Dec 9, 2013

The Holy Ghost Inspires Us All

By Ramona Siddoway

For anyone curious about the basic principles followed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the Articles of Faith provide an overarching framework of our beliefs. While the Articles of Faith are not complete in explaining all of our beliefs they are a good summary of LDS scripture and principles that are taught and understood by the members of our faith. This is an ongoing series about basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints and how they fit into an interfaith community; this particular post discussed the concept of the Holy Ghost.

Article #4 states: We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This section of this article of faith speaks of 1) authority and of 2) a member of the Godhead.

What many Christians may find surprising is that the Holy Ghost is not a proprietary term in Christianity. Many religions refer to the Holy Ghost as “The Spirit”; Islam refers to him as Gabriel. With any person of faith or engaging in a spiritual practice this entity is not reserved for only Christians. 

As Latter-day Saints we believe that after baptism someone with authority confers upon that person (who has just been baptized) the gift of the Holy Ghost to serve as a constant companion. But the influence of the Holy Ghost can be felt at any time by any one regardless of religion. In the Bible, Paul teaches that, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5:22-23.) What a beautiful teaching! As Latter-day Saints we believe that anyone can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost through thoughts, a warm feeling of comfort or peace, ideas, bursts of inspiration and even through warnings.
We believe that God sends the Holy Ghost to bring messages to any and all of His sons and daughters. One of the great blessings I have received through doing research of other religions is reading heartfelt accounts of belief. As I read they resonate within my own soul. I appreciate the beauty and sincerity of anyone who is honestly striving to receive not only clarity but also a closer relationship with God. We believe that a great spirit or energy attends these people and they are guided by the Holy Ghost to do good work and receive blessings from a loving Heavenly Father.
Ramona Siddoway is a freelance writer and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) where she volunteers in the Public Affairs department. The views expressed in this post are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Interfaith Houston.

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