While teaching a Gospel Principles lesson in the Mormon Church about baptism I was going over the covenant of baptism. The lesson manual highlights five promises the Lord makes. Numbers 2 & 3 are:
2. Pour out his spirit more abundantly upon us.
3. Give us daily guidance and the help of the Holy Ghost.
A discussion arose as to whether the Lords Spirit and the Holy Ghost are one and the same. I noted that there are several places in the scriptures where references to the Spirit of the Lord are made and did not know whether these references refer to the Holy Ghost. Any light you may be able to shed on this would be greatly appreciated by myself and my Sunday School class. Many thanks.
The Lord’s Spirit and the Holy Ghost are indeed separate and distinct entities. The Lord’s spirit is available to bless and inspire all mankind. It has been referred to as man’s consience, which we take as the innate ability to know right from wrong. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, a separate and distinct individual. The function of the Holy Ghost, given as a gift to those who covenant obedience to the Lord through baptism, is to bear witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and to lead us to all truth. From President John Taylor–
“There is and always has been a spirit abroad in the world which is really a portion of the Spirit of God, which leads mankind, in many instances, to discriminate between good and evil, and between right and wrong. They have a conscience that accuses or excuses them for their acts…
“We have something more than that portion of the Spirit of God which is given to every man, and it is called the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is received through obedience to the first principles of the gospel of Christ, by the laying on of hands of the servants of God?. It is this Spirit that brings us into relationship with God, and it differs very materially from the portion of Spirit that is given to all men to profit withal. The special gift of the Holy Ghost is… to lead us into all truth, and to bring to our remembrance things past, present, and to come. It contemplates the future and unfolds things we had not thought of heretofore, and these things are very distinctly described in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, and in the Doctrine and Covenants. Herein lies the difference between us and others, and it was so in former times” (JD, 23:320-321, November 23, 1882).