According to the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the Holy Ghost was operative during the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ, but the gift of the Holy Ghost was not given until after Christ's resurrection (see John 7:39; 16:7; Acts 1:5; John 20:22).

On the other hand, the gift of the Holy Ghost was present in earlier dispensations, since it was required as part of the everlasting gospel.

My question is: Why was this gift withheld during Christs mortal ministry? In the LDS Bible Dictionary it states:

For some reason not fully explained in the scriptures, the Holy Ghost did not operate in the fulness among the Jews during the years of Jesus’ mortal sojourn.

Are there any statements from latter day prophets explaining this though?

  • 1
    Not likely, as the Bible Dictionary was written in the latter days. And only about 30 years ago, at that.
    – Matt
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Note that the entry in the Bible Dictionary specifically states, "among the Jews" Implying that the Holy Ghost was operating in it's fulness elsewhere at that time. So why wasn't the comforter with the Jews during Christ's ministry? I've always been under the impression that it was because Christ himself was with the Jews instead.

Christ is the second comforter (see John 14:16-21). In Moroni Chapter 10, Moroni says that the gifts of God come from Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost and by the Spirit of Christ. In other words, the gifts come by the power of that Spirit who is the Holy Ghost, but the Spirit of Christ (or light of Christ) is the agency through which the Holy Ghost operates.1

While Christ was with the Jews, those gifts, normally given by the Holy Ghost, we given by Christ himself. It was only after his mortal ministry that there was a necessity for the Holy Ghost to return to the Jews in its fulness.

1 Mormon Doctrine: Gifts of the Spirit.

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