Elder Jay E. Jensen, of the Quorum of the Seventy, spoke about the gift of the Holy Ghost in a CES Fireside address Sunday to young adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Jensen discussed four of the specific responsibilities of the Holy Ghost: To testify of the Father and the Son, to testify of the truth of all things, to sanctify, and to teach.
Elder Jensen told the story of Jesus Christ’s visit to the Americas, found in the Book of Mormon.
He described how the people prepared to receive Christ on the second day of his ministry by gathering together and praying.
“Of all the things for which they could pray, they did pray for that which they most desired, and they desired that the Holy Ghost be given unto them,” Elder Jensen said.
He then told how the 12 disciples were baptized by Nephi and given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When Christ came, He prayed to the Father in gratitude for the righteous desire of the people.
“I know of no scriptural passage that better expresses how important our Savior feels the Holy Ghost is,” Elder Jensen said.
Elder Jensen shared a second example to illustrate the importance of the Holy Spirit, that came in the form of a vision to President Brigham Young.
Previous to the trek from Winter Quarters to the west, President Young had a dream that he was counseling with late President Joseph Smith, Elder Jensen said.
Quoting President Smith, Elder Jensen said, “tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it and it will lead them just right.”
From these two examples, Elder Jensen concluded that the Holy Ghost is vital to our lives.
“Sincere seekers who read the Book of Mormon and pray and ponder with real intent to know of its truthfulness are promised they will know it is true,” he said.
He explained to the audience that the Holy Ghost can only do so much without each individual’s help.
“Because of our agency, he carries it [the truth] unto our hearts,” Elder Jensen said. “If we invite him, he will carry it into our hearts.”
Elder Jensen said these conditions that must be met to receive the Holy Spirit: “One: desire, which for me includes ask, seek, and knock; two: worthiness; and three: alertness, both spiritually and physically.”
He taught we must be earnest in seeking revelation and be physically and spiritually prepared to receive it.
Elder Jensen used the example of President Joseph F. Smith when he received the revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 138.
“I visualize President Smith seated in a chair, perhaps a wooden char, at a table, scriptures in front of him along with a pen and paper,” Elder Jensen said. “He was not lying on a couch or slouched in a chair.”
He emphasized the seriousness in which the young people of the church should approach scripture study and revelation.
Elder Jensen went on to describe how to recognize direction from the Holy Ghost.
“Such experiences are personal, and often tailored to the individual and the conditions I just described,” Elder Jensen said.
He described patterns of manifestations of the Holy Spirit, including a burning of the bosom, an intensity of feeling, peace to the mind, and feelings to the heart.
“How do we know if it is from God?” Elder Jensen said, quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley. “By the fruits of it. If it leads to growth and development, if it leads to faith and testimony, if it leads to a better way of life, then it is from God.”
Elder Jensen closed with his testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost.
“I humbly pray that you will desire, more earnestly, to be worthy of the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that you may recognize his promptings and grow in that ability to do so.”