Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lesson 33, The Spiritual Gifts of Healing, Tongues, Prophecy, and Discerning of Spirits

Joseph Smith, Chapter 33
Taught by Sandy Fultz
No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy.

Gifts of the Spirit

Think of one of the best gifts you have been given. Why do we remember some gifts and not others? Because usually they are personal and you feel the love of the giver. Spiritual gifts are given as a sign of God's love for us.

There are many spiritual gifts. Some are listed in D&C 46 and Elder Marvin J Ashton reminded us of lesser known gifts such as listening, pondering, caring and being a friend.

Receiving spiritual gifts starts with a desire for the gift, asking for it in prayer, and preparing ourselves through righteous living. We need to love God, keep the commandments and seek for the best gifts.

Why are spiritual gifts given?

Gifts of the Spirit are given for the benefit of all (D&C 46:9). Most often we use our gifts to serve and help others. Sometimes that endowment of power helps us overcome our own weaknesses, to perfect and sanctify us through the grace of our Lord.

Gifts help us not be deceived if we seek for the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given (D&C 46:8).

The gifts of tongues, prophecy, and discerning of spirits

We think of the gift of tongues mostly when it comes to missionary work and the language training in the MTC, in order to preach the gospel around the world. We can also have it to communicate better through the spirit to others in our own language.

The spirit of prophecy helps us minister of Jesus Christ and testify of him. Joseph Smith taught, "Faith comes by hearing the word of God, through the testimony of the servants of God; that testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy and revelation."

Discerning of spirits is important in our time because it helps the faithful distinguish between the influence of good and evil spirits. Satan has his counterfeits to the Lord's work and we need to be able to discern spirits that we may not be deceived by the "multifarious creeds and notions" of the world and the people around us. This is also one of the special gifts of a ward bishop.

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