The Gifts of the Spirit

Daniel H. Ludlow

In the concluding chapter of his record, Moroni exhorted the future readers to accept the gifts of God. Elder Bruce R. McConkie has indicated the importance of the gifts of the Spirit:

By the grace of God—following devotion, faith, and obedience on man’s part—certain special spiritual blessings called gifts of the Spirit are bestowed upon men. Their receipt is always predicated upon obedience to law, but because they are freely available to all the obedient, they are called gifts. They are signs and miracles reserved for the faithful and for none else… .

Their purpose is to enlighten, encourage, and edify the faithful so that they will inherit peace in this life and be guided toward eternal life in the world to come. Their presence is proof of the divinity of the Lord’s work; where they are not found, there the Church and kingdom of God is not… .

Faithful persons are expected to seek the gifts of the Spirit with all their hearts. They are to “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31; D. & C. 46:8), to “desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 14:1), “to ask of God, who giveth liberally.” (D. & C. 46:7; Matt. 7:7-8.) To some will be given one gift; to others, another; and “unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby.” (D. & C. 46:29.)

From the writings of Paul (1 Cor. 12; 13; 14), and of Moroni (Moro. 10), and from the revelations received by Joseph Smith (D. & C. 46), we gain a clear knowledge of spiritual gifts and how they operate. Among others, we find the following gifts named either in these three places or elsewhere in the scriptures: the gift of knowing by revelation “that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world” (D. & C. 46:13), and also the gift of believing the testimony of those who have gained this revelation; the gifts of testimony, of knowing that the Book of Mormon is true, and of receiving revelations; the gifts of judgment, knowledge, and wisdom; of teaching, exhortation, and preaching; of teaching the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge; of declaring the gospel and of ministry; the gift of faith, including power both to heal and to be healed; the gifts of healing, working of miracles, and prophecy; the viewing of visions, beholding of angels and ministering spirits, and the discerning of spirits; speaking with tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the interpretation of languages, and the gift of translation; the differences of administration in the Church and the diversities of operation of the Spirit; the gift of seership, “and a gift which is greater can no man have.” (Mosiah 8:16; Alma 9:21; D. & C. 5:4; 43:3-4; Rom. 12:6-8.) And these are by no means all of the gifts. In the fullest sense, they are infinite in number and endless in their manifestations. (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], pp. 314-15.)

A Companion To Your Study of The Book of Mormon