Quotes on Holy Ghost, The

See also: Moroni 7:25; D&C 88:3; D&C 130:22; 132:7; John 4

The Holy Ghost, a personage of spirit, is their minister, who has been given the power and assigned the functions of bearing record of the Father and the Son, of revealing the truths of salvation to men on earth, and in due course, of revealing to them, all truth. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, April 1953

Now I’m going to say something that maybe I could not prove, but I believe is true, that we have a great many members of this Church who have never received a manifestation through the Holy Ghost.  Why?  Because they have not made their lives conform to the truth.  And the Holy Ghost will not dwell in unclean tabernacles or disobedient tabernacles.  The Holy Ghost will not dwell with that person who is unwilling to obey and keep the commandments of God or who violates those commandments willfully.  In such a soul the spirit of the Holy Ghost cannot enter.  That great gift comes to us only through humility and faith and obedience.  Therefore, a great many members of the Church do not have that guidance.  Then some cunning, crafty individual will come along teaching that which is not true, and without guidance which is promised to us through our faithfulness, people are unable to discern and are led astray.  It depends on our faithfulness and our obedience to the commandments of the Lord if we have the teachings, the enlightening instruction, that comes from the Holy Ghost.

When we are disobedient, when our minds are set upon the things of this world rather than on the things of the kingdom of God, we cannot have the manifestations of the Holy Ghost.  Did you ever stop to think what a great privilege it is for us to have the companionship of one of the members of the Godhead?  Have you thought of it that way?  That is our privilege, if we keep the commandments the Lord has given us.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “We Are Here to Be Tried, Tested, Proved,” BYU Speeches of the Year, 25 Oct. 1961, pp. 4-5.) Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 43

I can promise you that the spirit is a whole lot more anxious to help you than you are to be helped. — Elder S. Dilworth Young, Address, Mission Home, Salt Lake City, June 1975

God does not send thunder if a still, small voice is enough. — Elder Neal Maxwell, Ensign, November 1976, p. 14

There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized.  Had he not [been baptized], the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:555

The voice of the Spirit is described in the scripture as being neither “loud” nor “harsh.”  It is “not a voice of thunder, neither . . . voice of a great tumultuous noise.”  But rather, “a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper,” and it can “pierce even to the very soul” and “cause [the heart] to burn.”  (3 Ne. 11:3; Hel. 5:30; D&C 85:67)  Remember, Elijah found the voice of the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but was a “still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand.  Rather it whispers.  It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all.  (No wonder that the Word of Wisdom was revealed to us, for how could the drunkard or the addict feel such a voice?)

Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed.  But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, “Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth.”  (1 Sam. 3:10) — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” new mission presidents seminar, June 25 1982; see Ensign, January 1983, p. 53

No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator. — Joseph Smith

Elder Dallin H. 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.  The gift of the Holy Ghost includes the right to constant companionship, that we may ‘always have his Spirit to be with us.'”  (D&C 20:77). . . .

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 are conditioned upon worthiness.  “The Spirit of the Lord will only dwell with us when we keep the commandments.” — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1996

Elder L. Aldin Porter related an experience he had with Elder LeGrand Richards who had just reorganized a stake presidency.  “We were driving home – he was very pensive.  After a rather long period of silence, I asked him if there was something he would like to teach me.  Quietly, he said, ‘We have too many in the Church who deny the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.’  That was it – he said no more.”  — Elder L. Aldin Porter, Ensign, November 1996

God stands revealed or remains forever unknown. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie

However, it is my judgment that there are many members of this church who have been baptized for the remission of their sins, who have had hands laid upon their heads for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who have never received that gift, that is, the manifestations of it.  Why?  Because they have never put themselves in order to receive these manifestations.  They have never humbled themselves.  They have never taken the steps that would prepare them for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  Therefore they go through life without that knowledge, and they have not the understanding.  Therefore when those cunning and crafty in their deceit come to them, they disturb them in their faith, if they have faith left.  They criticize the Authorities of the Church.  They criticize the doctrines of the Church, and these weak members do not have understanding enough, information enough, and enough of the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord to resist the false doctrines and teachings of those who come to them, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they listen to them, and think that perhaps after all they have made a mistake, and first thing you know they find their way out of the Church, because they do not have understanding. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1958, pp. 21-22

Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1998, p. 39

The revelations of the Father and the Son are conveyed through the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is the witness of and messenger for the Father and the Son. — Elder David A. Bednar, “Pray Always,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 41

President Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) once said, “I always know when I am speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I have said.”  (Quoted by Boyd K. Packer, “Teach the Children,” Ensign, Feb. 2000, p. 15.) — Roger Terry, “The Lord Closed the Book,” Ensign, February 2006, p. 59

I wish to testify as a living witness that joy does come through listening to the Spirit, for I have experienced it. Those who live the gospel learn to live “after the manner of happiness,” as did the Nephites (see 2 Nephi 5:27).  All over the world, in the many countries where the Church is established, members could add their testimonies to mine. Abundant evidence verifies the promise of peace, hope, love, and joy as gifts of the Spirit. Our voices join in a united petition for all of God’s children to partake of these gifts also.

But we hear other voices.  Paul said, “There are . . . so many kinds of voices in the world” (1 Corinthians 14:10) that compete with the voice of the Spirit.  We have come here to hear just one voice.  I have humbly prayed that I will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost so that my message may be carried into your hearts by that same power (see 2 Nephi 33:1).  Imagine, however, what would happen if all of a sudden a heckler in the back of this hall started to yell obscenities; another on my left began to contend with him; another on my right began to debate with his neighbor; someone in the center turned on a recording of some loud music.  Soon a chorus of raucous, rival voices would smother my voice, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver a spiritual message to you.

Such is the situation in the world.  The Spirit’s voice is ever-present, but it is calm. Said Isaiah, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:17).  The Adversary tries to smother this voice with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices. — President James E. Faust, “The Voice of the Spirit,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, September 5, 1993

President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The voice of the Spirit is described in the scripture as being neither ‘loud’ nor ‘harsh.’  It is ‘not a voice of thunder, neither . . . a voice of a great tumultuous noise.’  But rather, ‘a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper,’ and it can ‘pierce even to the very soul’ and ‘cause [the heart] to burn’ (3 Ne. 11:3; Hel. 5:30; D&C 85:6–7).  Remember, Elijah found the voice of the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but was a ‘still small voice’ (1 Kgs. 19:12).”

