At this past General Conference there was a lot of talk about receiving personal revelation through the Holy Spirit. That reminded me of something that I read in lesson 5 of the D&C Student Manual. In lesson 5, which talks about revelation, is this quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks. “We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities.”
This quote struck me because of how it conditions the companionship of the Holy Ghost – “the medium of individual revelation” – on not being in transgression. I find that striking because of 1 John 3:4: “Whosever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” Therefore, isn’t it accurate to say that Mormonism teaches a person cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost or receive revelation if he or she sins? Further can I not conclude that all Mormons who claim to receive revelations are also claiming to be sinless? That they aren’t angry as is mentioned specifically in the quote – that they never worry – that they always love their enemies – that they never say an unloving word – that they never have a lustful thought – that they never unjustly judge anyone – to name just a few sins?
The Bible consistently shows that, when it comes to our relationship with God, sin is sin. There are not minor and major sins. Neither does it talks about transgressions that are not sins. Sin is sin. And all sin is serious. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
As I look at what the Bible says about sin and then I look into the mirror, I see someone who sins all the time. That is why I am so thankful that Jesus has cast all my sins down to the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19) That is why I am so thankful that the Holy Ghost doesn’t make his companionship conditional on my being not in transgression. But rather, because I am in Christ, he not only walks with me, but dwells within me (1 Cor. 3:16) O, what a great joy that is! To God be the praise.