One morning, I dropped off my son at Seminary and was driving home when smoke started to emanate from the hood of my car. I was on a two-lane mountain road. There was nowhere I could pull over to stop and the road would soon be full of commuting cars and buses. I knew that if my car was to break down on this road, it would cause severe traffic congestion at the busiest time of day and it would be impossible for a tow truck to reach me. I needed to decide, whether to stop where I was and wait for help, or to continue forward or turn backwards not knowing how much further the car could go.
In our life’s journey, we will face unanticipated challenges and difficult decisions. Our options may seem limited with no clear right answer. As disciples of the Saviour we find comfort in knowing that throughout our lives and especially during times of duress, that “[He] will not leave us comfortless” and we need not “let [our] heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This comfort, peace and confidence is granted by the Holy Ghost who is given to all worthy individuals as a constant companion.
We receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism by the laying on of hands when we are confirmed as members of the Church. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve taught:
“As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed “receive the Holy Ghost” and its attendant spiritual gifts. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (D&C 88:33).”
The companionship of the Holy Ghost comes as we consistently invite Him into our lives.
The scriptures contain examples of special blessings that come only after we invite. In the Bible, the resurrected Saviour, after conversing with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, revealed his true identity to them after they invited him saying, 'Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them… And their eyes were opened, and they knew him.” In the Book of Mormon is recorded the Lord’s appearance to the people and the miraculous administration to the sick and children that took place only after the Lord “cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.”
How do we invite and receive the Holy Ghost in our lives? May we ponder the following questions as individuals and as families:
- How do we prepare for and honour covenants?
- How can we make individual and family prayers more inviting to the Spirit?
- Do we act upon the impressions we receive when we diligently search the scriptures?
- How do we guard our thoughts, actions and language in a world that does not share our standards?
- Which relationships and friendships can we strengthen?
- How can we worship in our homes, the temple and at church with meaning and delight?
As we strive to invite and receive the Holy Ghost, His influence becomes pervasive in our lives.
On that morning on the mountain road, I prayed for guidance. Despite the desperation of the moment, I was granted a moment of calm and clarity in which I knew that I needed to drive forward to a bigger road where I could stop and seek assistance. As I drove, the smoke intensified and the car began to lose power. At the point where it felt like the car could go no further, the road began to slope downwards and I was able to coast to the main road where I rolled to a gentle stop on the driveway of a fire station where the car stopped functioning. I am grateful for the peace, clarity and confidence that Holy Ghost granted me that day.
During this joyous Christmas season, may we choose to draw closer to the Saviour by inviting the Holy Ghost into our lives. May we invite others to partake of the same privilege so that the Spirit of the Lord will “guide [us] in wisdom’s paths that [we] may be blessed, prospered, and preserved” throughout our lives. ■
Caption: Elder Benjamin Ming Tze Tai
 See John 14:18
 See John 14:27
 See Elder David A. Bednar, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” Ensign, November 2010, 95.
 See Luke 24:29-31
 3 Nephi 17:5
 See Mosiah 2:36