Lesson 2: Spiritual Gifts

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 5–8


Each young woman will understand that developing her spiritual gifts will enrich life for herself and others.


  1. 1.

    Provide paper and pencils for the class members.

  2. 2.

    Prepare a piece of paper for each young woman containing the scripture, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” (1 Timothy 4:14). You might roll the paper up like a scroll and tie it with a ribbon. Put the scripture scrolls in a box, and wrap the box as if it were a gift.

  3. 3.

    Assign three young women to present information about the three spiritual gifts discussed in the first section of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.

Note to the teacher

In preparing to present the lesson, study Doctrine and Covenants 46:7–29. It may be necessary to take two class periods to present this material.

Suggested Lesson Development

Heavenly Father Has Endowed His Children with Spiritual Gifts

Object lesson and discussion

Place the box you have gift wrapped on a table or chair at the front of the classroom.

  • If this box contained a gift for you, what would you like it to be?

Let the young women spend a minute or two responding to the question. Explain that there are different kinds of gifts. Some come wrapped in boxes, but others are intangible—things that we cannot hold or touch.

Explain that the Prophet Joseph Smith spoke of some of the most important intangible gifts:

“We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the Apostles’ days; … we also believe in prophecy, in tongues, in visions, and in revelations, in gifts, and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gift of the Holy Ghost” (History of the Church, 5:27).

President Marion G. Romney commented on this statement by the Prophet:

“Thus one who has never received the gift of the Holy Ghost cannot possibly work miracles by his power.

“Now, we know that there is but one way to obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost. That way is through the prescribed ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1956, p. 72; or Improvement Era, June 1956, p. 424).

Explain that every member of the Church, having received the gift of the Holy Ghost, is entitled to receive certain spiritual gifts.

Chalkboard discussion

Point out that the scriptures teach us what these spiritual gifts are. Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–26. As each spiritual gift is named, list it on the chalkboard.

    Spiritual Gifts

  • Testimony of Jesus Christ

  • Faith in the testimony of others

  • Wisdom

  • Knowledge

  • Faith to heal

  • Faith to be healed

  • Miracles

  • Prophecy

  • Discerning of spirits

  • Speaking in tongues

  • Interpretation of tongues

Young women presentations

There will not be time to discuss each of these gifts in depth. However, try to spend a few minutes talking about some of them. Three young women should be prepared to share information about the following spiritual gifts. If a class member has had an experience with a spiritual gift, such as healing, she may wish to share the experience with the class instead of or in addition to the examples given.

The Gift of Prophecy

Reed Smoot, United States senator from Utah, 1903 to 1933, was a small boy when he heard Brigham Young make a prophecy that was literally fulfilled years later:

“Brigham Young came to Provo and, at a conference meeting, said that the day would come when the human voice could be heard from New York to San Francisco. …

“Reed’s mother had taken him to this meeting, and on the way home he said (referring to what President Brigham Young had said), ‘Now that’s a big lie. That’s absolutely impossible. It couldn’t be.’ His mother, who was a woman of very great faith, told her son, ‘Yes, you’ll live to see the fulfillment of what the President has said today.’ He did not believe it. Time went by and while he was in the United States Senate, a broadcasting system was built so you could speak from New York City to San Francisco. One of his colleagues in the Senate had charge of this enterprise and when it was completed and they were to celebrate the event, he invited Senator Smoot to come to New York City and be the first man to speak over the completed network, which he did, and his voice was heard clearly and distinctly across the continent.

“Thus he lived to literally fulfill the promise by President Brigham Young in Provo years before” (Bryant S. Hinckley, The Faith of Our Pioneer Fathers [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1956], p. 207).

The Gift of Faith to Be Healed

This story appeared in the Dutch Star shortly after the visit of President Joseph F. Smith to Holland in 1906.

“It was on the 7th day of August, 1906, that President Smith and party arrived in Rotterdam, having come from the boat in Antwerp two days before. There was living in that city a boy of eleven years of age, John Roothoff by name, who had suffered greatly for a number of years with his eyes. His mother was a faithful member of the Church as also was the boy, who was slowly losing his sight and was unable to attend school. The boy said to his mother: ‘The Prophet has the most power of any missionary on earth. If you will take me with you to meeting and he will look into my eyes I believe they will be healed.’ According to his desire he was permitted to accompany his mother to the meeting. At the close of the meeting, as was the custom, President Smith moved towards the door and began to shake hands and speak encouragingly to the people as they passed from the hall. As John Roothoff approached him, led by his mother and his eyes bandaged, President Smith took him by the hand and spoke to him kindly. He then raised the bandage slightly and looked sympathetically into the inflamed eyes, at the same time saying something in English which the boy did not understand. However, he was satisfied. President Smith had acted according to the boy’s faith; and according to his faith it came to pass. When he arrived home, he cried out with great joy: ‘Mama, my eyes are well; I cannot feel any more pain. I can see fine now, and far too.’ Following this event the boy was able to attend school again” (Life of Joseph F. Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1969], p. 397).

