Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It’s also often easier to give than to receive, particularly when the gift is viewed as necessary. No one wants to be a “project” or a “charity case.” We all want to be viewed as self-sufficient and capable.
But when we need help, it’s important to be a good receiver.
Near the end of Nephi’s writings, he warned us that, in our day, many teachers would rely too much on their own wisdom and would fail to receive needed assistance from God. “They shall teach with their learning,” he wrote, “and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (a paraphrase of Isaiah 29:13, which he had quoted in the prior chapter). “And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 28:4-5, italics added).
Nearly a thousand years later, Moroni echoed Nephi’s warning:
I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.Mormon 9:7-8 (Note the similarity between this passage and his father’s warning in 3 Nephi 29:6.)
And in his final chapter, Moroni repeatedly warns us not to reject the power and the gifts of God:
- “I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.” (Moroni 10:7, italics added).
- “And again, I exhort you…that ye deny not the gifts of God…. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and…all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men” (Moroni 10:8, 19, italics added).
At the end of the chapter, Moroni explains that when we come unto Christ, we will receive His grace and be perfected in Him. When that happens, Moroni says, “ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” Subsequently, he says, if we “deny not his power,” then we are sanctified, made holy (Moroni 10:32-33).
“Deny not the power of God” might mean: “Don’t claim that it doesn’t exist. Don’t try to convince other people that His power isn’t real.” But a more practical interpretation might be this: “Don’t turn away God’s gifts to you. Don’t try to manage on your own, without His help.” None of us is spiritually self-sufficient. We all need His power, which He freely gives but which we don’t always freely receive.
Today, I will be a good receiver of the gifts of God. I will humble myself and welcome His power into my life. I will remember that He is unchanging, and that He is willing to give good gifts to His children. I will humble myself, so that I am willing to receive those gifts.