The first thing you should know about me is that “the Lord has not made me mighty in writing, but has made me mighty in word by faith.”  When I compare my ability to convey information through the medium of formal writing with those from whom my information has come from, I see my inadequacies magnified. The ideal situation for me to discuss the following topic is in a small group of 2-3 people where the Spirit can help the flow of ideas and can edify everyone involved. There is a fluidity of ideas when guided by the Spirit. When you allow a mental navigation through nonlinear topics, you can reveal truth in its entirety, something that becomes more difficult when bound by organized text. Alas, there are 7.5 billion people on the planet and I can’t hold 3.5 billion discussions and so I must relegate myself to using a mode that I find tedious and ineffectual. As this is my third attempt at writing on this topic, I pray that somehow the ideas, thoughts, and truths that the Lord has made known unto me, will be conveyed to your heart.
I was raised in Mormonism and accepted every religious principle that was taught to me throughout my life. I was raised with the knowledge available through the Church’s publications and teaching model which has been both a blessing and a bane. I am eternally grateful to my parents for reading The Book of Mormon (BoM) as a family throughout my childhood. I am grateful for the foundation in the gospel that Primary and Young Men’s provided. I am grateful to have grown up in a community of loving Christ-like adults who patiently dealt with my rebellious attitude towards authority and reverence. I have only just begun my journey towards true salvation and I owe a great deal to the people who were involved in my upbringing. Along with that upbringing, however, I also accepted many traditions that have hindered my progress; the nature of the Godhead being one of them.
I recently had the pleasure of having the missionaries come to my house for dinner. We ate with the family and got to know each other a bit. Afterwards, my children ran off to the park, my wife and her sister went upstairs to work on a quilt and care for our newborn daughter, and my eldest daughter sat at her laptop drawing. This left just the three of us to talk about the gospel. I had my quad (Bible, BoM, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) handy to back up my positions and started by asking them, “What makes our church the only true church on the earth?” Now, I admit my question was intended to control the conversation towards a particular end, as I already knew what answer they were trained to give me. The newest Elder responded, “We are the only church authorized to baptize for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” I wish I had written down that answer beforehand and then brought it out at that moment to give the illusion that I was a mind reader, although they must have known I was asking simple questions for a reason.
I next asked, “What is the Holy Ghost?” At this, both Elders seemed a bit confused at the question. “It’s a simple question. You said we can have the gift of the Holy Ghost. What is the Holy Ghost?” After a few glances between the both of them, unsure how to answer, I said, “Ok, how about an easier question? What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?” The senior Elder happily replied, “The gift of the Holy Ghost is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.” The ice having broken through, we were suddenly able to move forward with our discussion.
“Is the Holy Ghost a personage?”
“Yes, he is a personage of Spirit.”
“Is he an individual being like God the Father and His son Jesus Christ?”
“Yes, he is an individual being.”
“Can he dwell within us?”
“Yes, he can dwell within.”
“So what is the Holy Ghost?"
Now they were ready to answer, “He is a member of the Godhead. The Comforter. He testifies of the Father and the Son. He knows all things.” Every answer they gave was correct and any Mormon from the age of 8 could tell me these things. I didn’t want the Primary answers though. I wanted the three of us to open our minds and our hearts to a different possibility. I next asked, “Why don’t we feel the influence of the Holy Ghost all the time?” I then received the Primary answer, “We have to live worthy of his influence.” I then asked, “If the gift of the Holy Ghost is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, but I only feel his influence when I am living worthy, how is that different from not having the Gift of the Holy Ghost? Nonmembers are able to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. If someone prays with real intent to know whether The Book of Mormon is true, they can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. In that moment they are living worthy of its influence. How is that influence any different than the Gift of the Holy Ghost?”
At this point the Elder’s realized that I was asking a question that they could not answer. The problem in answering this question is that the current Mormon belief structure is based on a tradition that we have been teaching for nearly 100 years. This tradition crept into our religion in the early 1900s and has been stifling our ability to have faith in God unto life and salvation ever since. This tradition is why I am writing this. I hope to open your eyes to a truth that has been taught to me by the Spirit. It is a truth that the Prophet Joseph Smith taught to the Saints. If you will delay your judgement, if you will “give place…in your heart”and “experiment upon my words”, if you will “not cast it out…that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord”, I promise in the name of Almighty God that the Holy Ghost will bear witness of this truth.
