What are your gifts and talents? Do you recognize them? Do you thank the Lord? Do you develop them?
When the spirit sons and daughters of God receive their physical bodies and are born into the world, gifts and talents also come with them from God. The ones we generally think of as gifts and talents are music, art, speaking, athletics, language skills, knowledge, teaching etc. There are many more we see in people but have not classified as gifts and talents such as kindness to others, to be a good listener, to have a positive attitude, to see good in others, to feel empathy, to be non-judgmental, to show love, to serve others and many more.
In the scriptures, spiritual gifts given by God are referred to as Gifts of the Spirit.
What are the Gifts of the Spirit
Spiritual gifts are given as a blessing and benefit for those who love God and keep His commandments.
Paul writes in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 in the Bible)
The Lord further clarified, “For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby” (Doctrine and Covenants 46: 11-12 p. 86) The phrase “that all may be profited thereby” is a very important concept to understand about the gifts of the Spirit. The gifts given to each individual are given not only for the one who receives, but also for those who can benefit when the gift is shared with others.
Should we Seek for the Gifts of the Spirit
We should seek gifts of the spirit for our own benefit, the benefit of loved ones and others for whom we can have a positive influence. We do this through prayer, fasting and striving to keep the commandments of God. There are many gifts of the spirit but in this article, I would like to cover three that I think are important for all of us to seek.
The Gift of Faith
Faith that we have a loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world. The apostle Paul said, “…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12: 3 in the Bible). Faith that if we keep the commandments of God our lives eventually will be happier than any other way to live. The gift of faith can become the foundation of all our righteous actions.
The Gift of Discernment
There are so many false philosophies, ideologies and lifestyles hitting us from every form of media that we do need the gift of discernment to navigate through these “land mines” and not be deceived. Even reading the Bible to understand the word of God as a guide in our lives can be difficult due to the many interpretations that have led to thousands of separate churches. We need the additional gift of discernment to know right from wrong in our own lives.
The Gift of Charity
Charity is “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7: 47 in the Book of Mormon). Charity is the ability to make life more meaningful for others. I love the way the apostle Paul explained charity. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
“Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil”
(1 Cor. 13:1–5 in the Bible).
On a personal note, I feel the above gifts of the spirit when I am striving to keep the commandments. Other needed spiritual gifts come for my benefit as I work in the Lord’s Kingdom here on earth trying to represent Him to benefit and serve others.
Some of the article was taken from remarks by Robert D. Hales August 1, 1993 BYU Devotional