How To Cultivate and Keep the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirituality)

We Must Strive To Keep the Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost

George F. Richards

We are not only to receive the Holy Ghost, being born again, the way the Lord has designed that it should be and has been in the days of the primitive Church, but we are to live and labor so as to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and he will not dwell in unholy tabernacles. (Conference Report, October 1944, p.88)

Ezra Taft Benson

We should strive for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost all the days of our lives. When we have the Spirit, we will love to serve, we will love the Lord, and we will love those with whom we serve, and those whom we serve. ("Seek the Spirit of the Lord," Ensign, Apr. 1988, p. 5)

David A. Bednar

I recognize we are fallen men and women living in a mortal world and that we might not have the presence of the Holy Ghost with us every second of every minute of every hour of every day. However, the Holy Ghost can tarry with us much, if not most, of the time--and certainly the Spirit can be with us more than it is not with us. As we become ever more immersed in the Spirit of the Lord, we should strive to recognize impressions when they come and the influences or events that cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost. ("That We May Always Have His Spirit To Be With Us," Ensign, May, 2006, pp. 30)

Spirituality is Maintaining the Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost

Ezra Taft Benson

Spirituality--being in tune with the Spirit of the Lord--is the greatest need we all have. ("Seek the Spirit of the Lord," Ensign, Apr. 1988, p. 5)

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)

Worthiness Necessary to Retain the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Dallin H. OaksThe blessings available through the gift of the Holy Ghost are conditioned upon worthiness. "The Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples" (Hel. 4:24; see also Mosiah 2:36-37; 1 Cor. 3:16-17). Even though we have a right to his constant companionship, the Spirit of the Lord will dwell only with us when we keep the commandments. He will withdraw when we offend him by profanity, uncleanliness, disobedience, rebellion, or other serious sins. ("Always Have His Spirit," Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 61)

The Fundamentals of Maintaining Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost?

Dallin H. Oaks

How do we achieve spirituality? How do we attain that degree of holiness where we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost? How do we come to view and evaluate the things of this world with the perspective of eternity?

We seek spirituality through faith, repentance, and baptism; through forgiveness of one another; through fasting and prayer; through righteous desires and pure thoughts and actions. We seek spirituality through service to our fellowmen; through worship; through feasting on the word of God, in the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets. We attain spirituality through making and keeping covenants, through conscientiously trying to keep all the commandments of God. Spirituality is not acquired suddenly. It is the consequence of a succession of right choices. It is the harvest of a righteous life. ("Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1985, p. 63)

Ten Ways to Increase Spirituality

Joe J. Christensen (Seventy)

In summary, in order to increase in spirituality, we must: 1. Read scriptures daily. 2. Really pray and not just say prayers. 3. Fast meaningfully. 4. Go to bed early and get up early. 5. Be of good cheer. 6. Work hard. 7. Be more concerned about how than where we serve. 8. Love everyone, but keep romantic feelings in their proper place. 9. Become more nearly one between our ideal and actual selves. 10. Open our mouths and bear testimony of truth. ("Ten Ideas to Increase Your Spirituality," Ensign, Mar. 1999, 61; see the whole talk for a greater discussion of each.)

Must Keep Our Baptismal Covenant

Boyd K. Packer

In order to have that Spirit guide us we must prepare ourselves for it. To do that, to be worthy of constant inspiration, we must keep the covenants we made at the time of baptism. (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 233.)

Sacrament - Key to Gift of the Holy Ghost

Marion G. Romney

The purpose of the sacrament is to promote the maintenance of spirituality. Both the revealed prayers over the bread and over the water contain the phrase, "that they [who partake] may … have his Spirit to be with them" (see D&C 20:77, 79). ["Maintaining Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 16]

Dallin H. Oaks

The close relationship between partaking of the sacrament and the companionship of the Holy Ghost is explained in the revealed prayer on the sacrament. In partaking of the bread, we witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and always remember Him and keep His commandments. When we do so, we have the promise that we will always have His Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77).

To have the continuous companionship of the Holy Ghost is the most precious possession we can have in mortality. The gift of the Holy Ghost was conferred upon us by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood after our baptism. But to realize the blessings of that gift, we must keep ourselves free from sin. When we commit sin, we become unclean and the Spirit of the Lord withdraws from us. The Spirit of the Lord does not dwell in "unholy temples" (see Mosiah 2:36-37; Alma 34:35-36; Hel. 4:24), and no unclean thing can dwell in His presence (see Eph. 5:5; 1 Ne. 10:21; Alma 7:21; Moses 6:57).

A few weeks ago I used a chain saw to cut down a tree in my backyard. It was a dirty job, and when I was done I was splattered with a filthy mixture of sawdust and oil. In that condition I did not want anyone to see me. I just wanted to be cleansed in water so I would again feel comfortable in the presence of other people.

Not one of you young men and not one of your leaders has lived without sin since his baptism. Without some provision for further cleansing after our baptism, each of us is lost to things spiritual. We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and at the final judgment we would be bound to be "cast off forever" (1 Ne. 10:21). How grateful we are that the Lord has provided a process for each baptized member of His Church to be periodically cleansed from the soil of sin. The sacrament is an essential part of that process.

