Yesterday at my grandson Nathan’s baptism and confirmation a young Aaronic priesthood holder gave a talk. He seemed older than a deacon, but definitely younger than a priest, so I think he was a teacher. He asked if we could have anything in this world what would be the most valuable gift. He said it was the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
The prophet Joseph Smith, when asked what the biggest difference was between this church and the other Christian churches, we said it was that we had the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This Aaronic Priesthood boy’s words prompted me to think about what a treasure this gift is. As mentioned in the vision of the Tree of Life, we know that in this life mists of darkness surround us. I thought about a pilot flying through a dense fog or even a storm. What would be the most valuable instrument he could have? It would be his radar or radio that could give him the information he needed to get through the storm safely. This is like the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Considering what this life is all about – a testing and learning experience, which will determine options in the next life – more than all the gold or things we could have in this life, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the communicator and source of great strength, would be the most valuable. The Holy Ghost can help us avoid trouble and mistakes. It can guide us in our communications with others. It can strengthen us in difficult times. It can lead us back home to be with our Heavenly Parents.
It is not something that is just on or off. How much worth it is depends upon our worthiness and how well we have learned to use it. Lehi and his family had a physical manifestation of this gift in the Liahona. It guided them in the wilderness and on the ocean. It worked according to their faithfulness and their obedience to it. They were not perfect in using it, as we are not, but by returning to it time and time again, repenting of their pride, etc., it guided them true to their destination.
How much do we value this priceless gift? Do we value it enough to obey the commandments for it? Do we value it enough to humbly repent when we need to, making us worthy to use this gift? Do we value it enough to learn how to use it effectively? It is much more valuable than the most powerful cell phone! It is more energizing than the strongest battery! It can help us see more clearly than the best optical devises! With it we can more accurately see ourselves, our weaknesses and strengths. It can guide us when we cannot see ahead at all. It will bring us home!