Relief Society Lesson 7: The Holy Ghost

Posted by on April 8, 2010 in Relief Society Lessons | 29 comments

We had some miscommunication about which volunteer would put up the lesson this week, so I thought I’d throw a question out there that might be interesting to discuss. I’m hoping that another blogger or two will add to this post with their own question in the next day or two.

Above all, we need you teachers out there to comment and contribute your own ideas for the lesson.  Thank you!

1.) I was personally interested in the role of the Holy Ghost. This is what the lesson says. “The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of the truth of all things.”

I like how broad that last phrase is. “‘The truth of all things.” To me it also communicates how personal the HG can be, since we all have different questions at different points and need the HG’s guidance in our unique lives. It reminds me of our doctrine of personal revelation – that the Spirit is there to inspire and guide us in our individual lives. What experiences of particular and powerful insight have you had with personal revelation? Have any of those been life-changing moments, in which your perspective was altered in an important way?

Please do add your own questions below!

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29 Comments

  1. I really like the description of the Holy Ghost in the Nicene Creed:

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.

    Sometimes I think that the third member of the Godhead is not given the respect and reverence that is his due. We have THE FATHER! Who created EVERYTHING! And JESUS! Who ATONED! And also the Holy Ghost who will help us remember to buckle our seat belts.

  2. I like the point that there is a difference between the Holy Ghost’s presence or influence and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift we are given when we are confirmed members of the church is a privilege of a constant companionship of a member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost can influence people but unless you are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, you won’t have the constant companionship and guidance. Sometimes we take this for granted and don’t realize what a privilege and blessing it is.

  3. While preparing this lesson I felt it was important to keep in mind that a later lesson (21) is actually all about The Gift of the Holy Ghost. So I am keeping my focus on the Holy Ghost itself. What we know about the Holy Ghost, why we need him, especially his purpose. I like this description…”His mission is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth. Furthermore, the Holy Ghost purifies, or sanctifies, us to prepare us to dwell in the presence of God. The Holy Ghost purifies our hearts so we no longer have the desire to do evil.”

    As an attention getter, to demonstrate the need for The Holy Ghost, I like this..Two soda pop cans – one empty, one full (and unopened)
    Have someone try to crush the empty soda can with one hand–it’s easy. Now have someone try to crush the full can with one hand–you can’t. What is the difference? When you are full of the Spirit you are strong and Satan can’t crush you.

  4. I like the idea of asking some converts to describe what their first encounter was with feeling the HG. As a life-long member, always being around the HG, I am curious how others perceive the feeling.

    I plan to share a mormon message from lds.org website about Christ, narrated by some apostles. I want to provide an opportunity for the sisters to feel the HG while in class.

  5. I’ve had some experiences with the HG bearing witness to me the truth of something that was completely outside of the gospel. Not against, just neutral. Or so it seemed at the time. It’s fascinating to me the path that I have taken because of that revelation that has led to spiritual understanding and growth as well.

    I think it would be great to ask class members how they feel about revelation that is not directly related to traditional gospel topics. I think it is an undervalued area of discussion and that we can learn so much about ourselves and our relationship with God when we learn truths about the world at large that only the HG can confirm to us. (Because sometimes those truths may not be mainstream beliefs).

  6. I think I will have a few scriptures on the board that list the different attributes of the Holy Ghost such as comforter, witness of the Father and Son. I will have the class look these up (a section of the room take one )and then have some personal time to reflect when they’ve experienced the Holy Ghost in their life either as a comforter or a testifier etc. I want the class to take time and to record their experiences with the Holy Ghost and then have a few people share.

    I want to emphasize how wonderful the Holy Ghost can be in our lives and encourage the class to want to live so they can feel its influence more. I think the object lesson with the 2 soda cans is a good one for showing how strong we can be with the Holy Ghost and to encourage the class to want to have the companion as much as possible.

    I too think the Holy Ghost can be a teacher of other things than just gospel related, but I don’t think I’ll approach that as I’ve got to leave the last few minutes for bearing testimonies since it’s fast Sunday for us.

  7. These insites are great! Thank you very much. I’m going to use this for a hand out, (Recognizing Promptings of the Holy Ghost) from John H. Groberg, “Investing for Eternity” Ensign, April 1986, 68. I also like the idea of asking a convert about their 1st encounter with the Holy Ghost. I will also explain the difference between the gift of the Holy Ghost and the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before baptism, a person can feel the inflence of the Holy Ghost from time to time and through that influence can recieve a testimony of the truth. After recieving the the gift of the Holy Ghost, a person has the right to constant companionship of that member of the Godhead if he she keeps the commandments.

  8. I like to think of the Holy Ghost as our Heavenly Mother. I know this wouldn’t go over well in many Relief Societies around the country, but I love to think of the “still small voice” being my Mother comforting and guiding me.

  9. I love all the comments that have been posted they will help me so much! I have some tips, I found so much material! but here is a way we can keep the Holy Ghost near
    To receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost we can:
    1. Remember the Savior in all that we do
    2. Always acting as true disciples
    3. Repent of our sins
    4. We can seek things that are “virtuous, lovely or of good report or praise worthy” (Article of faith 1:13)
    5. Study the scripture daily with real intent, seeking to be nourished by the good word of God (Moroni 6:4)
    6. Read good books and listen to uplifting edifying music
    7. We can stand in holy places (Church meeting, Temple as often as possible)
    8. Serving our family members and neighbors

  10. I just finished my study from outside the manual, and I’m just starting to compile my notes.

    Here are some resources that I read (or listened to as in the case of General Conference) in addition to the scriptures:

    Elder Quentin L. Cook. “We Follow Jesus Christ.” General Conference, April 2010

    Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer. “Developing Good Judgment and Not Judging Others.” General Conference, April 2010.

    Bishop Keith B. McMullin; General Conference, April 2010

    Dunn, Loren C. “Fire and the Holy Ghost.” Ensign, Jun 1995. 22–26

    Wirthlin, Joseph B. “The Unspeakable Gift.” Ensign, May 2003. 26

    Packer, Boyd K. “The Cloven Tongues of Fire.” Ensign, May 2000. 7

    Lesson 7: “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 35

    Lesson 17: The Holy Ghost,” Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, 63

    Sheri L. Dew, “We Are Not Alone,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 94

    Like other teachers, I feel its important to stay away from The Gift of the Holy Ghost and Gifts of the Spirit as those are future lessons. I too will be focusing on the Holy Ghost as a role and influence.

  11. Does being worthy to have the Spirit entitle one to revelation? I wonder if the words we use for this set us up for disappointment when we cannot produce spiritual, revelatory experiences on demand. There are times that I have been living worthily and not received revelation that I needed in response to my prayers. And then, when I’m not necessarily expecting it, I have been blessed with powerful witnesses of the Holy Ghost. Is the “companionship” of the Holy Ghost given after baptism a constant presence somewhat distinct from the process of revelation? I’m not saying that revelation doesn’t come from the Holy Ghost (I see that answers to prayers and unexpected promptings come from the same source); I’m wondering if the doctrine about living in a way to have His companionship does not necessarily apply to the process of revelation. We say that one is “entitled” to the “gift” of the Holy Ghost. The attitude of entitlement is quite different than gratitude for a gift.

    Elder Richard G. Scott’s book Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy talks a lot about learning how to receive personal revelation. He talks about it as a process that we must work on to be able to learn the language of revelation; it is almost a set of spiritual muscles that we can train. How does this fit in?

    I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on these questions.

  12. I am using a lot of material from a talk by Elder Eyring entitled “O remember, remember”. I love the idea that the Holy Ghost is indeed a gift, but also his role or purpose is to remind us what we once knew. A sweet tender mercy from our Heavenly Father to guide us in this earth life.

  13. Thanks for all the great comments above. I was telling my daughter this morning that I wanted a “visual aid” for my lesson tomorrow and I am going to use the one using the 2 soda cans! I also printed off the talk by Elder Groberg titled “Investing for Eternity”. The list of “When You have the Spirit” vs. “When You Do Not have the Spirit” will be a handout for the sisters. It really impressed me as a tool for the sisters to use in their lives as well as for their families. The guide will make a great family home evening lesson. Again, thanks for all the great ideas!

  14. I am using a song that fits perfectly with the lesson. I have it linked here: http://ldsshare.blogspot.com/

  15. THANK YOU ALL… I HAVE NOTHING TO CONTRIBUTE BUT INTEND TO USE ALL THE “HELPS” YOU HAVE SHARED… BEING A CONVERT I KNEW THE HOLY GHOST BEFORE BAPTISM – BUT NOW HAVE THE GIFT OF HIM BEING WITH ME….THANKS AGAIN…(GOING TO GET MY 2 SODA CANS!!)

  16. How are you able to upload the mormon messages from lds.org? I like the one mentioned “He Lives” as a closing to the lesson. Do you have to order them?

  17. Used alot of the additional scriputres in this lesson, really focused on the first part of the lesson and used an example how we felt when we found out we were going to be parents/mothers who did we turn to for help and answers. I found this quote that I am using as a hand out:
    “You can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to your spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses.”

  18. Mormon messages can be downloaded via iphone. My friend has a special cord she plugs in to the TV/VCR at the church and uploads the messages directly to the tv for me so I don’t know the exact details since she does it. My class has enjoyed the videos.

