Holy Ghosts Role in Scripture Study

July 2013

Aaron Klapheck

The scriptures have been given to us because through reading and living them the holy ghost is invited into our life. However, there is a catch, in order for us to read the scriptures for understanding and spiritual growth we must have the Holy Ghost already with us. So how do we get the spirit to be with us in the first place? The answer is through personal prayer. This is the reason we pray always, even before reading scriptures. Prayer combined with obedience opens the spiritual gateway for the Holy Ghost.

Knowledge of scriptures is good just as knowledge of the Holy Ghost is good. However, knowledge is not enough. Knowledge of purity is good, but living a pure life is much better. In the same way, knowledge of the gospel is good but living the principles and doctrines found in the gospel is much better. "The restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses lives not just when we believe it—but much more when we live it.[1]" When it comes down to it, I don’t think the Lord will much care about the scriptural knowledge that we have. After all, the devil is very well versed in scripture. I believe that God’s primary concern is what we do with the level of knowledge we have. If all we knew were two scriptures and followed them perfectly, “Love the Lord thy God will all thy heart, might, mind, and strength” & “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, that would be sufficient.

What this means to me in my personal life, is when I read the scriptures I must experience a call to action. I must feel a strong connection to the spirit every time I read the scriptures; if I do not, then I am doing something wrong and I need to change. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth and calls us to action when it is needed. Whenever I behave in an unchristian way, the spirit withdraws. When I subsequently read the scriptures I do not feel the spirit strongly until I take action and repent. Sometimes I forget, and when I sit down to read the scriptures I don't feel the spirit strongly. I then pray and ask Heavenly Father what it was I did that causes the spirit to withdrawal. Once I ask with sincere desire, the Holy Ghost brings to my remembrance the action I took that needs to change. This then allows me to repent and feel a powerful witness of the spirit which I can only describe as the most amazing feeling of joy I have ever experienced.

I remember an experience on the bus when I was praying and earnestly trying to feel the spirit of the Lord with me that day. I was just not able to feel his presents. I asked and pleaded “What do I need to do to feel of thy spirit?” I then remembered my actions earlier that day and how I had been less than kind to my wife. I called her up immediately and apologies for my behavior - I need to have that spirit of the Lord with me. That is the reason why I read the scriptures - so I can become someone different. Therefore, if I do not feel the spirit of the Lord I must change some part of my life and I must change it now.

Another time while reading the scriptures and was not feeling the spirit testify to me. I stopped and prayed asking to feel strongly the spirit of the holy ghost. It then came to my mind that I was not regularly attending the temple. From that time forward I set a goal for weekly temple attendance and have never looked back. And there are many more times of correction I have experienced. Each one changing my life for the better. I am no Scriptorian, I would consider my knowledge of the scriptures to be limited. But now every time I read the scriptures, I feel a powerful witness of the savior as I feel my will being brought in-line with the Fathers and this has profoundly affected my life.

The savior distilled all the commandments given to us down to two fundamentals - love God and love our fellow man. I believe this can be reduced even more: follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all things. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

[1] Dieter F. Uchtdorf. "Four Titles - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." 2013. 18 Mar. 2014 <https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/four-titles?lang=eng>