Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gifts of the Spirit

I recently read an interesting talk about the gifts of the spirit by Elder Kim B. Clark where he talked at length about the gifts of the spirit.   There were a few things that impressed me with what he wrote.  First, he emphasized how gifts of the sprit should be sought after.  We should qualify for them, ask for them, and then use them in faith.  Consider these scriptures:

1 Cor. 14: 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the cedifying of the church.

1 Ne. 10: 17  … I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, …

D&C 46: 8  Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

Second, he talked about what some of the greatest gifts are.  When we think of spiritual gifts, we tend to think of the charismatic gifts such as healing or the gift of toungues.   But compare those gifts, and their power to edify, vs. the follow list:

Love

·         Charity

·         Discernment

·         a desire to serve

·         empathy

·         kindness

·         cheerfulness

·         seeing the best in people

·         an interest in other people

·         remembering names

 

Humility

·         humility

·         meekness

·         modesty

·         living within our means

·         a forgiving spirit

·         not caring who gets the credit

·         listening to the enticings of the Spirit

·         not feeling entitled

·         seeing ourselves as we really are

 

Obedience

·         an honest

·         obedient heart

·         a willingness to sacrifice

·         dedication

·         patience

·         diligence

·         a capacity to work hard

·         a sense of responsibility

 

Learning by faith

·         exceedingly great faith

·         courage

·         listening by the Spirit

·         teaching by the Spirit

·         asking and seeking by the Spirit

·         charity

·         guidance

·         understanding

·         knowledge

 

Going back to my first thought, consider this pattern for  seeking spiritual gifts:

1)      Qualify through righteousness

2)      Ask for the gifts (with a pure motives)

3)      Step out in faith that you may receive

4)      Receive through using the gifts to bless others (cheerfully)

I read this and think “No wonder this is the straight and narrow path”.   There are many places where we could go wrong here-     Personally, I yearn for this kind of power in my life, but I can see areas where I’m defeating myself, holding back.    This reminds me of what Mormon said on this topic:

it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

I think we sometimes look among ourselves and wonder where the gifts are, especially in our own lives.   When I look at my own life, I have to ask this question:  Can I expect the gifts to come if I rationalize what I watch or listen to, or if I don’t ask for the gifts, or if I don’t step out and take a risk?   

 

1 comment:

Greg said...

Eric - Thank you for this very heartfelt and meaningful post. A few years ago I came across a talk by President George Q. Cannon on this topic and felt that it was directed at me. Typical, huh? See Spiritual Gifts.