What is the comforter?
Just before Jesus’ death, He promised His apostles God would send a Comforter to them after His death. Who is this Comforter? Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit. This precious gift brings comfort in a variety of ways to those who live worthily.
Jesus described several of the Holy Spirit’s roles when He said:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)
The first role of the Comforter is to soothe us, by helping us feel the love that God has for us. Jesus knew that His apostles would miss Him and even be frightened after He died, leaving them with the responsibility to continue to teach the world of Jesus’ message. The Holy Spirit could help the apostles cope with their grief in the days to come. In our own lives, we can also call on the Comforter when we’re sad or worried. The Holy Spirit can come into our hearts and ease our pain, small or great. This doesn’t mean we’ll never be sad or hurt. It does mean we’ll be able to feel that God loves us and has sent someone to help us get through the trial.
Second, the Holy Spirit provides comfort by verifying what is true. Jesus teaches that the world tries to convince mankind to focus on personal gain and popularity instead of the things of God (e.g. Luke 16:1-17). We need the assistance of the Holy Spirit to help us separate the appealing and confusing lies of the world from God’s truth. When we know what is true, we can feel peace from knowing we are making the choices that God wants us to make. The Holy Spirit can help us feel confident in our decisions, even when what we do is not considered popular or goes against the trends of the world.
Finally, The Holy Spirit also provides comfort through guidance. We often have to make difficult decisions that can cause us stress and anxiety. The Holy Spirit knows everything because God knows everything, and the Holy Spirit is His messenger. We’re taught that if we study an issue and make a choice, we can pray to know whether or not we’ve chosen correctly. Once we have our answer, we can carry out the decision and not worry about it again, knowing we’ve done what God taught us to do and it’s in His hands now.
We need the guiding and soothing power of the Comforter now more than ever. We can access the Comforter by keeping the commandments and praying for help.