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Church leaders emphasize importance of Holy Ghost, during October 2023 general conference

President Henry B. Eyring, Elder Gary E. Stevenson and others taught members how to better hear and follow the Spirit’s promptings

“We need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.”

President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, taught this during the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was one of several leaders who, throughout the conference, emphasized the importance of listening to and having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Having the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship

In his address, President Eyring said Church members can learn from the Spirit line upon line, and taught how they can strive for the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship.

“We desire [the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost], yet we know from experience that it is not easy to achieve,” he said. “We each think, say and do things in our daily lives that can offend the Spirit.” 

When that happens, remember the promise offered in the sacrament prayers, President Eyring said. “If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost today, you may take it as sweet evidence that the Atonement is working in your life.”

For those who are having a difficult time feeling the Holy Ghost, President Eyring counseled them to ponder if there is anything for which they need to repent.

Of all the things to which the Holy Ghost testifies, he continued, the most precious is that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of God. 

“Your experiences will be unique, and the Spirit will guide in the way best suited to your faith and capacity to receive revelation for you and for those you love and serve,” President Eyring said. “I pray with all my heart that your confidence will grow.”

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President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, walk onto the podium at the beginning of the Saturday evening session of October 2023 general conference.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, walk onto the podium at the beginning of the Saturday evening session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Hearing and learning from the Spirit

In order to have the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship, Latter-day Saints must first learn to hear Him.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on this topic, teaching how to recognize the Spirit’s promptings and exercise spiritual gifts.

He gave four guiding principles to assist in this spiritual endeavor. The first is standing in holy spaces. “If you hope to feel the Spirit, be in a place where the Spirit can easily dwell,” Elder Stevenson said.

The second is standing with holy people. Elder Stevenson said the Spirit “cannot be restrained from attending a gathering of holy people.”

The third is testifying of holy truths. As Latter-day Saints take chances to share their testimony with others, “you will create moments to recognize the Spirit for yourself.”

The fourth principle is listening to the Holy Spirit. “Find a quiet place, a holy space where you can seek to receive direction from the Spirit,” Elder Stevenson said.

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Aaron Robles and his sister Valeria Robles do a photo after the Saturday afternoon session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

‘Inspired and guided’

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also focused on the importance of having the Holy Ghost’s constant companionship.

When Latter-day Saints have the Holy Ghost with them, they “will be inspired and guided to make and keep other covenants, such as those we make in temples. Doing so deepens our relationship with God.”

Elder Renlund also said the Holy Ghost blesses Latter-day Saints with Jesus Christ’s sanctifying power.

When this power is in their lives, “we can always retain a remission of our sins, week in and week out.”

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Attendees walk into the Conference Center prior to the Saturday morning session of October 2023 general conference.
Attendees walk into the Conference Center prior to the Saturday morning general session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Identifying eternal truth through the Holy Ghost

Elder John C. Pingree Jr., General Authority Seventy, emphasized the importance of eternal truth and how to identify it through the Holy Ghost and other divine means.

“Truth is critical for us to establish and strengthen our relationship with God, find peace and joy, and reach our divine potential,” Elder Pingree said.

That is why Heavenly Father has an established way of conveying truth to His children: a “network of revelatory relationships” involving Himself, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, prophets and individuals.

After Heavenly Father has confirmed an eternal truth through that network, He also expects that the truth will be shared in loving ways to help others find their way to Him, Elder Pingree said. For teachers, parents and leaders, it is important to teach truth in an environment and using methods that invite the Holy Ghost, he continued.

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks through video message during the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

During his address, Elder Alan T. Phillips, General Authority Seventy, reminded listeners that “faith requires work,” and “Some of the most real things in life are not seen, they are felt, known and experienced. They too are real.”

He added that the Savior gave all people the means to return to Him and to be succored on Earth, both through the Holy Ghost and through others in mortality.

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