19: "Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts" (Doctrine and Covenants 46–48)
Do you remember watching the giveaway episodes on Oprah? Did you ever feel a tad envious of the audience when Oprah would say, “You get a gift! You get a gift! Everybody gets a gift!”? Well, today we’re going to study about a different—but infinitely more valuable—type of gift that you already have. In this week’s lesson of Doctrine and Covenants 46–48, we’ll learn about spiritual gifts and how we can use them to help those around us.
Okay, well if today is not the best day ever, I don't know what is. Because, oh my gosh, I'm so excited! This week's "Come, Follow Me" lesson is Doctrine and Covenants, sections 46 through 48. And it's all about spiritual gifts. And I get to talk about it with two of my favorite and best friends. Does it get any better than that? And I said this last year when we had a spiritual gifts lesson, It's kind of like an "Oprah Winfrey Lesson" where "you get a gift and you get a gift and you get a gift." We all have at least one spiritual gift, and most likely we have more. So buckle up and get ready to find out what your spiritual gifts are and why you have them. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ Original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week, we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, I just wanna make sure you know how to use this. Please follow the link in our description. It will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" study just like my friend Christy Beal, who shares such great takeaways. Hi, Christy. Now, my absolute favorite thing, and I've already given it away, but my favorite thing about the study group is each week, we're joined by two of my friends. So it's always gonna be a little bit different each week. So today, we have Becky Farley and Holly Howarth. Hi, ladies!
Woo-hoo! Hey, Tam!
Becky Farley 1:17
Oh, I'm so excited. I've had both of you on before, but we've never done this together because I just didn't know if the airwaves could handle this combination of the three of us. It's a risk. No, I'm just kidding. When the thought came, "Put Farley and Holly together." I was like, "Really? Can I really do that?" Because this is so exciting for me. How are you guys feeling?
Becky Farley 1:44
I'm feeling so good. But I don't know if Holly's feeling good or not?
Well, here's how I feel about it. I love this podcast so much. And I'm a very faithful listener, and I learned so much. And I love Tam so much. But I just feel so ordinary. And I don't really have much to say and you have all these incredible people on who've had all these incredible experiences. So I kind of get down on myself, like, no one really wants to hear what I have to say. But they want to hear what you have to say. And maybe I'll tell a little story or something along the way that somebody needs to hear. But it's very stressful to me. So listeners, this is so stressful for me to be on this podcast. I told Tam I'd never do it.
Which is so funny because last year we asked in a poll what your favorite episodes were because we wanted to give five away for free. And your episode was one of them. You're in the top five!
I know. It's because my, it's because Haley was on it—my niece—and she was amazing. But I just
Wah, wah, wah. Whatever, Holly.
It's just very, very stressful for me.
Well, we're gonna have a really good time because we're just sitting around your kitchen table. These two are my original, the OG Bible Study Ladies, that we did this together—long, long time ago before I was ever married with kids. And we met at Holly's house and sat around a kitchen table and I taught them a seminary lesson every Thursday. That's how we became friends and—
Becky Farley 3:21
And ate Totina pizza rolls.
Yeah. Oh yeah, we ate pizza rolls and drank Coke. And it was just delightful. While kids ran around, run amok, playing and drawing on each other with Sharpie markers. Didn't even matter.
Walls, each other...
Someone's signature still on someone's walls, we won't say who. Well, for those of you who are listening, if you want to know more about my guests, you can find their bios and cute pictures of them in our show notes which are at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Alright, ladies, you ready to do this?
Becky Farley 3:49
Okay, so everyone, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. Okay, let's talk about church. I want to know from the two of you, what do you love about the way we worship? Is there something specific that you love about it?
Well, I had a girlfriend from high school, well we were from elementary school on, but she came out to Utah to visit me for a week and she had come out when we lived in Arizona too, and she said, "You know what I love about you Mormons?" I said, "What?" "All you do is sit around and tell feel-good stories all day long." I said, "We do?" And she goes, "Yes. I love it. And I love going to your church because you just all sit around and tell feel-good stories there too."
She'd love the podcast.
