What similarities can you see between the people of Noah’s day and the people of our day? How could the people of Noah’s day have avoided destruction?
23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words;
24 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. (See Moses 8:23–24.)
The similarity with our day is that “the people” will not search out the deeper meaning contained in the phrase “receive the Holy Ghost.” In his very last book, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that there is a difference between receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and realization of that Gift.
That is, through the Priesthood one may receive the laying on of hands, granting authority to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, including the admonition: “receive the Holy Ghost.” The realization of this Gift is absolutely essential to one’s personal spiritual progression. This instruction does not apply to some nebulous team effort; the firm admonition is all about personal progression; individual salvation is at stake.
However, our Lord is not “Lord of the Rings;” the recipient does not receive the gift of seer-ship as soon as the ring is worn. We have to do some things on our part; for example, we have to ask in faith and repent. But first, we must study the scriptures enough to know that there is something real, powerful, and tangible to ask for; the realization of the Gift.