My family and I visited an LDS church service in Oregon during our summer vacation. I learned a really interesting opinion about the Holy Ghost there that I can't stop thinking about.
First, some Mormon lingo:
The "Holy Ghost" is the third member of the Godhead, which also includes God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe them to be single in purpose, but not a sole person. Sometimes the Holy Ghost is called the "Holy Spirit" or simply "the Spirit". He is God's messenger and deliverer of comfort, guidance, warning, and confirmation of truth.
When baptized, each member receives a spiritual gift called " the Gift of the Holy Ghost". This means He is your constant companion throughout your life. Every person in the world, regardless of baptism of any religion (or none at all), can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. The difference is that spiritual gift enables you to turn to Him and feel His presence constantly, rather than Him occasionally popping in to share a message.
If what I just said didn't make a lick of sense, read THIS :)
In that church meeting in Oregon, the teacher presented this scenario: You're at church and the meeting comes to a close. Your friend turns to you and enthusiastically says "Wow, the Spirit was so strong! Could you feel that?" You're surprised at her joy, because although you did pay attention and liked the message, you haven't been blown over with spiritual manifestation like your friend.
So does that mean you didn't feel the Spirit?
Does that say anything about your spiritual well-being?
OR could it mean that the Spirit was there, but you didn't need a major spiritual confirmation at that time?
It could mean something about your spiritual well-being. To keep the Spirit around, we know we need to be living a righteous life. Maybe you haven't been as focused on your testimony lately as you feel like you should be. Maybe you weren't paying a lot of attention to the lesson.
As another option, I also believe that although what you were taught was true, you didn't need an entire spiritual experience confirming the truthfulness. Sometimes you know it, believe it, live it, and that's enough.
I compare this idea to discussing theft at church. Your teacher is talking about God's commandments and asks the class why stealing is wrong. Voices in the room share their opinions and experiences. You agree that stealing is wrong, and feel pretty good about your belief. You leave feeling fine. What you don't realize is that the person next to you was being taught lessons in his heart that go deeper than the discussion of the day. When the Spirit teaches, you hear or feel messages that aren't spoken aloud. The Spirit was helping him to personally understand he was breaking a commandment when he illegally downloaded files off the internet. Before today's lesson, he didn't think it was that bad. Now he's feeling a little different. He was receiving some personal revelation. And perhaps it didn't necessarily apply to you as much that day.
I think most of us want to have those spiritual manifestations as often as we can. We want to be as close to God as possible. That's a great, wonderful, and stupendous idea. Keep that desire. Work for it. We should be diligent to building up our spirituality as much as we can.
I also want you to know that I believe it's okay to have your off-days. It's okay when you don't burn up with a fiery passion about not stealing music of the internet. (Unless you do have that passion, then by all means, burn away babe).
If you feel like those off-days are turning into weeks, months, and maybe even longer, then I advise you this.
"Don't give up. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead - a lot of it - 30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."
-LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. HollandKeep pushing forward, my friend. I have faith in you. I really do. Heavenly Father has faith in you. Lots and lots of it. Be at peace that everything will be okay.
"An High Priest of Good Things to Come"
the entire talk is here
Luv 'n' stuff,