The Gifts of the Spirit

The Gifts of the Spirit

What spiritual gifts does the Lord give us?

In the seventh article of faith it says, “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” These are just a few of the spiritual gifts that the Lord gives to us. I believe that there are countless gifts of the spirit that are given to the faithful, so that they can do the work of the Lord. With these gifts, the saints can assist the spirit in influencing the hearts of others as well as ourselves. These gifts come through the gift of the Holy Ghost, when we are obedient to the commandments of God.

The Gift of Tongues

Acts 2:4 reads, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in other languages that are not native to us. There was a time when all the people on the earth spoke one language. Then the people were divided by the barriers of language at the time of the tower of Babel. The Lord caused the people to be confounded, and the spirit allows people to be united by a common language so that the gospel can be shared. I have heard many stories of missionaries who have been given this gift and have been able to share their testimonies of the gospel because of it.

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues

Others are given the gift of interpretation of tongues. When I have studied different languages at school, I have seen how speaking a language is different from interpreting, and therefore understanding, what is spoken. I think that a lot of times this gift comes along with the gift of tongues, but I am sure that it stands alone often as well.

The Gift of Translation

As I am studying the Doctrine and Covenants, I am noticing how men who held the priesthood, were given callings, and several times were also given the opportunity or the promise to be able to translate if they were faithful. This is another gift that has to do with languages that are not native. I think it has to do even more with the ability to translate languages that are unknown to anyone who is living. Joseph Smith was a great example of one who was given the gift of translation. He was blessed with the gift and translated the Book of Mormon as well as other portions of what we now know as the standard works.

The Gift of Wisdom

This is one that I would like to have more often in my life. The gift of wisdom allows us to understand the concepts and teachings of the gospel, as well as to know how they apply to us. I think that often times, those who are regular teachers of gospel principles are blessed with the gift, so that they can teach others about them. In my own life, I can tell when I have been given this gift because I can feel my mind being opened to understandings I have not had before.

The Gift of Knowledge

In 1 Samuel 2:3, we learn that “the Lord is a God of knowledge”. All followers of Christ, do so with some level of faith and hope in His teachings and gospel. The real blessing comes when that faith is tested and through the spirit, it becomes knowledge. We all should want a knowledge of the gospel, so that there is no doubts in our hearts or minds of what truth is. We become more like God, when we seek after knowledge of truth.

The Gift of Teaching Wisdom and Knowledge

The ability to teach wisdom and knowledge to others is a great gift of the spirit. For some like me, teaching causes great anxiety and is extremely difficult. It is always great to be in a class and to learn from someone who has been given this gift of the spirit. I think that this is a gift specifically given to the general authorities of the church, because often times they have the greatest examples to share that teach us wonderful truths and how to apply principles of the gospel to our own lives.

The Gift of Knowing That Jesus Christ Is the Son of God

There are those who do not have to rely on their faith in the divinity of Christ, but have gained a sure knowledge through the witness of the Holy Spirit. Mostly this is a gift that is given to prophets and apostles. The leaders of Christ’s church need this gift, so that they can bear absolute witnesses of Him.

The Gift of Believing the Testimony of Others

There are many times that the spirit has borne witness to me through the testimony of others, specifically through the testimony of the general authorities of the church. This gift requires that we not only be in the right spirit ourselves, but that we earnestly seek to know truth. I believe that great blessings will come to those who have faith on the testimonies and witnesses that others have borne of the gospel.

The Gift of Prophecy

This gift is given to the servants of the Lord, to give us warnings as well as hope in what is to come. The prophets and apostles are given this gift, to call repentance to the people of the world and to lead us in the paths of the Lord. In a lesser degree, we can have this gift in our own lives. We can pray earnestly and in faith, for guidance in our lives and we will receive it according to our faith and the Lord’s will. This gift will only be given to us regarding those we have stewardship over. The prophet is the steward over the church and so he can receive revelations for the church. There can be those who believe they receive revelations for others, but if there is no stewardship, we can be sure that it is not from the spirit of God.

The Gift of Healing

All things are possible through the power of the spirit, including healing. In D&C 42:48 we read, “And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.” It is always amazing and faith building, to hear stories of people who have been given a blessing and have been healed of some illness or injury. This is a blessing that helps us to reflect on our lives and put things in the right perspective.

