The difference between Spirit and Holy Spirit (2023)

The Holy Spirit and the Spirit are widely misunderstood and confused. They are separate entities and it is helpful to know the difference and how to recognize them.

If we look closely at Alma's writings, we see that he knew there was a difference. For example, when he and Amulek were forced to witness the execution of the women and children (of whom Amulek was a neighbor), Amulek wanted to use the power of God to save them from death. Alma said he had an obligation not to do so. Was it the Holy Ghost or the Spirit communicating God's will to Alma?

But Alma said to him, TheGeistit forces me not to stretch out my hand; for behold, the Lord taketh them in glory; and he permits them to do this, or the people to do this with them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall bring upon them in his anger may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and shall cry mightily against them at the last day.
[Alm 14:11]

Who was it that Alma claimed to teach the truths of the gospel, the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Ghost?

45 And that's not all. Don't you think I know these things myself? Behold, I testify to you that I know these things of which I have spoken are true. And how should I know of its safety?
46 Behold, I tell you that they were made known to me by theSanto GeistFrom God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days to know these things for myself. And now I know for myself that they are true; for the Lord God has revealed them to me through his ownHoly Spirit; and that is the spirit of revelation that is in me.
[Alma 5:45-46]

Note that he also identifies the Spirit as the source of his revelations, not the Holy Spirit.

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Alma also sometimes spoke of the Holy Ghost, as during his famous discourse on faith:

37 And now, my beloved brethren, I want you to remember these things, and work out your salvation with the fear of God, and deny no more the coming of Christ;
38 so you don't fight it anymoreHoly Spirit, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that you humble yourselves to the dust and worship God wherever you are, in spirit and in truth; and that you live each day in gratitude for the many graces and blessings he bestows on you.
[Alma 34:37-38]

Nephi also spoke of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit, but never at the same time. When he was forced to kill Laban, was it the Spirit or the Holy Spirit that forced him?

And it so happened that I was constrained by thatGeistthat I must kill Laban; but I said in my heart: At no time have I shed the blood of man. And I winced and didn't want to kill him.
[1 Nephi 4:10]

When Nephi saw the tree of life in a vision, was it the Spirit or the Holy Spirit that first began to teach him?

9 And it came to pass that after I saw the tree, I said to it:Geist: I see that you have shown me the tree that is more valuable than anything else.
10 And he said to me: What do you want?
11 And I said to him: To know his interpretation, for I spoke to him as a man speaks; for I saw that it was in the form of a man; but I knew it wasGeistof the Lord; and he spoke to me as one man speaks to another.
[1 Nephi 11:9-11]

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But Nephi also spoke of the Holy Spirit:

17 Therefore do what I commanded you, that I saw your Lord, and that your Redeemer must do; for that is why they were shown to me, that you may know by which door you must enter. For the door through which you must enter is repentance and water baptism; and then the forgiveness of your sins comes by fire and throughHoly Spirit.
18 And then you are on that strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life; yes, you entered the door; you have done according to the commandments of the father and the son; and you have received itHoly Spirit, who testifies of the Father and of the Son, of the fulfillment of the promise he made, that if ye enter the way, ye shall receive.
[2 Nephi 31:17-18]

Apparently because the translators didn't know the difference, the Bible uses the terms "spirit" and "holy spirit" interchangeably, such as when Jesus was baptized. In each of the four accounts it varies from the Holy Spirit to the Holy Spirit descending upon him, but in the Book of Mormon there is a consistent distinction between the two.

There is no distinction between the two within the Church today, but the Spirit is almost always referred to as the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, however, non-members also receive communication, instruction, and guidance from the same entity, yet members call it the Spirit as if the Holy Spirit were reserved only for them. If the Spirit is called the Holy Spirit, then it must be recognized that non-members also have the Holy Spirit with them...but that only makes it more confusing when a member eventually receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.

So what is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost (“Spirit”)? First, remember that the church is modeled after the kingdom of heaven. So let's say Chairman Eyring (the third member of the board) decides that he wants to keep an eye on each individual member every day. He wants to be there to oversee their actions. how could i do it This would be done through the allocation and delegation of powers. He would choose someone to watch over him and give that person the authority to be there on his behalf. Then you can do the rounds and visit people, but whoever is assigned to watch someone else will make the report of how that person is doing. If the person being observed has a question, the person designated by President Eyring has the same authority to answer it on their behalf. So everyone would be watched.