What. Not Who.
“There are two personages who constitute the great matchless, governing and supreme power over all things-They are the Father and the Son. The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fullness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle…And he [Jesus Christ] being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father possessing the same mind with the Father; which Mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son; and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things; by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead and are one: the Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power, and fullness; filling all in all-the Son being filled with the fullness of the Mind, glory, and power; or in other words the Spirit, glory, and power of the Father-possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom; sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father-a Mediator for man-being filled with the fullness of the Mind of the Father, or in other words, the Spirit of the Father; which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments; and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all; being filled with the fullness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one.”
In 1835, this was voted in by the Saints of the Church by common consent as canonized scripture. Furthermore, the Prophet Joseph Smith (who headed the editing committee that prepared these scriptures) signed his name to the preface in which he claimed this to be one of, “the leading items of the religion which we have professed to believe.” Specifically, he advanced this scripture as containing, “the important doctrine of salvation”. For nearly 100 years, the doctrine advanced in the above text was found in the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine portion being what you’ve just read above, and the covenants listed afterwards.
If you are a Mormon, you have to believe The Book of Mormon to be true. You might not “know” that it is true, but you have to at least believe that it’s true. If you believe The Book of Mormon is true, you have to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Again, you might not “know” that he was a prophet of God, but you have to believe that he was. If Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, you have to believe that he would not advance something as “the important doctrine of salvation”, unless it truly is an important doctrine of salvation. So what is doctrine? Doctrine is eternal, unchanging truth. You might want to get out the Lectures on Faith and read them.
To summarize the above lecture, the Holy Ghost is the mind of God. It is the mind that the Father and Son share. It is the mind that the Father will share with you, if you believe in the Son and keep his commandments. We are going to explore many scriptures and see if we can prove this to be true. After all, Joseph Smith said, “If any man preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine & Covenants, set him down as an imposter...Try them by the principles contained in the acknowledged word of God; if they preach, or teach, or practice contrary to that, disfellowship them; cut them off from among you as useless and dangerous branches.”
Before we get into our scripture study, you might be wondering, “If the Holy Ghost is the mind of God, why does the Church teach that he is a separate personage of the Godhead?” That is an excellent question. The short answer is Doctrine and Covenants 130:22-23.
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.”
This revelation was recorded in April 1843 and included in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. As this revelation was received after 1835, the committee that removed the Lectures on Faith in 1921 decided that this revelation clarified the nature of the Holy Ghost. If you believe the Holy Ghost to be a legitimate personage, almost all of the scriptures dealing with the Holy Ghost make sense, sort of. I will admit to you that I had a hard time reconciling these two seemingly conflicting ideas. In one instance, the Holy Ghost is the mind of God. In the other instance, the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit. Contained within that same revelation is another contradiction that is really the key that ties everything together.
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”. In the Lectures on Faith, we are taught that our Heavenly Father is “a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fullness”. Well, which one is it? Is he a personage of Spirit or does he have a body of flesh and bones?
Fortunately, a month later (as if God knew we would have this issue pop up), God revealed to Joseph Smith that “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.”
There is no scripture nor revelation which advances the principle that God, the Father of Heaven and Earth, can not be a personage of Spirit and have a body of flesh and bones. Open your mind to the possibility that God has a resurrected Spirit Body of flesh and bones. “The Son also”, but he is a personage of tabernacle, acting as the great mediator between us and the Father. The Son has a body that can be handled and felt, but can also move about the universe unhindered by the laws of mortality. The committee in 1921 could not reconcile these differences. They supposed that Joseph erred in doctrine and that the Lord must have made the clarification in 1843. I testify to you that Joseph knew what he was teaching, and the Lord revealed unto Joseph more information that would unify what had been previously taught and accepted as eternal, unchanging truth.
“There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones - For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.”
