Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Obtaining Spiritual Gifts

Seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8)

This week in one of my classes at BYU Idaho, we had the chance to listen to the devotional given by Elder Kim B Clark, entitled The Spirit of Ricks. I have been pondering over this talk, and have felt such thankfulness to the Lord for the gifts of the Spirit he has given to me in my life. This post consists mostly of my musings from this talk.

When we are baptized and confirmed, we are blessed to receive the Holy Ghost, which means we are, upon our worthiness, to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and receive spiritual gifts. The gifts of the spirit are made manifest into our lives through the Holy Ghost, and are gifts given to us by Heavenly Father.  But receiving the gifts of the spirit are a matter of personal faith, obedience and spirituality. "The contributions you make and the blessings you in turn derive depend on the power of the Holy Ghost in your life and the way you use the spiritual gifts the Lord gives you."

 Elder Clark asks: what must we do to strengthen the power of the Spirit in our lives? 

 In order to strengthen the power of the Spirit, we must first understand how the Spirit works. "The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit and the third member of the Godhead.  The Holy Ghost is the great connector and communicator between heaven and earth.  He conveys and manifests the powers of heaven to those who qualify for the gifts of God.  These gifts come from Jesus Christ through the power of His atonement and through His mercy and grace."

Elder Clark goes on to say that "there are three things we must do to obtain these gifts and put them to use in the way the Lord intends: Qualify, Seek, and Receive." How do we qualify for the gifts of the spirit? We must always remain worthy of the companionship of the Spirit. We must do nothing that would offend the Spirit. We must keep our promises with exactness and with honor and, by so doing, qualify for the gifts of God. 

Seek means to "diligently seek spiritual gifts". Here are President George Q.  Cannon's thoughts on  seeking these good gifts: "How many of you are seeking for these gifts that God has promised to bestow?  . . . How many of you ask the Father in the name of Jesus to manifest Himself to you through these powers and these gifts? If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect.  Have I imperfections?  I am full of them.  What is my duty?  To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections." 

Very powerful questions, he asks here. I know in my own life that I haven't thought to ask for these spiritual gifts. I just assumed that I would be given them if I needed them. Receiving these gifts of the Spirit is also a very important part. We must receive them with a spirit of gratitude, using the gifts in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. According to Elder Clark,

"The Holy Ghost may bestow upon us a spiritual gift; but unless we embrace the gift and use the gift the way the Lord intends, we have not received it."

Let me close this post today by a comment from President Henry B Eyring taken from the Feb 2013 Ensign:

"God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God."

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