Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Elder Ronald A. Rasband on the companionship of the Holy Ghost

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. February 6, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015.
"Through confirmation and by the laying on of hands, you have already been given the gift of the Holy Ghost. As it states in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 39:23, 'And again, it shall come to pass that on as many as ye shall baptize with water, ye shall lay your hands, and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…'
"This will be a great privilege for you throughout your lives to have this special gift from the Lord.
"Enjoying the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is quite a different matter—and a goal for all of us to try and achieve.
"Anger, disunity, contention, lying, and impurity of thoughts and deeds to name a few vices, chase away the holy presence of this Third Member of the Godhead. Such unaltered and unrepentant behavior causes Latter-day Saints to lose the Spirit, and lose confidence....
"I would offer you a little formula today that you can remember easily, that through my experience as a father, student-ward bishop, mission president, and General Authority, almost certainly will enable you to have the Spirit as your constant companion....
"I invite you today to consider your passions and where necessary, bridle them in your life.
"I invite you today to take greater control of your thoughts, garnish them with virtue, such as of the beloved Word of God.
"I invite you to humbly and prayerfully plead with the Lord to bless you with the Holy Ghost.
"I invite you to go before the Lord and ask him to bless you with strength, to be the greatest generation of young people, going into the world with power and authority and the Holy Ghost, inviting people of all lands to come unto Christ.
"I promise you as a servant of the Lord, that he will bless you with the presence and companionship of the Holy Ghost. Bridle your passions, garnish your thoughts, and by the prayer of faith you will be led by the Spirit and join in this magnificent miracle."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "Having the Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost," BYU-Idaho devotional, February 28, 2006
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Addressing students at BYU-Idaho when he was serving as a Seventy, Elder Rasband taught and encouraged them on ways to increase the influence and companionship of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Three steps make all the difference in enabling us to have that influence in greater ways:

  • Bridling passions - controlling appetites and choosing to obey
  • Garnishing thoughts - filling heart and mind with wholesome, uplifting things
  • Praying in faith for an increase of spiritual influence

Elder Rasband gives examples and details in these areas in the full transcript of the talk.

When we are promised by one of the Lord's servants that blessings will follow certain actions, we should be eager to choose those actions and claim the blessings! In this case, the blessing of increased companionship with the Holy Ghost is worth any effort we give.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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