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Robert Millet, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and professor of Ancient Scripture and emeritus dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. Author of more than 75 published works, he has been involved in BYU Education Week for many years and is well-known as a commentator on the BYUTV Scripture Discussions program. He is also manager of Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the Church’s Public Affairs department. Brother Millet chose to write his book The Holy Spirit: His Identity, Mission, and Ministry because the Spirit is so frequently referred to and discussed, but we might not appreciate all that it is.
03:00 Strategy for covering topics: he makes a list and works on it daily, narrowing it down over a period of weeks/months to develop the book. Work on prophetic statements that relate and continue narrowing the information. Also asking “what experiences have I had with this”. He wanted to cover the topics of sons of perdition, the light of Christ, and God’s power.
13:00 How, as leaders, can we have a better understanding of the Holy Spirit: having it, losing it, etc.
13:47 What does it mean to “lose the Holy Ghost”? We lose feeling, we withdraw ourselves. You can’t take a vacation from the Spirit – you can’t sit still; you either fall back or move forward
19:45 The Holy Ghost “strives with us”. It “battles with us”. There will always be an element of the Spirit to help you; you can’t “lose it”. All people can have the Spirit. They may not have the gift of the Holy Ghost that comes from baptism, but they certainly can have the Spirit and inspiration.
25:40 How do you know when a sin is forgiven? Study Mosiah 4:1-3 (joy, peace of conscience, larger measure of the Spirit). “Just don’t do things that are offending to the Spirit.”
28:40 Where is “grace” in the doctrine? The Holy Ghost is an act of God’s grace to us. We can put ourselves in a position to receive that gift by our actions. “The sun doesn’t stop shining just because I put a bag over my head, it continues to shine”. It is the same with God; He loves us through everything.
32:30 Justification and Sanctification
44:10 Be cautious about “I feel impressed that…” It is good to teach what you feel, but if you announce that it came from the Spirit, it can come across as boastful.
45:35 How about church callings and the Spirit? If you pray to start a meeting and pray for the Spirit to guide decisions, you don’t need to kneel individually about all decisions. As we strive to live our lives to keep the Spirit with us, we will see that the Holy Ghost has been guiding us in all decisions and shaped our lives. Those decisions were inspired, and hopefully good judgement. We don’t need to pray over every decision. “The Spirit prepares us today for decisions we have to make in the future.”
53:00 Joseph McConkie story about calling Stake Presidents: The Lord fits us to our assignments. “God honors the servant”. Difference of being called “by God” or “of God”.
55:00 Final story related again to his friend Joseph McConkie, prior to him leaving to Scotland as a Mission President. Asked him if he had read everything and felt prepared. “What do you think?” He said, “What could cause us not to worry about 63 rules? I will teach my missionaries this: never do anything that would cost you the influence of the Holy Spirit.” That is a great standard to live by. Callings in the Church are not to be superheroes but to live in the way to be directed by the Holy Spirit. It is a solemn responsibility. Mosiah 26: Alma “feared that he would not do right”. As leaders we need to strive to do that.
The Holy Spirit: His Identity, Mission, and Ministry
Grace in the Bishop’s Office | An Interview with Robert Millet
Photo of Robert Millet by Richard Crookston
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