The Gift of Revelation

Eliza R. Snow and some friends, including the Prophet Joseph Smith, were discussing the Resurrection and the relationship of people on earth to their Father in Heaven. Shortly after this conversation, Eliza wrote the words to the hymn “O My Father.” Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the Church, said this about the hymn:

“With regard to our position before we came here, I will say that we dwelt with the Father and with the Son, as expressed in the hymn, ‘O my Father,’ that has been sung here. That hymn is a revelation. … There are a great many sisters who have the spirit of revelation. There is no reason why they should not be inspired” (Millennial Star, 9 Apr. 1894, p. 229).


Read the following quotation:

“Our gifts and opportunities differ; some are more visible and impactful. … We all have at least one gift and an open invitation to seek ‘earnestly the best gifts.’ (D&C 46:8.)” (Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, Oct. 1976, p. 15; or Ensign, Nov. 1976, p. 14).

Note to the teacher

If you are taking two class periods to present this lesson, stop here for the first week.

We Can Recognize and Develop Spiritual Gifts

Scripture and discussion

Write Doctrine and Covenants 46:11 on the chalkboard.

  • According to this verse, what has every young woman been given?

Explain that knowing what spiritual gifts we have can give us confidence and assist us in helping others.

  • How can you recognize the spiritual gifts you have been given?

The following are possible responses:

  1. 1.

    Pray and ask for help.

  2. 2.

    Obtain and read often your patriarchal blessing, which may identify some spiritual gifts.

  3. 3.

    Observe what traits and talents seem to come naturally to you.

  4. 4.

    Accept calls that come from priesthood leaders.

  5. 5.

    Notice compliments you receive from others.

  • How can you acquire additional gifts of the Spirit?

The following are possible responses:

  1. 1.

    Study about the gift from the scriptures and messages of Church leaders.

  2. 2.

    Observe those who possess the gift.

  3. 3.

    Practice using the gift.

Scriptural example

Suppose a young woman has recently been called to teach a Sunday School class and she wants to develop the gift of teaching.

  • According to Alma 17:2–3, what could this young woman do to acquire the gift of teaching with power and authority?

  • What else could she do? (Study materials about teaching, observe good teachers.)

Summarize student responses on the chalkboard.

Story and discussion

Ask the young women to consider how Elder Matthew Cowley developed one of his spiritual gifts while serving as a missionary among the Maori people.

“I studied eleven hours every day for several weeks. I read the Book of Mormon in Maori, and my studies were punctuated with fasting and with prayer; and on my twelfth Sunday I delivered my first sermon in the Maori language. They do speak with new tongues, those who accept the call to the ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“I have seen young missionaries in Samoa and in Tonga and in New Zealand and in Hawaii who, within six months’ time, could deliver sermons in the languages of the people among whom they were laboring—young men and women who did not have much scholastic training before they were called into the mission fields, but these young men and women, placed in the hands of God, and molded like clay in the hands of the potter, received the gifts which they had been promised” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1948, p. 156; or Improvement Era, Nov. 1948, p. 699).

  • What was one of Matthew Cowley’s gifts?

  • What did he do to develop this gift?

Spiritual Gifts Bring Responsibilities and Blessings

Scripture study and discussion

Write the following words and scriptures on the chalkboard:

Seek (D&C 46:8) Benefit (D&C 46:9, 26) Boast (D&C 84:73)

Distribute a pencil and paper to each young woman. Instruct each of them to look up the scriptures and write down what the scriptures say about the words they have discovered.

  • How should you use the spiritual gifts you have been given?

Be sure the young women understand that spiritual gifts are given for the benefit of all. If they seek after a gift, they should understand the purpose of the gift and the responsibility that comes with it. For example, if a young woman has received the gift of knowledge or testimony, she must not keep it to herself any more than a priesthood holder who has the gift of healing should withhold his gift.

Teacher presentation and scripture

Have the young women turn to 1 Timothy 4:14.

Explain that Timothy was a faithful young man who had been taught the gospel by the Apostle Paul. After joining the Church he received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and through the Holy Ghost he was blessed with spiritual gifts. Paul went on to do missionary work in other cities and left Timothy in charge of the Church in the city of Ephesus. Later Paul wrote back to give Timothy encouragement and instructions.

Read 1 Timothy 4:14 aloud. Encourage the young women to prayerfully consider their spiritual gifts. Assure them that each young woman has been given a gift. Like Timothy, she should not neglect this gift, but she should discover it and use it.

Scripture scrolls

Let one of the young women open the box you have gift wrapped and give each of the class members one of the scripture scrolls.

Lesson Application

Invite the young women to seek earnestly spiritual gifts and endeavor to develop them. Encourage them to record in their journals the growth they experience as they seek, develop, and share these spiritual gifts.