There is a stunning statement in D&C 88, which connects all of the doctrinal dots regarding what the Holy Spirit is, why we hear it as our conscience, and what importance it plays in our eternal hopes.
Let us first note that this voice of truth which we call the Holy Spirit, comes from Jesus Christ, who is the source of all truth, and is a function of the Light of Christ.
44 For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father. (D&C 84:44-47)
One might write the information in verse 45 like this:
Word of the Lord = Truth = Light = Spirit of Jesus Christ
In D&C 93:36 we read: The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth. Adding to our formula above, we have:
Word of the Lord = Truth = Light = Spirit of Jesus Christ = Glory of God
In other words, these terms are synonymous when used in this context. Since they are equal in meaning, we learn that by increasing our obedience to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, we also in that same act increase truth, light, and inspired access to the word of the Lord.
The double edge on this sword is that the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the only way to acquire greater truth and light. There isn’t another means or method. As Moroni 7:16 proclaims, we may know with a “perfect knowledge” that anything which is good, which brings us to Christ, or is loving and kind, is inspired of Jesus Christ alone.
In the 88th section of the D&C beginning with verse 6, we find a fairly complete discussion of the Light of Christ. The inspired word informs us that the Light of Christ is the power of the sun, the light of the moon, and the power of creation. It is the power which enlightens our minds changing them from a cluster of red meat cells into a living, intelligent being able to hear the voice of God.
Then in 13 it gives us this startling truth:
13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things
In other words, not only is the Light of Christ the power of God giving life to all things, but it is the law by which God governs all things.
To be governed is not to be controlled, it is to have law made known, then the governed choose to obey or not. When God speaks to the elements and tells them to organize into a world – they obey, and are thereby exalted (see verses 17-19 & 25-26). When God commands a rock or tree, it obeys, but God’s highest creation, mankind, filters it through our weakness and lusts, and most often we natural men and women disobey.
21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory
We have a tendency to think that the law of the celestial kingdom should involve temple attendance, or paying tithing, consecration, or sacrifice, or serving in some noble calling. The scriptures say it is simply obedience to the Holy Spirit, which is the voice of Christ, and the law by which He is governing our lives. Such obedience will naturally lead us through temple attendance and every needed service, but it is obedience which fulfills the law, not that which we perform.
The reason this is important is because doing it backwards, which would be to serve or attend or work, work, work, hoping this “earns” us a celestial reward will yield bitter disappointment on judgment day, because no amount of “good works” can substitute for obedience. The church has its fair share of people who work themselves to exhaustion doing good things, while ignoring their families, their sacred duties, children, and quietly indulging their lusts while working for public notice and ego; Hiding darkness behind a façade of good works.
If such a working soul took the Holy Spirit to be their guide, they would be led to a thorough inner cleansing first, then purification, sanctification, and peace – and after all that, then comes service and works in whatever part of the vineyard the Lord sends us. There may be nothing mighty or public or even exhausting – just pure and peaceful.
Still extoling on the Law of the Celestial Kingdom, the holy word says:
34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88: 34-35)
This then is the law that exalts, which preserves and sanctifies. When we allow ourselves to be governed by Christ, then all else flows therefrom. Every blessing, every virtue and hope and joy which faith tells us is ours to claim, comes by this simple thing, obey the law – which is Christ’s voice.
The Word then teaches us that when we disobey His voice, we are breaking the law, and eventually we seek to become a law unto ourselves. We seek to serve our way, to walk in our will, to serve those whom we deem worthy, or where our service brings the brighter light to bear upon or “righteousness”. Such people are the latter-day Pharisees, whose righteousness is for public display, public example and public veneration. These are not bad people by any means, they are just not following the Savior’s pathway. They are serving for other reasons.
Unfortunately, in this walk, they cannot expect to be sanctified by a law which they have not obeyed, neither by Christ’s mercy, justice or when judgment is at last rendered, but must remain filthy still. (D&C 88:35)
But, here is the wonder, the glory and joy of this law. It is that every living being can recognize and live it. It does not require that we be one of the great and noble. It does not require that we have money or college degrees, or books published, or even be known. A humble soul who walks in the light, even though that walk takes them less than 1 mile from their birthplace, will sit down with Abraham in the highest reward mortals can achieve.
This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is to all the world, in such majestic simplicity that it could only have come from the mind and perfect love of God.