This week's devotional speaker, Ross Baron, chose a timely topic for his devotional address: Authorized Messengers and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In lieu of the recent passing of President Thomas S. Monson and subsequent calling of President Russell M. Nelson as prophet, Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke of the inspired process of priesthood leadership in the church in last week's devotional address. Brother Ross Baron expounds on this idea, emphasizing the importance of the Holy Ghost as it relates to priesthood authority.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho radio, Brother Baron explained the connection between those two ideas. "We have apostles and prophets and the gift of the Holy Ghost," Brother Baron said. "The connection between the two is the idea that without authorized servants we actually don't get the gift of the Holy Ghost."
At the beginning of his devotional address, Brother Baron referenced the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants section four which states: "Now Behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men." Brother Baron pointed out that the lord chose to use the descriptive word "marvelous" for a reason. "I suggest at least two reasons this work is ‘marvelous' are that there are living prophets and apostles on earth, and that God has restored the Gift of the Holy Ghost." Brother Baron said.
Later, he references an encounter that the prophet Joseph Smith had with the President of the United States at the time, Martin Van Buren, who asked the prophet wherein the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. To this, Joseph Smith said "We differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Brother Baron went on to reference two experiences that illustrate the Holy Ghost in the lives of the Lord's authorized servants, beginning with the experience of President Nelson as a heart surgeon receiving revelation to perform a new repair procedure on the heart valve of a patient. The second was an experience from Brother Baron's own life where he received the words to address a challenging question from an anti-Mormon activist.
To end, Brother Baron expressed that while the Holy Ghost will sometimes manifest in miraculous ways, that more often than not the gift of the Holy Ghost acts in a more subtle way. "Most often the Holy Ghost is working and operating in the lives of His covenant people in less visible, but just as powerful ways," Brother Baron said. "I invite you further to seek and qualify for the gift of the Holy Ghost in your life."
You can listen to the full devotional address below.