President Packer continues:  “The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand.  Rather it whispers.  It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. . . .

“Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed.  But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, ‘Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth’ (1 Sam. 3:10.)”  (“The Candle of the Lord,” Tambuli, July 1983, 30-31; Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53). — Elder Carlos A. Godoy, “Testimony as a Process,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 101

May I highlight only a few of those gifts usually less discussed. Consider the statement of Elder Parley P. Pratt:

“The Holy Ghost . . . quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use.  It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature”  (Key to the Science of Theology [1978], 61).

What a promise!  Yet it lies much too dormant in the lives of members of the Church, when it has that remarkable capacity to bless us. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Glorify Christ,” Address to CES Religious Educators, Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 2, 2001

The ways in which the Holy Ghost so teaches are many.  More than once President Marion G. Romney instructed us:  “I always know when I am speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I’ve said” (cited in Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently [1975], 304). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Glorify Christ,” Address to CES Religious Educators, February 2, 2001, Salt Lake Tabernacle

The things of God are understood by the Spirit of God.  That Spirit is real.  To those who have experienced its workings, the knowledge so gained is as real as that received through the operation of the five senses.  I testify of this. . . . I urge you to continue throughout your lives to cultivate a heart in tune with the Spirit.  If you do so, your lives will be enriched.  You will feel a kinship with God our Eternal Father.  You will taste the sweetness of joy that can be had in no other way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, CES Fireside, September 9, 2001

As with all gifts, this gift must be received and accepted to be enjoyed.  When the priesthood hands were laid upon your head to confirm you a member of the Church, you heard the words, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”  This did not mean that the Holy Ghost unconditionally became your constant companion.  Scriptures warn us that the Spirit of the Lord will “not always strive with man.”  When we are confirmed, we are given the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost, but it is a right that we must continue to earn through obedience and worthiness.  We cannot take this gift for granted.

The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger, and it will inspire us to help others in need.  President Thomas S. Monson counseled us: “We watch.  We wait.  We listen for that still, small voice.  When it speaks, wise men and women obey.  Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed.” — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift,” Ensign, May 2003, p. 26

President Boyd K. Packer reminds us: “We need not live in fear of the future.  We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear.  If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds.  We will be shown what to do.” — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift,” Ensign, May 2003, p. 28

With faith and obedience practiced long enough, the Holy Ghost becomes a constant companion, our natures change, and endurance becomes certain. — President Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, May 2002, p. 28

Elder Douglas L. Callister quoted Brigham Young as saying:   “All I have to do is . . . keep my spirit, feelings and conscience like a sheet of blank paper, and let the spirit and power of God write upon it what he pleases.  When he writes, I will read; but if I read before he writes, I am very likely to be wrong.”  (Brigham Young) — Elder Douglas L. Callister, Ensign, November 2000, p. 31

Those who have made it their quest to realize the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit will awaken in the next life as spiritual giants, in contrast to the infancy of others who have lived without God in this world. — Elder Douglas L. Callister, Ensign, November 2000, p. 31

It whispers, not shouts.  And so you must be very quiet inside.  That is why you may wisely fast when you want to listen.  And that is why you will listen best when you feel, “Father, thy will, not mine, be done.”  You will have a feeling of “I want what you want.”  Then, the still small voice will seem as if it pierces you.  It may make your bones to quake.  More often it will make your heart burn within you, again softly, but with a burning which will lift and reassure. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, General Conference, April 1991

We have to find out the technique by which the spirit whispers to our hearts.  We have to learn to hear it and to understand it and to know when we have it, and that sometimes takes a long time. — Elder S. Dilworth Young, General Conference, April 1959

An impression to the mind is very specific.  Detailed words can be heard or felt and written as though the instruction were being dictated. . . .

It is through the repeated process of feeling impressions, recording them, and obeying them that one learns to depend on the direction of the Spirit more than the communication through the five senses. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Helping Others to be Spiritually Led,” BYU CES Symposium, August 11, 1998

The gift of the Holy Ghost is an endowment which gives one the right to enjoy the enlightenment, companionship, and guidance of the Spirit and the influence of the Holy Spirit as long as he complies with the commandments of God.

The importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is beyond expression. — President Marion G. Romney, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign, May 1974, p. 92

The Holy Ghost is a revelator.   Every worthy soul is entitled to a revelation, and it comes through the Holy Ghost.  In Moroni’s farewell to the Lamanites, he says: 

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”  (Moroni 10:5)  He is a reminder and will bring to our remembrance the things which we have learned and which we need in the time thereof.  He is a testifier and will bear record to us of the divinity of the Father and the Son and of Their missions and of the program which they have given us.  He is a teacher and will increase our knowledge.  He is a companion and will walk with us, inspiring us all along the way, guiding our footsteps, impeaching our weaknesses, strengthening our resolves and revealing to us righteous aims and purposes.  (Elder Spencer W. Kimball, “The fourth Article of Faith,” The Instructor, Apr. 1955, 108-9) The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 70

In the performance of our responsibilities, I have learned that when we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others.  I know of no experience more sweet or feelings more precious than to heed a prompting, only to discover that the Lord has answered another’s prayer through you. — President Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, October 5, 2002

As we strive to align our attitudes and actions with righteousness, then the Holy Ghost becomes for us today what the Liahona was for Lehi and his family in their day.  The very factors that caused the Liahona to work for Lehi will likewise invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.  And the very factors that caused the Liahona not to work anciently will likewise cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost today. — Elder David A. Bednar, Conference Report, April 2006

There is a way by which persons can keep their consciences clear before God and man, and that is to preserve within them the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of revelation to every man and woman.  It will reveal to them, even in the simplest of matters, what they shall do, by making suggestions to them. We should try to learn the nature of this spirit, that we may understand its suggestions, and then we will always be able to do right.  This is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint.  We know that it is our right to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives.  This is a grand means that the Lord has provided for us, that we may know the light, and not be groveling continually in the dark. — President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, April 1899, p. 52

