First of all, I apologize for the neglect in writing the last week. I was on vacation with my family to Disneyland – you can see the pictures on my picasaweb page.
I have been told again and again by various Seminary and Institute teachers that the Gift of the Holy Ghost was not on the earth during the period of Jesus Christ’s ministry. I am searching, but cannot find the source of that idea. In fact, I find evidence to the contrary. In “The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith (a later prophet of the LDS church and I believe grandson of Hyrum Smith), Joseph Smith says (p. 336), “John’s (meaning John the Baptist) mission was limited to preaching and baptizing; but what he did was legal; and when Jesus Christ came to any of John’s disciples, He baptized them with fire and the Holy Ghost.” Is this inferring that the Holy Ghost was given and existed during the time of Christ? I cannot find evidence of so in the Bible however.
Here are some other evidences of the Holy Ghost being on the earth:
Moses 6:52 (God talking to Adam) – “And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.”
Moses 6:65 (Adam being baptized) – “And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.”
So it appears Adam had the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Here’s an example of Noah having it:
Moses 8:24 (Noah preaching to the people) – “Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.”
I would almost wonder if John the Baptist, while we don’t have record of him practicing it, had the Melchizidek Priesthood, and therefore the possibility of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In Matthew 3:4 it almost appears that John the Baptist (and by the reference, possibly Elijah as well) was endowed – in order to do so, I believe one must have the Gift of the Holy Ghost:
“And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair (Greek means “Garment”), and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey”
Are there any other references you are aware of? I guess the question should be, what times was the Gift of the Holy Ghost not on the Earth?