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I hope this process is quick as I need an answer for my upcoming Sunday Relief Society lesson! As members of the church, we have lots of phrases which refer to “the spirit.” For example: praying for “thy spirit” to be with us, feeling the spirit when in a special meeting, the spirit whispers to our hearts, etc. Are we referring to Heavenly Father’s personal spirit or to the Holy Ghost (or both)?

Leslie, from Utah

Dear Leslie,

When we are confirmed members of the Church we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the function of the Holy Ghost to give guidance and direction and to reveal all truth. It is from the Holy Ghost that we receive our witness of the reality of the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior and of the truthfulness of the gospel. Joseph F. Smith records the following:

“But the Holy Ghost, who bears record of the Father and the Son, who takes of the things of the Father and shows them unto men, who testifies of Jesus Christ, and of the ever living God, the Father of Jesus Christ, and who bears witness of the truth-this Spirit, this Intelligence, is not given unto all men until they repent of their sins and come into a state of worthiness before the Lord. Then they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of those who are authorized of God to bestow his blessings upon the heads of the children of men” ( Gospel Doctrine, p.67).

The Spirit of Christ, on the other hand, is given to every man who comes into the world. That Spirit gives the person the ability to differentiate between good and evil, and is often called our conscience.

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will (Moroni 7:16-17).


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