BETA

Renew covenants to have his spirit

  • Partake of sacrament
  • Seek His companionship- Repent with broken heart

When members of the Church consciously and sincerely renew their baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve, "we renew our qualifications for the promise `that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us].' " (D&C 20:77).

"We cannot overstate the importance of that promise," he said.

Speaking Sunday morning on the relationship of the sacrament to the Holy Ghost, Elder Oaks quoted President Wilford Woodruff who said that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can receive in mortality.

"Unfortunately," continued Elder Oaks, "the great value of that gift and the important conditions for its fulfillment are not well understood."

After defining the role of the Holy Ghost as comforter, teacher, testifier, sanctifier, revelator and one who "enlightens our minds and fills us with joy," Elder Oaks highlighted the differences between the light of Christ; a manifestation of the Holy Ghost; and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The light of Christ, he said, is given to all men and women that they may know good from evil, while manifestations of the Holy Ghost are given to lead sincere seekers to gospel truths that will persuade them to repentance and baptism.

But "the gift of the Holy Ghost is more comprehensive," he said.

"The gift of the Holy Ghost includes the right to constant companionship, that we may `always have his Spirit to be with

usT.' " (D&C 20:77).

"If we are practicing our faith and seeking the companionship of the Holy Spirit, its presence can be felt in our hearts and in our homes. A family having daily family prayers and seeking to keep the commandments of God and honor His name and speak lovingly to one another will have a spiritual feeling in their home that will be discernable to all who enter it. I know this, because I have felt the presence or absence of that feeling in many LDS homes," he said.

It is important to remember, he said, that the illumination and revelation that come to an individual as a result of the gift of the Holy Ghost do not come suddenly or without seeking.

"President Spencer W. Kimball taught that the Holy Ghost `comes a little at a time as you merit it. And as your life is in harmony, you gradually receive the Holy Ghost in a great measure.' "

The blessings available through the gift of the Holy Ghost, Elder Oaks reminded, are conditioned upon worthiness. "The Spirit of the Lord will only dwell with us when we keep the commandments."

"In partaking of the sacrament, we can renew the effects of our baptism. When we desire a remission of sins, through the Atonement of our Savior, we are commanded to repent and come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

"Then, as we renew our baptismal covenants and affirm that we will `always remember him,' the Lord will renew the promised remission of our sins, under the conditions and at the time He chooses.

"Out of the seemingly small act of consciously and reverently renewing our baptismal covenants comes a renewal of the blessings of baptism by water and by the Spirit, that we may always have His Spirit to be with us," he concluded.