In the next few small chapters, Moroni gives clear direction on how to give specific priesthood ordinances. In this chapter, he writes down Christ’s exact words and actions to His apostles in the new world when He visited the Nephites after His Resurrection. He gave them power to confirm and give members the Holy Ghost. Moroni felt this ordinance would be so important to us, that he made sure it was included in the record.
Why is the gift of the Holy Ghost so vital to our spiritual salvation?
The Holy Ghost works in perfect unity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, fulfilling several roles to help us live righteously and receive the blessings of the gospel.
He “witnesses of the Father and the Son” (2 Nephi 31:18) and reveals and teaches “the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.
As we strive to stay on the path that leads to eternal life, the Holy Ghost can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger.
Through Him, we can receive gifts of the Spirit for our benefit and for the benefit of those we love and serve (see Doctrine and Covenants 46:9–11).
He is the Comforter (John 14:26). As the soothing voice of a loving parent can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm our fears, hush the nagging worries of our life, and comfort us when we grieve. The Holy Ghost can fill us “with hope and perfect love” and “teach [us] the peaceable things of the kingdom” (Moroni 8:26; Doctrine and Covenants 36:2).
Through His power, we are sanctified as we repent, receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, and remain true to our covenants (see Mosiah 5:1–6; 3 Nephi 27:20).
He is the Holy Spirit of Promise (see Ephesians 1:13). In this capacity, He confirms that the priesthood ordinances we have received and the covenants we have made are acceptable to God. This approval depends on our continued faithfulness.Gospel Topics – Holy Ghost
No wonder Moroni wanted to emphasize the way Priesthood leaders could give the Holy Ghost to baptized members who have covenanted to follow Christ. The Holy Ghost witnesses to us that Jesus is the Christ. He does all those things above, helping us through this confusing, troubling life, so we can return to Father’s presence.
The biggest thing that stood out to me about Jesus giving the Holy Ghost to His apostles was that “He called them by name…” (2) The power of ministering to the one was exemplified by Jesus Christ. Each of us is important to Him. He knows each of us by name.
These are the words He told His apostles about this sacred priesthood ordinance:
Ye shall call on the Father, in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.”Moroni 2:2
After Christ left His apostles, “on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.” (3)
The gift of the Holy Ghost is available to all people on earth today. God has restored His true Church through the prophet Joseph Smith and all the saving ordinances Christ instituted during his mortal ministry. Baptism. The laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Let us not take this eternal gift for granted.
For those of you who are preparing to be baptized and confirmed, those who recently have been, or even those who were a long time ago, it is vital to our physical and spiritual safety that we keep the gift of the Holy Ghost. We begin to do so by striving to keep the commandments, having individual and family prayer, reading the scriptures, and seeking loving and forgiving relationships with family and loved ones. We should keep our thoughts, actions, and language virtuous. We should worship our Heavenly Father in our homes, at church, and, whenever possible, in the holy temple. Stay close to the Spirit, and the Spirit will stay close to you.Gary L. Stevenson