In the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit's job is to watch over every human being and ensure that everyone has their connection to God. He does this by summoning worthy spirits and commanding them to do his bidding. These spirits are given authority to act in the name of God. These are the Holy Spirits. These are the ones that are available to us and are our main connection to God. That is the difference.

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Holy spirits differ remarkably in that the fruitage of the Spirit is a natural part of them. They are heavenly spirits. Remember Joseph Smith saying there are three degrees in the celestial kingdom?

In heavenly glory there are three heavens or degrees;
[D. y C. 131:1]

The higher degree is exaltation or eternal life. But what about the bottom two notes? From among them are chosen the spirits ordained and commissioned to be the Holy Spirit to mortals. That is why you can be recognized by your presence: you are a heavenly spirit. Heavenly spirits are one with God and therefore also know the mind and will of God.

There are some things the mind cannot do. For example, one is that they cannot present fire to a person. The Holy Spirit reserves that for himself. So in the spiritual experiences that can be felt, there is that of the Spirit, which is the fruitage of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and then there is the fire, which is the Holy Spirit Himself. You can't misunderstand the fire of the Holy Spirit because it feels like an inner fire. The intensity of the spirit can become so great that a person becomes weak, as in the case of Amun, but this intensity should not be interpreted as fire. Try to imagine a joy so intense that you lose consciousness; this is the highest "joy unspeakable" that can come from the Spirit, yet it is not the same as the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Where do almost all teachings come from? The ghost. This is what the Spirit was called and commissioned to do. Where does most guidance come from? The ghost. The Spirit was also called and commissioned to do this. Who is there to witness our every thought and action? The ghost. Not only is God omniscient, but there will be at least two other witnesses to every thought and action: the Spirit and the Book of Life. When the great day of judgment comes, we will not be able to make false claims about our thoughts or actions because God has covered it.

When a person receives baptism of fire, it is the Holy Spirit that descends through that person. This also means it is the fire that the person feels when it happens. It's not a question of when it happened and what happened, but it can be a question [I]what[/I] happened since it's a unique experience. It is that question of not knowing [I] what [I] was called the event they experienced when Jesus commented that the Lamanites had received the baptism of fire but did not know:

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And you will offer me a broken heart and a contrite spirit as a sacrifice. And whoever comes to me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, I shall baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, and they knew it not.
[3 Nephi 9:20]

By the way, have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when he said we must be heartbroken? This is what happens when we are genuinely sorry for our sins and our propensity to sin. It's when the heart is broken because those confused little weaknesses keep driving the spirit away from us. What we want and crave for the Spirit to be with us all the time, but we keep failing because of these little weaknesses. Nephi was heartbroken, as expressed in this verse:

17 But in spite of the great goodness of the Lord, when I show myself His great and wonderful works, my heart cries out: I am wretched! Yes,My heart mourns for my flesh; My soul mourns for my misdeeds.
18 I am surrounded by temptations and sins that so easily afflict me.
19 And when I want to rejoice, my heart groans for my sins; However, I know whom I trusted.
20 My God has been my support; He led me in my tribulations in the wilderness; and he has preserved me over the waters of the great deep.
21 He has filled me with his love until he eats my flesh.
22 He shamed my enemies and made them tremble before me.
23 Behold, he heard my cry by day and gave me knowledge in visions by night.
24 And in the day I strengthened myself before him in mighty prayer; Yes, I raised my voice on high; and angels came down and ministered to me.
25 And on the wings of his spirit my body was carried over very high mountains. And my eyes have seen great things, yea, even great for man; so I was ordered not to write them.
26 O then, when I have seen such great things, when the Lord, in his condescension toward the sons of men, has visited men with such mercy,why should my heart cryand my soul stops in the valley of pain, and my flesh is consumed, and my strength weakens because of my afflictions?
27 yearsWhy should I give in to sin for the sake of my flesh? Yes, why should I give in to temptations so that the evil one has a place in my heart to destroy my peace and torment my soul?? Why am I angry at my enemy?
[2 Nephi 4:17-27]

Hopefully that helps clarify.


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