How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing The Holy Ghost?

And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. 3 Nephi 12:6

For church members desiring the companionship of the Holy Ghost this scripture is packed with meaning. The Lord draws on basic needs all of us experience on a daily basis; hungering and thirsting—to teach us what it takes to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

In another scripture we learn …the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith… D&C 42:14.

I see two separate and distinct ways to receive the Holy Ghost. In the first scripture, the result is to be “filled” with the Holy Ghost and in the second scripture; the result is something less than being filled.

D&C 42:14 and other scripture like it seem to be saying that the Holy Ghost will visit us for a season.

My experiences with the Holy Ghost has been of the second type. I am not yet at the state where I have realized the hope expressed in our sacrament prayer, “that they may always have his Spirit to be with them”. D&C 20:77

Elder Eyring touching on this subject said:

“Getting revelation is hard. It is not easy. The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is possible, but, oh, it is so hard.” Church News July 8, 2006

Fulfilling our baptismal covenant and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost takes our best effort, but is it worth it? I can answer this question in the affirmative! As an  average member of the church I have experienced this gift on many occasions.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost and the attending gifts of the spirit are available to all members of the church. However, we learn from the scriptures that many members of the church will fail to receive the things of the spirit that the Lord offers them, and then there are those who receive it, but then turn away from the things of the spirit because of the cares of the world.[1]

I would like to offer a few thoughts to a question that I often hear members ask, “How do I know if I have the Gift of the Holy Ghost?”

The following three questions will help you know if you are hungering and thirsting after righteousness:

First, how do you feel about the Book of Mormon? Have you received “feelings” as you have read, studied, and prayed about it which whisper that there is something special about this book?

Second, how do you feel about the Prophets and the Apostles the Lord has called to lead His church? When they speak or when you read their writings, do you “feel” they are men of God?

Third, are you repenting of your sins? Have you called upon God in prayer and asked Him to help you overcome the challenges of the flesh? If so, have you received help and can testify that Jesus Christ is your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted (D&C 62:1)?

Lastly, are you experiencing the Gifts of the Spirit?

If you can answer yes to the preceding questions you may have had some of the following experiences with the Gifts of the Spirit that I am familiar with:

1. Have you received a dream from the Lord that benefited you (gift of dreams).

2. Spoken beyond your ability (angelic speech).

3. Felt “peace” at the death of a loved one (gift of comfort).

4. Received “promptings” by unexpected ideas coming into your mind and benefited thereby (gift of inspiration).

5. Felt yourself in a “conversation” when no one else was present and learned something special (ministering of angels).

6. Exercised faith or priesthood power for the sick and felt that your offering was received by the heavens (gift of healing).

7. Felt love for your spouse or children so powerfully you knew it came from God (gift of charity).

8. Felt temptation so powerfully you were compelled to call on God for help and received it (gift of deliverance).

Is your life sprinkled with serendipitous experiences because of your prayers, if so, then you can have confidence you’re making progress with your gift of the Holy Ghost.

Note: The eight questions above form a short list. There are many other manifestations of the Spirit you could experience to confirm you are walking with God.

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[1] There are numerous scriptures that teach this message. The parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1-13), the parable of the Sower (Mark 4:14-20), the vision of the Tree of Life (1 Nephi 8:28), and those at ease in Zion (2 Nephi 28:21-28).

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