I’m off on a business trip for the next several days, and so i doubt i’ll have the chance to post again until sometime next week—so, then, a question i’ve been trying to figure out the answer to for a long time now:
→ What in the world is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, anyway?
The Gift of the Holy Ghost is generally described* as entitling the recipient to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, as long as the recipient remains worthy of it. This is contrasted with the influence of the Holy Ghost, which allows those who have not received the gift to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives as long as they’re worthy of it.
Sorry, but i don’t see a difference here. This is especially the case when you look at how “companionship” and “influence” are described, and you discover that they’re describing the same thing.
Yeah, it often gets described metaphorically as a “flashlight” (the gift) vs. a “flash of lightning” (the influence). This presumes, though, that those with the gift will remain constantly worthy, and those without the gift won’t—and i really don’t think you can make that claim with any validity.
So what’s the difference?
And, to add an additional wrinkle, i have to say that i’m not certain that the Gift of the Holy Ghost actually has anything to do with receiving inspiration from the Holy Ghost (in the usual ways we talk about it, at least), anyway—i mean, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is generally described as a saving ordinance, which means that there’s something way beyond experiences in mortality going on with it. Receiving inspiration from the Holy Ghost doesn’t seem to be quite comprehensive enough to have it have that sort of effect, you know?
So, i repeat: What in the world is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, anyway?
(And now i think i’m gonna have to break out the “serious” tag on this one.)
* In the current edition of the Gospel Principles manual, even!
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