During Moses’ time, the Israelites were misled constantly. It was explained to me that they held the Aaronic Priesthood (which gives the authority to baptize) but only Moses held the Melchizedek (as did Jethro). So when Moses died (or translated) and they lost the Melchizedek Priesthood, they lost the Holy Ghost and were constantly misled. My question is, if every person has some form of a conscience, why is it necessary to bestow upon them the Holy Ghost if it seems they already have it to some degree?
Chris, from Maine
I wouldn’t say that the Israelites were misled during Moses time. He was in communication with the Lord and guided the children of Israel by His word. However, they were often not faithful, and would not be led as the Lord directed. Because of their wickedness, when Moses was taken from them, as you indicate, the higher priesthood was taken from them and they were left with Aaronic, or lesser priesthood. However, the higher priesthood was not taken from the prophets of God who led the people during the Old Testament times.
Now concerning your question as to the conscience. The Spirit of Christ enlightens every man that comes into the world, so that he shall know good from evil, and it could be identified with the conscience.
For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly (D&C 136:33).
However, the office of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son, and to reveal the will of the Father to man.
To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world (D&C 46:13).
The Holy Ghost is bestowed as a gift only to those who repent of their sins and are baptized by the authority of the holy priesthood for the remission of their sins. This great gift may be a guide to them to reveal to them the will of the Father and to confirm in their hearts their testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel.