“We must remember that to every man [or woman] is given a gift by the Spirit of God. It is our right and responsibility to accept our gifts and to share them. God’s gifts and powers are available to all of us.” (Ashton, Marvin J., There are Many Gifts, General Conference, October 1987) Each of us has at least one spiritual gift. Some people have many, but the Prophet Joseph Smith had them all. We will learn about them today.
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“We must remember that to every man [or woman] is given a gift by the Spirit of God. It is our right and responsibility to accept our gifts and to share them. God’s gifts and powers are available to all of us.” (Ashton, Marvin J., There are Many Gifts, General Conference, October 1987)
Each of us has at least one spiritual gift. Some people have many, but the Prophet Joseph Smith had them all. We will learn about them today.
Welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me Podcast. We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and in this week’s lesson we will be studying sections 46 through 48 of the Doctrine and Covenants with the lesson entitled “Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts.”
Speaking of gifts, we have one to give to you: During the pre-registration period of launching our new Meridian app, we not only will give you the App for free, but we will also give you a copy of Scot’s eBook: Eleven Things You Probably Didn’t Know about the Book of Mormon. You don’t want to miss this read, so pre-register today at: latterdaysaintmag.com/app that’s latterdaysaintmag.com/app (A-P-P) and when you simply give us your email, you’ll automatically receive the free ebook.
The Lord carefully teaches us through His holy scriptures that spiritual gifts are from Him and they are to be sought after. The main scriptural documentation of special gifts is in 1st Corinthians, chapters 12 and 13, the very last chapter of the Book of Mormon–Moroni chapter 10, and, in the course of our studies this week, section 46 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Scot, I think we need to start by giving some historical context so that we can understand the setting at this early time in the history of the Church. It helps me to understand Joseph and Emma’s personal situation in all these places.
Remember, when they arrived in snowy Kirtland on a horse-drawn cutter or sleigh, the first of February, 1831. Emma was six months pregnant. I’m very interested in this aspect of the story because I have spent a lot of my life pregnant. In those days they did not have ultrasound so they didn’t know a great deal about this pregnancy, but Emma was larger than she had been in her last pregnancy and within three months of arriving in Ohio, she would give birth to twins.
That’s right. And let’s see where Joseph and Emma were living. They had been staying for the first few weeks in the home of Newel and Elizabeth Whitney—and the original home is still there, by the way, and can be visited in Kirtland. But soon, Isaac and Lucy Morley invited them to come and live on their farm just over a mile from the Whitney’s home. They had more than 200 acres of land and a number of small cabins or homes and they offered to build one for Joseph and Emma. Here, Emma would give birth to their twins on Saturday, April 30, 1831–a beautiful little girl and a precious little boy, Louisa and Thaddeus. These two angels only lived for three hours and they passed away. This, of course, was devastating to Emma and to Joseph. They had lost their first child, Alvin, in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and now these two little ones here in Kirtland.
But a miracle was in the works that came with a price. That same day, John Murdock and his wife Julia, new converts to the Church, also delivered twins—a boy and a girl, but Julia had been sick for some time and unfortunately, she passed away in childbirth. So, there is John with five other young children and now these two newborn twins.
And in those days, if you didn’t have the birth mother, you had to find a wet nurse or you would lose the babies—it’s not like you could go to the local trading post and order in some 1831 vintage formula. John heard of Joseph and Emma’s plight and he came to them and asked if they could adopt his twins and make them as their own and “perhaps this could assuage your pain and mine.” Joseph and Emma accepted the offer and so at age nine days old, they were officially adopted and they named them Julia Murdock Smith and Joseph Murdock Smith.
But that is not the whole story.
John Murdock’s wife, Julia Clapp Murdock had been ill through much of the latter part of the pregnancy. Julia’s parents, Orris and Phebe Clapp, loved their daughter very much. She was the 3rd of 13 children and they were so concerned about her precarious health and they were also very much opposed to their daughter and son-in-law having anything to do with the Mormons. John had felt that by giving Julia priesthood blessings alone and not availing himself of local doctors or apothecaries, he could help Julia and see her healed. Her parents dismissed all of these as absolute false teachings and wanted to take Julia to come and be with them and to have their doctor friends see to her needs. John would not hear of it and Julia, although ill, also had a testimony and was supportive of John’s wishes. And then, of course, she tragically died in childbirth. This was shocking and enraging to the Clapp’s who deeply mourned the loss of their daughter, not only to death, but to Mormonism.
But, Maurine, as you know, that’s also not the whole story.
Here’s the rest of the story. In 1997 and 1998 when the site for the Columbus Ohio temple was being looked for, as always, a few locations were suggested to the Temple Department and President Gordon B. Hinckley would have the final decision. He looked at the sites and felt very strongly about the one where it would finally be built and said, “This is the site and the land.” Of course, that is where the temple was built and was dedicated the 4th of September 1999. Although he did not know this until long after the dedication, the land used for the temple had originally belonged to Julia Clapp Murdock’s parents. That’s seems to be a wonderful, full-circle story. And, I think similar amazing stories could be told about many, if not all the temple sites.
So, now Emma had these Murdock twins and she nursed them to health and she and Joseph made them their own at John’s request.
Now, let’s turn to section 46 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Remember, the Church is barely eleven months old and these new converts are trying to learn everything new in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Brigham Young University Professor Steven C. Harper writes: “Missionary John Murdock [yes, our same John Murdock] and his companions were preaching in Cleveland, Ohio, when a deceiver came forward and knelt as if to pray, but actually he was giving “a sign to the banditry to begin their abuse.” Immediately his cohorts blew out the candles and threw inkstands and books at the speaker. Later, back in Kirtland, the brethren counseled together about the situation. Some favored excluding from Church meetings all who were not firm in the faith. Others opposed this idea, citing the Book of Mormon passage in which the Lord commands the Church to ‘not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together” for sacrament or confirmation meetings. Both positions seemed justified. The Saints needed further light.” (Harper, Steven C., Making Sense of the Doctrine & Covenants, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 2008)
This is the setting for Section 46.
And the Lord answers their question in verse 3:
“Nevertheless ye are commanded never to cast any one out from your public meetings, which are held before the world.”
And the Lord gives more details in verses 4-7. I love the intimate nature of the Lord’s answers to these basic questions based on the true situations that these early Saints faced.
Let’s look briefly in verse 2.
“…it always has been given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.”
I remember so well, Maurine, one particular sacrament meeting in the Fairfax Ward in Virginia. I was conducting and as I was in the midst of some ward business, a sister walked into the back of the chapel and sat down. I was looking up at that moment and I saw her. The Spirit whispered to me at the pulpit, “You need to acknowledge that she is here. By name.” Well, I didn’t know her name although I had met her once before. And so, I said, in my spiritual voice, “I don’t know her name.” The Spirit said, “Open your mouth and I will give it to you.” I trusted Him, although I had no idea what I was going to say. I opened my mouth at the end of the ward business and I said, “We’d like to recognize Sister—and the name popped in my head—today. It’s so good to see you. A special welcome to you this beautiful Sabbath morning. We’re so glad you’re here.”
Well, I had no idea of the significance of that except that I was obedient. Sometime later I learned that this sister had really been having a hard, hard time and she had been through so many trials—especially of her faith. And she came to Church that morning as one last attempt to come to Church. And she had said in her prayer that morning, “Heavenly Father, I just need to have somebody acknowledge that I am there in Church—by name” and she had determined if that did not happen, this would be the last time she would ever come. The Spirit used this weak vessel to answer her prayer and I’m so grateful that I conducted that meeting as directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Now, the main teaching of section 46 is about spiritual gifts and we’re going to talk about them in detail. And we have to start with verse 9 which is one of the most hopeful verses in holy writ and one of my favorites:
“For verily I say unto you, they [spiritual gifts] are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do”
I just love that those of us in the “seeketh so to do” category are also included in the divvying out of spiritual gifts. How many of us listening are the “seeketh so to doers”? I think, in so many cases we all fall into that category. And doesn’t that give you hope and fill you with joy that as you are striving to keep the commandments you are also blessed by the Lord and are given the blessings that you need!