Yeah. And I was like, "I think we do." Anyway, during this COVID time I also have, I loved being home. A lot. At-home church, for me was the perfect storm for me. And I realize it's not for everybody. So I was like, "Oh, I don't really want to go back to church. You know, I'm happy at home." Then when I went to church the first time, I just cried. And I was so happy to see those people. All of those faces I loved so much, and then to hear their testimonies was so beautiful to me. I think my testimony has strengthened more since going back to church since COVID, because of the testimonies that have been shared. People being more vulnerable than any other time in my life.
That's incredible, Holly.
So, I love church.
Thank you. That's excellent. Farley, anything that stands out to you.
Becky Farley 5:39
Well, just to go along with Holly's thought, I just think the way we worship is so personal. We talk about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we talk about our personal experiences of faith. I just love learning from everybody and hearing their stories, and not having it be on repeat with the same old, same old, you know, whatever that is, I love hearing different stuff. And then recognizing that God is in all the details, literally.
Excellent. I love that. Both of your answers were wonderful. In fact, as you were giving those answers, it just made me think of Section 46. Because I'm thinking, "Who wouldn't love that?" What you guys just described? Why wouldn't we want everyone to partake of that? And, Holly, we talked a little bit about this when you said, do you remember what you said to me about the beginning of Section 46? You couldn't believe something about it? What was it? You were so amazed, like, "I didn't know this!"
Oh, well, talking about how that everyone's welcome and to not kick people out?
Yes! That's exactly what 46 is about because did you know when the Church was beginning, members of the Church, they used to exclude unbelievers. Some of the Saints, they questioned and they talked about this practice, because they weren't sure if it really fell in line with the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi, chapter 18, verses 22 through 23 that says everyone can come. Some of the believers were like, "No, you can't come unless you're actually a member. No members—"Non believers not allowed!" And so they went to Joseph and they're like, "What should we do?" And Joseph's like, "Well, let's find out." Here's a question. And the answer is Doctrine and Covenants, Section 46. So the title for Section 46 is "Public Church Meetings, Gifts of the Spirit." That's what you want to title it: "Public Church Meetings, Gifts of the Spirit." Now, what's so interesting is the reason we know this history is not because of Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not write very much about why we have section 46. In fact, it was John Whitmer who wrote in his journal, and he actually wrote in Church History how we got this. And so here's what I want to share with you is before March of 1831, Oliver Cowdery had been Joseph Smith's scribe and recorder for the Church. However, when Oliver Cowdery was called on a mission, he could no longer perform the duties of writing these things. And so Joseph went to the Lord and said, "Well, Oliver can't do this anymore. Who should do this?" And it turns out Doctrine and Covenants, Section 47. Just turn the page, I'm just gonna have you title this. We're not even going to read it. Because here's what you need to know. Section 47 is called "John Whitmer, Church Historian." The question was, "Who should take Oliver's place?" The answer comes in Section 47. And Lord said, "It's John Whitmer." So John Whitmer is going to write much of the Church history. And that's how we know that the members were not letting people attend in Section 46. And that's how we know we got that answer. Isn't that kind of cool?
Becky Farley 8:36
Really cool. Tam, can I say one thing about this that I thought was so interesting?
Becky Farley 8:40
So when I just read 47, and I read the introduction to it, and it says that John Whitmer did not want to be that. And I just think about all those crappy church callings that we don't want, because he'd already, it said he had already served as a secretary to the prophet in recording many of the revelations. And this was like broken record on repeat, was going to have to do the same thing. And I just think about all those callings that I've had. You know, I've been nursery leader a few times, and I've done primary song leader a few times, and you do it once, and you're like, "What? I thought it was over." Like, "I thought my turn was done." Like your turn isn't really done. There's always something new to learn from the same old Church calling. There's always something different that God wants you to learn. And to see it from a different point of view.
Oh, I think that all the time. Like a calling I had in my 20s, I would do it so much differently now that I'm in my almost 50s. When you grow and you learn, you bring new stuff to the table to have that calling.
Becky Farley 9:47
Well, this past Sunday, well, I got a new calling. And they called me to be the Relief Society Activity Leader. And I was so bummed. Like really bummed. And I had my first meeting—
She really was, just for the record. We were there when it happened.
