gifts

Gift-Cube-HD-WallpaperSurprised at the still small voice as I donned my earrings, I pondered the significance of what I heard.

Some months before, I had been taught during energy healing classes that our jewelry should be removed in order for energies to flow freely. The thought crossed my mind and briefly I wondered whether wearing earrings would stifle His ‘energy’.

Instantly I heard, “Nothing will stop the Holy Spirit”.

In less than an hour I would be confirmed and given the opportunity to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, promised to all believers by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“…Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off” Acts 2:38-39

How little I understood the reality of the indwelling personage of the Holy Ghost at that time. I am a bit embarrassed even now to admit that I thought this divine gift and power freely bestowed on those willing to partake, as simple ‘energy’. (Helllloooo… ‘Energy’ doesn’t have a voice.)

I am continually in awe that this holiest of Beings condescends to be a companion and comforter to all those willing to receive Him by the laying on of hands by those with authority.

This brings me to another point.

Twice recently, I’ve had opportunity to share how we Latter Day Saints are given this priceless gift. It is amazing to me how many deeply devotional and faithful people follow some of Christ’s teachings very closely, yet completely gloss over other plain and simple truths. And for different reasons.

One person may never have noted or seriously considered what the scriptures promise, while another justifies its existence with a far out theological explanation, abandoning the privilege of the companionship of the Holy Ghost as pertinent only to the New Testament days.

I remember several times when I was a brand new Latter Day Saint I would attempt in my clumsy fashion to explain to friends or family that my search for the Holy Spirit was what brought me to this church.

And these sweet people often responded, “But I have the Holy Spirit.” That usually left me speechless because I knew they genuinely felt and believed this to be true in their lives.

I had had enough experiences of a spiritual nature in my past to know it to be just as true for them. How can one expound the glories of the Lord when one does not totally know what all is available?

Today I am much more confident in my knowledge of the differences. It is as I’d supposed from reading the New Testament and more precious to experience firsthand.

Honest seekers of the truth do feel the influence of the Holy Spirit leading them to Jesus Christ. Certainly, countless times as I read my Bible I felt His influence.

However. The fullness of the blessings given through the Holy Spirit are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Having this gift means having the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead. Receiving guidance, inspiration, comfort, or serving and blessing others through spiritual gifts are only some of the joys of this divine gift.

“When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women…Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:12, 17

jm_600_GIA.pd-P3.tiffHow grateful I am for plainly stated scriptures. And deeply appreciative for the restored truths of the gospel in these latter days.

The gift of the Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit is one of Heavenly Father’s greatest gifts to His children.

“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus…And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them…” Acts 19:2,5,6

This is how the gift of the Holy Ghost is given. By the laying on of hands by those with authority to do so. If you haven’t heard yet that this gift is truly available to you this day, you need to know.

Seek the most sacred gifts and peace, joy and happiness will overflow your heart more than you can imagine.

In what ways has the Holy Spirit helped you?

Do you live with daily unrelenting pain? Emptiness and ache in your bosom? Have you received heart wrenching news on the eve of Christmas? Are you feeling lonely? Are you ill? Do you know what panic attacks feel like? Are you depressed? Are your feelings hurt? Grieving deeply?

Are you suffering?

“Is any one of you in trouble? …Is any one of you sick? …pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:13-16

It’s the time of year when just about everyone has their mind on gift exchange and celebrating the season with those we love.

Several years ago, I was last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. My heart was breaking and my whole being weighed down, feeling betrayed and heavy with disappointment. I could not stop crying. In dire need of relief and not able to approach anyone but the Lord, my prayers felt stifled, stiff and totally inadequate for my predicament.

Certain that Christmas was in ruins, irreparable forever, I struggled with the idea of calling someone for extra help. I knew I looked horrid with a red face, swollen eyes and smeared mascara. I sure wasn’t in any mood to speak with anybody. I didn’t want to bother anyone on this, of all days.

Shutting my mind to the voices of pride and objections, I called a faithful brother and his wife from the mall to see if they were available, gratefully driving to their home when invited. I asked this priesthood holder for, and received a priesthood blessing.

Soon, completely transformed and totally filled with the deepest, incredible, calming influence, I continued my preparations to enjoy Christmas thoroughly with my family. No more tears. I was filled with assurance and a profound peace that I previously would not ever have thought possible in the circumstances. I felt strong, like nothing could ever shake me again.

I hope that this Christmas and every day of the year we will consider, in particular, the many gifts we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father. I hope we will receive these gifts with the wonder, thankfulness and excitement of a child.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Our Heavenly Father has given us many gifts. First, as we know, is the perfect gift of His Only Begotten Son, the gift of the Holy Ghost, personal revelation and guidance, our salvation, eternal life and more-too numerous to count.