The above scripture was revealed to Joseph in February of 1843. I want to now look at the progression of revelation given to the prophet over 4 months. February - 1. Resurrected personages have bodies of flesh and bones. Spirits do not. April - 2. The Father and Son are resurrected beings with flesh and bones. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. May - 3. All spirit is matter. The only thing revealed that is not in harmony with the Lectures on Faith is “the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.” Having reasonably and rationally reconciled what appears to be a contradiction concerning the Father, we will now discuss what seems to be an anomaly, but in reality is the beautiful truth about the Holy Ghost.
Who. And What.
Where does the Godhead reside? Heaven is the obvious answer.
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
This makes rational sense as the Father and Son dwell in heaven and as we have previously discussed the Holy Ghost is the shared mind of God and Jesus Christ. Just as they can come down from the heavens, it stands to reason that the Holy Ghost, which is the mind of God, can also be sent down from heaven.
“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
When the Holy Spirit is sent down from heaven as a gift unto man, it is often accompanied by extraordinary events.
“And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.”
How can this be? How can a person suddenly be filled with knowledge to speak “marvelous words”, a new language, even with the tongue of angels?
“Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”
“Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?”
“But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.”
From the above scriptures it becomes apparent that when someone is filled with the Holy Ghost, one of the gifts/abilities they can acquire, even if for a temporary period, is the ability to speak with the tongue of angels. This new tongue may or may not be in a new language, but can be “the words of Christ.” Does the Holy Ghost come and take over our bodies? Do we become puppets of heaven unable to move of our own accord? When we go to speak do some other words pour out of our mouths? To me that is an altogether foolish thought. The sole purpose of being on this Earth is for us to learn how to exercise our agency. If, therefore, we were to receive the Holy Ghost and thus lose our agency, it would make the plan of salvation null in void. In fact, having our agency controlled by another is the opposite of the plan of salvation and the reason we had a war in heaven to begin with. So if we don’t lose control, how exactly does the Holy Ghost bring about the miraculous manifestations of the Spirit through us? Who is this Holy Ghost!
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
This might be the only scripture that exists that describes the relationship between the Holy Ghost and ourselves. What? Know ye not that you are a being of flesh and bones? What? Know ye not that you are soul comprised of a Spirit and Body? Where did that spirit come from?
“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” 
“Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.”
“And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
Even if you are not a Mormon, we can all agree that God is the Father of our Spirits. The very word Spirit should have been an eternal clue that when the prophets were speaking of the Holy Spirit, they were speaking about that Spirit that resides in us made Holy through the mind of God.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Think about the veil that separates us from heaven. What is that veil? If we have a Spirit which is eternal, without beginning or end, that has a foreknowledge of heaven, and existed with the Father before this Earth life, why don’t we know everything about heaven? Human existence is the veil. Growing up in Primary, they taught us that a veil has been placed over our minds. Our minds are the veil. This weak, frail, corruptible, temporary body is the veil that separates us from heaven. There is, however, a Spirit that resides within that veil of a body that has a knowledge of things beyond mortal comprehension.
Don’t be afraid to consider the Holy Ghost in this way. We have already shown through scripture that the Holy Ghost is the mind of God. Why can’t the Holy Spirit be your spirit connected with the mind of God? Let’s explore this possibility.
To Be Continued...
 Ether 12:23
 Alma 32:28
 Alma 32:27
 Alma 32:28
 The Lectures on Faith Lecture Fifth, Paragraph 2 (my own emphasis added).
 Doctrine and Covenants 1835 ed. Preface
 Doctrine and Covenants 1835 ed. Preface
 Times and Seasons, 5:490-491, April 1, 1844
 Doctrine and Covenants 130:22-23
 Doctrine and Covenants 131:7-8
 Doctrine and Covenants 129:1-3
 1 John 5:7
 1 Peter 1:12
 Helaman 5:45
 2 Nephi 32:3
 2 Nephi 32:2
 2 Nephi 31:14
 1 Corinthians 6:19
 Job 32:8
 Hebrews 12:9
 Doctrine and Covenants 88:15
 Abraham 3:18
 Abraham 5:7
 2 Peter 1:21