Yeah, you guys were there when I got called, when they called me. Oh, I was so bummed. I wanted to be a Sunday School teacher with like, the cute teenagers, with me. I was like, "Yeah, that's what I want to do." So I had my first meeting Sunday, and I have these cute young girls that have moved in, and some other people and we're meeting, and I said, "Now listen, ladies, we've had so much fun here today. And that's really important to me, because I did not want this calling." And they all went, "Oh! Really?" And I said, "Yeah, I didn't. I was really mad when I got it." And I said, "So I feel like, if I have to have this calling, then we're gonna have a great time together. And our committee is going to be the best committee. And we are going to have the greatest time at this calling. And just love these ladies like crazy. And you know what? We did!
Well, that's going to totally ripple out to the Relief Society activities.
Well, we had a good talk about it. Like that's why we're here. That's what I said, "I feel like we're here to get to know these ladies, to love them, and have some great activities that they would love, to get to know each other, and learn some things."
Holly, I love that you just shared that story. Because I feel like it goes in line with Section 46 when the Lord said, "Here's how you're going to conduct your meetings then." And I would have loved it if the Lord had said "Fun first," which is your committe motto: Fun first. So let's look at verses 2, 3, and 4. Here's what the Lord said to Joseph, "Listen, here's how you're going to conduct your meetings then." So, Holly, will you read verses 2, 3, and 4?
"But notwithstanding those things which are written, 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. Nevertheless ye are commanded never to cast any one out from your public meetings, which are held before the world. Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation."
Thank you. Looking at those three verses, my question is, "How can we help others know they are welcome in our church meetings?" Whether they be non-members or, like it says right here, those who have trespassed?
I just love it, well, it said right there in verse 2, guided by the Holy Spirit. So if you're letting, truly letting the Holy Spirit guide you, you'll know what to say to people or how to treat other people. And a lot of times, it's just by smiling, getting eye contact and saying, "Hi." It's not this huge thing that you have to do. I think sometimes we think way too big. But just welcoming them. Like "I haven't seen you here! Are you new?" "Oh, I'm just visiting." "Great!"
Becky Farley 13:16
Well, and that brings up: so much of the reason why people don't feel welcome in the meetings, is culturally based. So I just read this great article in the Liahona about singles. And it was a single man that was writing it. And he was talking about how it's hard to feel welcome in Church as a single person and how we say things like, "Now you can go sit with your families," "Now during this meeting, go ahead and sit with your family." And the man writing the article, it was like he was saying, "What Holly would do." One of the leaders said, "Okay, now we're going to start this meeting so go ahead and sit with your family." And a woman tapped him from behind and said, "Well, now you're part of my family, so come sit with us."
Oh yeah, Holly would say that.
So I think it's that, and he brought up the fact that it's just an invitation. So what Holly was saying, you just say something. And I am so at fault of this of overthinking what I should say, or how can I make it more perfect? Or instead of just doing it and saying, "Hey, how's it going?" and then letting the conversation flow along as it's going to flow? And, Holl, that is totally your gift.
Oh, yeah. Definitely.
Becky Farley 14:34
100%. You just allow people to be who they are. And you just start talking.
Yes. Oh, I love what you both just said because this discussion connects to verse 7. And we just are going to spend a whole segment on one verse, and I can't wait to talk about that in the next segment.
So for those of you listening, something about our friendship is one of our favorite things that we like to do when we get together is we meditate with our friend, Becky Farley. And, in fact, we just did it last week. We come to her house, and she has this room we sit in and she does yoga with us and then usually walks us through a meditation or a mindfulness session, and it is— Holly, what would, I mean, how would you describe it?
Well, it's one of my most favorite things in the world. I don't know, it's heavenly to let your mind go and do this body scan. And anyway, it's really peaceful. And I love that we do it.
Well, and Farley has definitely taught us the power of breathing, the power of taking time just to meditate. I've never meditated until Farley got into this and taught us how to do it. And there's so much spiritual background for why we should do it. It really is powerful. And so of course, when I read verse 7, I naturally was like, "This is Becky Farley's verse. 100%." So I just asked her to walk us through this verse, and teach us some really neat things that she found. So I'm gonna read verse 7, and then I'm gonna let you take it away. Verse 7 says, "But ye 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." And I read that and I'm like, "Walking, considering, doing. I mean, that is, that is my friend, Becky Farley." So Becky, tell me what you found and what's so interesting about this verse.
