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'Source of testimony' fills our souls with joy

Lower noise level in homes so worldly noise will not overpower still, small voice

The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit and is a distinct member of the Godhead, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve said Saturday afternoon. "He is a witness or testator of the power of God, the divinity of Christ, and the truth of the restored gospel."

The gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, "is obtained only upon condition of faith in Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the laying on of hands by authorized servants endowed with the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is a most precious gift available only to worthy members of the Lord's Church."

Elder Wirthlin explained that the gift of the Holy Ghost is "the source of testimony and spiritual gifts. It enlightens minds, fills our souls with joy, teaches us all things, and brings forgotten knowledge to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost also 'will show unto [us] all things what [we] should do.'

This gift, however, is not given unconditionally, he said. "Scriptures warn us that the Spirit of the Lord 'will not always strive with man.' When we are confirmed, we are given the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost, but it is a right that we must continue to earn through obedience and worthiness. We cannot take this gift for granted."

Elder Wirthlin continued: "I fear that some members of the Lord's Church live far beneath our privileges with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some are distracted by things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. . . . Some are spiritually deadened and past feeling because of their choices to commit sin. Others simply hover in spiritual complacency with no desire to rise above themselves and commune with the Infinite.

"If they would open their hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light. Their eyes would gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable."

Elder Wirthlin invited individuals to ponder in a humble and prayerful manner as to whether they are happy and have the Spirit in their lives. He challenged them to ask themselves, "Am I doing anything in my life that is offensive to the Spirit and preventing the Holy Ghost from being my constant companion?" He urged them to have the courage to repent, if necessary, to gain the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

"Our homes need to be more Christ-centered. We should spend more time at the temple and less time in the pursuit of pleasure. We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes."

In his closing remarks, Elder Wirthlin invited those who are not members of the Church to "not resist the truth any longer. Give place in your hearts to this heavenly light. Have faith, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you, too, shall receive this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost."

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