We covered lesson 15 in Gospel doctrine yesterday. Once again my friend and neighbor Bruce did an excellent job. (I’m trying to butter him up to get him to start posting here.) The most important nugget I got from his lesson is that the injunction Moroni gives us to “deny not the gifts of God” is not so much him imploring us to avoid denying their existence as it is a plea for us not to decline the gifts God wants to give us. If this reading is correct (and I think it is), then the saying might be more appropriately read “decline not the gifts of God”.
So how do we decline the gifts of God? Between D&C 46 and Moroni 10 it looks like the way we decline those gifts is to not ask for them. If we are keeping the commandments then the gifts are available upon asking.
8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts (D&C 46: 8-9)
24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth-that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.
25 And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God. (Moro 10:24-25)
That explains why we se an awful lot of healing in the church today still – that’s one gift we consistently ask for and have faith that we can receive. But it looks like the others on the list are still there for the taking as well:
- Power to teach the word of wisdom
- Power to teach the word of knowledge
- Great faith
- Working mighty miracles
- Power to prophesy
- Beholding ministering angels
- Speak in tongues
- Interpret tongues
- Knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
- Believing those who know this
- Knowing the differences of administration
- Knowing the diversities of operations
Now we could spend a lot of time discussing what each of these means — in fact I suspect I’ll do that in subsequent posts — but for now I wanted to point out that all of these are available right now upon request for those in the church who keep the commandments of God. It appears our biggest problem is that we are ignoring Moroni’s last plea and are saying “no thanks” to most of the gifts of God by not requesting them.