What is the ONE thing that God cannot and will not take from us?
Preserving our agency and the many opportunities we take to use it “badly”, is apparently important enough to God to that he went to battle with Satan to preserve this sacred agency on our behalf:
“Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;” (Moses 4:3)
Yet we have been taught all of our lives, that we are supposed to only do things if the Holy Ghost ratifies them. If the Holy Ghost were someone else, that would mean we are being told to only do things if we are told to – by someone else. In other words, if God gave us our agency, and told us to follow the commands of someone else – who apparently has more influence than God or Jesus Christ over our agency – and will actually tell you how to use that agency, it seems that the identity of that being we are subject to, is pretty important.
It was important TO ME, at least.
I reached a point in my understanding where I wanted – demanded to know rather, who this “probationary being” was that allegedly had more influence over MY personal choices, than even the God I prayed to; this “middle-man” between God and me.
I thought, if the Holy Ghost were our own spirit – who has lived before for eons, who is a God in training, who is pure intelligence and light, who can communicate directly with the Spirit of God, and who brings us to a REMEMBRANCE (John 14: 26) of the truth of all things, then God would be telling us to hearken only to our own spirit as IT hearkens to God – just like it says in the LDS temple ceremony. This is the only possible scenario I could see, with which we retain our agency that is utterly and completely respected and honored by God.
We are taught in the scriptures – including in this discussion about the Holy Ghost and “gifts of the spirit”, that even the words of the Savior must be ratified by the Holy Ghost:
“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Cor. 12:3)
Joseph Smith reiterated and quoted this scripture passage in his discussion with the Relief Society in the 28 April, 1842 meeting recorded in Words of Joseph Smith, on page 115. This next scripture asserts the same thing – that the Savior is only validated by the Holy Ghost:
“And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice–that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost.” (3 Nephi 15:23)
Even his own mother had to receive an announcement by the Holy Ghost of his coming before she carried him.
When I discovered that even the Savior is not immune from the veto power of this Holy Ghost person, it struck me to the core to realize that this Holy Ghost person was a lot closer to me than I understood before.
I learned that this life was all up to ME. I don’t actually have someone ELSE who knows more than I do telling me what decisions to make. Although someone smarter than me might teach, guide, or as the scriptures say God and “righteous” beings do – attempt to “gently persuade”(D&C 121) me to make certain decisions, I realized I had to connect MYSELF with God through this internal conduit, and receive/embrace/accept the First Comforter/the Holy Ghost/MY quickened spirit that could communicate directly with the “Holy Spirit” – or “God’s Spirit”.
Our bodies do not recognize truth the same way our spirits do. Our bodies are “carnal” in nature as we are told, and are also acting in part, as a veil assisting in our FORGETTING our life before this. Our bodies are also a literal, physical reflection of HOW we process this world and information within it – from our own vantage point. This body is also a reflection of our connection with heaven as we filter all of it through this physical tabernacle. Our bodies are a veil and reflect FILTERED information coming from our spirits.
I love the way Jason Silva discusses this idea from his perspective, here:
The point – as we know, is to get rid of the filters and veils, and process accurate truth with a quickened, direct, and powerful conduit; process truth via our spirit and allow that to govern and affect our bodies and actions – not the other way around.
MY OWN spirit, that IS able to communicate beyond the veil, and that IS able to hearken unto God, must come to a remembrance of whatever the truth is in that moment, and remind me of it – where hopefully, I’ll allow it to filter through that carnal body that is filled with weaknesses and fears. We came here with a veil; as we thin the veil, we can REMEMBER the things of God and fully access “The Record in Heaven” through our Holy Ghost – when OUR ghost “becomes holy”.
As our spirit does know truth and can testify of that to our minds and hearts (parts of our bodies), we gain more light and knowledge from heaven as we attune ourselves to our spirit when it is holy/quickened/fasted/raised in frequency. We are told to “cast off the natural man” – or the EGO, and not be “subject to the flesh”. We are supposed to allow our spirit (our OWN spirit) to govern our bodies with pure knowledge from heaven, not govern ourselves with our filtered carnal weaknesses and fears and struggles.
If we allow our spirit to govern us instead of the flesh, then we move toward God. If we allow our flesh to govern us instead of our spirit, then we move away from God.
When we are told after the LDS baptism ordinance to “receive the Holy Ghost”, we are being told that our “ghost” or spirit, is to be received by our body and is to govern our body. It is an ordinance that is intended to CONNECT them – like the connection that we believe happens when we are resurrected and our bodies and spirits are united and transcend death. The intent with the ordinance of “receiving the Holy Ghost” is to bond that connection with your own spirit so YOU can be sealed to God, and so YOU can BEGIN the resurrection or translation process that we are intended to go through in this life if we want to master humanity and “magnify our callings” so to speak. If we quicken our spirit and “become holy”, and fully allow our spirits to govern our bodies – where we would be operating with a direct conduit to God, we can reach this translation/resurrected state.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6: 19-20)
If your body is operating with a HOLY Ghost or quickened spirit in it, and not an un-quickened spirit within it, then your body IS a temple as this scripture above says; a temple where God can literally dwell.
We need to become subject to our own quickened spirits and not the flesh before we can have the experiences we are seeking in this life – like the opportunity to receive the Second Comforter and have that beyond the veil mentor to babysit you through the rest of the ascension and translation/resurrection process.