We are commanded to repent of our sins and to come to the Lord with a brokenheart and a contrite spirit and partake of the sacrament in compliance with its covenants. When we renew our baptismal covenants in this way, the Lord renews the cleansing effect of our baptism. In this way we are made clean and can always have His Spirit to be with us. The importance of this is evident in the Lord's commandment that we partake of the sacrament each week (see D&C 59:8-9). ["The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament," Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 38]

Must Submit Our Will To God

L. Tom Perry

The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion if we submit ourselves to the will of our Father in Heaven, always remembering Him and keeping His commandments. ("That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good," Ensign, May 1997, p. 69)

Focus On Building the Kingdom

Heber J. Grant

If any man lacks the Spirit of God, let him go to work and labor for the advancement of the kingdom of God, and he will have the Spirit of God. (Gospel Standards, p.182)

Must Keep the Commandments to Have Holy Ghost

Robert D. Hales

Living the commandments brings us into harmony with Deity; we become one in purpose with the Father and the Son. When we are one with God, we walk with spiritual light. Our diligence in keeping the commandments allows the Holy Ghost to dwell within us. We are given the gift of personal revelation. This is a spiritual light that protects us and serves as a beacon, guiding us in righteous ways. It dispels the darkness of the adversary. So powerful is this light that it can reach us even when we are drawn into a black hole of sin so deep and so dark that we believe no spiritual light could ever penetrate. ("If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments," Ensign, May 1996, p. 36)

The Importance of Prayer
Marion G. Romney

Prayer and searching the scriptures are companion aids in both obtaining and maintaining spirituality. ("Maintaining Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 16)

Richard G. Scott

When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we must strive to become increasingly sensitive to its singular influence in our lives. Prayer is our communication link with God. He answers earnest prayer through the Holy Ghost, which brings inspiration, direction, and power into our lives. ("Happiness Now and Forever," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 71)

Scripture Study Essential

Marion G. Romney

Searching the scriptures is another powerful assist in maintaining spirituality. Alma bears witness to this in his account of the miraculous missionary accomplishments of the sons of Mosiah.

"They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth," he said, "for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

"But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God" (Alma 17:2-3). ["Maintaining Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 16]

Must Maintain a Spirit of Reverence

Boyd K. Packer

And in the spirit of reverence, I bear testimony that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Holy Ghost--our comforter, our teacher--will come to us if we will maintain a spirit of reverence. ("Reverence Invites Revelation," Ensign, Nov. 1991, p. 23)

Inspiration Comes Easier In Peaceful Settings

Boyd K. Packer

Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings. Such words as quiet, still, peaceable, Comforter abound in the scriptures: "Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10; italics added.) And the promise, "You shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom." (D&C 36:2; italics added.) ["Reverence Invites Revelation," Ensign, Nov. 1991, p. 21]

Ezra Taft Benson

The most important thing in our lives is the Spirit. I have always felt that. We must remain open and sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all aspects of our lives.

President David O. McKay and President Harold B. Lee used to relate an incident from the life of Bishop John Wells that is instructive to all of us. Bishop Wells was a great detail man and was responsible for many Church reports.

A son of Bishop and Sister Wells was killed in a railroad accident on October 15, 1915. He was run over by a freight car. Sister Wells could not be consoled. She received no comfort during the funeral and continued her mourning after her son was laid to rest. Bishop Wells feared for her health, as she was in a state of deep anguish.

One day, soon after the funeral, Sister Wells was lying on her bed in a state of mourning. The son appeared to her and said, "Mother, do not mourn, do not cry. I am all right."

He then related to her how the accident took place. Apparently there had been some question--even suspicion--about the accident because the young man was an experienced railroad man. But he told his mother that it was clearly an accident.

Now note this: He also told her that as soon as he realized that he was in another sphere, he had tried to reach his father but could not. His father was so busy with the details of his office and work that he could not respond to the promptings. Therefore, the son had come to his mother.

He then said, "Tell Father that all is well with me, and I want you not to mourn any more." (See David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, pp. 525-26.)

President McKay and President Lee used this experience to teach that we must always be responsive to the whisperings of the Spirit. These promptings most often come when we are not under the pressure of appointments and when we are not caught up in the worries of day-to-day life. ("Seek the Spirit of the Lord," Ensign, Apr. 1988, p. 2)

Must Rise Above the Degrading Things of the World

Joseph B. Wirthlin

The promptings of the Holy Ghost may come to you in a still, small voice. You cannot grow into the man you must become unless you first rise above the things of the world that clamor for your attention. For example, some of the world's music is degrading, vulgar, and inappropriate and will drown out the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Bringing into your body substances forbidden by the Lord in the Word of Wisdom will prevent you from feeling and recognizing the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

The failure to live a clean and chaste life deadens the promptings of the Spirit. Take your thoughts to higher levels than the vulgar and immoral. Avoid objectionable television shows and movies, evil Internet sites, and all forms of entertainment that portray or encourage immorality and violence. Shun pornography like a deadly, contagious sin and disease. You cannot afford to become addicted to its bondage and slavery. It will drive the Holy Ghost and His influence from your life. ("Growing into the Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 1999, pp. 40-41)

Must Make Every Sacrifice to Get the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Lorenzo Snow

We should sacrifice to obtain the Spirit. As Saints of God, elders of Israel, we should be willing to devote time and labor, making every necessary sacrifice in order to obtain the proper spiritual qualifications to be highly useful in our several callings. And may the Lord inspire every heart with the importance of these matters that we may seek diligently and energetically for the gifts and powers promised in the gospel we have obeyed. (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.110)