I have been contemplating these past few days on a phrase taken from Ether 12:8 :
8 But because of the faith of men he (Jesus Christ)has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
This phrase "partakers of the heavenly gift" is only referenced a few times in the standard works.
JST, Hebrews 6:3–10.
3 And we will go on unto perfection if God permit.
4 For he (Jesus Christ) hath made it impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance; seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
I am trying to understand what this heavenly gift is, and how can we partake of this heavenly gift? Moroni says in Ether 12:9 that if we want to be partakers of the gift, we must have faith. "Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith." Since it is the Easter season, I have been contemplating a lot on the Atonement of Jesus. I am wondering if this is what the heavenly gift is. In the New Testament we read:
16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Moroni continues in the Book of Mormon:
11 Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.