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Dear Gramps,

Among all of the proxy ordinances we perform in the temple, we also perform proxy confirmations.  Is the Gift of the Holy Ghost still needed after one dies?  I’ve been told everyone who passes to the other side has instantaneous spiritual communication, regardless of their religious persuasion.  Would this render the Gift of the Holy Ghost unnecessary?

Robert

 

 

Answer

 

Robert,

Thank you for asking a question which places two often unrelated topics side-by-side, underscoring how important it is to gain a clear understanding of basic principles and their true meaning. As you know, the Power (or influence) of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost are two different aspects.

What is the difference between the influence of and the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

Gospel Principles Manual, Chapter 7: The Holy Ghost

The “Power” is that spirit-to-spirit communication which is similar to what you described would be present in the world. So, you are correct when you say that we’ll have that same communication with the Holy Ghost.

But the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the objective of the confirmation ordinance, is substantially more significant in several ways. The essential principle which answers your question, however, is that of sanctification.

“If justification removes the punishment for past sin, then sanctification removes the stain or effects of sin…We may appropriately speak of sanctification as the baptism of the Spirit, or being ‘baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost’ (Moses 6:66).”  –Elder D. Todd Christofferson; “Justification and Sanctification“, Ensign, June 2001

Alma goes a step further, describing the result of such sanctification.

11 Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

 

12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.   Alma 13:11-12

This is what is meant by being “born again”.

“we progressively become purified and sanctified as you and I are washed in the blood of the Lamb, are born again, and receive the ordinances and honor the covenants that are administered by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.” –Elder David A. Bednar, “Ye Must Be Born Again“, Ensign, April 2007.

This is what is required to gain entry into the Celestial Kingdom:

19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

 

20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.  3 Nephi 27:19-20

As we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are motivated to repent of all our sins. The first fruit of repentance is baptism by immersion for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. While baptism by water allows the justification portion of the atonement to work in us, which saves us from hell, it is the Gift of the Holy Ghost (baptism by fire) which allows the sanctification portion of the atonement to work in us that we may become spotless and inherit Eternal Life.

How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father has provided all his children a way to return to Him. How blessed we are to have His gospel in which we are allowed to share in a small part of bringing yet more souls to Christ, allowing them to receive Exaltation.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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