“Always Remembering for What They Are Given,” Liahona, Dec. 1997, 25
At this Christmas season, when gifts are traditionally exchanged, it is appropriate to remember those gifts we receive from our Heavenly Father. Among the gifts he gives members of his Church are those gifts of the Spirit we have considered this past year—gifts such as faith, knowledge, wisdom, and prophecy.
Of course, there are more spiritual gifts than the ones we have discussed. Elder Bruce R. McConkie observed that “spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety. Those listed in the revealed word are simply illustrations of the boundless outpouring of divine grace that a gracious God gives those who love and serve him” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 371).
In offering us spiritual gifts, our Heavenly Father counsels, “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given” (D&C 46:8).
One reason we need to remember these gifts and why we receive them is to keep from being deceived. When faced with Satan’s counterfeits, we can recognize them for what they are. (See D&C 46:7–8.)
Another reason to remember our spiritual gifts is so we can nourish one another. “To every man [and woman] is given a gift by the Spirit of God … that all may be profited thereby” (D&C 46:11–12).
Although every member of the Church is given at least one spiritual gift, the Lord expects us to actively seek the “best gifts.” So which of all the gifts of the Spirit are the best?
One answer is that the best gifts are those we most need at the time. Perhaps a new convert needs a stronger testimony. The best gift she could seek at that time in her life is the gift of belief. As she grows in the gospel, she will seek additional gifts.
According to the Apostle Paul, the best of all gifts is charity, or the pure love of Christ. He indicates that even if we “have all faith, so that [we] could remove mountains, and have not charity,” we are nothing (1 Cor. 13:2; see Moro. 7:47–48; Moro. 10:20–21, 32).
Mollie Sorensen of Napa, California, remembers seeking the gift of charity. One day she and her teenage son had a serious argument. Upset by her behavior, Sister Sorensen pleaded with Heavenly Father for help in controlling her temper. Under the pressure of a similar moment, she knew she would probably lose control again.
After praying and meditating for several hours, she says, “an answer came into my mind. I finally understood that if I were to strive to have a greater endowment of spiritual power in my life, on a day-to-day basis, the inclination to hurt would leave … even in moments of stress.”
Since then, as Mollie maintains a program of spiritual enrichment, she is able to enjoy love, peace, and the other fruits of the Spirit she desires (Ensign, September 1989, 30).
We, too, can receive all those gifts of the Spirit our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy—as long as we seek them earnestly, thank him for our blessings, “practise virtue and holiness before [him” (D&C 46:33), and always remember why he gives us these marvelous gifts.
What spiritual gifts do you have that could be used to serve others?
How have others shared their gifts to bless your life?