One of Heavenly Father’s gifts that I have learned to honor and appreciate is the power of the Holy Priesthood upon the earth today. I do not have a priesthood holder in my home and at first I did not understand their responsibility to serve with the authority of God.

Here is a marvelous excerpt with some explanation by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

“We know and understand that the priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. We can easily recite this definition from memory. However, do we truly comprehend the significance of what we’re saying? Let me repeat: the priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.

Think of it. Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He redeems and exalts His children, bringing “to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Our all-powerful Father in Heaven has entrusted priesthood authority to us—mortal beings who, by definition, are flawed and imperfect. He grants to us the authority to act in His name for the salvation of His children.

By this great power we are authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, help build the kingdom of God on the earth, and bless and serve our families and our fellowmen.

This is the sacred priesthood we bear.

The priesthood, or any responsibility within it, cannot be purchased or commanded. The use of priesthood power cannot be influenced, swayed, or compelled by position, by wealth, or by influence.

It is a spiritual power that operates on heavenly law. It originates in the great Heavenly Father of us all. Its power can be controlled and directed only through principles of righteousness, not self-righteousness.

Christ is the source of all true priesthood authority and power on earth. It is His work, in which we are privileged to assist.

“And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.”

I no longer hesitate to seek a faithful brother when I need relief from the frailties and weaknesses of this life. Why remain in inordinate pain, either physical or emotional when a few moments’ blessing may transform my well being?

When my challenges seem greater than my lone prayers can handle, I am grateful beyond words for the service of my righteous and faithful brothers. The Savior’s peace and comfort that follows is a priceless warm wrapping.

Are you suffering? You too may have access to this precious gift. Seek this blessing at any time of the year. Ask humbly and with faith of one who bears that Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.

 

 

A few days ago, I discovered this great little article in June’s Ensign.  The excerpts below are from a speech given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

At the time, I made a note of sharing it with you in a few weeks if and when I run out of something to say. It happens. 🙂

Then, Sunday morning in our Relief Society class a sweet sister referred to this same list. I quite like it and just cannot wait another day to pass it on to you. Besides, it follows my last post quite nicely!

Elder Oaks said, “My purpose in suggesting this classification and in giving these examples is to persuade each of you to search your own experience and to conclude that you have already received revelations and that you can receive more revelations because communication from God to men and women is a reality.

President Lorenzo Snow declared that it is “the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint . . . to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives” (CR, April 1899, p. 52).

Every day of our lives“. Isn’t that a marvelous promise?!

Eight Purposes of Revelation

To testify: The Spirit can witness that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel is true.

To prophesy: Within the limits of one’s areas of responsibility, a person may be inspired to predict what will come to pass in the future. The prophet, patriarchs, and even we can receive prophetic revelation.

To comfort: The Spirit can comfort us as He comforted Joseph Smith  in Liberty Jail: “Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7–8). Comfort also comes in connection with priesthood blessings, visions of departed loved ones, and forgiveness of sins.

To uplift: The Spirit can lift us up from depression, feelings of inadequacy, or a plateau of spiritual mediocrity. He comes as we read scriptures or enjoy wholesome music, art, or literature.

To inform: On some sacred occasions, information has been given face to face from heavenly personages. Other times, needed information is communicated by the quiet whisperings of the Spirit.

“A child loses a treasured possession, prays for help, and is inspired to find it; an adult has a problem at work, at home, or in genealogical research, prays, and is led to the information necessary to resolve it; a Church leader prays to know whom the Lord would have him call to fill a position, and the Spirit whispers a name. In all of these examples—familiar to each of us—the Holy Ghost acts in his office as a teacher and revelator, communicating information and truths for the edification and guidance of the recipient.”

To restrain: This form of revelation will deter us from things we should not do. It often comes by surprise, when we have not asked for guidance on a particular subject.

To confirm: You can receive a confirmation through the Spirit after proposing a particular course of action and praying to know if it is the right choice.

To impel: This type of revelation is not sought after but comes to call a person to some action not proposed. This type of communication from the Spirit is rare but, therefore, significant.

To enjoy Elder Oaks’ complete talk and examples from his personal experiences, here’s the link.

President Harold B. Lee taught:

“Every man has the privilege to exercise these gifts and these privileges in the conduct of his own affairs; in bringing up his children in the way they should go; in the management of his business, or whatever he does. It is his right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and of inspiration to do the right thing, to be wise and prudent, just and good, in everything that he does.” [Stand Ye in Holy Places (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), p. 141–42]

I do enjoy the gifts of revelation and of inspiration. I testify that the truth of the restored gospel can be known by each of us through the direct personal line of communication to our Heavenly Father.  My greatest desire is that you too may experience this grand privilege and the sweetest of blessings.

Do you believe that it is possible to have “the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives”?

What experiences have taught you that Heavenly Father does interest Himself in our affairs?