Today I would like to dive deeper into an important aspect of our ability to experience joy: having the Holy Ghost with us. At the end of the last post, I shared the following scripture:
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
Jesus Christ promised that He would leave a Comforter after He ascended to the Father following the resurrection. He let us know that the Comforter could abide with us forever. The Comforter, also known as the Holy Ghost, is the third member of the Godhead and is a personage of spirit in order to dwell in us. The Holy Ghost has several responsibilities. We will review a handful of them and see how each of those responsibilities brings us joy.
The Holy Ghost has the ability to teach us truths and give us the confirming witness we need as we study or hear the word. One of the ways this happens is by enlightening our minds. Have you ever been reading the scriptures, come to a passage that doesn’t quite make sense, and all of a sudden it does? That’s the Holy Ghost at work! When we pray to invite the Holy Ghost to be with us during our scripture study, more opportunities for enlightenment can take place. Try it! It is truly fascinating!
This enlightenment process does fill our souls with joy. I love how the scriptures can take on different meanings during specific seasons of our lives. When you are younger, you may try to read the scriptures and get the main story behind it, but not quite learn the underlying principles. As you get older and read those passages again, you start to uncover something you had not previously understood. You continue your scripture study throughout your life, and one day, something completely different from what you thought you already knew happens to appear. The “aha” moment! The Holy Ghost helps teach you the scriptures line upon line and precept upon precept. We have to start with the basics. Once we understand the basics, profound principles are given. The Holy Ghost teaches us at our spiritual level. When we are ready to proceed to a higher level or we need a specific insight to guide us through that moment of our lives, the Holy Ghost opens the doors of understanding in our minds.
The connection from our hearts to our Heavenly Father is very special. When we humble ourselves and pour out our hearts in prayer, peaceful feelings, assurances, and answers can come right away or at the appropriately deemed time. Those feelings, assurances, and answers are directed into our hearts and minds by the Holy Ghost. Each of us will experience those sacred moments differently because Heavenly Father knows how we learn best—and so does the Holy Ghost. Sometimes thoughts and ideas can come to some. Other times powerful impressions or audible answers can come to others. It is important for each of us to learn how the Holy Ghost teaches us. That comes over time, and as we continue to study about this important member of the Godhead.
The times that we experience personal revelation are spiritual turning points because that revelation provides the next stepping stone needed in our progression. Personal revelation can also solidify our testimonies. Those sacred moments also provide enlightenment to our minds and in turn fill our souls with joy as we recognize that we are not left alone, there is need for our talents somewhere and somehow, and a gloomy path ahead now seems brighter because we recognize what direction needs to be taken.
Bears Record of the Father and the Son
Do you remember when you first learned about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Did they seem to be real to you at that time, or did you have to hear and study more before you knew that they do exist? What made the difference? My first memory of knowing that there was a Supreme Being in existence was when I was in elementary school. Back then I attended an all-girls Catholic school. We were studying out of an illustrated Bible book. As I looked at the drawings of space and the planets, I knew then and there that the Creation did not take place by coincidence. A Supreme Being had been at work. As I pondered that, I also knew that life did not begin at birth. I felt that I had been with that Supreme Being before I was born. I was determined to find the answers to those feelings and impressions I had. In time, I did with the help of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost bore record to me that the things I was learning about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were true, and that they were real.
Any time I learn more about why we are here, the love the Father and the Son have for us, what is in store for us after this life, and everything around us that testify of them, my testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ grows. I feel happy to know that I am a daughter of God, and that the Savior loved me enough to die for me. The Holy Ghost fills my soul with joy as my testimony about them grows, and I hope you also have or have had that experience.
Brings about a Mighty Change of Heart
As our testimonies grow and we discover more about ourselves and our purpose in life, the Holy Ghost can work miracles in our hearts. Every time we learn a new truth or solidify things we know to be true, we have the opportunity to have spiritual turning points. If we are receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can experience a mighty change of heart. Think of a time when you pled with Heavenly Father to allow Christ’s atonement to wash away particular sins and how you promised to be a better person. Did you feel a peace or a cleansing sensation come over you? Did you feel forgiven? Did you experience great love and joy as a result? That was the Holy Ghost communicating the answer and verdict of Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ’s atonement. Those feelings can turn us away from our old selves and guide us to make changes in our lives so that we will be deemed worthy of that continual love and forgiveness. We have no desire to sin but instead to do well unto others and serve better. It will take some hard work on our part, and some failures, until we see what will make the desired change permanent. Throughout that process, the Holy Ghost will be our guide and continue to communicate approval and encouragement.
These are only four ways in which the Holy Ghost can fill our souls with joy. Can you think of other ways in which the Comforter has done this for you? Please share them in the comments below!
A few final scriptures and thoughts.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
The kingdom of God is founded upon principles of righteousness, peace, and joy. Joy is a gift of the spirit, and we must strive to obtain that gift. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost want us to experience joy in this life and in the life to come. The joy we feel now doesn’t compare to a fraction of what we will experience once we have completed our mortal sojourn and enter into heaven.
Next time, we will discuss how obedience to the commandments will bring peace and joy into our lives. Stay tuned! If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the most recent message, and you stay up-to-date with giveaways, etc.
That They Might Have Joy Series
The Purpose of Life: To Have Joy