February 23, 2008
I have often wondered what exactly is a ghost? Is it a spirit or not? Why is it like trapped here on earth? Why is there good ones and bad ones?
Flynn, from Powell, Wyoming
The word, ghost, is descended directly from the Old English, gast, which literally meant soul or spirit. As you know, the words Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are synonyms. The spirits or the ghosts of all the people who have lived on this earth and have passed away remain on this earth.
Daniel H. Ludlow, quoting Brigham Young, said the following—
“Alma said that when temporal physical death occurs, “the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life” (Alma 40:11). President Young has clarified Alma’s words:
“It reads that the spirit goes to God who gave it. Let me render this Scripture a little plainer; when the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, [in the sense that] they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things. But where is the spirit world? It is incorporated within this celestial system. Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies, as did the servant of Elijah. If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes. . . . The spirit world . . . is on this earth.” (Daniel H. Ludlow, Selected Writings of Daniel H. Ludlow: Gospel Scholars Series , p.400)