Some cultures call this “receiving the Holy Ghost” process, “connecting with your higher self”, or other variations. Whatever you call it, you must quicken your spirit and “receive the First Comforter” first, before receiving the Second Comforter and knowing Jesus Christ in that setting.
“The Holy Ghost is now in a state of probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has.” (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 245; Sabbath address, 27 August 1843)
YOU are doing this. YOUR spirit is going through this “state of probation” and learning to “perform in righteousness”; to perform wisely, as the origins of the word indicate:
“righteous (adj.) early 16c. alteration of rightwise, from Old English rihtwis, from riht (see right) + wis “wise, way, manner” (see wise (adj.)). Suffix altered by influence of courteous, etc. Meaning “genuine, excellent” is 1942 in jazz slang. Related: Righteously.” (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=righteous)
I appreciate some of the comments Denver Snuffer makes on his blog concerning his understanding of the Holy Ghost, and all these scriptures he pulled together to enunciate the point, that the Holy Ghost is OUR spirit made holy:
“Forget all the cultural assumptions and extras you hang on to. Leave them all behind and keep it simple:
You were a spirit before you were born. (Abraham 3: 22-28.) You were there when some were chosen to be “rulers,” or in other words, teachers. (2 Nephi 5: 19.) You have within you a spirit that was in that group. You saw and participated in what went on, and have that somewhere still inside you. It is kept from you by the “veil of flesh” now covering your spirit. (Heb. 10: 20.) Somewhere within you lies the “record of heaven.” Or more correctly, the Record of Heaven. (Moses 6: 61.) If you gain access to it, it has the capacity to teach you the “truth of all things.” (Moses 6: 61.) Within it is such an abundance of truth that the things of God are not hidden from you, neither far off. It is not in heaven, so that you ask: who will go to heaven to bring it to us. It is not beyond the sea that you should ask who can go to bring it to us? But is is very close to you, in your own mouth, in your own heart, that you can do what is asked of you. (Deut. 30: 11-14, above.)”
Hence the saying of Christ that the Comforter will bring things to your remembrance. (John 14: 26.)
Christ taught the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17: 20-21.)
Why is it that the body is animated, with power of thought and communication, alive and vital while there is a spirit within it? But when the spirit departs, what then of the body? The power to live and breathe and move and do according to your will is gone at that point. But from whence came that power? (Mosiah 2: 21.) If it is God who is “lending you that power” then how closely are you connected to God? How immediate is His presence within you?
If you can gain access to God, will you need to go out, or will you instead need to go within?
Our minds are corrupted. I’ve spent time dealing with the corrosive influence of cultures from Babylon to today in Nephi’s Isaiah. All that must be “ground to dust” and blown away. (Daniel 2: 34-35.) That will occur within you. You are the battleground where the conflict is being fought. You are potentially the Temple of God. (1 Cor. 3: 16.)
Awake and arise! Come to yourself and realize who you are. This “doctrine of Christ” will teach you all things you must know for life and salvation. But you ought not look to another to find what you already have. You must instead repent and return to God, who is your home.” (Most of Denver Snuffer’s blog post, August 3, 2010)
We cannot lie to ourselves, because it is our own spirit that knows it is a lie.
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4)
In the LDS temple endowment ceremony, we revisit the understanding that the Holy Ghost is NOW in a state of probation – just like us. When Adam awakes, he has forgotten all – like US.
Then Adam receives a “new name”; He receives “something new“. That NEW THING he was told to receive/accept/embrace/understand – which is the name of the second token, teaches us the IDENTITY of the Holy Ghost.
The one who receives that token – that new name – that new and quickened holiness and pure knowledge from God, is YOU.
Pay attention to the imagery in section 7 of Facsimile 2 which is very similar to the physical actions used to symbolize the second token you are to “receive” in the temple endowment ceremony. It’s clear by the description of section 7, what this part of the symbolic temple ordinance is teaching us:
“7. Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove. ”
Denver discusses the Holy Ghost in a more recent post, and is even more brazen about alluding to “his” identity, here:
“If the Holy Ghost is a “personage of Spirit” and it can “dwell in us,” and the Holy Spirit is “the mind of the Father and Son” then are they the same thing?
The scriptures have explained that the “Holy Ghost” which dwells in you – this personage of Spirit – has the following other descriptions, or attributes:
-the record of heaven
-the truth of all things
-the peacable things of immortal glory
-that which quickeneth all things
-that which knoweth all things
-that which has all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment. (Moses 6: 61.)
This is a description of the personage of Spirit which dwells inside you. This is the Holy Ghost. This is something that can be in contact with the Holy Spirit, or the “mind of the Father and Son.”
Perhaps you should look into this topic.” (Denver Snuffer blogpost, Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit, Aug 10, 2012)
I quite agree with Denver that this is a topic worthy of investigating further and understanding.
I was told stories all my life about the alleged identity of the Holy Ghost; lots of Mormon folklore and stories about this mysterious Holy-Ghost-third-member-of-the-Godhead are inserted into lessons and conference talks as the traditions of man are perpetuated.
This is us. The Holy Ghost; The First Comforter; The Record in Heaven; This direct and personal connection with God is OURS – IF we do the work to become quickened, and receive it.