The Gift of Working Miracles

There have been many who have been able to do miraculous things because of this gift, and there have been many who have been able to experience these miracles also because of the gift of the spirit. Our faith can produce these miracles in times of great need. The Savior taught of miracles in Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said unto them, . . . If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” All things are possible if we are blessed with this gift.

The Gift of Faith

Faith is a Sunrise

It is a gift to have faith. There are many who are confused and lost in this life. There are many who do not have faith in God, and they easily fall away from truth and light. I believe that it is the duty of those who are blessed with this gift, to share all that they are blessed with because of it. The gift of faith, pushes us to be obedient to the commandments. Through this obedience, we can be blessed with any of the other gifts of the spirit that the Lord intends to give us. The greater our faith, the more we are blessed and the more we can do to serve the Lord and bring the gospel and salvation to other souls.

Why does the Lord give us spiritual gifts?

I am sure that we are given gifts of the spirit to help us to stay on the true path that will lead us back to our Father in Heaven. When we gain faith and a knowledge of the truth, these gifts will then be our tool to spreading the gospel to the world. We need to discover what gifts we have been given and through faith and obedience to the whisperings of the spirit, we will be an instrument in the Lord’s hands.

We Can Develop Our Gifts

In D&C 46:8-9, we are taught that if we can be protected from the deceiving powers of Satan. It reads, “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given; For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments”.

How can we “seek … earnestly the best gifts”?

The gifts of the spirit are not on some list that we check off and move on once we have received one. People are not given all the gifts of the spirit at once and there may be some that we never experience in our lives. The gifts of the spirit are given to those who have the ability to use them the best, where they are or during a certain time in their life. I don’t think that it is even normal to have one gift continually through our lives. There may be times when we are in the right situations to use the gift of tongues, but as soon as we change situations, that gift is gone. The only way to seek the best gifts, is to come to know, personally, what we can do for the Lord.

When we are called to teach others, we should seek after the gift to teach. When we are called to serve where we do not know the language, we should seek after the gift of tongues. When we are struggling to understand the scriptures, we should seek for the gift of knowledge. And so on. In order to seek, we need to be sincere in our prayers to God. This means that we need to have the true intentions of using that gift for the work of the Lord. If we know that we should be able to teach and we pray for the gift to do so, but in our hearts we do not have the real desire to do it, we will not be given that gift. We need to have faith that the gift will be there, and if we don’t have the faith, we need to pray for it.

Our Father in Heaven knows us best. He knows the person that we are capable of becoming, even if we do not see it. We can faithfully turn to Him to be shown these gifts. These may come through personal revelation of the spirit, or through blessings, such as a patriarchal blessing or a blessing that may come with being set apart for a calling. Seeking after these gifts, means also to use them when we receive them. If someone is blessed with the ability to speak to others in another language, but chooses not to open their mouth to bear testimony of Christ and His gospel, this gift will not remain with them.

Satan Imitates the Gifts of the Spirit

How can we discern between the true gifts of the Spirit and Satan’s imitations?

With the gifts of the spirit, the results or fruit will be good. Satan’s imitations cannot produce truth and goodness. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 we read, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” When we are doing what is right, the spirit will be with us to help us discern what is of the Spirit and what is an imitation from Satan.

We Must Be Careful with Our Gifts of the Spirit

How can we respect the sacredness of spiritual gifts?

Gifts of the spirit are sacred blessings from God, which are designed to uplift, encourage, strengthen and help His children to come unto Him. We can respect this sacredness by using them for their purpose alone, and by not making a spectacle of them in any way. In 3 Nephi 14:6 we read, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (See also Matt. 7:6) We should not use our spiritual gifts for those who intend on crushing them or who may use them against us. These gifts are not intended for judgement of us as people, but to be a testimony of the Lord and His gospel.

I am so grateful for the gifts that I have been given. I have been blessed when I have used these gifts to help others. I love knowing that in order to receive these things, I am responsible for doing something. There are many who feel that we should receive things when we do nothing, and that we can waste away the things that have been given to us. I know that that way of thinking is not the design of God. I know that I can be blessed with gifts through my faithfulness. I know that I will be given the tools to be strong and to strengthen those I love, if I follow the commandments and do my best to remember my Savior and the principles of the gospel.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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