At this Christmas season, when gifts are traditionally exchanged, it is appropriate to remember the gifts we receive from our Heavenly Father. Among the gifts he gives members of the Church are the gifts of the Spirit we have considered this past year—faith, knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, among others. Of course, there are more spiritual gifts than the ones discussed this year. Elder Bruce R. McConkie observed that “spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety. Those listed in the revealed word are simply illustrations of the boundless outpouring of divine grace that a gracious God gives those who love and serve him” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 371).
In offering us spiritual gifts, the Lord counsels, “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given” (D&C 46:8).
One reason we remember these gifts and why we need to receive them is to keep from being deceived. When faced with Satan’s counterfeits, we can recognize them for what they are (see D&C 46:7–8).
Another reason to remember our spiritual gifts is so we can nourish one another. “To every man [and woman] is given a gift by the Spirit of God … , that all may be profited thereby” (D&C 46:11–12).
Although every member of the Church is given at least one spiritual gift, the Lord expects us to actively seek the “best gifts.” Thus, which of all the gifts of the Spirit are the best?
One answer is that the best gifts are those we most need at the time. Perhaps a new convert needs a stronger testimony. The best gift he or she could seek at that time in life is the gift of belief. As a new member grows in the gospel, that member will seek additional gifts.
The Apostle Paul said that the best of all gifts is charity, or the pure love of Christ. He said that even if we “have all faith, so that [we] could remove mountains, and have not charity, [we are] nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2; see Moro. 7:47–48; Moro. 10:20–21).
Mollie Sorensen of Napa, California, remembers seeking the gift of charity. One day she and her teenage son had a serious argument. Upset by her response, Sister Sorensen pleaded with Heavenly Father for help in controlling her temper. If pressured in a similar moment, she concluded she would probably lose control again.
After praying and meditating for several hours, “an answer came into my mind,” she said. “I finally understood that if I were to strive to have a greater endowment of spiritual power in my life, on a day-to-day basis, the inclination to hurt would leave … even in moments of stress.”
Sister Sorensen learned that as she maintains a program of spiritual enrichment, she is able to enjoy love, peace, and the other fruits of the Spirit she desires (“Love, Discipline, and Tender Hearts,” Ensign, Sept. 1989, 30).
We, too, can receive the gifts of the Spirit our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy as we seek them earnestly, thank him for our blessings, “practise virtue and holiness before [him]” (D&C 46:32–33), and remember why he gives such marvelous gifts to his children.
How have others shared their gifts to bless your life?
What spiritual gifts do you feel you have that allow you to serve others?