I’ve always been uplifted by that verse. Now, we sometimes think that the 30 or so spiritual gifts that are outlined in the scriptures are the only spiritual gifts available. You know in your heart that this is simply not true.
Elder Marvin J. Ashton taught:
“…let me mention a few gifts that are not always evident or noteworthy but that are very important. Among these may be your gifts—gifts not so evident but nevertheless real and valuable.
“Let us review some of these less-conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost.
“We must remember that to every man [and woman] is given a gift by the Spirit of God. It is our right and responsibility to accept our gifts and to share them. God’s gifts and powers are available to all of us.” (Ashton, Marvin J., There are Many Gifts, General Conference, October 1987)
That really opens our minds up to the possibilities of spiritual gifts. And isn’t it such an intimate view of our generous Father in Heaven who, before He sent us to this far-away place called earth and mortality, would give us gifts, embedded in our spirits, to travel with us so that we might glorify His name and utilize to help build His kingdom here upon the earth? It is all very wonderful.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught about spiritual gifts in this way:
“Those gifts of God that come to faithful people by the power of the Holy Ghost are called spiritual gifts or gifts of the Spirit. They come from God, they are administered by the Holy Ghost, and they are transmitted to men by the Spirit of Christ, which is the light of Christ, which is the agency of God’s power. Their receipt is predicated upon faith, obedience, and personal righteousness; hence they are reserved for the saints of God, for those who believe in his name and live his laws. They are the signs and miracles that follow those who believe, and their receipt, in one degree or another, is essential to salvation. No one can be saved in the celestial kingdom unless he receives some or many of the gifts of the Spirit.
Elder McConkie continued:
“Is it proper to seek for spiritual gifts? Should we plead with the Lord for the gift of prophecy, or of revelation, or of tongues? Is it fitting and right to pray for the soul-sanctifying privilege of seeing the face of the Lord Jesus while we yet dwell as mortals in a sin-filled world? Does the Lord expect us to desire and seek for spiritual experiences, or do the divine proprieties call for us simply to love the Lord and keep his commandments, knowing that if and when he deems it proper he will grant special gifts and privileges to us?
“By way of answer, it almost suffices to ask such questions as these: Are we not expected to seek salvation, the greatest of all the gifts of God? Why, then, should we not prepare ourselves for this greatest of all boons by seeking the enjoyment of the lesser ones? If we are to see his face in that eternal realm where the same sociality that exists among us here, then coupled with eternal glory, shall endure everlastingly, can we go amiss by seeking to establish that sociality here and now? Are we not commanded: Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened? Why, then, should we smother a desire to heal the sick or raise the dead or commune with friends beyond the veil?” (McConkie, Bruce R., New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1985, pp. 367-68)
So, we are invited to seek the best gifts. To constantly try to improve upon what gifts we have been given and to use these gifts to lift and bless and strengthen our families and others.
It took me a while to figure out the gift or gifts that I had been given, but sometimes you can figure out your gifts by looking at your own life and seeing what you love to do and what you love to pursue and what brings you joy and satisfaction.
I found that I have been given a rich gift of discernment. I can read things from national sources, or listen to the news or to podcasts and I can discern truth from error very readily. I use this gift every day in my work on Meridian Magazine. We live in very difficult, confusing and troubling times and I have to know what is right and wrong, good and evil, true and false. This gift is such a part of my thinking that I have to sometimes stop and just thank the Lord that He gave me this gift and that I am blessed to use it every day.
