Gratitude for the Gifts of God

God exists. He lives. He is your Father. He knows you, loves you, and is intimately concerned for your wellbeing. His Firstborn Son is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The Savior also loves you more than you can comprehend. He suffered and died for your sins and then rose from the grave to empower you to overcome obstacles, sin, and death, on your journey back to Heavenly Father. 

One of the ways the Father and the Son have aided us in our mortal testing period is by giving us gifts. These gifts don’t come wrapped in a bow or under a tree. Rather, they come in the form of talents, aptitudes, and skills. The holy scriptures talk many times about several of the gifts that are given to mankind. The Savior told His disciples: 

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15-18). 

These are examples of spiritual gifts, but there are so many more! The Apostle Paul listed several others and told us something of their purpose: 

“[C]oncerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. . . . 

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . . 

“. . . the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

“To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 

“To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. . . . 

“. . . covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4, 7-10, 31). 

Spiritual gifts are given to us to “profit withal.” Said otherwise, each of us is given gifts to benefit others. One person has the gift of healing, but why? To heal others. Another is given the gift of prophecy. Why? So that others can hear the prophecies and repent and change their lives. Some are given the gift of speaking in tongues to be able to communicate with their brothers and sisters from other lands, to serve them more effectively, and to preach the Gospel to them in their own language. 

Almost none of these amazing spiritual gifts are given to benefit the receiver alone. In His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord taught: 

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). 

In the same way that we are to let our convictions and testimonies of Jesus Christ shine to help others come to their Redeemer, we are to share our gifts for the same purpose. The two great commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors. We can love and serve them as the Savior did by sharing our gifts, talents, abilities, time, and love with them. 

Additional scripture that the Lord has so graciously given to us in these last days before His return in glory also tell us of spiritual gifts and confirm what Paul said about their purpose. An ancient Israelite prophet living in the New World around 400 A.D. explained in great detail the importance, origin, and reason for spiritual gifts: 

“And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. 

“For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; 

“And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

“And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 

“And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; 

“And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; 

“And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; 

“And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; 

“And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. 

“And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. 

“And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. 

“And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men” (Moroni 10:8-19). 

God is good. He gives gifts – so many gifts – to benefit His children. He pours out these gifts upon all, but more upon the believing and the grateful. Those who trust in Him are led by Him and the Holy Spirit provides numerous gifts depending on the situations they find themselves in, from translating languages to healing the sick to receiving the ministrations of angels to teaching truth. All of these wonderful abilities come from God for the purpose of blessing us. 

In modern times, the Lord made a declaration about gifts that we should remember. Said He: 

“[Y]e are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils. 

“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; 

“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” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:7-9). 

The Lord is anxious to bless us and give us all the gifts we can use and need. He wants us to ask Him for gifts. He wants us to approach Him boldly (Hebrews 4:15-16). He wants us to be thankful and to live continuously in the spirit of thanksgiving. 

As we ask of Him in our prayers and as we receive according to our faith, we need to remember why we receive gifts – “for the benefit of those who love [God] and keep all [His] commandments, and him that seeketh so to do.” We don’t need to be perfect to receive gifts of God. Every person on earth has at least one spiritual gift. These gifts are evidence of our Father’s and our Savior’s love. 

This Thanksgiving, I give my sincerest thanks to my Father in Heaven for the gifts He has given me. I have been blessed with several distinct gifts that have blessed my life, increased my faith in Jesus Christ, and have allowed me to better uplift others in my sphere of influence. These gifts are real and they are evidence of His goodness. 

Art by Jenedy Paige

I have a powerful testimony that I am a son of God and that each man and woman one earth is a beloved son or daughter of the Almighty. I know this without any doubt. It is true! The Bible confirms it and the Spirit teaches us that we are His children and that we came from His realm to inhabit this planet to learn, grow, and prove our faithfulness to His commands that would be delivered to us through our Mediator Jesus Christ.

As we make our way through mortality, we need help; we need spiritual gifts. These the Lord is willing to pour down upon us. And I testify that He has flooded the earth with spiritual gifts to benefit us, to witness to us that He is aware of us and that He cares, and to give us the joy of helping others through their challenges to come to Christ and to glorify God. In the end, the greatest gift God has given us is His Son Jesus Christ who died and rose again to draw all men to Him that they might be saved and exalted in the Father’s Kingdom. 

Zack Strong, 
November 24, 2022

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