This episode on the gift of the Holy Ghost is the fourth in a series discussing what the Articles of Faith refer to as the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. All four have featured Samuel M. Brown, author of the book First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple, with this episode marking the third time he is joined by philosopher and theologian Adam S. Miller. How is the Holy Ghost, and more specifically the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” generally viewed and discussed by Latter-day Saints? Do we as Mormons explore it with as much richness as it deserves? In this discussion, Brown and Miller focus primarily upon the Holy Ghost as seen most clearly in the deep relationships in which we are immersed in families as well as with each other in the body of Christ. In the ordinance in which the gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed, the individual is first confirmed as a member of the church and congregation, and only then do they receive the Holy Ghost. Are both parts essential? Is the Holy Ghost even separable from the context of community? And might we also consider the congregation’s “common consent,” its affirmative response in welcoming the individual into the community, as a key element of this most important ordinance? Is it in the ordinance itself that we “receive” the Holy Ghost, or might this simply be a promise of something fully received later? Finally, what is the purpose of the Holy Ghost? How does it affect us?
Please listen and then join the conversation in the comments section below!
Samuel M. Brown, First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple (Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2014)
Samuel M. Brown, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death (Oxford, 2012)
Adam S. Miller, Grace is Not God’s Back-up Plan: An Urgent Paraphrase of Paul’s Letter to the Romans (2015)
Adam S. Miller, Letters to a Young Mormon (Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2013)
Adam S. Miller, Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2012)