Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Holy Ghost

Last week's report was a bit of a drab. This week I'll add some flavour.

While visiting a family, whose oldest son I went to Institute with back in Centurion, an investigator bore a sweet testimony that brought the Spirit with rapid pull. She expressed how she didn't understand the one true church  thing, but after the prayer "I could feel tat Jesus was there." Her words. As of now, she's on Helaman, finished the Gospel Principles book, and well into the Teachings of the Presidents: Howard W. Hunter.

After the lesson on making the Book of Mormon a part of our life, she requested another lesson early in the week. "I know the Book of Mormon is true, Elders. I understand the importance of baptism. That, I do not have a problem with. The thing that's keeping me back is the confirmation. I don't understand how a man can give you the Holy Ghost."

There we had it. Never has an investigator outright told us their concern. Much less ask us to help them understand. It was a simple misunderstanding, and we used the Bible to clarify.

​"​Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard​ ​that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto​ ​them Peter and John:​ ​Who, when they were come down, prayed for them,that they might receive the Holy Ghost:​ ​(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they​ ​were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)​ ​Then laid they their hands on them, and they received​ ​the Holy Ghost.​" - Acts 8:14-17.​

​"​And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.​ ​Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of​ ​repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.​ ​When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.​ ​And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.​"​ - Acts 19:3-6.

When we are baptised, it is done by immersion, under proper priesthood authority and in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwhich, those who are in authority lay their hands upon your head, confirm you members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and say unto you "Receive the Holy Ghost". This ordinance is necessary, but it does not mean that the priesthood holder is giving you the Holy Ghost. You are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is still our responsibility to receive the Holy Ghost through our diligence, faithfulness and seeking. It's also the only way.

Who then gives us the Holy Ghost?

Christ said, in John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

It is a gift from the Father. He uses righteous priesthood holders as the means by which His children are blessed.

After the lesson she thanked us greatly, saying that she now understood, and that it was no longer a stumbling block. She returns to Bluff today, so hopefully the missionaries that side are able to carry the work forward.

The week continued with a number of referrals from members, a change of heart in an investigator, and a solid family in town that my companion and I found through... wait for it, gate buzzing.

I know that this is the Lord's work. No matter the opposition. Many times I feel I do not have the answers. Sometimes I remember the answers only after the meeting. Other times I feel to simply let it be. But the Lord is always in control. The only thing in the way of man's salvation is their own agency. God will not force anyone to accept Him or His truth, we need to choose that ourselves. And oh, how I plead, let us choose. Even, in the words of Alma, if all we can do is desire to believe. Let that desire work. Nurture it. Nourish it. You will feel it begin to grow. You'll find the answers.

The picture below is a wonderful missionary couple and the missionary I trained. Makes me proud.

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