George Q. Cannon has called the gift of discernment or discerning of spirits “a gift that is of exceeding value and one that should be enjoyed by every Latter-day Saint. … No Latter-day Saint should be without this gift, because there is such a variety of spirits in the world which seek to deceive and lead astray” (Gospel Truth, sel. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. in 1 , 156–57).
This discernment also was extremely useful in raising our large family of eleven children. I am extremely grateful that I have been given this gift.
My Mom had a lot of spiritual gifts, including the gift of prophecy. Yes, a woman can have the gift of prophecy and should seek for this gift.
Back in the early 70’s, she was serving in our newly formed Columbia Missouri Stake as the stake Relief Society president. Our stake covered a huge area. Our stake center was 100 miles from our home. Mom would often put 2,000 miles on the car per month just doing her Church duties.
We lived very far from a temple. We grew up in the Salt Lake Temple district, although the temple was 1,400 miles from our home. We were so thrilled when the announcement came that the Washington D.C. Temple would be built—just 950 miles away!
We were given our temple assessment (in those days) and our ward raised that amount with great joy and some sacrifice so that we could have this wondrous temple so close to us. But very soon after the Washington D.C. Temple was dedicated, it was announced that our ward (and stake) would be put in the newly formed Jordan River Temple district! This temple was 1,400 miles away—again! Frankly, this upset a lot of people. Obviously, it didn’t stop anyone from going to the nearest temple; it was just the principle of the thing.
In one particular stake leadership meeting there began to be a rather heated discussion about why we could not have our own temple in Missouri and why did we have to be in the Jordan River Temple district. The discussion continued to get worse and finally my mother stood up (as the stake Relief Society president) and said, “I think we should cease such talk this instant! We will be placed in three more temple districts and then, finally, we will have our own temple.” She said this with such power the whole group went silent. No more words were spoken on the topic.
It wasn’t long before the Atlanta Georgia Temple was announced and we were placed in that district—only 660 miles away! Then came the placement of our stake in the new Dallas Texas Temple district—only 550 miles away! Within a short time, we were placed in the Chicago Illinois Temple district—just 400 miles away! And then on December 29, 1990, a temple was announced for St. Louis Missouri—just 100 miles from our home! This was the fulfillment of Mom’s prophetic words in that stake leadership meeting.
The gift of prophecy is a wonderful spiritual gift.
And President Nelson is inviting each of us, encouraging us, asking us to seek the gift of personal revelation.
“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.” (Nelson, Russell M., Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives, General Conference, April 2018)
Elder McConkie emphasizes this as well:
“Revelation and prophecy and testimony and visions—these are the foundation upon which the Lord builds his earthly church. As gifts of the Spirit, they are poured out upon the saints. Revelation is the making known of divine truths by communication from heaven; it is God speaking to man in numerous available ways; it is the giving of saving truths to unsaved mortals. One means is by rending the heavens and permitting fallen man to entertain angels and see within the veil; in vision the faithful are thus permitted to see the wonders of eternity and to come to know their Maker. When revelation dips into the future beyond what mortal eyes can see, it becomes prophecy. The earthly kingdom is governed and guided and sustained by the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation. Testimony is the beginning of personal revelation in the life of a believing soul. And “upon this rock”—the rock of testimony and personal revelation—”I will build my church,” saith the Lord, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (McConkie, Bruce R., New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1985, p. 375.)
Elder Marvin J. Ashton talked about a wonderful gift, the gift to hear and use the small voice. He said, “Still, small heavenly voices penetrate the heart with their gentle, convincing declarations…
“Most often, hope, encouragement, and direction come from a soft, piercing voice.
“Small voices are heard only by those who are willing to listen. Soft and small voice communications with our associates make priceless friendships possible. I am appreciative of people who find no need to raise their voices as they try to impress or convince. It seems most people who argue and shout have ceased listening to what the small voice could powerfully contribute.
“We love the small voice of a child saying, “Mommy, Daddy, I love you.”
