Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Holy Ghost and Scripture

The scriptures have been given to us because through reading and living them the holy ghost is invited into our life. However, there is a catch, in order for us to read the scriptures for understanding and spiritual growth we must have the Holy Ghost already with us. So how do we get the spirit to be with us in the first place? The answer is through personal prayer. This is the reason we pray always, even before reading scriptures. Prayer combined with obedience opens the spiritual gateway for the Holy Ghost.
Knowledge of scriptures is good just as knowledge of the Holy Ghost is good. However, knowledge is not enough. Knowledge of purity is good, but living a pure life is much better. In the same way, knowledge of the gospel is good but living the principles and doctrines found in the gospel is much better. It is my belief that when we are at the judgement bar we will not be quizzed on our scriptural knowledge. Instead we will be asked what we did with the knowledge we have been given.
What this means to me in my personal life is when I read the scriptures I must experience a call to action. I must feel a strong connection to the spirit every time I read the scriptures; if I do not, then I am doing something wrong and I need to change. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth and calls us to action when it is needed. Whenever I behave in an unchristian way the spirit withdraws. When I subsequently read the scriptures I do not feel the spirit strongly until I take action and repent. Sometimes I forget, and when I sit down to read the scriptures I don't feel the spirit strongly. I then pray and ask Heavenly Father what it was I did that causes the spirit to withdrawal. Once I ask with sincere desire, the Holy Ghost brings to my remembrance the action I took that needs to change. This then allows me to repent and feel a powerful witness of the spirit which I can only describe as the most amazing feeling of joy I have ever experienced.
The savior distilled all the commandments given to us down to two fundamentals: love God and love our fellow man. I believe this can be reduced even more: follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all things.