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Holy Ghosted

“A good sign of how secure you are is what it takes to offend you. The more secure we are, the less we take offense.” -Dr. Henry Cloud

Ghosting is something that happens in the dating world. It occurs when one person ends the relationship by disappearing off the face of the planet. The victim is left wondering where their partner went, why their calls aren’t being answered, and whether they did something to scare the person off. This practice is cheap, dirty, and unholy. Ironically, no one has mastered this better than the LDS version of the Holy Ghost.

After baptism, a new Latter-day Saint receives the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The Holy Ghost becomes his lifelong companion. However, there’s a caveat to this companionship. Mormon Holy Ghost (henceforth referred to as MHG) is easily offended. And when MHG gets offended, he packs his bags and leaves.

Mormons claim that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in purpose. Yet in their pursuit to emulate God, you never see them wishing they were more easily offended. The reason is simple. Being easily offended is a negative trait. Everyone knows this. Yet the MHG is given a pass in the name of tough love.

What’s puzzling about the members of the Godhead being one in purpose, is how radically different Jesus and MHG are in their approaches. Jesus ate with sinners, and the Pharisees berated him for it. According to LDS doctrine, we should have expected the Holy Ghost to side with the Pharisees, if he wasn’t storming off in a rage.

The fact is MHG can’t stand the presence of sinners. Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks said, “The blessings available through the gift of the Holy Ghost are conditioned upon worthiness. ‘The Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples’. Even though we have a right to his constant companionship, the Spirit of the Lord will dwell only with us when we keep the commandments. He will withdraw when we offend him by profanity, uncleanliness, disobedience, rebellion, or other serious sins.”

In April of 2006 apostle David Bednar said, “The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, we should stop thinking, seeing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us. Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us.”

Rumors abound in the church about an extensive list of pet peeves that will set him off. These include contention of any kind, staying out too late, not wearing temple garments, swimming on Sundays, and a slew of other vague things.

It was explained to me as a young man, that if I walked into a bar I would forfeit the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Even if I had no intention of drinking, apparently. The problem is, if MHG can’t handle sinful places, then logically he can’t operate on earth. I suppose there’s always the temples, but even they have locks on their lockers.

God should be the bigger man, but the ball is always in our court with MHG. He gets offended by our actions and we have to make things right. We must repent to repair the relationship. He never stoops to our level to make things right.

My friends, it is not love that drives MHG to abandon us to the very teeth of sin when we need him the most.

The Bible describes love like this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV).

Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Praise God that although He had every right to ghost us, He did not leave us to our deserved fate. Instead of wrath, He gave love, not through abandonment, but by dying in our place.