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238: The Holy Ghost Conundrum


Today we talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The question is have we defined a theology that can be defended in terms of those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost having an increased access to spiritual connection over the rest of the world?  Is the Gift of the Holy ghost discernibly something more than the experience that non-mormons are having within their various faith traditions?  We try to tackle that on today’s episode.


15 thoughts on “238: The Holy Ghost Conundrum”

  1. I remember a companion on my mission (Elder Joseph Finlinson, felt I need to spell out his name) claiming I didn’t have a testimony of the Church because I didn’t believe that the Gift of the Holy Ghost was more abundant in our lives than those of nonmembers.

    He told me to simply believe in what Prophets, Apostles, & Scripture dictate that what they said was the law and gospel and that it overruled reason & logic.

    His viewpoint allowed me to complete my mission, but the truth is I believe the Holy Ghost is available as a constant companionship to everyone that seeks God and wants to have it by their side.

    Hence we are not given but commanded to receive it.

    Elder Ballard came to Toronto and warned people about False Doctrines creeping into church (I believe primarily that he meant that to be through Podcasts), but I flip the coin on that statement on the members and said, what false doctrines was he specifically referring too… and hence I think this is one of the many false doctrines we’ve created in the church… we suffer from a broken telephone syndrome.

    What we now repeat isn’t how the originally the message we meant to be conveyed. Hence we need to provide a different way of making sense of the Gospel, one that can only be done through Christ Inner Authority or the Holy Ghost.

    At a personal level, each day I grow more convince that the Holy Ghost is actually the spirit of our Heavenly Mother. Only in that way our Heavenly Mother gains a prominence equal to that of the Father & the Son.

    Hence when D&C talks about 130:20-22 that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit and has no flesh and bones it is because spirits don’t have flesh and bones, but the Holy Ghost belongs to our Heavenly Mother, and while Her spirit has no flesh and bones She certainly does.

    Does that make sense?

  2. Our church is the only church that has the authority to charge the recipient with the holy ghost and confer the right to possess that ghost. All others can possess the holy ghost on faithfulness of being worthy to receive the holy ghost, but have no claim of right to that ghost.

    1. isn’t kind of odd to have such a great and important gift to impart but only .2% of God’s children have access to it? In my experience with non-mormon who desire a relationship with God and strive to be good feel this “gift” as strongly as we do and sometimes stronger. I also see many LDS who seem to believe they have this gift who seem to struggle to grasp truth and seem uncomfortable with such and who pass judgement and gossip as quick as anyone.

      In the end to claim Mormons feel something greater bears little fruit and for God to favor such a small % of his children with such an important and needed gift is also an absurd thing to hold up as absolutely true.

      1. Your reply is an overreach of my comment to imply that people dont have access to the HG outside our church.

        I didnt say our church has a monopoly on feeling the HG.

        What i did say was that our church has the authority to charge people to receive the HG.

        As a matter of Doctrine, “Feeling the HG” is not the “gift of the HG”.

        “Gift” is specific to priesthood ordinance.

        I dont know how to say it any simpler. You have a great forum to teach doctrine and you lose the ability to effectively teach when you use the words wrong. Sorry if i come across sternly but my direct speech is because i care.

        1. Ron, you are holding so tightly to this idea of authority or “right” that may not exist. Bill is saying that people of all faiths have a right to this holy ghost by virtue of their desire to be good, be close to God etc. People of all faiths claim to know their own religion is true by feelings we associate with the holy ghost. These same people claim constant guidance and peace, just as Mormons claim from the holy ghost. This “right” to the holy ghost has no value if everyone else can experience it the same way without this “right”.

        2. Ron, I am saying there is no evidential or discernible difference between one who has the gift of the holy ghost and one who doesn’t but who strives to be religious and have spiritual experiences with God.

          Are you saying there is no difference either?

          1. There is a difference. Feeling the HG is different than the Gift of the HG.

            Article of faith 4 & 5:

            4 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.

            5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

            1. I love your response. When pressed to dialogue about the evidential nature of such a claim you simply resort to “I told you so”. In the end I am Claiming Mormons feel the Holy Ghost or interact with the Holy Ghost no differently than members of other faiths that place importance on spiritual experiences and interactions.

              I make the same argument about priesthood. We could send 5 worthy priesthood holders down one wing of a cancer unit blessing 100 people, send the jehovah witnesses down another wing with 5 of their worthy men giving blessings, and send 5 unworthy atheists into a 3rd wing giving pretend prayers and blessings (so as to maintain the placebo affect) mocking God with their prayers and my supposition is there would be no discernible difference.

              Again I am not arguing the truth of the Church rather that there is no discernible difference between those who have the gift and those who don’t but who seek spiritual interactions with it. And there is no difference in the result of a Mormon Elder’s anointed prayer vs that of a Catholic mother for her child, that of a catholic priest doing his ministerial work of anointing, or a the lady doing holistic treatments. In fact I could argule that some of these other than the LDS strategy may even have better results.

    2. I have struggled with the Holy Ghost immensely. How do you get to a place were you trust your internal authority? With incomplete information, biases, blind spots, and wishful thinking I have a hard putting much stock into my internal authority.

      1. If you choose to keep the commandments because you love Jesus, and you pray daily with repentance of heart to the Father in Jesus’s name that the HG be your guide, you can trust in the inner voice you hear as the HG.

        Otherwise the HG will not dwell within you and the voice you hear will be your own or the deciever.

        How to possess the HG is a very short procedure, but submitting our will is the hard part. Always remember to TRUST JESUS and repent daily!

    3. If you feel that the restored priesthood carries no more efficacy than any other denominations actions then that is a sign of unrepentant priesthood holders making it indistinguishable.

      Find a rightious priesthood holder and follow his example and you will see the miracles follow him and you. Ive seen it in my life and been the recipient of the administration of angels.

      As the scriptures say, Only after the trial of your faith are you given the witness. Start by giving God the benefit of the doubt that what he says through his oen voice and his prophets or, in warning, he will leave you to become unto yourself.

      1. more miracles and spiritual manifestations then spiritual people and leaders in others faiths?
        God’s gets the benefit. Illogical truth claims do not.

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