Gifts of the Spirit
I have always envied those people who can walk up to the stand and so eloquently distill their thoughts, emotions and promptings of the spirit into simple words. It is something I have never been able to do easily. As such I greatly sympathized with one member of the Quorum of the Twelve who spent many hours agonizing over a talk he was to give to a small stake only to stand up before the congregation and to find himself being led by the Spirit to speak on a different subject entirely, and with far more strength than his carefully prepared script.
The next assignment he decided that he would not take the time but would instead just stand up and let the Spirit guide his tongue. It did not come, due to his lack of preparation. He had a very embarrassed and very short time at the podium that Sunday.
The Lord gives us as many blessings as we are able to receive. As long as our half of the covenant is kept, he keeps his. Should we lack in preparation, we may be unfit or unable to have the Holy Ghost abide with us. This principle extends to more than giving talks. The need to be prepared extends to all spiritual gifts, which are the topic of my talk today.
It is through the Holy Spirit that many spiritual gifts are received. When we hearken to that still, small voice, we are blessed as it guides our steps and we find the paths to peace in the home, understanding in the scriptures and purpose in life. A sense of purpose and place is one of the core gifts of the Spirit.
Another important gift of the Spirit is the love of Christ or charity. We need Charity to find and keep the Spirit.
These characteristics, these attributes, are the key to gifts of the Spirit and the presence of the Spirit in our lives.
The use of Charity to prepare to receive and keep the gifts of the Spirit seems difficult until you read the shorter definition of Charity in the topical guide: Charity is love. Love is indeed patient, kind and without envy. I f you can feel love in your heart towards your fellow man it is surprisingly difficult to be angry at him at the same time. If anger, fear, distaste or unease are replaced with love, the Spirit can abide.
The Prophet Joseph Smith recorded his inability to translate the scriptures if he quarreled with his wife. When he was able to put aside his anger and resolve his conflicts with Emma, the ability to translate returned. It was when the Holy Ghost could once more reside comfortably with him that his spiritual gifts returned.
So it is for us. We can find Spiritual Gifts, especially the Spiritual gift of peace at home and purpose to our lives when we make the Holy Ghost a welcome part of our homes and lives.
If we prepare by embracing Charity, if we prepare by doing what it takes, if we prepare by being patient, kind and without envy, then we can listen to the promptings of the Spirit an it will show us where we should go, what we should say and how we should be.
We can have all the needful gifts of the Spirit in our lives by proper preparation and by finding and keeping love.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.