At my Church, the members give talks each Sunday. I came across this talk I gave a few years ago when I was going through some old papers. At this stage in my life reading this talk was important to me. It has been an interesting four weeks. W are all on Earth to learn. Sometimes the lessons are harder than others. But with the Holy Ghost we can look forward with hope knowing that there are solutions to any problem.
“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” 2 Nephi 2:27. Many parts of my talk will be from 2 Nephi chapter 2, for that is where I am in my reading of the Book of Mormon. Right now in my life, I feel similar to the way Joseph Smith might have felt when he was fifteen. Joseph said: “if any person needed bwisdom from God, I did” (Extracts from the History of Joseph, the Prophet 1:12). There are many times in my life, I have had these feelings, and each time I felt this way and acted upon the promptings of the Holy Ghost, good results happened. We may not see those results immediately, but through the Holy Ghost’s promptings we can know we are doing what is right and righteous in God’s sight. There is a promise that is made that if we lack wisdom and we truly want to understand the will of God in our lives, to read the Book of Mormon. It is a beautiful companion to The Holy Bible and further testifies of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Most of my talk will be from 2 Nephi, Lehi’s farewell address to his sons. Chapter 2 is the portion that addresses Jacob, Lehi’s first-born in the wilderness. The whole chapter is something I need to read when I need to search for the counsel that Heavenly Father, through the Holy Ghost, would have me have at this time. The one personage that I need as a close companion in order to understand what is being said in this chapter is the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Ghost that truly explains the meaning of all things to us. If it were not for the Holy Ghost, there would be no personal insights and, for that matter, no inventions in this world.
The Holy Ghost is our primary tool to understanding the will of God in our lives. He is the primary force to counteract the wiles of the adversary. But, like any relationship, to fully understand the influences of the Holy Ghost, we need to be in communication with God through daily (constant) prayer and daily reading of the scriptures. We ask God, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, for the things we need to grow in the ways of the Lord. The answers to our prayers come from the promptings of the Holy Ghost. For example, I came home from my job teaching in Greeley at 11:00 PM. I prayed to receive guidance on what I would say about the Holy Ghost. I woke up at 3:30 AM with ideas for various parts of this talk. I would prefer not being up at 3:30 AM, but through the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I knew I would not be able to remember all of the parts I am supposed to remember if I went back to sleep. The Still Small Voice whispers to us and we need to take advantage of what He says when He says it, or we may lose that opportunity forever.
The Light of Christ (Our Conscious)
We all have the Light of Christ, which tells us if we are doing right. Some people refer to it as our conscious. The Holy Ghost is more. The Holy Ghost can be a guide in our lives as to what we need to be doing to better serve God, ourselves, and our families. As is mentioned in the scriptures, anyone can be touched by the Holy Ghost when they need to make important decisions. However, we can receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost through membership in Christ’s restored Church. It is up to us to live worthily so that we can enjoy that privilege.
How many of you have seen the movie Cars? What was Lightning McQueen’s personality at the first of the movie? How did he treat his pit crew? Would you want him for a friend? I sometimes listen to CDs on the way home from Greeley and was listening to the soundtrack of Cars the other night. There are many good songs on the CD, but there was one that especially touched me that night. Do you remember the part of the movie where he starts to see the importance of service to others? Do you remember the song that played during that scene? The line I remember most is “When you lose yourself, it is the best thing that ever happens.” At that point, do you suppose the person that Lightning represents just might be a little in tune with the Holy Ghost? For the youth, how many of you have received the Holy Ghost as a constant companion or look forward to when you can receive that gift?
What do we gain from service? What do we gain from listening to the Holy Ghost to guide us to the opportunities we may have to serve others? King Benjamin stated in Mosiah 2:17 “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” There is that wisdom word again. How does the Holy Ghost help us develop wisdom? I would contend that the only way any of us can gain wisdom is through listening to the Holy Ghost.
Service is important to our eternal salvation. It is through the Holy Ghost that we are prompted how we best need to serve our God, ourselves, our families, our community, and our Church. If we do not serve our God and ourselves, through prayer, education, diligence in all that we do, and finding innovative solutions to problems, we cannot serve others. As we serve, some of us are blessed with fantastic opportunities and careers. Others may be blessed at times, and still others may struggle their entire lives. We all know people who fit into all of these categories. What I admire about the people I know is how they love God and take care of their families, along with using the resources God has given them to serve others. To build the kingdom, God needs people who love Him with all their heart and mind and are humble enough to be guided by the Holy Ghost. Besides love from each of us, sometimes God needs financial and material resources. I am personally grateful for those who have such resources and are willing to share generously to build up the kingdom here on earth. God only expects from each of us what we are capable of giving at any particular time in our lives, no more and no less. To truly understand what we need to do to serve others, we also must be willing to be served. There are times in each of our lives that we do need the help of others. We must all be humble enough, and be guided by the Holy Ghost to understand when those times are and to be able to graciously accept that help when it is needed. When we know what service is, through the service others have given unto us, we can be better guided by the Holy Ghost to lovingly serve others by discerning their true needs and serve as God would have us serve.
2 Nephi 2:11 says “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibilities.” Our goal is to bring righteousness to pass. The devil will help us do the opposite. We each need the Holy Ghost to give opposition to the evil that is around us. As a side note, have you ever thought about the word devil (da evil)? Evil is 4/5 of his name. To avoid evil, we must avoid the devil and cling tight to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
The promptings of the Holy Ghost are to remind us of whom we are and who redeemed us from the dead. “And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.” 2 Nephi 2:26. We have our freedom to act in whatever way we would like. But we will be accountable to God, through the judgment of Jesus Christ, for all that we do here on earth. It is the promptings of the Holy Ghost that helps each of us to make wise choices.
In closing, God wants each of us to have joy in our lives. Jesus Christ is our guide and savior. He guides each of us, through the Holy Ghost, to do what is right and righteous so that we can live with Heavenly Father again. It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can live up to our potential. Our purpose here on earth can be summed up by 2 Nephi 2:25 “Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy.” With the Holy Ghost we can obtain the joy that Jesus Christ wants each of us to have.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.