Seek out Holy Ghost, Elder Jay E. Jensen tells fireside

Published: Sunday, Jan. 8 2012 10:00 p.m. MST

Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks at a Church Educational System broadcast for young married and single adults at BYU in Provo Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — Individuals must seek after and follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost, Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said during the Church Educational System Devotional held in the Marriott Center on Sunday night.

"The Holy Ghost is vital and … we should earnestly seek His companionship, guidance and gifts," Elder Jensen said. "[It is] truly an unspeakable gift."

Teaching more about the "unspeakable gift," Elder Jensen focused on three themes — the missions of the Holy Ghost, conditions to receive the Holy Ghost and how to recognize direction from the Holy Ghost.

"The Holy Ghost is sometimes called the Spirit, appropriately called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Comforter," he said. "The Holy Ghost has certain missions or responsibilities."

Elder Jensen shared four missions of the Holy Ghost — to testify of the Father and the Son, testify of truth, sanctify and teach.

"He is the true teacher," he said. "My role is not to cover material or get through the lesson, rather … I am to preach, teach, expound, exhort, warn and invite by the Spirit. My role is to be an instrument in creating an atmosphere for the Spirit to do what He does in the divine process. …

"I witness to you that He has other important responsibilities or missions. He is the Comforter. He restrains or constrain, he leads, He warns and He rebukes."

Elder Jensen shared some of the conditions required for individuals to receive the Holy Ghost. He said that individuals must have a desire and be worthy and alert — both spiritually and physically — to have the Spirit of the Lord with them.

"We live in a very busy world when many things clamor for our time and attention," he said. "It is by design that we encourage punctuality to meetings, especially sacrament meeting, to listen to the prelude music, prepare to have the Spirit and receive revelation. We fast, we pray, we ponder, we attend the temple and we learn to be good listeners and observers."

Elder Jensen spoke of the desire individuals must have to ask, seek and knock to receive the Holy Ghost. It is through then acting on that desire that individuals are able to experience the power of God.

"I find it difficult to teach how to recognize direction, guidance and spiritual promptings," Elder Jensen said. "Such experiences are personal and often tailored to the individual and the conditions I just described. There are a few patterns, however, that I have experienced and have learned from others."

Feelings of peace to an individual's mind, a witness both in one's mind and heart, a witness from studying things out in one's mind and a burning of the bosom are a few of the patterns Elder Jensen shared.

It is through these witnesses of the Spirit that individuals are able to receive direction from the Holy Ghost.

It is through seeking out, recognizing and acting on impressions from the Holy Ghost that individuals are able to grow in their ability to recognize promptings and follow the will of God, he said.

email: mholman@desnews.com

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