By the Reception of the Holy Ghost – 3 Nephi 27:20

Note: This is the second of three posts written by my friend Brent Sears about the gift of the Holy Ghost:

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 27:20)

When we were baptized and confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we were admonished to “ receive the Holy Ghost”. The simplicity of those four words may cause us to overlook their significance. Elder Bednar, in a talk given in 2010, said this:

These four words, “receive the Holy Ghost”, are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction—-an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon. The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken. As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed “receive the Holy Ghost” and it’s attendant spiritual gifts (“Receive the Holy Ghost,” General Conference, October 2010).

Clearly we must “act and not simply be acted upon” in order to really receive the Holy Ghost as the gift we are promised. Today I will heed Elder Bednar’s counsel to (1), sincerely desire the Holy Ghost, (2) appropriately invite Him into my life, and (3) more faithfully obey God’s commandments.

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