The Lord has placed currents of divine influence in your life that will lead you along the individual plan He would have you fulfill here on earth.  Seek through the Spirit to identify it and carefully follow that direction that the Lord has put in your life.  Align yourself with it. Choose, willingly, to exercise your agency to follow it.  Do not be overcome by concentrating solely on today, its challenges, difficulties, and opportunities. Such preoccupations must not totally capture your attention so as to consume your life.  Oh, how I would encourage you to weave deeply into the fabric of your soul the recognition that our life now is a part of a much bigger plan the Lord has for you.  You lived part of it in the premortal existence.  You were valiant there and came here because you wanted to grow and enjoy greater happiness.  What you decide to do now will affect how well you fulfill that divine, personal plan He has for you. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “He Lives,” Ensign, November 1999

The key to the remembering that brings and maintains testimony is receiving the Holy Ghost as a companion.  It is the Holy Ghost who helps us see what God has done for us.  It is the Holy Ghost who can help those we serve to see what God has done for them. — President Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” Ensign, November 2007

. . . we will never be prompted by the Holy Ghost to do something we cannot do.  It may require extraordinary effort and much time, patience, prayer, and obedience, but we can do it. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts,” Ensign, June 1972

It is through the repeated process of feeling impressions, recording them, and obeying them that one learns to depend on the direction of the Spirit more than on communication through the other five senses. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Learn and to Teach More Effectively,” BYU Education Week, August 21, 2007

The Holy Spirit of Promise is the ratifying power of the Holy Ghost.  When sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, an ordinance, vow, or covenant is binding on earth and in heaven.  (See D&C 132:7.)  Receiving this “stamp of approval” from the Holy Ghost is the result of faithfulness, integrity, and steadfastness in honoring gospel covenants “in [the] process of time” (Moses: 7:21). However, this sealing can be forfeited through unrighteousness and transgression.  “Purifying and sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise constitute the culminating steps in the process of being born again.”  — Elder David A. Bednar, “Ye Must Be Born Again,” Ensign, May 2007, p. 22

The Holy Ghost is [the Father and the Son’s] minister to bring truths to our remembrance, to reveal new truths to us, and teach, guide, and direct the course of every mind, until we become perfected and prepared to go home, where we can see and converse with our Father in Heaven. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], p. 33

I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that I could give you or that you could give your students that would immediately facilitate mastering the ability to be guided by the Holy Spirit.  Nor do I believe that the Lord will ever allow someone to conceive a pattern that would invariably and immediately open the channels of spiritual communication.  We grow when we labor to recognize the guidance of the Holy Ghost as we struggle to communicate our needs to our Father in Heaven in moments of dire need or overflowing gratitude. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Learn and to Teach More Effectively,” BYU Education Week,  August 21, 2007

It is obvious, from the manner in which Joseph Smith received a knowledge of God and of the principles and ordinances of the gospel, that he himself was receiving direct revelation from heaven.  But this is not all that was necessary. . . .

. . . The Lord instructed the priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.” (D&C 20:41)

The priesthood and the power of the Holy Ghost is what gives life to the Church and its members:

“. . . the special office of the Holy Ghost is to enlighten and ennoble the mind, to purify and sanctify the soul, to incite to good works, and to reveal the things of God.” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 167)  Without this gift, the Church would be as dead and impotent as an electric powerhouse without electricity. — President Marion G. Romney, “Why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, January 1973, p. 30

I believe the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.  It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance.  It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls.  This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve.  It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes.  It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember.  It is a way of maximizing our happiness.

The Spirit – the Holy Ghost – will help us work out our insecurities.  For instance, it can help us learn to forgive.  There comes a time when people must move on, seeking greater things rather than being consumed by the memory of some hurt or injustice. Dwelling constantly on past injuries is, by its nature, limiting to the Spirit. It does not promote peace. — Elder James E. Faust, General Conference, April 1989

What to say!  What to write!  Where to go!  What to do!  Such guidance, if given infrequently for only some of life’s decisions, would be priceless.  But the broader promise was given to the Prophet Joseph at Salem, Massachusetts, that “for the main” (or for the most part), the place he should tarry would be signalized to him by the peace and power of the Spirit (see D&C 111:8).  And the Three Witnesses were told that the Holy Ghost would manifest “all things which are expedient unto the children of men” (D&C 18:18).

This is of monumental significance.  The gift has been given – what we make of it is up to us.  Unless we listen to counsel we will receive none.  Unless we pray, exercise faith, love, obey, and keep the tabernacles of our spirits clean – we can have no claim upon this unspeakable gift.  May we so live as to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us make wise decisions. — Elder F. Burton Howard, “The Gift of Knowing,” New Era, November 1984, p. 44

The Lord tells us through his prophet what we have to do that the Spirit may be with us:  “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith” (D&C 42:14).  The prayer of faith is easy to understand for a person who is in a situation of urgency or sudden distress.  But isn’t it clear that we, in some way, may offend the Lord if we come to him in a sincere prayer of faith only in emergencies?  It seems obvious that the Lord has a question for some of us:  “Why do you not want the closeness of the Spirit every minute of your life?  And why do you come unto me in sincerity only when it is either already too late or help can only come after heavy losses or much pain?”

