Everyone can be instructed of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:4-5). LDS missionaries depend on this fact, to persuade their investigators of the truth within the Book of Mormon. Baptism is only a a sign shown from the earth to the heavens that the person being baptized covenants to be born in Christ, hoping to obtain the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is a sign that they have begun the journey to seek further light from messengers from heaven. Receiving the Holy Ghost is not an outward sign like baptism. It is only witnessed by your constant effort to study Christ’s words, seeking to be sanctified, to be made Holy. Those who are animated by the gift of the Holy Ghost continue to hunger and thirst after righteousness. They labor, seeking a spring of truth and light, someone who knows the heavens. Their devotion to searching and recognizing true servants is the only way to discern if someone has the first comforter. The second comforter is what the sacrament prayer requests, that Christ’s spirit will always be with you. When you have been given more light by the gift of the Holy Ghost, …it must change you, transform you, …into something different, …something more like the source of that light, more like Christ, more like God the Father. If that light and knowledge isn’t applied, and does not produce action, and it doesn’t change you to be like Christ and God the Father, …IT WILL CONDEMN YOU! The transformation of a true disciple of Christ, to be made at-one-with-Christ (atonement), comes as you are required to act upon that light. If Christ condescends to give you more light, you must act upon it, enduring the opposition, until light turns into knowledge. It is often referred to as a refiners fire.
Nephi prayed to know the mysteries of God, and was visited (1 Nephi 2:16-17). His visitation, at this point, had no other effect upon him than to make him softened to the words of his dad. There is more here than a lesson on good parenting. It is a lesson on how Nephi began his journey by first being able to hear the voice of the Lord. He became soft to his father’s words. He had been studying his fathers counsel, and it brought him to cry unto the Lord, and his cries were heard, “and the Lord did visit me…” is what it produced. The only evidence of this visitation was Nephi’s softened heart to his fathers words and the testimony he tells his older brother Sam.
You would think that the Lord’s visitation indicated the finish line for Nephi. Hadn’t he done enough? Nope. His visitation was only a point of increased light. Next, Nephi would have to act on that knowledge in confidence. Lehi’s request to get the plates from Laban provided a perfect scenario for Nephi to act, and for his understanding of the source of his new light to be tested. Two failed attempts were made, the older brothers beat him with a rod, …and Nephi doesn’t submit, refusing to go back without the plates. He is so certain, that he goes into the city alone expecting to acquire them.
Nephi’s pattern is what all who belong to Zion must follow. Ask God, be baptized, study and understand, and act on what you have been given. I have followed this pattern, studying to know the words of Christ, so that I can act accordingly. I have changed my life to fit what I have learned. I have sought out the Lord, and He did visit me, making me soft to all the words spoken by the ancient fathers. I have been given a task to write a document of principles by the His voice, and have done so. There has been great opposition, attack, accusation, and difficulty surrounding that effort. But, knowing who instructed me, …I was able to rely on my confidence in Him to endure the difficulty. Throughout the process, I have been given more and more light and understanding, that comes in no other way than acting in faith, knowing and not merely believing that the path I am on is acceptable to God. That is the Lord’s rest. The problems don’t just go away. You must pass through them. But the only way to get through the problems upon us today, and up ahead, is to be brought through them by the second comforter, even Christ Himself.
Conclusion: The Sabbath was to be a day of rest. Not a day of sleep, a day of rest, …the Lord’s rest. It has little to do with your employment, shopping, and activities. It has everything to do with knowing the Lord, and having confidence in Him. When you have developed the ability to recognize the Lord’s voice in word, to you, only then can you have the confidence to do as you’ve been commanded. It is insufficient to only hear His voice, you must depend wholly upon it to get you through the opposition. Only in this way can a person become a new creature in Christ.
Do the work, search and write the words of Christ within the Book of Mormon upon your hearts. Listen for the voice of the Lord, and rely wholly upon that voice, expecting added light to get you through all obstacles.