoy the promised reward. In practice, members of the Church enjoy the companionship of the Spirit from time to time as they manage, by obedience, to get in tune with the Infinite.
“The actual enjoyment of the gift of the Holy Ghost is a supernal gift that a man can receive in mortality. The fact of its receipt is a witness that the saints so blessed are reconciled to God and are doing the things that will assure them of eternal life in the realms ahead” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 257).

President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) spoke of asking God twice a day for the guidance of the Holy Spirit: “I have little or no fear for the boy or the girl, the young man or the young woman, who honestly and conscientiously supplicate God twice a day for the guidance of His Spirit. I am sure that when temptation comes they will have the strength to overcome it by the inspiration that shall be given to them. Supplicating the Lord for the guidance of His Spirit places around us a safeguard, and if we earnestly and honestly seek the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, I can assure you that we will receive it” (Gospel Standards [1976], 26).

President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, stated that we can obtain and keep the Spirit by following a simple four-point program: “If you want to obtain and keep the guidance of the Spirit, you can do so by following this simple four-point program. One, pray. Pray diligently. … Second, study and learn the gospel. Third, live righteously; repent of your sins. … Fourth, give service in the Church” (“Guidance of the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, Jan. 1980, 5).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)