John 20:22 “He breathed on them”
President Harold B. Lee said the following about this statement:
“He ‘breathed on them and said unto them, receive ye the Holy Ghost,’ (John 20:22) which in all likelihood was the confirmation and the commission to receive the Holy Ghost, or the baptism of the Spirit, by the laying on of hands for that was the procedure followed thereafter by His disciples” (Conference Report, Apr. 1955, 18).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles similarly suggested that the phrase “Jesus ‘breathed on them,’ … probably means that he laid his hands upon them as he uttered the decree: ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’” Elder McConkie goes on to teach that this event illustrates the difference between the bestowal of the gift of the Holy Ghost and actually enjoying that gift: “They thus received, but did not at that moment actually enjoy, the gift of the Holy Ghost. … The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right, based on faithfulness, to receive the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead; and this gift is conferred by the laying on of hands following baptism. This gift offers certain blessings provided there is full compliance with the law involved; everyone upon whom the gift is bestowed does not in fact enjoy or possess the offered gift. In the case of the apostles the actual enjoyment of the gift was delayed until the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary,3 vols. [1965–73], 1:857).