Becky Farley 16:49
Well, the first thing that I think is the most interesting thing is that the word "considering" is right in the middle of the verse.
Yes! In fact, we talked about this, and then we counted the words. It literally is. Did you know there are 80 words in verse 7? 40 at the beginning, 40 at the end, which we've talked about, in Hebrew, 40 means a period of test or trial. And so it could go either way, it could be a test or trial with God, or because of Satan. Right?
Becky Farley 17:18
Oh, I love that.
Wait, I missed that. So there's 40 words before and 40 words after the word "considering"?
Literally right in the middle of that verse!
The word "considering" is so cool. That is so cool.
Becky Farley 17:30
if we're looking at like, one of the reasons to meditate is to find what they call the "middle way." Which is you're going to be balanced, you're not going to go extreme one way, you're not going to go extreme the other way. So I just looked up the definition of "considering" and I just want to read that. So the definition of "consider" is "to think carefully about something, typically before making a decision, or to think about and be drawn towards a course of action, or to regard something as having a specific quality." So that word "considering" really brings up like a context of having an intention in your life. So intention is often confused with goals. And intention is a direction, it's more like a map, and goals are the places that you go to. You know, everybody does these one word like, "What's your word for the year?" Peace or Hope or Joy or you know, whatever. That's an intention. You're going to turn yourself towards that, you're going to consider that word, as you are commanded to ask God, knowing that you can walk uprightly, as you consider what this is. So I kind of take it as like when I go golfing. Okay, I love to golf. You guys know I love to golf. I'm not that good. But I just love it. And when I golf, and I get up there to tee my ball off.
Farley, what does it mean to tee the ball? I'm not a golfer, never will be.
Becky Farley 19:11
It means to put the ball up on a little tee. It's the first hit that you do. It's the first hit, and you try to strike it as far as you can before you get to the middle part. Or if you're really good, you're gonna hit it on the green and maybe even get a hole in one. But for me, I just get it kind of in the middle. But first, so you want to hit that as far as you can. And you can't always see the direction. But if you are turning towards the flag, hopefully you're going to get it closer. Sometimes I can't see the flag, I have to look at my map and say, "Where's my flag? Where is it? Okay, it's this way." I'm going to turn my body towards that way and then I'm going to tee my ball off. Knowing that my ball's gonna go that way. Now I may have to hit my ball 10 times before it gets to the hole. But I am considering, I am turning my intention towards getting my ball towards that hole, no matter how many times I have to hit it. So, you know, another example of this is when they all came and turned their tent doors towards, what that was king Benjamin, right?
Yeah, in Mosiah.
Becky Farley 20:27
Yeah. And I think that if we take our life that way, we consider, we have an intention of where we want to be. Then here goes the second end of the verse: "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 the devils." Okay, evil spirits. Yeah, obviously it can be like evil spirits, but it could also just be being confused by something.
Well, I think what's interesting is that it lumps evil spirits, doctrines of devils, commandments of men, all into the same grouping like—
Becky Farley 21:09
And I think about a lot of times all of the negative thoughts I have are from people or the world or Satan putting thoughts into my head.
