spiritual 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?

“I might do it all wrong.” That was my typical reason for not acting on an old desire of mine to color code my scriptures. When I’ve asked others’ how they chose to color their passages the response has been vague and totally not enlightening.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a simple booklet by Sandra B. Black called “Color Coding your Scriptures”. I’m quite tickled to implement her ideas. She’s created such an easy method, that in retrospect I wonder why this idea overwhelmed me.

Sandra does say that you can color your scriptures according to your understanding at this moment. And after studying and learning more, you may see things differently and decide to change the colors here and there. Just erase it, says she! You can always change the color.

Coloring only the verse number, not the entire verse takes very little time.

“I think that people who study the scriptures get a dimension to their life that nobody else gets and that can’t be gained in any way except by studying the scriptures. There’s an increase in faith and a desire to do what’s right and a feeling of inspiration and understanding that comes to  people who study the gospel-and who ponder the principles that can’t come in any other way” Bruce R. McConkie

My first colored chapter looked quite anemic. I love vibrant colors and so braving it, I replaced my special scripture crayons with a fineliner set of markers. LOVE IT! But I will not be able to erase if need be. I’ll see how that develops.

I can hardly wait to see how much the orange markings will pop out. That is my most exciting aspect of this new study approach. My belief is that the pages contain many more references to spiritual gifts than we may realize, in the beginning of our scripture study.

Regarding using orange color Sandra explains, “Spiritual gifts are an important subject to highlight. These are certainly bright episodes in people’s lives, so they are colored orange. Spiritual gifts include dreams, visions, prophecy, the gifts of tongues, healing the sick, or raising the dead—anything that is done with, or by, the Spirit. Matthew 4:11 and 4:23 provide excellent examples:

11   Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.

23   And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Would You Like To Color Your Scriptures?

Try Sandra Black’s Color Key.

RED:  The words of any member of the Godhead-makes the words stand out so they can be found very easily.

Note: If the verse seems to require more than one color, use the predominate ‘red’ because the words of the Godhead are more important than anything else we can learn. An example would be-in Genesis 12:7 God appears, He speaks, and Abram builds an altar.

BLUE:  The story line, chronology, action, movement; in other words, “What is happening?” Is someone speaking, asking a question, waiting for someone, fighting a war, singing or eating?

PURPLE:  The genealogy, the “begats,” births, marriages, deaths, burials-anything that would appear on a family group sheet or pedigree chart.

ORANGE:  Any spiritual gift (dreams, visions, prophecy, tongues, healing, the power to accomplish tasks, miracles, heavenly help etc.)

Note: A less obvious place for orange is when we read that the Lord spoke, although His words aren’t given until the next verse. Having the Lord speak to you is certainly a spiritual gift. For example, in Joshua 4:15-16 use orange to mark verse 15 to indicate the spiritual gift of communication with God. In verse 16, use red to show that the Lord is speaking.

GREEN:  Teachings of the prophets, any speech or explanation that you want to remember

YELLOW:  Parables, allegories, similes, comparisons

BROWN:  Travel or geographical information-keep track of where the people are and what the country around them looks like

PINK:  Words of praise to God

BLACK:  The words and deeds of Satan

How does coloring your scriptures help you? What is your favorite method?