I’ve talked a lot about the Spirit that a disciple of Christ needs to carry with him. It’s that presence and knowledge of God’s will for you that make you the most effective disciple you can be. This Spirit comes in two forms. There is a general presence that testifies of truth as well as gives guidance and direction as it is needed for any and all human beings who have not denied the light of Christ within them. There is also a second step in which the disciple makes specific covenants with God that allow that Spirit to more fully manifest Himself to you. These covenants invite the Holy Ghost’s companionship into every aspect of your every day life.
Why the distinction? What can be gained from the added step of covenant making? And lastly, what covenants need to be made in order to receive these increased blessings? It’s about promises and commitment. The more committed we are to Jesus Christ, the more our actions show it, the more our lives invite the Holy Ghost and the more we are able to feel His affect in our lives. Making covenants with God is an increased measure of commitment and the ordinance of baptism opens the way for these blessing of the Spirit.
Shortly after baptism, through the power of the priesthood present in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is when we are given the privilege to have the Spirit as our constant companion as long as we are trying to live up to the promises we made at baptism. He acts as a testifier of Jesus Christ to strengthen and build our testimonies. He also acts as a guide, comforter, and a conduit for many other blessings. The Holy Ghost should be the closest and most valuable friend a disciple of Christ can have with him on life’s journey.
To understand this distinction further, let’s look at the example of Peter.
Peter was He recognized the divinity in the Savior when many walked away. He served faithfully by the Savior’s side. He indicated that he wanted to be found in no other place than with the Savior.
During the last supper, Peter proclaims his steadfastness in defending Christ. Then sadly, a short time later, he would deny his knowledge of Christ three different times. (See- Matthew 26:33-35, 58, 69-75)
Then, after the Holy Ghost is given to the disciples at Pentecost, Peter’s perception of his mission and goals as a disciple of Christ changes. Because of that constant reaffirming presence, Peter finds strength that was previously beyond his capabilities. (Acts 4 & 5)
That’s the value of the Holy Ghost. Expressing true commitment through covenants with God, then living up to them, provides and extra strength and shield to your life. When the Holy Ghost is allowed fully into your life you can find testimony and faith beyond that you have ever previously known.