  19. To Holly – To download the church messages I’ve used a free program called YouTube Downloader HQ Pro. Here is a page that has the option to download it: http://download.cnet.com/YouTube-Downloader-HQ-Pro/3000-2071_4-10920230.html You’ll need to download and install it. It’s a small program. Then, you’ll need to find your church message on YouTube. Make sure that YouTube is showing you the exact address to the message you’re wanting to download. Copy that address and paste it into the YouTube Downloader HQ Pro program. Then click the start bar at the bottom of the program. It’ll save a copy where you tell it to. [If the start bar in the program doesn't allow you to click it, that means you don't have the exact address to the clip you're trying to download. Do a search for that specific clip.] If I remember correctly, you can then play it in Windows Media Player. I’ve used this program before without any problems. Good luck!

  20. Ok, my lesson started with a quick review of the other teacher’s lesson on The Fall. Between a general conference and a ward conference, I didn’t think the information was fresh in anyone’s mind. Mostly it was an emphasize what life experiences and knowledge Adam and Eve had at the beginning of Moses 5.

    Questions and scriptures covered from there were
    What occurs to Adam and Eve after they are barred from the Tree of Life? Read and summarize Moses 5:1-3.

    What had changed about how Adam and Even communicated with the Lord? How did they learn His will? Moses 5:4-5

    What were Adam and Eve commanded to do? Why did they do this?
    Did they understand why they were to do this?

    What commandments have you been given that you might not have a full understanding of their purpose?

    How and what did Adam learn regarding this sacrifice? (Moses 5:6-8)

    Each class member was asked to silently read Moses 5:9-12 while considering these questions:
    Why did the Holy Ghost speak at this time?
    What did Adam learn from the Holy Ghost?
    What did Eve learn from the Holy Ghost?
    What did they do with this knowledge?

    What did you learn while reading these verses?
    Possible follow-up questions:
    What are the roles of the Holy Ghost?
    What did the Holy Ghost testify of?
    What did Adam, by the Holy Ghost, prophesy of?
    How do you think Adam and Eve felt as they learned of these things?
    How do you think felt when they shared these things with their children?
    How do you think this knowledge effected them?
    How do you think this changed their understanding of their family?
    How do you think this changed their understanding of their leaving Eden?

    How is our need for guidance similar to that of Adam and Eve?
    How does our personal revelation change our lives?
    What do we do with what we are taught?

    Here, the lesson changes directions a bit. It is important to understand the difference between the light of Christ, a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    I write each of these tiles on the board in a horizontal line. I pulled some good definitions of each from, Dallin H. Oaks, “Always Have His Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 59.

    A class member reads the definition for the light of Christ.
    What is the light of Christ? (group choral answer)
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    definition of a manifestation of the Holy Ghost
    What is it?
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    definition of the Gift of the Holy Ghost
    What is it?
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    Ask the class to share a time where they’ve witnessed the Light of Christ working in another person
    Ask the class to share a time where they experienced a manifestation of the Holy Ghost (it seems converts have a clearer recollection of these experiences)
    Ask the class to share how the Gift of the Holy Ghost influences their lives.

    And there I ran out of time and wrapped everything up.

    Additional questions I had intended to use:

    Which of these was Adam’s experience? (A manifestation, he doesn’t receive the gift until the end of Moses 6)

    What truths were revealed to Adam and Eve? (Or recap if that had already been discussed)

    Read D&C 11:24 to learn a brief purpose of the Holy Ghost

    What are some of the truths the Holy Ghost has revealed to you?

    I tend to like to end a lesson with some encouragement to apply what they might have learned into their lives. This time was supposed to be, “Think about the times when the Holy Ghost has helped you grow your testimony. As appropriate, share some of those experiences with your family.”

  21. Does anyone have any ideas for lesson 8?? I have it coming up this Sun.?
    Thanks

  22. Thank you everyone for posting your wonderful thoughts on this lesson. I think a lot of great questions were asked and points were raised in the comments. I hope everyone’s lessons went well. The outline for lesson 8 is now posted in a separate thread.

  23. I was dissapointed in myself giving the lesson, The Holy Ghost. I feel like a terrible teacher! It was the 2nd time I taught, the first time I had too much lesson and not enough time. This time I had too much time and not enough lesson. Thankgoodness the sisters helped fill in the time. I wish I had Jenell’s teaching talent. I love how she presented her lesson. My next lesson will be chapter 9 Prophets of God. Needless to say I need help. I’d like to start preparing right away. Thank you for this wonderful site. I love reading all the comments.

