The Process of Spiritual Rebirth


What is Spirituality?

President Marion G. Romney
"Spirituality comes by faith, repentance, baptism, and reception of the Holy Ghost. One who has the companionship of the Holy Ghost is in harmony with God. He is, therefore, spiritual. Spirituality is sustained by so living as to keep that companionship."  ("Maintaining Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 15)


Elder Dallin H. Oaks
"As faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a distinctive way of looking at life. We view our experiences in terms of eternity. As we draw farther from worldliness, we feel closer to our Father in Heaven and more able to be guided by his Spirit. We call this quality of life spirituality." ("Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1985, pp. 61-63)


True spirituality, then, is the quality of utilizing and maintaining the Gift of the Holy Ghost!




Spiritual Rebirth -  The Process of Acquiring Spirituality


What is Spiritual Rebirth?

Sometimes spiritual rebirth is associated with the event of receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Moses 6:64-65

64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.  [The word  quicken is defined in the Noah Webster's 1828 An American Dictionary of the English Language as "To become alive."]

President Harold B. Lee

[Quotes Moses 6:65] Now there is a definition of what it means to be born again. It means to be quickened in the inner man. That's another way of saying it. (Stand Ye In Holy Places, p.54)




Sometimes spiritual rebirth is associated with a process that leads to a complete change of heart.

Mosiah 5:7

And now because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

President Harold B. Lee

[Quotes Mosiah 5:7] There's another explanation: when our hearts are changed through faith on his name, we are born again. (Stand Ye In Holy Places, p.55)


Elder David A. Bednar

We are instructed to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness" (Moroni 10:32), to become "new creature[s]" in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), to put off "the natural man" (Mosiah 3:19), and to experience "a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2). Please note that the conversion described in these verses is mighty, not minor—a spiritual rebirth and fundamental change of what we feel and desire, what we think and do, and what we are. Indeed, the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through our reliance upon "the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah" (2 Nephi 2:8). As we choose to follow the Master, we choose to be changed—to be spiritually reborn. ("Ye Must Be Born Again,"  Ensign, May 2007, p. 19)
 

Spiritual rebirth is spiritual life!

Bruce R. McConkie

There is a natural birth, and there is a spiritual birth. The natural birth is to die as pertaining to premortal life, to leave the heavenly realms where all spirits dwell in the Divine Presence, and to begin a new life, a mortal life, a life here on earth. The natural birth creates a natural man, and the natural man is an enemy to God. In his fallen state he is carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature. Appetites and passions govern his life and he is alive -- acutely so -- to all that is evil and wicked in the world.

The spiritual birth comes after the natural birth. It is to die as pertaining to worldliness and carnality and to become a new creature by the power of the Spirit. It is to begin a new life, a life in which we bridle our passions and control our appetites, a life of righteousness, a spiritual life. Whereas we were in a deep abyss of darkness, now we are alive in Christ and bask in the shining rays of his everlasting light. Such is the new birth the second birth, the birth into the household of Christ. (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.282; emphasis added)


Spiritual Rebirth Comes Through Ordinances

Joseph Smith

Being born again, comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.162)
 

Marion G. Romney

One is born again by actually receiving and experiencing the light and power inherent in the gift of the Holy Ghost. ("The Light of Christ," Ensign, May 1977, p. 44.)
 

John 3:5

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
 

Harold B. Lee

The Master's admonition to Nicodemus, who came confessing Jesus as a teacher come of God, and undoubtedly seeking to know, like so many others who are true seekers after truth, just what he must do to be saved. He was told that he must be born again if he would see the kingdom of God. This statement, the Master clarified, when he explained, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5.)

This new birth, then, was to be accomplished through the medium of baptism by immersion and by the laying on of hands for the conferring of the Holy Ghost, as the disciples, thereafter as they went out among the people, administered these sacred ordinances.   (Conference Report, April 1961, p.32; emphasis added)




Spiritual Rebirth Is Most Often Gradual Process

Bruce R. McConkie



What Are the Signs of Spiritual Rebirth?

George Q. Cannon

We need to be born again, and have new hearts put in us. There is too much of the old leaven about us. We are not born again as we should be. Do you not believe that we ought to be born again? Do you not believe that we should become new creatures in Christ Jesus, under the influence of the Gospel? All will say, yes, who understand the Gospel. You must be born again. You must have new desires, new hearts, so to speak, in you. But what do we see? We see men following the ways of the world just as much as though they made no pretensions to being Latter-day Saints. Hundreds of people who are called Latter-day Saints you could not distinguish from the world. They have the same desires, the same feelings, the same aspirations, the same passions as the rest of the world. Is this how God wants us to be? No; He wants us to have new hearts, new desires. He wants us to be a changed people when we embrace His Gospel, and to be animated by entirely new motives, and have a faith that will lay hold of the promises of God. (Conference Report, October 1899, p.50)

Marion G. Romney

 

Dallin H. Oaks

How can we measure our progress? The scriptures suggest various ways. I will mention only two.

After King Benjamin's great sermon, many of his hearers cried out that the Spirit of the Lord "has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2). If we are losing our desire to do evil, we are progressing toward our heavenly goal.

The Apostle Paul said that persons who have received the Spirit of God "have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16). I understand this to mean that persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways of the world. ("The Challenge to Become," Ensign, Nov. 2000, pp. 32-34)