I wish we would open our minds and understand that the Lord is offering to us, through the Spirit, the most powerful life support available.  The Lord has given us the instrument to achieve our righteous desires, if we know how to appreciate it and learn how to use it.  With the help of this gift, we can learn how to handle our daily affairs, how our righteous motivations can increase, how our fears can be taken away, how to overcome temptations, and how to succeed in the most difficult and complicated tasks.  With the help of this gift, every member can experience the unique power that the Lord wants to give those who receive him.  “But unto as many as received me gave I power” (D&C 45:8). — Elder F. Enzio Busche, “Powerfully Strong,” New Era, March 1989, p. 4

When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He “quickens” us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman.  As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul.  We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy.  We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities.  We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own.  We yearn to become a holier person. — Elder Keith K. Hilbig, October General Conference 2007

The Holy Ghost converts [us] from carnality to spirituality. It cleanses, heals, and purifies the soul. . . . . Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and water baptism are all preliminary and prerequisite to it, but [the baptism of fire] is the consummation.  To receive [this baptism of fire] is to have one’s garments washed in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. — Elder Marion G. Romney; see President Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” Ensign, November 2007

The Lord has placed currents of divine influence in your life that will lead you along the individual plan He would have you fulfill here on earth.  Seek through the Spirit to identify it and carefully follow that direction that the Lord has put in your life.  Align yourself with it. Choose, willingly, to exercise your agency to follow it. Do not be overcome by concentrating solely on today, its challenges, difficulties, and opportunities. Such preoccupations must not totally capture your attention so as to consume your life.  Oh, how I would encourage you to weave deeply into the fabric of your soul the recognition that our life now is a part of a much bigger plan the Lord has for you.  You lived part of it in the premortal existence.  You were valiant there and came here because you wanted to grow and enjoy greater happiness.  What you decide to do now will affect how well you fulfill that divine, personal plan He has for you. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “He Lives,” Ensign, November 1999

The thing that all of us should strive for is to so live, keeping the commandments of the Lord, that He can answer our prayers.  If we will live worthy, then the Lord will guide us – by a personal appearance, or by His actual voice, or by His voice coming into our mind, or by impressions upon our heart and our soul.  And oh, how grateful we ought to be if the Lord sends us a dream in which is revealed to us the beauties of the eternity or a warning and direction for our special comfort.  Yes, if we so live, the Lord will guide us for our salvation and for our benefit. — President Harold B. Lee, “Revelation and You,” Tambuli, February 1980, p. 38

The gift of the Holy Ghost, however, in distinction from the Spirit of God, does not come to all men and women.  The ministrations of the Holy Ghost are, however, limited without receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “there is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 199).  Many outside the Church have received revelation from the Holy Ghost, convincing them of the truth of the gospel.  Cornelius, as well as many in attendance on the day of Pentecost, received the Holy Ghost before baptism. (See Acts 2:1–12; Acts 10:30–44.)  It is through this power that seekers after truth acquire a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the principles of the gospel.

The gift of the Holy Ghost comes after one repents and becomes worthy. It is received after baptism by the laying on of hands by those who have the authority.  On the day of Pentecost, Peter instructed those who had previously been touched spiritually by the Holy Ghost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Acts 2:38)  Those possessing the gift of the Holy Ghost can come to a greater light and testimony.  The Holy Ghost bears witness of the truth and impresses upon the soul the reality of God the Father and the son Jesus Christ so deeply that no earthly power or authority can separate him from that knowledge.  (See 2 Ne. 31:18.) — President James E. Faust, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost – A Sure Compass,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 31

The comforting Spirit of the Holy Ghost can abide with us twenty-four hours a day: when we work, when we play, when we rest.  Its strengthening influence can be with us year in and year out.  That sustaining influence can be with us in joy and sorrow, when we rejoice as well as when we grieve.

I believe the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.  It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance.  It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls.  This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve.  It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes.  It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember.  It is a way of maximizing our happiness.

The Spirit – the Holy Ghost – will help us work out our insecurities.  For instance, it can help us learn to forgive.  There comes a time when people must move on, seeking greater things rather than being consumed by the memory of some hurt or injustice. Dwelling constantly on past injuries is, by its nature, limiting to the Spirit. It does not promote peace. — President James E. Faust, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost – A Sure Compass,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 31

The Lord’s prescribed methods of acquiring sacred knowledge are very different from the methods used by those who acquire learning exclusively by study.  For example, a frequent technique of scholarship is debate or adversarial discussion, a method with which I have had considerable personal experience.  But the Lord has instructed us in ancient and modern scriptures that we should not contend over the points of his doctrine. (See 3 Ne. 11:28–30; D&C 10:63.)  Those who teach the gospel are instructed not to preach with “wrath” or “strife” (D&C 60:14; see also 2 Tim. 2:23–25), but in “mildness and in meekness” (D&C 38:41), “reviling not against revilers” (D&C 19:30). Similarly, techniques devised for adversary debate or to search out differences and work out compromises are not effective in acquiring gospel knowledge.  Gospel truths and testimony are received from the Holy Ghost through reverent personal study and quiet contemplation. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Alternate Voices,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 27

Promptings for us to do good come from the Holy Ghost.  These promptings nudge us further along the straight and narrow path of discipleship.  The natural man doesn’t automatically think of doing good.  It isn’t natural.  How many people worry about the car behind them or the person below them?  The natural man just doesn’t do it.  For us, however, these promptings enlarge our awareness of other people’s needs and then prod us to act accordingly.  — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “The Pathway of Discipleship,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, p. 7

When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times and to act.  Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once.  More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight. — Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, November 1989, p. 32

Joseph Smith was asked, “How does your religion differ from other religions?”  He replied, “All other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

It is awakened with prayer and cultivated “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” It can be smothered through transgression and neglect.
And soon we learn that the tempter – the adversary – uses those same channels of the mind and heart to inspire us to evil, to laziness, to contention, even to acts of darkness.  He can take over our thoughts and lead us to mischief. But each of us has agency; ever and always light presides over darkness. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “The Cloven Tongues of Fire,” Ensign, May 2000, p. 7

Now, we have the Holy Ghost.  Each one of us who is a member of the Church has had hands laid upon his head and has been given, as far as an ordinance can give it, the gift of the Holy Ghost.  But, as I remember, when I was confirmed, the Holy Ghost was not directed to come to me; I was directed to “receive the Holy Ghost.”  If I receive the Holy Ghost and follow his guidance, I will be among those who are protected and carried through these troubled times.  And so will you, and so will every other soul who lives under his direction.  If ye are prepared, ye need not fear. — President Marion G. Romney, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, July 1981, p. 2

My knowledge is, if you will follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, every man and woman will be put in possession of the Holy Ghost. . . .  They will know things that are, that will be, and that have been.  They will understand things in heaven, things on the earth, and things under the earth, things of time, and things of eternity, according to their several callings and capacities. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:243

In a “wheat and tares” world, how unusually blessed faithful members are to have the precious and constant gift of the Holy Ghost with reminders of what is right and of the covenants we have made.  “For behold, . . . the Holy Ghost . . . will show unto you all things what ye should do.”  (2 Ne. 32:5.)  Whatever the decibels of decadence, these need not overwhelm the still, small voice!

