Like all gifts of the Spirit, the gift of the word of knowledge is conveyed as well as received by the power of the Holy Ghost. Moroni taught, “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moro. 10:5).
Among the most important knowledge we can obtain is the knowledge of God and the gospel of his Son, Jesus Christ (see John 17:3). The Lord has promised that those who ask shall receive “revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, … that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61).
One Church member received this gift—and the joy promised—when reading the Book of Mormon for the second time. The first reading had been quick—simply to finish the book as fast as possible. But the second reading was motivated by a desire to understand what the book taught.
“As I read, new ideas flowed into my mind, and I began to make connections between what I read and experiences I was having. I recognized ways I needed to improve. But rather than feeling chastised, I felt loved. My heart swelled with joy.”
In seeking a knowledge of God, we need to remember that “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11). The Spirit offers a witness and knowledge that cannot be found elsewhere (see 1 Cor. 12:3).
This is why the Lord counsels us to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118; emphasis added). Learning by study engages the mind. Learning by faith engages the spirit. This is how Ammon received the gospel knowledge that so amazed King Lamoni: “A portion of that [Holy] Spirit dwelleth in me,” Ammon said, “which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God” (Alma 18:35).
The Lord also expects us to “study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people” (D&C 90:15; see also D&C 88:79). The gift of the word of knowledge given by the Holy Ghost can help us in these studies.
While attending college, Heidi Harris of Salt Lake City wanted to study the Book of Mormon but felt she had time only for schoolwork. Then one night, frustrated by a math problem, she exercised her faith and prayed for help. When she finished, the first thing she saw was the Book of Mormon. “I picked it up,” she says, “and began to read. … I finished a chapter in 1 Nephi, then went back to my treacherous math problem. I found I could solve it.”
After several weeks of reading the Book of Mormon, Heidi found herself achieving more academically. “I still had to do the work, but the reading gave me an extra push. … I was able to understand what I studied, and I had the patience to stick with my work. Not only did my grades improve, but I was easier to get along with and happier than I had ever been” (“The Experiment,” New Era, June 1995, 15).
In what ways might we strive to increase our spiritual knowledge?
What opportunities do we have to share the fruits of our knowledge with others?