Becky Farley 21:19
Yes! Yes! And following after those. That's what I think it means. Those negative thoughts that I have, even been like negative about myself, I would say that's an evil spirit. "You're a lousy person, Becky Farley. Who do you think you are? You don't do anything." You know, that's an evil spirit, telling me, that's not true. But if I'm taking consideration, if I have an intention, if my intention is "I want to have peace," "I want to have joy." When I walk this path, and I find this middle way, I'm not going to go to extremes this way. And I'm not going to go to extremes that way. Because it can go too far, even with I mean, we all know the one way that it goes too far towards the world, and the world's gonna drag you down and it's gonna, you know, take you that direction. But there's also this idea of scrupulosity where you can get too religious. You are thinking, "If I don't pray 15 times a day, and read my scriptures 8 times a day, and do my calling with perfect uprightness, then I'm a bad person, and I'm never gonna be able to be with Jesus again." That's the other extreme. We have to find the middle way. And that middle way is different than your middle way. My middle way is different than your middle way, Tam. It's different than Holly's middle way. We're all different. And not only that, but it changes throughout our life. Like we were saying, with our church callings, I feel like that's why we're consistently considering or consistently taking the time to be mindful about where we're at. You need to stay in choice with whether you're opening or closing to something. And it may be that you need to take a nap or you need to slow down, or you need to just take a breather. Or maybe you need to go a little bit quicker. And you do need to do more, and you do need to pump it up and try harder. But either way, that's a gift from God that He's given us to choose for ourselves, whether we open or close, and we need to honor that in ourselves.
Well, I think about the three of us and in our group of friends, we all walk, consider, and do totally differently than each other. And the way we do it is right. And when we get together and we share our experiences and our short stories, and we talk about the way we walk and consider and do, I feel like it kind of buoys us up, it strengthens us.
And for me, I loved where it said "prayer and thanksgiving." Because, for me, being thankful and including that in my prayers every night or day, what I am thankful for and giving Him the thanks, then it keeps me humble, that it's not me who's doing this, that helps me stay away from those outside sources, right? That He's talking about in here, the evil spirits and the devils. I think that can be ourselves, getting prideful that, "Oh, look what I can do. Look at all this. I'm so this." But if I continually thank Him and have prayers of gratitude all the time, I stay more focused and more in line. And the greatest side effect is I'm always happier. I'm always happier when I give incredible prayers of thankfulness.
Becky Farley 24:59
You have to consider what you're thankful for. Because if you don't take time to like, think about it and take that time to be mindful of what you are thankful for and what you want. I mean, I just think that's so important, to sit down and take inventory of what has happened, and where you want it to go. And thankfulness and gratitude is such—
And every day there's something to be thankful for.
Becky Farley 25:28
Oh, every minute, every second there's something.
I mean, you can find, and I know people have hard lives and hard things every day. And I've seen them show gratitude and gratefulness, and it's humbling to me. And it just changes your whole outlook on everything.
When you were talking about that, Holly, how everyone has difficulty and heartache. Your different circumstances change what you're thankful for, like, I look back on my life, and I think of me now and I'm like, "Wow, when I was 20, I didn't think I'd ever be thankful for what I'm thankful for now." And you're like, "I never thought I'd be grateful for that."
Becky Farley 26:06
You can even be grateful that the moment is, that hard moment is going to leave. You can even be grateful that "Oh, good thing that this is not always going to be this way."
It's not permanent. Yeah, be grateful it's not permanent.
Well, and as part of the meditation, when we do those with Becky, she makes us, she calls it a "body scan." But we are grateful the whole time. And like—
Yes, we are! For every part of our body!
And you're like, "Feel your big toe. Now be grateful that your big toe for all it does for you to grip on the ground. Now we're on our heels that are on the ground that are on the steady ground that we're on." And so when we are doing this, we're going from our body from the bottom to the top, and we're showing gratitude.
Oh, my gosh, I just love this!
Becky Farley 26:55
And I love the thought of just having that with your whole life. Like having that concept of, I'm grateful for this, despite the fact that I'm uncomfortable. I am grateful that it will end and I am grateful that at some point, there'll be a silver lining. And I will understand why. It may not be on this earth. But it will be someday.
Absolutely. Well, thank you, Becky, for your teaching us about that verse. Because when I was reading this, it's not a coincidence that this verse comes right before our discussion about gifts of the Spirit. It just isn't. And so the challenge for all of you listening right now is to take the time to consider. Face the flag, as Farley was saying, turn your body towards the flag and consider who you are, and why you're here. And take some time to meditate upon that because the Lord is about to show you something incredible about yourself. And we're going to talk about that in the next segment.
