“They Desired That the Holy Ghost Should Be Given Unto Them”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Like these noble leaders from former times, we should desire and pray for the Holy Ghost. The Nephites pray for that which they most desire: to be given this surpassing gift. We should be grateful for the blessing of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and then being able to have the blessings of the Spirit on a continuing basis throughout our lives (see D&C 121:46). The Holy Ghost has different functions and powers. He is the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit of Promise. He comforts, testifies, sanctifies, and acts as the constant companion of those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost and continue to live worthy of it. The Spirit will console and encourage us in our times of need. The Spirit will also instruct us to do good, to walk humbly, to do justly, and to judge righteously. He will enlighten our souls (see D&C 11:12–13) and help us to feel love, peace, joy, and faith (see Galatians 5:22–23). The gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we receive from our Heavenly Father to help us in our sojourn here upon the earth. The Holy Ghost will show us all things that we should do (see 2 Nephi 32:5). By the power of the Holy Ghost we can know all things (see Moroni 10:5). To live worthy of this blessing, we must repent and be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and then keep the commandments (see D&C 20:77, 79). The challenge is to do those things that will make us worthy of the presence and guidance of the Holy Ghost. President Marion G. Romney has taught:

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. Pray with each other. Pray in public in the proper places, but never forget the counsel of the Savior: “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6). Learn to talk to the Lord; call upon his name in great faith and confidence.

Second, study and learn the gospel.

Third, live righteously; repent of your sins by confessing them and forsaking them. Then conform to the teachings of the gospel.

Fourth, give service in the Church.

If you will do these things, you will get the guidance of the Holy Spirit and you will go through this world successfully, regardless of what the people of the world say or do. (“Guidance of the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, Jan. 1980, 2ff)

The Holy Ghost is the greatest source for comfort, direction, inspiration, and guidance for a righteous life on earth. We should do all in our power to be worthy of this blessing, through increasing faith (see 1 Nephi 10:17), cultivating love for God and His children, purifying ourselves (see D&C 76:116), and being obedient (see D&C 20:77, 79).

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2