Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Gifts of the Spirit

            Families, communities, and nations are blessed when individuals recognize their particular gifts of the Spirit. These gifts can be made known in various ways, such as through prayer, observation, and patriarchal blessings, but the best way is to turn into the Holy Spirit. He can teach us what we need to know.

            The world is full of noises that distract us and many voices that attempt to persuade us. President James E.Faust invites us to listen to the voice of the Spirit and follow His promptings. His voice is calm and quiet, and He will lead us to eternal life. 

            President Faust taught that we must listen for the “still, small voice” of the Holy Spirit, or we will not hear it among the many voices and other noises in the world. The ability to “hear” the voice of the Spirit develops with practice. As we listen to this calm and peaceful voice, we can learn to recognize the gifts that He brings to us.

            The scriptures teach us that there are many gifts of the Spirit, even though they all come from the same Spirit. The scriptures also say that we are to pray for spiritual gifts and then to use our particular gifts to bless the lives of all people. The Apostle Paul taught the Corinthian saints:

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-12

            Paul lists specific gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and several others. Similar lists of the gifts of the Spirit can be found in both the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ and the Doctrine and Covenants. These lists contain only a few of the many gifts that the Spirit brings to individuals, but they give us an idea of the sort of gifts we can pray for. Gifts that come from the Spirit but not listed are gifts such as cheerfulness, being a peace maker, being able to teach as the Savior taught, etc.

            A wonderful family home evening lesson is titled “How does the Holy Ghost work?”  It teaches about how to recognize the Holy Spirit and encourages family members to help each other to discover their own special gifts of the Spirit.

            Then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on the topic of “Spiritual Gifts” at a Brigham Young University women’s conference on March 28, 1986. He discusses many spiritual gifts before making the following statement.

I have spoken of many different spiritual gifts. I have pointed out that these gifts come by the power of the Holy Ghost and that they are available to every member of the Church, male and female.

We should seek after spiritual gifts. They can lead us to God. They can shield us from the power of the adversary. They can compensate for our inadequacies and repair our imperfections….

            As we follow the counsel to seek spiritual gifts, we will receive those that are fitting for us. Gifts of the Spirit are special blessings given to worthy individuals to benefit themselves and to help others. Individuals who seek these spiritual gifts and use them appropriately can strengthen their families, communities, and nations.

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