- Promised by Savior
- Bestowed by priesthood- Blesses with special power
Live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and have the courage to follow its promptings, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled Sunday afternoon.
"What a reassurance it is for us to know that we are not left alone to find the course that we must follow to merit the eternal blessings of our Father in Heaven," he said. "We do not need man-made rating systems to determine what we should read, what we should watch, what we should listen to, or how we should conduct our lives."
Elder Perry began his address by describing a reform movement begun by the Church in 1856 to help the struggling pioneers return to their spiritual roots. "Because of the great effort required to provide for their families, some of the early pioneers drifted into spiritual lethargy," said Elder Perry. "This was a grave concern to the early Church leaders."
Elder Perry said that leaders today have many of the same concerns, but the list could be expanded "due to new sources of temptation."
"Increasingly, the balance between living in the world but not being of the world is becoming more delicate. Publications, radio, TV and the Internet
have surrounded us with worldliness."
He mentioned the rating system established by television companies "so that viewers can evaluate the content of the programs. Surely this is an admission that there is a great deal available to us that must be avoided."
However, he questioned whether others can be trusted to make rating decisions for Church members. Instead, he suggested, "We are fortunate to have been blessed with a special power to direct us in making important decisions between right and wrong."
This special power was described by the Savior following the conclusion of his mortal ministry: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26.)
Elder Perry said the Comforter promised by the Savior came on the day of Pentecost, a great manifestation.
In this dispensation, the Holy Ghost was first bestowed by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 6, 1830, the day the Church was organized. "Joseph and Oliver then confirmed those who had been previously baptized as members of The Church of Jesus Christ and bestowed upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"What a tremendous privilege it is to be numbered among those who, by the power of the priesthood, have been baptized by water, and then have had hands laid upon their heads and received the Holy Ghost," he said.
Elder Perry explained that "gifts have only limited value unless they are used. The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion if we will submit ourselves to the will of our Father in Heaven, always remembering Him and keeping His commandments."
He told of a personal experience where he had been out of work for a year. When an attractive offer to move to California for employment came, he wanted to accept, but was impressed by the Spirit to turn it down, which he did.
He related that shortly afterwards, another job offer came that allowed him and his family to remain in the Boston, Mass., area where he lived. It was from this area, a few months later, that he was called "to join the General Authorities of the Church."