A long time ago, maybe 18 years at this point, I had a conversation with a man who I respect very much. He is a great teacher and because of this he often answers questions with a question of his own and sends you off to ponder and consider. Then he gets together with you again ans asks what you think. It can be frustrating if you just want a stinking answer for crying out loud but I can see why he does it.
In the scriptures it seems that Christ taught a lot like that too.
Anyway, I was feeling pretty bad about stuff and myself all those years ago and we had a little talk and he asked me to go to the scriptures and read two passages that had to do with spiritual gifts.
7 But the manifestation of the aSpirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is agiven by the bSpirit the cword of dwisdom; to another the word of eknowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another afaith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of bhealing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of amiracles; to another bprophecy; to another cdiscerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of dtongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived aseek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a asign that they may bconsume it upon their lusts.
10 And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your aminds what those bgifts are, that are given unto the church.
11 For all have not every agift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.
13 To some it is given by the aHoly Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
14 To others it is given to abelieve on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.
15 And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the adifferences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his bmercies according to the conditions of the children of men.
16 And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the aSpirit may be given to every man to profit withal.
17 And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of awisdom.
18 To another is given the word of aknowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.
19 And again, to some it is given to have afaith to be healed;
20 And to others it is given to have faith to aheal.
21 And again, to some is given the working of amiracles;
22 And to others it is given to aprophesy;
23 And to others the adiscerning of spirits.
24 And again, it is given to some to speak with atongues;
25 And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.
26 And all these agifts come from God, for the benefit of the bchildren of God.
I have read these chapters and verses many times since then considering what are my spiritual gifts. Hoping that I am adding to them but never being sure. Then somebody recommended a talk to me recently. It was given to the students of BYU in Spring of 2017 by Larry Lawrence called Why Not Ask. I will be reading this talk a few more times but as I read it today one verse stood out to me and once again the little bulb over my head went on.
47 But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endureth cforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen.
Go back and read the part I italicized and then I’m going to tell you what I newly understood today. I have read that verse a million times – well maybe not that many but a lot – and every time I understood it to mean that if you pray with all the energy fo your heart that God will give you that pure love of Christ. That might certainly be true. But today, I’m shaking my head. What that verse is saying is that you can pray to be filled with charity. That we can ask specifically for that gift and not only can we do it we should be doing it.
Now let me extend that just a bit. If we can pray to have charity or more of it then we can pray to have the other spiritual gifts given to us as we desire them. Of course with each of these gifts comes a responsibility to use it to serve others and participate in the work of God on this earth.
As I look at the list of gifts I can see several that I would love to have in my life and now with this new realization I will begin to pray for them one at a time. Are there any gifts on the lists above that you would like to have added to you?
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