- Doctrine and Covenants 46-48: “Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts” (May 3-9)
Gifts of the Spirit
On March 8, 1831, the Lord revealed an important principle to Joseph Smith: All are welcome in the meetings of His church. “Ye are commanded never to cast any one out from your public meetings,” He said (Doctrine and Covenants 46:3), echoing the guidance He had given anciently on the American continent. (See 3 Nephi 28:25-32.)
And then He explained why: because we need each other. We need the strength that comes from diversity. “All have not every gift given unto them,” He said, “for there are many gifts…. To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:11-12).
In this revelation, the Lord provided a list of spiritual gifts which echoes similar lists in the writings of Paul and Moroni. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-10, Moroni 10:8-17.) Here are a few of those gifts, together with some relevant blog posts:
- The ability to choose words which resonate with other people: “All Kinds of Tongues” – Moroni 10:15
- The ability to open our hearts to the testimonies of others: Many Did Believe in Their Words – Alma 19:33-35.
- The ability to impart information and to help others develop good judgment: Wisdom and Knowledge – Moroni 10:9-10.
- A knowledge of things that will happen in the future: “That He May Prophesy” – Moroni 10:13.
- The ability to recognize the gifts of others: Little Children Do Have Words Given unto Them – Alma 32:23.
The same day, Joseph Smith received a revelation calling John Whitmer to serve as church historian, succeeding Oliver Cowdery in that role. Record-keeping matters for at least two reasons:
- Because it demonstrates to God that we value the knowledge we’ve received: Bring Forth the Record Which Ye Have Kept – 3 Nephi 23:7-9.
- Because it can influence other people, including future generations: Record-keeping.
Two days later, the Lord instructed members of the church in Kirtland, Ohio to be generous with their brothers and sisters arriving from New York. “Inasmuch as ye have lands, ye shall impart to the eastern brethren,” He said (Doctrine and Covenants 48:2).
This brings to mind the kindness of the Nephites to a large number of Lamanites who were converted by the preaching of the sons of Mosiah:
As I studied section 48 of the Doctrine and Covenants today, I noticed that the Lord instructed members of the church to do three things in relation to their assets: give generously, save aggressively, and buy carefully. Joseph Smith received this revelation after asking the Lord what to do about the influx of members of… Continue Reading →
Moroni exhorted us to “deny not the gifts of God” (Moroni 10:8). Paul counseled us to “eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31, New International Version). And through Joseph Smith, the Lord admonished us, “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8). All three of… Continue Reading →
When Paul and Moroni listed some of the gifts of the Spirit, they both referred to healing in the same way: “the gifts of healing” (1 Corinthians 12:9, Moroni 10:11). When the Lord reaffirmed those lists in an 1831 revelation, He identified two separate gifts related to healing: To some it is given to have faith to… Continue Reading →
Ammon told King Lamoni that God “knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Alma 18:32). Alma explained to his son Corianton that we will be judged not only according to our works, but also according to our desires: The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to… Continue Reading →
Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children, and His Church is meant to be a welcoming place for all people. On the first day of the Savior’s ministry on the American continent, He taught this principle clearly to the people gathered at the temple in the land of Bountiful: Ye shall meet together oft; and ye… Continue Reading →
The apostle Paul introduces the gifts of the Spirit with three parallel statements: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” “There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” “There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6) These three statements are even more… Continue Reading →
Included in Alma’s list of soul-searching questions to the people of Zarahemla was the following: “Is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?” Alma added, “Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot… Continue Reading →
Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would one day erect a standard which would attract people from all nations: Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. Isaiah 49:22, 1 Nephi 21:22, 2 Nephi 6:6… Continue Reading →
In an 1831 revelation, the Lord reminds us of the city of Enoch, a group of people who were “separated from the earth,” and lifted up to heaven, because of their purity, charity, and unity (Doctrine and Covenants 45:11, see also Moses 7:21). He said that they would remain in heaven until “a day of… Continue Reading →
If you can have hope for the future, then you can have joy today. When Lehi taught his son Jacob that men (and women) “are that they might have joy,” he wasn’t talking about an easy life, free from adversity. There must be “opposition in all things,” he said. Jacob himself had endured significant trials,… Continue Reading →
In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.
In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.
In 2019, I used the Book of Mormon to study 365 questions—one per day. Here is a list of those questions, grouped by category, with a link to the blog post for each question.