John 14:17“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
My youngest daughter just graduated from university after a few years of hard work, and many hours of study! Her father and I couldn’t be more proud as you might imagine, and now we’re looking forward to seeing what Jesus has planned in her next phase of life.
One mainstay during her studies, was the consummate help she received from the student advisor. She was able to call, or drop in at his office whenever she needed insight as to what classes she should take in the upcoming semester, and what she should focus on to complete her degree. Without his help, she would’ve been in a world of hurt, as they say! He was certainly a blessing as he came alongside her at that time in her life.
My daughter’s experience was the first thing I thought of as I read an article in the January 2017 Ensign, ‘The Holy Ghost, Our Personal Guide’, written by Janice Porter Hayes. We’re looking at a couple of comments she made, in addition to the comments of Mormon apostle, Robert D. Hales, which was also part of their article. As you’ll see, the Mormon holy ghost seems like an afterthought on Joe Smith’s part.
“While the Savior was gathered with His Apostles before His Crucifixion, He told them, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).
This contradicts D&C 130:22-23 which tells members the Mormon holy ghost can descend upon someone but not always stay there.
One needn’t guess as to why they didn’t include the next verse…John 14:17 is when Jesus told the disciples another comforter would come and be with us, and dwell inside of us.
The transliteration for ‘comforter’ is ‘paraklētos’, and means ‘an intercessor, consoler :-advocate, comforter’.
‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’
This is one of those verses that clearly, and very abruptly, finds the Mormon people condemned. They neither know Him, nor can they receive God’s spirit, because they’ve rejected who He is. It’s no accident this verse wasn’t included in the article!
‘This Comforter was also meant for us. With the Holy Ghost to guide us, our life’s journey will be safer and more sure, bringing us to where the Lord wants us to go.’
The manner in which they refer to God seems very detached. Furthermore, the Spirit residing inside of us is actually God. Her comment is confusing, and leads people to believe God’s Holy Spirit isn’t part of the Triune God.
‘This guide follows us through all phases of our lives.’
And therein is case in point. Their description of God’s Spirit indwelling the believer, sounds much like my daughter’s school advisor who kept tabs on how she was doing, and advising her of what she needed to do in the upcoming semester.
‘We can have such guidance in all areas of our lives. If we consider the Holy Ghost as our personal guide, sent from a loving Father and His Son, we begin to understand how invaluable this blessing is to us. With the Comforter by our side, we can… return safely home.” – Janice Porter Hayes [emp. mine]
They key phrase in her statement was ‘by our side’. This is not how God’s Holy Spirit operates, and we know this based on what Jesus said in John 14:17.
And quickly, here’s Mr. Hales’ definition of God’s Holy Spirit…
““Guidance for Major Decisions …
“The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on. …
“Each of us may feel the influence of the Holy Ghost differently. His promptings will be felt in different degrees of intensity according to our individual needs and circumstances.” – Robert D. Hales, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign, May 2016, 105.
Three scenarios come to mind with Mr. Hales’ assessment. 1.I can’t help but think the Mormon holy ghost is nothing more than a homebound sweet aunt you’d go to for advice about a boyfriend, or girlfriend. 2.He’s much like Dear Abby whom you’d contact for advice on the best way to clean your silver place settings. 3.A school advisor, as mentioned earlier.
The reason they’ve relegated the Holy Spirit to this position?
They don’t want to admit He is in fact, God.