What Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost

Mormons or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in three separate members of the Godhead: God or our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bones. The Holy Ghost is a spirit being. The Holy Ghost’s purpose is the same as God and Jesus Christ–for mankind to return to live with them by keeping the commandments. The Holy Ghost’s assignment in bringing about that purpose is to reveal and testify of truth. Since the Holy Ghost is a spirit, His influence can be felt by countless people, but He can be in only one place at a time.


As Mormons when we talk about feeling the Spirit we could be talking about three ways of feeling the love and guidance of Jesus Christ. In my mind they are a succession of power and influence. The light of Christ is given to every person who is born to this earth. This might be likened to our conscience. The light of Christ can increase our understanding, tell us what is right and wrong, and uplift and ennoble us. As a preparation to receiving the Holy Ghost, the light of Christ can direct us to seek the truth. The Holy Ghost comes to man as a power and a gift. Before baptism by the proper authority, all people can feel the Holy Ghost in convincing them of the truthfulness of the Gospel and testifying of Jesus Christ. After baptism the gift of the Holy Ghost is given by the laying on of hands by those who have priesthood authority. After Christ died, the apostles directed the church. People in Samaria were baptized so Peter and John traveled there to give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:17). The gift of the Holy Ghost is also referred to as baptism by fire because it acts to cleanse us from sin. This happens as we are worthy and follow the teachings of Christ and repent.


What does the Holy Ghost feel like? Once a person receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, he or she must work to understand the feelings and promptings. It’s kind of like when Luke figures out how to use the force in Star Wars except it’s very subtle. Imagine being a parent at a park and all the children are yelling, “Mom. Dad.” How are you going to figure out if your child is calling you? For me the Spirit or the Holy Ghost gives me cold, happy shivers when I hear something true. Or my heart feels happy and light. Or a thought comes to my mind that clicks or makes sense. Sometimes my heart beats really fast and my face gets hot. That happens during a testimony meeting when I feel like I should give my testimony or during a lesson when I feel like I should share an experience. I also receive knowledge through the gift of the Holy Ghost as I read my scriptures and study the words of the living prophets. An idea seems right, makes sense, knits together in my mind about how it applies in my life. One of the ways the Holy Ghost has given me the most peace and direction is when I’m feeling discouraged, confused, my mind is a jumble, and my heart is heavy. Then I know something isn’t right. I need to fix something in my life, kind of like figuring out where to put the missing piece of a puzzle. I have to pray and work it out, study my scriptures, attend church, talk with my family, friends, husband, until an idea clicks into place and I feel at peace. During this time I’m not staying still. I’m moving forward. For example as we thought about moving from a smaller house to a larger house, we wanted to be in the best place for our family. So we prayed, researched, and looked at houses. We didn’t wait until the one true house popped into our minds. We applied for a loan and moved forward. And even though there were obstacles to getting our current home, as we prayed and worked, the pieces fell into peace. When I became discouraged or fearful, I prayed, and the warm comfort of the Holy Ghost lightened my heart.


Understanding and using the gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the tools I want my children to learn. Then I know that they will be guided in their decisions forever.

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