Who is the Holy Ghost
in Mormonism?

© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2003
www.spotlightministries.org.uk





The official view of the modern Mormon Church seems to be that the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. For example, under the heading "Holy Ghost", in the official LDS Church Dictionary (contained in the back of the LDS KJV of the Bible, page 704) there is the following information:

"The third member of the Godhead and, as the name implies, a personage of Spirit, not possessing a body of flesh and bones (D&C 130: 21-22)"

From this it is seen that the Church holds that the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. The quote continues to identify the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit as one and the same Spirit:

"Other names that sometimes refer to the Holy Ghost are Holy Spirit, Spirit of god, Spirit of the Lord, Comforter, and Spirit."

But despite the modern view, Mormonism has, historically, been very unsure as to who or what the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit is, as the following quotations will show:

The Holy Ghost is Different from the Spirit:

"The Holy Ghost, sometimes called the comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and is a personage distinct from the Holy Spirit." (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliation's, (3 volumes in one), 1962, p. 76).

The Spirit as an Impersonal Force/Fluid:

"The chief agent or agency by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes his work is usually spoke of as the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God. It is a universe-filling medium or influence." (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliation's, (3 volumes in one), 1962, p. 62).

"...the purest, most refined and subtle of all substances, and the one least understood, or even recognized, by the less informed among mankind, is that substance called the Holy Spirit." (Apostle Parley Pratt, Key to Theology, 39).

McConkie, however, believes it is the 'Holy Ghost' who is the impersonal force:

"Sometimes the designation Holy Ghost is used to mean, not the Individual or Person who is a member of the Godhead, but the power or gift of that Personage." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 359, italics in original).

There are only 2 Persons in the Godhead (modern LDS clearly state there are 3). The Spirit is the "Mind" of the Father and the Son:

"And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father - possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great , matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory power and fulness: Filling all in all- the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit..." (The Lectures on Faith, Doctrines and Covenants, 1835, pp. 53-54).

"Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?

A. They do. John 5:30...

Q. What is this mind?

A. The Holy Spirit..." (The Lectures on Faith, Doctrines and Covenants, 1835, p. 57).

Q. "How many personages are there in the Godhead?

A. "Two: the Father and the Son" (The Lectures on Faith, Doctrines and Covenants, 1835, p. 55).

"We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things - by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space - They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personages of spirit*, glory and power..." (The Lectures on Faith, Doctrines and Covenants, 1835, p. 57).





* Note that these Lectures on Faith also clearly show that Mormonism originally believed that God the Father was a Spirit, in contrast to the modern LDS view that He is a Being of flesh and bone.





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