Some of the best sermons we will ever hear will be thus prompted from the pulpit of memory – to an audience of one! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Behold, the Enemy Is Combined,” Ensign, May 1993, p. 78

The dignity of self is greatly enhanced by looking upward in the search for holiness. Like the giant trees, we should reach up for the light.  The most important source of light we can come to know is the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is the source of inner strength and peace. — President James E. Faust, “The Dignity of Self,” Ensign, May 1981, p. 8

If we are practicing our faith and seeking the companionship of the Holy Spirit, his 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 discernible to all who enter it. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Always Have His Spirit,” Ensign, November 1996, pp. 60-61

The natural inclination of man is to rely solely upon himself and to ignore the purpose of his existence as well as his relationship to God who is his spiritual father.  If man will recognize his divine origin, he will then realize his Heavenly Father will not leave him alone to grope in darkness of mind and spirit, but will make available a power to influence him in right paths and into standards of good behavior.  The Holy Ghost is that power. — Elder Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Report,” October 1966, p. 114

There is no other experience known to mortal man that can be compared with the testimony or witness of the Holy Ghost.  It is as powerful as a two-edged sword and burns in the breast of man like a consuming fire.  It destroys fear and doubt, leaving in their stead absolute unqualified, and incontrovertible knowledge that a principle or thing is true. . . . — Elder Loren C. Dunn, quoting Brigham Young, Ensign, June 1971, p. 82

The witness of the Holy Ghost is even more compelling than the witness of sight. As members of the Church, we become witnesses of the Savior and the truthfulness of this work not only in word but also in keeping our covenants and in how we treat others and in how we live our everyday lives. — Elder Loren C. Dunn, “Witnesses,” General Conference, October 1995

The Savior further said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.”  The Book of Mormon account reads, “For they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.”  (3 Ne. 12:6)  This is important.  The Holy Ghost is the great teacher and teaches us the truth of all things.  God has documented his plan of salvation – a plan for our salvation.  It is found in the holy scriptures and the Lord has commanded us to search the scriptures.  (John 5:39)  The plan is not complicated, but it is comprehensive.  It is so comprehensive that we never stop learning, yet it is beautifully simple.  The Lord has promised us all that if we follow his program we will learn “line upon line, precept upon precept” (D&C 98:12), until the perfect day. — Elder Royden G. Derrick, Ensign, May 1977, p. 57

It is the Holy Ghost that bears witness of your words when you teach and testify.  It is the Holy Ghost that, as you speak in hostile venues, puts into your heart what you should say and fulfills the Lord’s promise that “you shall not be confounded before men” (D&C 100:5). It is the Holy Ghost that reveals how you may clear the next seemingly insurmountable hurdle.  It is by the Holy Ghost in you that others may feel the pure love of Christ and receive strength to press forward.  It is also the Holy Ghost, in His character as the Holy Spirit of Promise, that confirms the validity and efficacy of your covenants and seals God’s promises upon you. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign, May 2009, p. 22

Because they expound the doctrine of Christ, the scriptures are accompanied by the Holy Spirit, whose role it is to bear witness of the Father and the Son (see 3 Nephi 11:32).  Therefore, being in the scriptures is one way we receive the Holy Ghost.  Of course, scripture is given through the Holy Ghost in the first place (see 2 Peter 1:21; D&C 20:26–27; 68:4), and that same Spirit can attest its truth to you and me. Study the scriptures carefully, deliberately.  Ponder and pray over them.  Scriptures are revelation, and they will bring added revelation. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Blessing of Scripture,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 35

I believe the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.  It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance.  It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls.  This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve.  It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes.  It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember.  It is a way of maximizing our happiness. — President James E. Faust, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost – A Sure Compass,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 31

The importance of having a sense of the sacred is simply this – if one does not appreciate holy things, he will lose them.  Absent a feeling of reverence, he will grow increasingly casual in attitude and lax in conduct.  He will drift from the moorings that his covenants with God could provide.  His feeling of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, he will care only about his own comfort and satisfying his uncontrolled appetites.  Finally, he will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then he will despise himself.

On the other hand, with a sense of the sacred, one grows in understanding and truth.  The Holy Spirit becomes his frequent and then constant companion.  More and more he will stand in holy places and be entrusted with holy things.  Just the opposite of cynicism and despair, his end is eternal life. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “A Sense of the Sacred,” CES fireside for young adults, November 7, 2004

The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender.  We feel more charitable and compassionate with each other.  We are more calm in our relationships.  We have a greater capacity to love each other.  People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit.  We are more godly in our character.  As a result, we become increasingly more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things more clearly. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, April 1988

The Holy Spirit of Promise is the ratifying power of the Holy Ghost.  When sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, an ordinance, vow, or covenant is binding on earth and in heaven.  (See D&C 132:7.)  Receiving this “stamp of approval” from the Holy Ghost is the result of faithfulness, integrity, and steadfastness in honoring gospel covenants “in [the] process of time” (Moses 7:21). However, this sealing can be forfeited through unrighteousness and transgression.

Purifying and sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise constitute the culminating steps in the process of being born again. — Elder David A. Bednar, General Conference, April 2007

I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit.  Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.  Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on them.  They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, November 2009, pp. 6-9

When we have entered into divine covenants, the Holy Ghost is our comforter, our guide, and our companion.  The fruits of the Holy Spirit are “the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment” (Moses 6:61).  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are testimony, faith, knowledge, wisdom, revelations, miracles, healing, and charity, to name but a few. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” — Ensign, May 2009, pp. 19-23

There is a way by which persons can keep their consciences clear before God and man, and that is to preserve within them the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of revelation to every man and woman.  It will reveal to them, even in the simplest of matters, what they shall do, by making suggestions to them.  We should try to learn the nature of this spirit, that we may understand its suggestions, and then we will always be able to do right.  This is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint.  We know that it is our right to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives. . . . The spirit is in every man and every woman so that they need not walk in the darkness at all, and it is not always necessary for them to come to the President of the Church, or to the Twelve, or to the Elders of Israel, to get counsel; they have it within them, there is a friend that knows just exactly what to say to them.  From the time we receive the Gospel, go down into the waters of baptism, and have hands laid upon us afterwards for the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have a friend, if we do not drive it from us by doing wrong.  That friend is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which partakes of the things of God and shows them unto us.  This is a grand means that the Lord has provided for us, that we may know the light, and not be groveling continually in the dark. — President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, April 1899, p. 52; D&C 88:66-68

There is a way by which persons can keep their consciences clear before God and man, and that is to preserve within them the spirit of God, which is the spirit of revelation to every man and woman.  It will reveal to them, even in the simplest of matters, what they shall do, by making suggestions to them.  We should try to learn the nature of this spirit, that we may understand its suggestions, and then we will always be able to do right.  This is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint. — President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, April 1899, p. 52

I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit.  Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.  Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on them.  They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, November 2009, pp. 6-9

What to say!  What to write!  Where to go!  What to do!  Such guidance, if given infrequently for only some of life’s decisions, would be priceless.  But the broader promise was given to the Prophet Joseph at Salem, Massachusetts, that “for the main” (or for the most part), the place he should tarry would be signalized to him by the peace and power of the Spirit (see D&C 111:8).  And the Three Witnesses were told that the Holy Ghost would manifest “all things which are expedient unto the children of men” (D&C 18:18).

This is of monumental significance.  The gift has been given – what we make of it is up to us.  Unless we listen to counsel we will receive none.  Unless we pray, exercise faith, love, obey, and keep the tabernacles of our spirits clean – we can have no claim upon this unspeakable gift.  May we so live as to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us make wise decisions. — Elder F. Burton Howard, “The Gift of Knowing,” New Era, November 1984, p. 44

You can learn vitally important things by what you hear and see and, even more, by what you feel, as prompted by the Holy Ghost.  Many individuals limit their learning primarily to what they hear or read.  Be wise.  Develop the skill of also learning by what you see and particularly by what the Holy Ghost prompts you to feel. Consciously and consistently seek to learn by what you feel. Your capacity to do so will expand through repeated practice.  Significant faith and effort are required to learn by what you feel from the Spirit.  Ask in faith for such help.  Live to be worthy of such guidance.

Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit.  You will find that as you record a precious impression, often others will come that you would not have otherwise received.  Also, the spiritual knowledge you gain will be available throughout your life.  Always, day or night, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, seek to recognize and respond to the direction of the Spirit.  Have available a piece of paper or a card to record such guidance.

Express gratitude to the Lord for the spiritual guidance you receive and obey it.  This practice will reinforce your capacity to learn by the Spirit.  It will enhance the guidance of the Lord in your life.  You will learn more as you act upon the knowledge, experience, and inspiration communicated to you by the Holy Ghost. — Elder Richard G. Scott, BYU Education Week, August 21, 2007

Because they expound the doctrine of Christ, the scriptures are accompanied by the Holy Spirit, whose role it is to bear witness of the Father and the Son (see 3 Nephi 11:32). Therefore, being in the scriptures is one way we receive the Holy Ghost. Of course, scripture is given through the Holy Ghost in the first place (see 2 Peter 1:21; D&C 20:26–27; 68:4), and that same Spirit can attest its truth to you and me.  Study the scriptures carefully, deliberately.  Ponder and pray over them.  Scriptures are revelation, and they will bring added revelation. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “The Blessing of Scripture,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 35

The companionship of the spirit of the Lord is an antidote for weariness, . . . for fear and all those things that sometimes overtake us in life.  (Conf. Report, Oct. 1945, pp. 115-16) Teachings of Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, p. 119

How does a person know when he or she truly has received the witness of the Holy Ghost?  The person will know it by how he or she feels (see Mosiah 5).  The Spirit will touch a person who may have been passive in the drama of life and make of him or her a witness to the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and all it stands for. As Elder Marion G. Romney said, “No person whose soul is illuminated by the burning Spirit of God can remain passive.  He is driven by an irresistible urge to fit himself to be an active agent of God in furthering righteousness and in freeing the lives and minds of men from the bondage of sin.” — Elder Loren C. Dunn, Ensign, June 1995, p. 26; Conference Report, October 4, 1941, p. 89

If you want to obtain and keep the guidance of the Spirit, you can do so by following this simple four-point program.

First:  Pray.  Pray diligently.  Pray with each other.  Pray in public in the proper places, but never forget the counsel of the Savior: “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).  Learn to talk to the Lord; call upon his name in great faith and confidence.
Second:  Study and learn the gospel.
Third:   Live righteously; repent of your sins by confessing them and forsaking them. Then conform to the teachings of the gospel.
Fourth:  Give service in the Church.  If you will do these things, you will get the guidance of the Holy Spirit and you will go through this world successfully, regardless of what the people of the world say or do. — President Marion G. Romney, BYU Speeches, 20 March 1979

Nothing in this life is of greater worth than the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is the source of joy, peace, knowledge, strength, love, and every other good thing.  With the Atonement, it is the power by which we may be changed and made strong where we are weak.  With the priesthood, it is the power by which marriages and families are sealed together eternally (see D&C 132:7, 19).  It is the power by which the Lord makes Himself manifest unto those who believe in Him (see 2 Nephi 26:13).  Every good thing depends on getting and keeping the power of the Holy Ghost in our lives.  Everything depends on that. — Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, “The Way,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 35

We receive confirmation by the laying on of hands and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost.  But we must remember that in that ordinance we also receive a newness of life. If we are sincere, we are literally born again.  In a very real sense we become different and better persons.  We receive a new heart.  We put away the man of sin, as Paul describes it, and take upon ourselves the name and the image of Christ (see Col. 3:9-10). — Elder Mark E. Petersen, “The Image of a Church Leader,” Ensign, August 1980, p. 5

