Ponderizing – Week 3 Thoughts

I have been ponderizing the verse found in 2 Nephi 32:5.

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

I couldn’t help but ask my self some questions for understanding. How do we enter in by the way? Through baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. In John 3:5 we read, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The fourth Article of Faith known to members of the LDS faith, reads, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The first ordinance is baptism of water. The second is baptism of the spirit, which is to receive the Holy Ghost.

How do we receive the Holy Ghost? In the Guide to the Scriptures we read the following under the topic of “Gift of the Holy Ghost”:

It is the right of every worthy baptized member of the Church to have the constant influence of the Holy Ghost. Following a person’s baptism into the true Church of Jesus Christ, he receives the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands from one who has the proper authority (Acts 8:12–25; Moro. 2:1–3; D&C 39:23). Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is often spoken of as a baptism by fire (Matt. 3:11; D&C 19:31).

As I have thought about my chosen verse throughout the week, I have felt to look more at this. I believe the first step in receiving the Holy Ghost, is to physically have one who holds the priesthood with the authority to do so, to place his hands on your head and give this precious gift from God. But, the Holy Ghost is more than a gift that is given to the righteous. It is a gift that we are told to receive. I looked up the definition for the word receive. According to the dictionary it says that this word means in one case, to take what is offered or to accept it. It also means to permit it to enter into one’s house or presence, as you would a visitor or a messenger. Likewise, it means to be able to take it in.

First, we receive by accepting the Holy Ghost from God. The spirit is His offering to keep our lines of communication open. We accept the Spirit by reaching for it when it is given, believing in it, and seeking it when we’ve lost it. A gift serves no purpose if we do not accept it with the intent to use it. Just because we can be given this gift, does not mean that it will always be a part of our lives. In our mortal, carnal state on this earth, we can choose not to accept what is offered to us. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 we read, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” It is a choice we make, to receive Him, which requires that we put off the natural desires in us. We receive the Holy Ghost with our intention to listen to Him, follow His council, and heed his warnings.

Second, we need to allow Him into our homes, our hearts, our presence. In Moses 6:61 it says, “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter…”. We need to allow the Holy Ghost to abide, and to be our companion throughout our days. When the Spirit touches us, we can choose to either turn Him away or allow him to enter. Allow Him to visit us in our times of need. Allow Him the opportunity to speak the words of God and bring us the messages of our Father in Heaven to our hearts and minds. I think that this requires us to become humble enough to recognize that we want his companionship in our lives. Humbly recognize that His presence will make our homes better than we can make them. Humbly open our hearts through acknowledging that we are better with God on our side, influencing our decisions and actions.

Last, we need to prepare our hearts and minds with the capacity to take in the messages and feelings that the Spirit is there to bring to us. We do this by doing those things that the gospel teaches us will be an invitation for the Spirit. Things, such as reading the scriptures, praying and fasting, serving others, attending church, listening to the words of our modern prophets and apostles, and so on. Also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 the saints are told to “quench not the Spirit.” We follow this by avoiding those things that would be offensive to the spirit, which is anything that would go against the laws of God or would promote our following after temptations of the world. Helaman 4:24 teaches, “…the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples—”. We need to remain worthy of His presence in order to receive Him.

According to my chosen verse, when we receive the Holy Ghost, we are blessed with revelation from God, which can tell us everything we need to do. I love that this verse uses the word “all”. The inspiration of the Holy Ghost is not only for when we need help with spiritual things. It can help us with the tiny details of our everyday lives. I have a friend who makes beautiful quilts. She bore her testimony of the Holy Ghost helping in the details of her life, when she had been asked to make a quilt for someone. She got to a point in her design, where she could not figure out how to make it work. It was heavy on her mind. It might have seemed a silly, insignificant thing, but she needed help. She was planning to attend the temple, so she decided to pray for help with her quilt as she attended. I do not recall how quickly it happened, but she told of how she felt strongly, the inspiration of how to accomplish what she had been struggling with. It was a clear message of the spirit to her, it calmed her mind, and she followed through with it and was able to finish the quilt as expected. This was evidence that the spirit can and will reveal to us all that we should do.

There have been many times, especially in my role as a mother and wife, when I have not known what to do in a particular situation. Sometimes these situations have seemed extremely important, and some may have been pretty insignificant. Either way, when I have been willing to humble pray for guidance, and receive the comfort and inspiration of the spirit, I have received answers and peace of mind beyond my knowledge and understanding.

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

I have been greatly blessed by the influence of the spirit in my life. I know that all men are blessed to be touched by the spirit at moments throughout their lives, but I know that we can have the spirit with us at all times if we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for the love that I feel from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, through the workings of the Holy Ghost.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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