Times and Seasons, 15 June 1842

  • Source Note
Page 823
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TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF ,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 1842.
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GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.
Various and conflicting are the opinions of men in regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some people have been in the habit of calling every supernatural manifestation, the effects of the spirit of God, whilst there are others that think their is no manifestation connected with it at all; and that it is nothing but a mere impulse of the mind, or an inward feeling, impression, or secret testimony or evidence which men possess, and that there is no such thing as an outward manifestation. It is not to be wondered at that men should be ignorant, in a great measure, of the principles of salvation, and more especially of the nature, office, power, influence, gifts and blessings of the Gift of the Holy Ghost; when we consider that the human family have been enveloped in gross darkness and ignorance for many centuries past without revelation, or any just criterion to arrive at a knowledge of the things of God, which can only be known by the spirit of God. Hence it not unfrequently occurs, that when the elders of this church preach to the inhabitants of the world, that if they obey the gospel they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, that the people expect to see some wonderful manifestation; some great display of power, or some extraordinary miracle performed; and it is often the case that young members in this church, for want of better information, carry along with them their old notions of things and sometimes fall into eggregious errors. We have lately had some information concerning a few members that are in this dilema, and for their information make a few remarks upon the subject.
We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the apostles days;—we believe that it is necessary to make and to organize the priesthood; that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it; we also believe in prophesy, in tongues, in visions, and in revelations, in gifts, and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gift of the Holy Ghost; we believe that holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and that holy men in these days speak by the same principle; we believe in its being a comforter and a witness bearer, “that it brings things past to our remembrance, leads us into all truth, and shews us of things to come:” we believe that “no man can know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.” We believe in it in all its fulness, and power, and greatness, and glory: but whilst we do this we believe in it rationally, reasonably, consistently, and scripturally, and not according to the wild vagaries, foolish, notions and traditions of men. The human family are very apt to run to extremes, especially in religious matters, and hence people in general, either want some miraculous display, or they will not believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost at all. If an elder lays his hands upon a person, it is thought by many that the person must immediately rise and speak in tongues, and prophesy; this idea is gathered from the circumstance of Paul laying his hands upon certain individuals who had been previously (as they stated) baptized unto John’s baptism; which when he had done, they “spake with tongues and prophesied.” Philip also, when he had preached the gospel to the inhabitants of the city of Samaria, sent for Peter and John, who when they came laid their hands upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, for as yet he was fallen upon none of them; and when Simon Magus saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money that he might possess the same power. Acts viii. These passages are considered by many as affording sufficient evidence for some miraculous, visible, manifestation, whenever hands are laid on for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that the Holy Ghost is imparted by the laying on of hands of those in authority, and that the gift of tongues, and also the gift of prophecy, are gifts of the spirit, and are obtained through that medium; but then to say that men always prophesied and spoke in tongues when they had the imposition of hands, would be to state that which is untrue, contrary to the practice of the apostles, and at variance with holy writ; for Paul says, “to one is given the gift of tongues, to another the gift of prophecy, and to another the gift of healing”—and again, “do all prophecy? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” evidently shewing that all did not possess these several gifts; but that one received one gift and another received another gift—all did not prophecy; all did not speak in tongues; all did not work miracles; but all did receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; sometimes they spake in tongues and prophesied in the Apostles’ days, and sometimes they did not.— The same is the case with us also in our admin [p. 823]
——————————
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF ,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 1842.
——————————
 
GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.
Various and conflicting are the opinions of men in regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some people have been in the habit of calling every supernatural manifestation, the effects of the spirit of God, whilst there are others that think their is no manifestation connected with it at all; and that it is nothing but a mere impulse of the mind, or an inward feeling, impression, or secret testimony or evidence which men possess, and that there is no such thing as an outward manifestation. It is not to be wondered at that men should be ignorant, in a great measure, of the principles of salvation, and more especially of the nature, office, power, influence, gifts and blessings of the Gift of the Holy Ghost; when we consider that the human family have been enveloped in gross darkness and ignorance for many centuries past without revelation, or any just criterion to arrive at a knowledge of the things of God, which can only be known by the spirit of God. Hence it not unfrequently occurs, that when the elders of this church preach to the inhabitants of the world, that if they obey the gospel they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, that the people expect to see some wonderful manifestation; some great display of power, or some extraordinary miracle performed; and it is often the case that young members in this church, for want of better information, carry along with them their old notions of things and sometimes fall into eggregious errors. We have lately had some information concerning a few members that are in this dilema, and for their information make a few remarks upon the subject.
We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the apostles days;—we believe that it is necessary to make and to organize the priesthood; that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it; we also believe in prophesy, in tongues, in visions, and in revelations, in gifts, and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gift of the Holy Ghost; we believe that holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and that holy men in these days speak by the same principle; we believe in its being a comforter and a witness bearer, “that it brings things past to our remembrance, leads us into all truth, and shews us of things to come:” we believe that “no man can know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.” We believe in it in all its fulness, and power, and greatness, and glory: but whilst we do this we believe in it rationally, reasonably, consistently, and scripturally, and not according to the wild vagaries, foolish, notions and traditions of men. The human family are very apt to run to extremes, especially in religious matters, and hence people in general, either want some miraculous display, or they will not believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost at all. If an elder lays his hands upon a person, it is thought by many that the person must immediately rise and speak in tongues, and prophesy; this idea is gathered from the circumstance of Paul laying his hands upon certain individuals who had been previously (as they stated) baptized unto John’s baptism; which when he had done, they “spake with tongues and prophesied.” Philip also, when he had preached the gospel to the inhabitants of the city of Samaria, sent for Peter and John, who when they came laid their hands upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, for as yet he was fallen upon none of them; and when Simon Magus saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money that he might possess the same power. Acts viii. These passages are considered by many as affording sufficient evidence for some miraculous, visible, manifestation, whenever hands are laid on for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that the Holy Ghost is imparted by the laying on of hands of those in authority, and that the gift of tongues, and also the gift of prophecy, are gifts of the spirit, and are obtained through that medium; but then to say that men always prophesied and spoke in tongues when they had the imposition of hands, would be to state that which is untrue, contrary to the practice of the apostles, and at variance with holy writ; for Paul says, “to one is given the gift of tongues, to another the gift of prophecy, and to another the gift of healing”—and again, “do all prophecy? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” evidently shewing that all did not possess these several gifts; but that one received one gift and another received another gift—all did not prophecy; all did not speak in tongues; all did not work miracles; but all did receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; sometimes they spake in tongues and prophesied in the Apostles’ days, and sometimes they did not.— The same is the case with us also in our admin [p. 823]
Page 823