“How powerful is a small voice that knows how and when to say, “Thank you.” …
“Remember that one of our greatest gifts is the small voice of the Holy Ghost whispering directions in our lives and making mighty testimonies possible.” (Ashton, Marvin J., There are Many Gifts, General Conference, October 1987)
It was that still small voice that spoke to me at the pulpit in the Fairfax Ward on that Sabbath morning when I was conducting. And in this noisy, tumultuous, cacophonous world, we really have to listen to hear this still, small voice.
Remember, as we said in the beginning, the list of spiritual gifts in the scriptures is not exhaustive. Elder McConkie said, “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. “All have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man [who is true and faithful] is given a gift by the Spirit of God. To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.” (D&C 46:11-12). (McConkie, Bruce R., New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 371)
I know that many of you listening to this podcast have unique and diverse gifts. We have met many of you and we know this. In fact, we are always blown away by the talented and amazing people we meet who have come to develop and exercise the various marvelous gifts they have been given from the Lord.
And Joseph Smith was especially blessed to have all the spiritual gifts that are mentioned in the scriptural accounts. Did he have the gift of prophecy? Yes. Did he have the gift of revelation? Yes. Did he have the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues? Yes! Did he have the gift of faith to know that Jesus is the Christ? Yes. Did he have the gift of healing? Yes. Did he have the gift of faith to be healed? Yes. Did he have the gift of discernment of spirits? Yes! We could document every one of these and, in fact, Truman Madsen did document them all.
He wrote: “I have gone through the life of Joseph Smith and singled out instances in that life when these gifts were manifest. It is no surprise that he did, in fact, experience all the spiritual gifts…Joseph was promised that upon him would be laid much power. When someone who had known him was asked to name the greatest miracle she had seen in the first generation of the Church, she replied that it was Joseph Smith. The Prophet was a God-made man. It will never do to say, as critics are beginning to say, “This man was a genius.” So, saying, they wish to reduce a most remarkable movement to its leader, its founder, and, as they believe, its origin. True, he was a genius, he was a brilliant man. It takes a brilliant man even to comprehend, let alone to write, as he comprehended and wrote, the glorious insights that came to him, even granting that they came from the Lord. He was a man of superb intelligence…He was a prophet, made so by the power of God. He was a modern miracle.” (Madsen, Truman G., Joseph Smith the Prophet, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1978, pp. 36, 49)
In conclusion of this part, the questions are: What spiritual gifts do you want to seek? What do you want to obtain from the Lord? What gifts would most bless your family and your friends? What is the gift that you already have that you want to develop even more for His glory? These are good questions to ask.
Now, much is going on in Kirtland at this time and the Church is growing. Joseph called for a conference of the Church to be held June 3-6, 1831 in an old log schoolhouse on the Morley Farm. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out in great abundance upon this occasion. Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight and Harvey Whitlock received a vision of both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This is one of six appearances, that we know about, of the Father and the Son in this early part of the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Levi Hancock recorded that the Prophet was speaking to the elders when “he stepped out on the floor and said, ‘I now see God, and Jesus Christ at his right hand, let them kill me, I should not feel death as I am now.” (The Life of Levi Hancock, BYU Special Collections, p. 33)
John Whitmer recorded:
“The Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph in an unusual manner…After he had prophesied, he laid his hands upon Lyman Wight [and ordained him] to the High priesthood after the holy order of God. And the Spirit fell upon Lyman, and he prophesied, concerning the coming of Christ…He saw the heavens opened, and the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the Father. Making intercession for his brethren, the Saints. He said that God would work a work in these Last days that tongue cannot express, and the mind of is not capable to conceive. The glory of the Lord shone around.” (The Book of John Whitmer, Joseph Smith Papers, Chapter VII, dated June 3, 1831, grammar and spelling standardized)
Talk about exercising the gifts of the Spirit! And Maurine, you said this was one of SIX? Appearances of the Father and the Son? I have had these written in my scriptures for many years. Let’s give the list of the six that we know about.
