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: