by Saint Mark (bio)
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call them "talks," but most (non)Christians call them sermons. This is a series of sermons that many Latter-day Saints love and believe. I hope these sermons promote and perfect your faith as they do mine. Watch or read it here.
You think you understand one of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ and then Elder David A. Bednar comes along and flips the script on you. Who would have thought that there could be so much in those four little words, "Receive the Holy Ghost."
In October 2010 General Conference, Elder Bednar shared a telling teaching that Joseph Smith taught while visiting Washington D.C. to meet with the then-President of the United States Martin Van Buren.
In December of 1839, while in Washington, D.C., to seek redress for the wrongs done to the Missouri Saints, Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee wrote to Hyrum Smith: “In our interview with the President [of the United States], he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 97).This sermon by Elder Bednar expanded my view of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the import of immersing myself in the things of the Spirit as often as possible. At first, I preferred things of the world a little more and became easily bored with hymns, Primary songs, church videos and such. But I finally realized that Heaven or the Celestial Kingdom is not "of the world"; it is of the Spirit. And it dawned on me that Heaven wasn't going to change its "tastes" for me so if I wanted to go to Heaven I needed to be the one who changed his tastes.
The account of Brigham Young returning from beyond the grave to educate a prophet and us sealed the decision in my heart to truly "receive the Holy Ghost" every day. My marriage, my family, and my life has been happier and more peaceful ever since.