Obviously, number one on the list is the First Vision, given on or about Sunday, March 26, 1820 in the Sacred Grove, on the Smith Farm in Manchester Township, New York.
And the second one we just talked about: Friday, June 3, 1831 in the old log schoolhouse on the Isaac and Lucy Morley Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. And what was the occasion? It was the first ordinations of high priests in this dispensation.
Number three is on the occasion of the Vision of the Three Degrees of Glory. This was received in the John and Elsa Johnson Farmhouse on Thursday, February 16, 1832.
That’s right. And the fourth appearance—again, that we know of—was on Monday, March 18, 1833 in the Newel K. Whitney Store in the room that we call the School of the Prophets in Kirtland. And what was that occasion? This was the organization of the First Presidency for the first time in this dispensation.
And the fifth occasion was Thursday, January 21, 1836 in the 3rd floor of the Kirtland Temple in Joseph Smith’s office. This was the vision of the celestial kingdom where Joseph not only saw the Father and the Son, but he also saw his brother Alvin who had long-since died.
And the sixth occasion was exactly one week later, on Thursday, January 28, 1836 in the unfinished and undedicated Kirtland Temple where about one hundred Melchizedek Priesthood members were assembled.
Those are the six occasions that we know of the appearances of the Father and the Son in this early part of the Dispensation.
Now, we wouldn’t know any of these unless someone made a record of these things and in Section 47, John Whitmer is appointed to be the Church Historian and to keep a record of the history of the Church.
“Behold, it is expedient in me that my servant John should write and keep a regular history, and assist you, my servant Joseph, in transcribing all things which shall be given you, until he is called to further duties.”
John Whitmer kept a record of the things he observed and how he observed them for many years. His record was 96 hand-written pages and covered the period from when he was called in March 1831 until the fall of 1836. He named his history The Book of John Whitmer and divided it into 22 chapters. This history contained many of the revelations given to the prophet Joseph Smith and is a very valuable history.
Others kept their own personal records at that time. Joseph Smith himself began writing his own personal history in November 1832. Joseph wasn’t great at keeping his own journal because he was so busy directing the affairs of the Church.
Wilford Woodruff kept a daily journal from the day of his baptism, December 31, 1833 until well in 1898. His journals are priceless. His journal covers 64 ½ years, 59 years of which Wilford was serving as an apostle of the Lord. He wrote his history in 31 daybooks and journals and more than 13,000 personal letters. Without Wilford Woodruff’s primary source journals we would not have many of the sermons and teachings of the Prophet Joseph.
And, of course, others kept journals and histories including the Prophet’s Mother, Lucy Mack Smith. And Maurine, you and I were privileged to go into that original manuscript and restore her voice into her history. That book, The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother was published by Bookcraft in 1996.
Parley P. Pratt also wrote his autobiography during this early period of the history of the Church. These all became primary sources of our understanding of this sacred history.
The Lord really likes record keeping. He encourages each one of us to keep a journal of our own lives and spiritual experiences.
I’m sure you remember President Henry B. Eyring’s teachings on keeping a record:
“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
President Eyring continued:
“I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.
“I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
“More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.” (Eyring, Henry B., O Remember, Remember, General Conference, October 2007)
The Lord wants us to develop our spiritual gifts and He wants us to write down our experiences and our interactions with the Spirit in our lives. We all have much to give and we all have much to record—not only the history of the Church but the history of our lives.
That’s all for today. We’ve loved being with you as always. Remember that you can find the transcripts to each podcast so you can check notes and write down references at latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast That’s latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast
Next week’s lesson is entitled: “That Which Is of God Is Light” and covers Sections 49 and 50 of the Doctrine and Covenants. We’re excited to study and learn with you each week. Thanks to Paul Cardall for the beautiful music that accompanies this podcast and to Michaela Proctor Hutchins for producing this show. Blessings to each of you and see you next time.