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Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks April 3 during the Sunday afternoon session of the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The Holy Ghost is the medium for God’s work, in families and throughout the Church,” Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference on April 3.

Acknowledging the difference between the Light of Christ, which helps people distinguish right from wrong and is given to everyone, and the constant companionship that comes with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Elder Hales said “all of us benefit from this holy light.”

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, a distinct personage of spirit with sacred responsibilities and one in purpose with the Father and the Son, Elder Hales explained. He said members of the Church may experience the companionship of the Holy Ghost continually.

“The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on,” he said. “In these matters Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency, study the situation out in our minds according to gospel principles, and bring a decision to Him in prayer.”

Personal revelation is essential, but it is only one part of the work of the Holy Ghost, Elder Hales explained. He said He testifies of the Savior, teaches "the peaceable things of the kingdom," brings hope, leads to good works and righteous judgment. "He gives to 'every man [and woman]' ... a spiritual gift ... that all may be profited thereby," Elder Hales said. "He gives us knowledge, and brings all things to our remembrance. Through the Holy Ghost we may be sanctified and receive a remission of our sins. He is the 'Comforter,' the same who was 'promised unto 'Savior's disciples."

“I might remind all of us that the Holy Ghost is not given to control us,” Elder Hales said. “Some of us unwisely seek the Holy Ghost’s direction on every minor decision in our lives. This trivializes His sacred role. The Holy Ghost honors the principle of agency. He speaks to our minds and our hearts gently about many matters of consequence.”

It is through faithfully obeying the commandments and keeping covenants that gives a person protection from being deceived. Although tempting, Elder Hales said it is important to not let personal desires overcome the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Just as revelation came to the prophet Joseph when he was translating the Book of Mormon, restoring the priesthood and ordinances or organizing the Church, today Church leaders still follow that same sacred pattern. That pattern is also important in families and homes.

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“Let us encourage our children and others to follow the direction of the Holy Ghost,” he said. “In doing so, let us follow the example of the Holy Ghost ourselves, leading through gentleness, meekness, kindness, longsuffering and love unfeigned. ...

“To my own posterity and all within the sound of my voice, I offer my testimony of the personal revelation and constant flow of daily guidance, caution, encouragement, strength, spiritual cleansing, comfort and peace that have come to our family through the Holy Ghost,” he said. “Through the Holy Ghost we experience ‘the multitude of his tender mercies’ and miracles that do not cease.”

mholman@deseretnews.com

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