And this is a certainty:  If with our whole heart we seek God, God will draw near to us and we will find him, not expecting, of course, that we will behold him, visibly, that he will come down to everybody and appear in his personality, but by the power of his divine spirit.  He will draw near to us and we will draw near to him, and every Latter-day Saint who has really been born of the Spirit as well as of the water, understands something of this. (D&C 88:62-68)  I don’t know of any joy or pleasure, any sensation that is delightful, to be compared with beholding the visions of eternity by the power of the Holy Ghost, and to have the soul lifted up above sublunary things and all earthly and material matters, to draw near to God or Heavenly Father . . . and those who seek the Lord and try to serve him with all their heart and mind and strength, will be able to draw near unto him. — Elder Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report, October 1915, pp. 38-39

We believe we are entitled to the gift of the Holy Ghost in extent according to the discretion and wisdom of God and our faithfulness; which gift brings all things to our remembrance, past, present, and to come, that are necessary for us to know, and as far as our minds are prepared to receive the knowledge of God revealed by that all-wise Agent.  The Holy Ghost is God’s minister, and is delegated to visit the sons and daughters of men. All intelligent beings pertaining to this earth are instructed from the same source. Discourses of Brigham Young, sel John A. Widtsoe [1954], pp.160-61

Our God and Father in Heaven, is a being of tabernacle, or, in other words, he has a body, with parts the same as you and I have; and is capable of showing forth his works to organized beings, as for instance, in the world in which we live, it is the result of the knowledge and infinite wisdom that dwell in his organized body.  His Son Jesus Christ has become a personage of tabernacle, and has a body like his Father.  The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Lord, and issues forth from himself, and may properly be called God’s minister to execute his will in immensity; being called to govern by his influence and power; but he is not a person of flesh as we are, and as our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are.Discourses of Brigham Young,  [1954], p. 24

The Holy Ghost, a personage of spirit, is their minister, who has been given the power and assigned the functions of bearing record of the Father and the Son, of revealing the truths of salvation to men on earth, and in due course, of revealing to them, all truth. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, April 1953

Our faith is concentrated in the Son of God, and through him in the Father; and the Holy Ghost is their minister to bring truths to our remembrance, to reveal new truths to us, and teach, guide, and direct the course of every mind, until we become perfected and prepared to go home, where we can see and converse with our Father in Heaven.  Discourses of Brigham Young, sel John A. Widtsoe, [1954], p.26

If we were just animals, we should never have a feeling of that kind.  That is evidence that man has a greater destiny than just a mere animal life.  That is a touch of the spirit!  Every man who has sensed that has a testimony himself and every woman also has a testimony herself, that man is a dual being.  He has a body, just as all other animals have.  But he has something that comes only from his Father in heaven, and he is entitled, is susceptible to whisperings, susceptible to influences from his Divine Parent, through the Holy Ghost, the medium between us and God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. — President David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1960, p. 122

Our faith is concentrated in the Son of God and through him in the Father, and the Holy Ghost is a minister to bring truths to our remembrance, to reveal new truths to us and teach, guide, direct the course of every mind.  Jesus is our captain and leader, Jesus, Savior of the World, the Christ that we believe in. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, April 1947, p. 74

Too many of us are like those whom the Lord said “[came] with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, . . . [and] at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.  Imagine that:  “And they knew it not.”  It is not unusual for one to have received the gift and not really know it.  I fear this supernal gift is being obscured by programs and activities and schedules and so many meetings.  There are so many places to go, so many things to do in this noisy world.  We can be too busy to pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit.  The voice of the Spirit is a still, small voice – a voice that is felt rather than heard. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought put into your heart. — President Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, April 2000, p. 8

Joseph Smith visited me a great deal after his death, and taught me many important principles. . . . Among other things, he told me to get the Spirit of God; that all of us needed it. . . . He said, “I want you to teach the people to get the Spirit of God.  You cannot build up the Kingdom of God without that.” . . . But how is it with the Holy Ghost?  The Holy Ghost does not leave me if I do my duty.  It does not leave any man who does his duty. — President Wilford Woodruff, Deseret News, 7 November 1896

The standard is clear.  If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing.  If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us.  Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us.  Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us.

I recognize we are fallen men and women living in a mortal world and that we might not have the presence of the Holy Ghost with us every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  However, the Holy Ghost can tarry with us much, if not most, of the time – and certainly the Spirit can be with us more than it is not with us.  As we become ever more immersed in the Spirit of the Lord, we should strive to recognize impressions when they come and the influences or events that cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost.

Taking “the Holy Spirit for [our] guide” (D&C 45:57) is possible and is essential for our spiritual growth and survival in an increasingly wicked world.  Sometimes as Latter-day Saints we talk and act as though recognizing the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives is the rare or exceptional event.  We should remember, however, that the covenant promise is that we may always have His Spirit to be with us.  This supernal blessing applies to every single member of the Church who has been baptized, confirmed, and instructed to “receive the Holy Ghost.” — Elder David A. Bednar, “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign, May 2006, pp. 28-31

In February of 1847 the Prophet Joseph Smith appeared to Brigham Young in a dream or vision. President Young asked the Prophet if he had a message for the Brethren. The Prophet Joseph replied:  “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom” (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 41).  Of all the truths the Prophet Joseph might have taught Brigham Young on that sacred occasion, he emphasized the importance of obtaining and keeping the Spirit of the Lord. — Elder David A. Bednar, “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign, May 2006, pp. 28-31

You have the capacity to develop an incredibly sensitive instrument within your own being to discern righteous and evil influences around you.  It is done by cultivating the gift of the Holy Ghost.  That is accomplished by consistent, righteous living so that the correct choices are made and followed to completion.  As you enhance your capacity to sense the direction of that infallible influence in your life, you will avoid disappointment, discouragement, and even tragedy. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Have No Regrets,” Ensign, April 2007

Though a man should say but a few words, and his sentences and words be ever so ungrammatical, if he speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, he will do good. Discourses of Brigham Young, 31

Not a desire, act, wish, or thought does the Holy Ghost indulge in contrary to that which is dictated by the Father Discourses of Brigham Young, 30

The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Lord, and issues forth from himself, and may properly be called God’s minister to execute his will in immensity. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50

Our faith is concentrated in the Son of God, and through him in the Father; and the Holy Ghost is their minister to bring truths to our remembrance, to reveal new truths to us, and teach, guide, and direct the course of every mind, until we become perfected and prepared to go home, where we can see and converse with our Father in Heaven. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 6:98