  24. Beth….your post made me remember my first experience at teaching RS……30 years ago. My advice is to try to remember WHO (the Lord) called you to teach RS. You bring with you your own unique experiences, and insights. I believe that there is someone in your RS that only YOU can reach. You may not ever know who it is….but I do believe that is true. Once you are more confident with your own insights and the inspiration you get about your topic, you won’t notice the clock. A wise Bishop once told me….it is more important to get the lesson through, than to get through the lesson. As long as you are preparing prayerfully YOU will be the best RS teacher for someone.

  25. Thank you all for your wonderful insights. I have yet to teach this lesson and every bit of ideas helps.

    And to Beth, I too have felt sometimes the lesson just didn’t go well….but you will never know the influence you had. If you prepare with the spirit and teach with the spirit, and keep striving to learn how to be a better teacher the Lord will direct your way.

  26. ECS, I have the same thought about the Holy Ghost. I would not share or teach that belief in Relief Society because it is personal and not an acknowledged or publicly accepted view. Nevertheless, I hold it sacred in my heart.

  27. Ok, my lesson started with a quick review of the other teacher’s lesson on The Fall. Between a general conference and a ward conference, I didn’t think the information was fresh in anyone’s mind. Mostly it was an emphasize what life experiences and knowledge Adam and Eve had at the beginning of Moses 5.

    Questions and scriptures covered from there were
    What occurs to Adam and Eve after they are barred from the Tree of Life? Read and summarize Moses 5:1-3.

    What had changed about how Adam and Even communicated with the Lord? How did they learn His will? Moses 5:4-5

    What were Adam and Eve commanded to do? Why did they do this?
    Did they understand why they were to do this?

    What commandments have you been given that you might not have a full understanding of their purpose?

    How and what did Adam learn regarding this sacrifice? (Moses 5:6-8)

    Each class member was asked to silently read Moses 5:9-12 while considering these questions:
    Why did the Holy Ghost speak at this time?
    What did Adam learn from the Holy Ghost?
    What did Eve learn from the Holy Ghost?
    What did they do with this knowledge?

    What did you learn while reading these verses?
    Possible follow-up questions:
    What are the roles of the Holy Ghost?
    What did the Holy Ghost testify of?
    What did Adam, by the Holy Ghost, prophesy of?
    How do you think Adam and Eve felt as they learned of these things?
    How do you think felt when they shared these things with their children?
    How do you think this knowledge effected them?
    How do you think this changed their understanding of their family?
    How do you think this changed their understanding of their leaving Eden?

    How is our need for guidance similar to that of Adam and Eve?
    How does our personal revelation change our lives?
    What do we do with what we are taught?

    Here, the lesson changes directions a bit. It is important to understand the difference between the light of Christ, a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    I write each of these tiles on the board in a horizontal line. I pulled some good definitions of each from, Dallin H. Oaks, “Always Have His Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 59.

    A class member reads the definition for the light of Christ.
    What is the light of Christ? (group choral answer)
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    definition of a manifestation of the Holy Ghost
    What is it?
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    definition of the Gift of the Holy Ghost
    What is it?
    Who has it?
    What is its purpose?

    Ask the class to share a time where they’ve witnessed the Light of Christ working in another person
    Ask the class to share a time where they experienced a manifestation of the Holy Ghost (it seems converts have a clearer recollection of these experiences)
    Ask the class to share how the Gift of the Holy Ghost influences their lives.

    And there I ran out of time and wrapped everything up.

    Additional questions I had intended to use:

    Which of these was Adam’s experience? (A manifestation, he doesn’t receive the gift until the end of Moses 6)

    What truths were revealed to Adam and Eve? (Or recap if that had already been discussed)

    Read D&C 11:24 to learn a brief purpose of the Holy Ghost

    What are some of the truths the Holy Ghost has revealed to you?

    I tend to like to end a lesson with some encouragement to apply what they might have learned into their lives. This time was supposed to be, “Think about the times when the Holy Ghost has helped you grow your testimony. As appropriate, share some of those experiences with your family.”

  28. I appreciate all the help I get from this website. Does anyone know if lesson #9 will be posted soon? Thanks.

  29. I used the handout that was suggested in some of the above comments. I am new to teaching, and I think some people were a little offended by it. I think if it is used, you need to specify that these are all ways to help recognize the spirit, and that it is also normal to experience ups and downs in life even when you have the spirit. Someone commented on depression, and how they experienced it in the past, and that it doesn’t mean that they didn’t have the spirit.

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  1. Relief Society Lesson 4: Strengthened by the Power of the Holy Ghost | The Exponent - [...] Additional Exponent Resources on the Holy Ghost This lesson by Aimee is a great one on the Holy Ghost. …

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