Before I divulge to you my most prized and valued treasure, let me ask you a question. What constitutes value? With what do you measure wealth? Do you have a proven value system that passes the tests of time?
I have collected many personal treasures over my life time: buttons, bells, rocks and memories from my childhood; knives, traps, guns, an assortment of trinkets and memories from my young adulthood; and gold, silver, sculptors and mementoes to jog my memory in my middle age. Some of these treasures have great monetary value and some of these treasures were acquired as reminders of intangible, treasured experiences that I will never forget. All of them hold a place in my heart and bring me peace and contentment. But the real question here is; what are the most valued treasures I have ever acquired?
None of the mentioned accumulations are my most valued. The one I value above all others can provide or replace all of the others. My most valued treasure is The Gift of the Holy Ghost!
What, you ask? How is that more valuable than wealth, contentment and priceless memories? And, if we are going to include principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, what about the atonement? Ok, without the atonement of Jesus Christ, God’s entire plan is wasted, but I remain firm in my statement that my most jealously prized treasure is The Holy Ghost. Let me explain from an age wizened perspective.
There are two ways to gain knowledge. In our 20th century world, with an emphasis on academia and higher education, critical though and the scientific method seem to be the only accepted method to gauge legitimate knowledge. However, the world before the 20th century widely understood that God was the source of all knowledge. God was omniscient. I am a product of both worlds. My grandfather introduced my brothers and me to the divining rod for entertainment at a young age. We spent days running over the hills and fields searching for treasure and water believing it was possible if we just understood. I was raised on family stories where God provided for family needs both monetarily, physically and spiritually. I was taught to pray to a loving and listening Heavenly Father from as early as I have memories. I heard my mother pray and receive answers and saw my father administer priesthood blessings of healing. I was told stories of angels and devils blessing and tormenting family members. Long before I ever attended high school, let alone decided to go to college and become an engineer, I had an amazing experience, a vision from God in answer to sincere and innocent prayer (read The Lost Pocket Knife). I went on a 2 year religious mission to Thailand and experienced the power of both the devil and God all before I learned there was such a thing as critical thought or the scientific method. Then I went to college and was indoctrinated. The methods of higher learning and academia are valuable. The only sure method is divine inspiration, usually only after studying it out and then asking for confirmation from God.
So, what is the “power” of the Holy Ghost? The power of God is manifest and confirmed to man through the Holy Ghost. In my life the Holy Ghost has been a source of physical and spiritual Safety and Protection, Godly Influence in my business dealings and over my enemies, Personal Revelation including Knowledge and Guidance and Remembrance, as well as Comfort and Peace. At the risk of ridicule I intend to hold myself up as an example of an imperfect and sinful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, daily repenting and striving for obedience to obey the commandments of God. I hope to document my life experiences with the Holy Ghost that have come despite my imperfection that it may be an encouragement to my family and others that they too may receive the same blessings and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ.