After Christ was resurrected, He appeared to eleven of the apostles, saying:
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This is one of the most comforting verses in the New Testament. It is such a comfort to know that even throughout the many hardships we will experience in this life, Christ will not leave us alone. This doesn’t mean, however, that we are entitled to have His spirit with us.
I’ve said before that Christ was not careless with His words and there is no exception here. Before He says that He will be with us, He tells us to spread the gospel throughout the world. Note that He did not say, “teach them the commandments”, He said, “teach them to observe.
If we want to have the Holy Ghost with us, it’s imperative that we follow the commandments. Baptism does not result in being saved. Being a disciple of Christ is a lifelong commitment. God is merciful, but also just, and we can’t expect to fulfill our divine potential if we show disregard for the Lord’s teachings. This isn’t a view that’s well accepted in our society – many people believe they should be able to do whatever they want, but we know that’s not true. Living life solely according to your own standards is not adequate, nor is it acceptable. We were not sent here to become our own Gods. Although it may be difficult we must align our will with God’s will. Our Heavenly Father’s laws are eternal and unchanging. We aren’t expected to be perfect, but we are expected to do all we can and let the Lord make up the rest. In the October 2008 session of LDS General Conference, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said,
….put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.
If we try our hardest to adhere to the teachings of the gospel, we will be blessed to have the Holy Ghost with us at all times.