Our conscience is not only there to remind us when we sin. It also ?suggests? what is right to do. We feel we should help our spouse put the children to bed, pray before retiring for the night, put on our exercise clothes, read the scriptures, avoid that second helping of dessert, call our ministering family, turn off the TV and help with a child?s homework assignment, apologize for an unkind outburst, or better yet avoid the unkindness in the first place and the list goes on. These are commandments individually tailored for us.
We are not left alone on this path of using the virtuous cycle to move from conscience to constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. One of the roles of the Holy Ghost is ?Sanctifier?-making us more holy. President Ezra Taft Benson shared this about the sanctifying powers of the Holy Ghost: The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to be more tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate. We are calmer. We have a greater capacity to love. People want to be around us because our very countenances radiate the influence of the Spirit. We are more godly in character. As a result, we are more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and thus able to comprehend spiritual things.
Wait a minute! Our conscience is a form of revelation? I know what my conscience feels like. Maybe I am further along in this process than I realized. This is great news! All mankind is blessed with the Light of Christ. From the Bible Dictionary we learn: The light of Christ is just what the words imply: enlightenment, knowledge, and an uplifting, ennobling, persevering influence that comes upon mankind because of Jesus Christ. For instance, Christ is ?the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world? (D&C 93:2; John 1:9). . . . The light of Christ is related to man?s conscience and tells him right from wrong (see Moro. 7:12?19). The light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one?s receiving the Holy Ghost. The light of Christ will lead the honest soul who ?hearkeneth to the voice? to find the true gospel and the true Church and thereby receive the Holy Ghost (see D&C 84:46?48).3
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explains the relationship between the Light of Christ and our conscience. ?The Light of Christ has an edifying, enlightening, and uplifting influence on men [and women]. One of its manifestations is called conscience, through which all men [and women] know right from wrong.? [The Light of Christ] is the means by which the Lord invites and entices all . . . to improve their lot and to come unto him and receive his gospel.?7 President David O. McKay taught that ?for those in the Church in the line of their duty, the Holy Ghost normally speaks through the conscience.?
A major advantage that comes with our conscience is that it has a much lower worthiness bar than promptings from the Holy Ghost. In fact, one of the most useful aspects of our conscience is that it is triggered precisely when we have done something wrong. We are all familiar with what it feels like to have a ?guilty conscience.? However, our conscience is not bullet proof. Repeatedly ignoring its direction gradually dims its voice until it is hardly heard at all.
For those who have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost promptings can come through the medium of the Light of Christ as stated by President McKay above. Elder Charles W. Penrose taught that a person who receives the gift of the Holy Ghost receives ?a greater and higher endowment of the same spirit [Light of Christ or our conscience] which enlightens every man that comes into the world.?10 If we are unsure how to recognize when the Holy Ghost speaks to us, just imagine our conscience on steroids.
The healthy mind normally has three voices. The first voice is our own mind. ?You hear your self think. You talk with yourself, discuss things with yourself, argue with yourself, berate, praise, and jabber with yourself all day long. This voice is distinguishable because it is unsure, or in other words, it questions things, and is seldom definite or decisive. It almost always asks questions. What was that? Who said that? Why did you say that? What does it mean? Do you suppose? What would happen if? I wonder??13 The second voice is the influence of the adversary. Elder Faust explained some of the forms this voice takes: The adversary tries to smother this voice [voice of the Holy Spirit] with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices: murmuring voices that conjure up perceived injustices, whining voices that abhor challenge and work, seductive voices offering sensual enticements, soothing voices that lull us into carnal security, intellectual voices that profess sophistication and superiority, proud voices that rely on the arm of the flesh, flattering voices that puff us up with pride, cynical voices that destroy hope, entertaining voices that promote pleasure seeking, commercial voices that tempt us to ?spend money for that which is of no worth? and our ?labor for that which cannot satisfy? (2 Ne. 9:51)??14 ?The third source of information in our minds is the voice of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. It begins as the conscience, the light of Christ, and is a free gift. In its most rudimentary stages it is a quiet urging to choose right, to abandon wrong choices, and to seek greater truth.