Note that we are not explicitly counseled to apply our minds to understanding. Obviously, we must use our minds and our rational capacity to obtain and evaluate information and to reach appropriate conclusions and judgments. But perhaps the scriptures are suggesting to us that reason and “the arm of the flesh” (D&C 1:19) are not sufficient to produce true understanding.  Thus, understanding, as the word is used in the scriptures, does not refer solely or even primarily to intellectual or cognitive comprehension. Rather, understanding occurs when what we know in our mind is confirmed as true in our hearts by the witness of the Holy Ghost.  The spiritual gift of revelation most typically operates as thoughts and feelings put into our hearts by the Holy Ghost (D&C 100:5-8; 8:2).   And as testimony and conviction move from our heads to our hearts, we no longer just have knowledge or information – but we begin to understand and experience the mighty change of heart.  We are arising.  Understanding, then, is a revealed outcome and a spiritual gift.  And, as the Savior taught the Nephites, in the family and in our home we are most receptive to teaching and revelation and witnessing by the Holy Ghost. — Elder David A. Bednar, BYU-I Education Week, June 28, 2003

There is a class of people now grown sizable in the world who should possess this great gift in large degree.  They know how the gift is attained.  They have been educated in its spiritual foundations.  They have been blessed with the counsels which foster it.  They know how to order their lives to procure it.  You know who they are, my brethren and sisters.  Every member in the restored Church of Christ could have this gift if he willed to do so.  He could not be deceived with the sophistries of the world.  He could not be led astray by pseudo-prophets and subversive cults.  Even the inexperienced would recognize false teachings, in a measure at least.  With this gift they would be able to detect something of the disloyal, rebellious, and sinister influences which not infrequently prompt those who seemingly take pride in the destruction of youthful faith and loyalties.  Discerning parents will do well to guard their children against such influences and such personalities and teachings before irreparable damage is done.  The true gift of discernment is often premonitory.  A sense of danger should be heeded to be of value.  We give thanks for a set of providential circumstances which avert an accident.  We ought to be grateful every day of our lives for this sense which keeps alive a conscience which constantly alerts us to the dangers inherent in wrongdoers and sin. — Elder Stephen L. Richards, Conference Report, April 1950, pp. 162-63

Manifestations of the Holy Ghost are given to lead sincere seekers to gospel truths that will persuade them to repentance and baptism.  The gift of the Holy Ghost is more comprehensive. . . . [It] includes the right to constant companionship, that we may “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77). — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1996, p. 60

President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “The Holy Ghost will not dwell with that person who is unwilling to obey and keep the commandments of God or who violates those commandments willfully.”  — Church News, 4 November 1961, p. 14

Today we are troubled by evil-designing persons who are endeavoring with all their power to destroy the testimonies of members of the Church, and many members of the Church are in danger because of lack of understanding and because they have not sought the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord.  Every baptized member of the Church receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands.  This, however, will not save them unless they continue in the spirit of light and truth.  Therefore it is a commandment from the Lord that members of the Church should be diligent in their activities and study of the fundamental truths of the gospel as it has been revealed.  The Spirit of the Lord will not continue to strive with the indifferent, with the wayward and the rebellious who fail to live within the light of divine truth.  It is the privilege of every baptized person to have an abiding testimony of the restoration of the gospel, but this testimony will grow dim and eventually disappear unless we are constantly receiving spiritual good through study, obedience, and diligent seeking to know and understand the truth. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1963, p. 22

His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness. 

His message and the virtue of His atoning sacrifice reach out to the uttermost parts of the earth; they brood over the remotest seas.  Wherever men go, there He may be reached.  Where He is, there may the Holy Spirit be found also, with its fruit of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”  [Galatians 5:22] 

He will be our comfort and solace, our guide and counselor, our salvation and exaltation, for “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  [Acts 4:12]  Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. 226

I promise you, if you will heed the voice of warning of the Holy Ghost and will follow His direction, you will be blessed with the ministering of angels, which will add wisdom, knowledge, power, and glory to your life. Remember, the Lord is bound by solemn covenant to bless our lives according to our faithfulness. — Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, May 2002

One sure way we can determine whether we are on the strait and narrow path is that we will possess the Spirit of the Lord in our lives.  Having the Holy Ghost brings forth certain fruits. . . . The most important thing in our lives is the Spirit.  I have always felt that. We must remain open and sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all aspects of our lives. — President Ezra Taft Benson, “Seek the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, April 1988

The Holy Ghost can bring you power to perform beyond your natural abilities.  He can provide you with the help of unseen powers in all that you do – the power to speak with convincing authority, to receive promptings that enable you to say things you had not planned, and to receive impressions, which if heeded, bring blessings to you and others. Mortals may have great abilities and potential, but however great these mortal powers may be, they are only a shadow of the powers that can be claimed through a linkage with the Holy Spirit. — Elder Carlos E. Asay, “Courting the Spirit,” New Era, August 1990, p. 35

How does a person know when he or she truly has received the witness of the Holy Ghost?  The person will know it by how he or she feels (see Mosiah 5).  The Spirit will touch a person who may have been passive in the drama of life and make of him or her a witness to the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and all it stands for.  As Elder Marion G. Romney said, “No person whose soul is illuminated by the burning Spirit of God can remain passive.  He is driven by an irresistible urge to fit himself to be an active agent of God in furthering righteousness and in freeing the lives and minds of men from the bondage of sin.”  (Conference Report, 4 October 1941, p. 89) — Elder Loren C. Dunn, “Fire and the Holy Ghost,” Ensign, June 1995, p. 26

In and of ourselves we cannot possibly comply with all the commandments that God has given unto us.  Jesus himself could not without divine aid from His Father accomplish His work.  He said on one occasion, [John 5:30].

And we, if it was necessary for Him, our Lord, to have divine assistance, will find it all the more important to receive His assistance.  And in every circumstance and condition surrounding the Latter-day Saints, while in the performance of their duties, they are entitled to supernatural aid from the Holy Spirit, to help in the various conditions surrounding them, and in the duties that they are required to perform. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, p. 150