Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Preach By the Spirit

The scriptures suggest that the true gospel of Jesus Christ be taught in a simple manner. Jesus Christ commands that his gospel should only be taught by the Spirit of truth.

After the ascension of Jesus Christ, believers were promised the gift of the Holy Ghost or Comforter. Christ himself describes the purpose of the third member of the Godhead. Christ taught that the Holy Ghost's mission is to testify of truth and that Jesus is the Christ.

The Scriptures recount many instances of prophets feeling and responding to the promtings of the Holy Spirit. Elijiah on Mount Horeb felt the "still small voice" of the Lord. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus felt their "hearts burn" within them as they heard Christ read to them from the scriptures and the prophecies of Christ.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be spread by the Spirit of Truth. Accordingly, LDS missionaries are able to have success by simply declaring and testifying of the truth. These 19- and 20-year-olds aren't professional orators, they cannot overly depend on logic or reason. They can only rely on the Spirit to testify to the hearer the truth of their words. Similarly, in the Church of Jesus Christ, our sacrament meetings aren't designed to be entertaining. The simple music is inspirering but not rousing. The preaching is straightforward but not overly analytical on the one hand and is usually not overly emotional on the other.

Paul teaches that the Spirit can be identified by the presence of it's fruits. LDS meetings try to be Christ-centered by testifying that Jesus is the Christ. Accordingly, there the congregation enjoys the quiet feelings of love, joy, peace and faith. By feeling and recognizing the Holy Spirit, seekers of truth can know that the Church of Jesus Christ is Christ's true church on Earth. Remember, the scriptures teach how to discern truth from fiction: "by their fruit ye shall know them" (Matt. 7: 16, 20).

D&C 50: 17-20 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
John 14: 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15: 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
D&C 50: 14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.
1 Kgs. 19: 12 [Elijiah stood] upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice
Luke 24: 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures
Gal. 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith

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