The title of our Sunday School lesson this week was “How Could You Have Forgotten Your God?”  We read in the Book of Mormon of the Nephites and their “pride cycle.”  It is easy for us to look at the Nephites and say to ourselves, “How could they be so foolish?”  But, do we also forget God and get trapped in the pride cycle?  How can we be better at “remembering” as we are counseled so frequently in the scriptures?

It struck me that the falling away of the Nephites was not just because of their wickedness but the consequences of their wickedness- because of their sins, the Holy Ghost could not be with them, and without the Holy Ghost, they dwindled in unbelief.

One role of the Holy Ghost is to help us remember (see John 14:26).  He helps us remember the source of our blessings.  He helps us remember previous spiritual experiences that have formed the basis of our beliefs- that God lives, that we are His children, that He has a plan for our salvation, that He calls and speaks with prophets that teach His children the plan, etc.  The Holy Ghost helps us remember The Way and prompts us to love others, to be humble, and to keep the commandments.  By remembering these truths and following these promptings, we remain worthy of continued guidance, strength, and revelation.

In our class, we discussed the need to pray, to read the scriptures, to attend the temple, etc.  And while all of these things are good and are important, without the right intent, they will be of little avail to us.  If we merely read the scriptures, say prayers, and attend the temple for the sole purpose of completing some task that we know we should do, we are at least being obedient and some blessings will result, but I think much greater blessings await when we hunger and thirst after righteousness, when we feast upon the word, when we pray mightily and truly commune with our Father, etc.  In these cases, the Holy Ghost teaches us, comforts us, strengthens us, and reminds us that God is the source of all of our blessings.  I believe what we do is much less important than why we do.  What are our intentions?  What really are the desires of our hearts?

What a blessing to be able to partake of the sacrament each week!  By re-covenanting each week to keep the commandments and by striving to keep these covenants, Heavenly Father promises to give us the very thing that we need to be successful- that the Holy Ghost will always be with us.

There are many conference talks regarding the Holy Ghost, but here are two of my favorites:
Elder Bednar, April 2006:  “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us
Elder Wirthling, April 2003: “The Unspeakable Gift

I had also wanted to explore some thoughts on the important role that the Holy Ghost plays in sanctifying and unifying us, but I will save that for a future post….