Farley, you and I both have some experiences from our missions with people and their experience with the Holy Ghost, or Gifts of the Spirit, because we attended different churches on our mission. And we've talked about it, like this is where I learned one of my favorite, all-time favorite evangelical terms, which is "Take a lap for Jesus." Because I remember I attended a church and we were in a movie theater, and the people around me were like, "I'm taking a lap for Jesus!" And they got up and they ran around the entire movie theater. And I was like, "That might be a greatest thing I've ever heard." I say to this day, I'm like, "You know what, you're going to need to get up and take a lap for Jesus because you're out of your mind." I've said that to my kids before. "Go take a lot for Jesus and come back." And I'm sincere. I'm not even making fun of them. Like that lap for Jesus really gave me perspective, like we all just need to take a lap for Jesus. Is there anything that stands out to you with the way people worshiped?
Becky Farley 28:51
I'm just thinking about this one time. So I served in the south. But there was one time when we were teaching a couple. And right in the middle, we were feeling the Spirit so strong, I think I was actually giving like the First Vision or something. And he literally, he literally stood up on the table and started dancing. And my companion and I just sat there and I kind of want, I really wanted to get up and dance on the table with him.
Sure. I'm surprised you didn't.
Becky Farley 29:24
But it was like, he just was exuberant with this energy for Jesus.
It is so beautiful to watch the way other people worship. I love everything about it.
Becky Farley 29:35
I do, too. I love it.
And we're not making fun of anyone or any other religion. Let's be clear about that. Because it's one of my favorite things about other religions is to see how people practice their religion or how they feel the Spirit, which is why I love that saying, "Take a lap for Jesus." I genuinely love that. I think a lot of us members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would do well to take a lap for Jesus. And we have to know, we have to talk about this because that's the background for Section 46. This is kind of the history behind this section. So in the winter of 1831, there were Church members in Kirtland. And they became concerned when they saw some of the new converts, exhibiting what they called "bizarre behavior." And a church member at the time, his name is John Corrill, this is what he wrote in his journal, quote, "And they conducted themselves in a strange manner, sometimes imitating Indians in their maneuvers, sometimes running out into the fields, getting on stumps of trees, and they're preaching as though surrounded by a congregation, all the while, so completely absorbed in visions as to be apparently insensible to all that was passing on around them," unquote. And so they went to Joseph, they're like, "Is this how, is this the Spirit? Are they really feeling it? Like, what are we talking about here?" And so Joseph is like, "Well, let's find out. Let me ask this question. So how do we conduct our meetings? And is this really the Spirit that people are feeling? And so we have in here, Doctrine and Covenants, section 46, verses 8 and 9, and, Becky, I'm going to have you read those. And as you read these verses, I want you to tell us what the Lord is saying as to why spiritual gifts are given, and why we feel the Spirit.
Becky Farley 31:07
"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; 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."
Okay, why are spiritual gifts given?
Becky Farley 31:45
Well, what I see is that they are given that everybody can benefit.
They can turn us towards the Savior, right?
My patriarchal blessing does say that.
What is your patriarchal blessing say?
Oh, it just talked about, well I guess maybe some of my—
Okay, hold the phone. Before we started, we talked—Holly said that her patriarchal blessing doesn't say anything about spiritual gifts. Turns out maybe there might be something.
Well, it just says my love for other people, that it will bring people closer to the Savior.
Oh, 100%, your spiritual gift!
Becky Farley 32:26
So I think that's why we have it, every gift that we have is to turn us towards the Savior. You taught me that, Tam, right? Every experience we have in this life, good or bad, is to hopefully turn us towards the Savior, to grow closer to Him. And so it would make sense that our gifts would do the same.
Well, and how much do I love this part of the verse? And I thought of you, Holly, because I was like, "I bet Holly would love this so much." In verse 9, it says right here, "of those who love me and keep all my commandments." So we know that like if you love God, if you love Christ, and keep His commandments, you're going to get spiritual gifts. But look at this line: "and him that seeketh so to do." Like, even those who are trying to keep the commandments, and love Him are still going to be blessed with spiritual gifts. What do you think about that?
Well, I think that keeping the commandments was always really hard for me. I remember as a teenager crying all the time thinking, "'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' Well, why can't I keep the commandments all the time?" I was literally crying because I love Him. It was really hard for me. And I love that it says "seeketh so to do." You know, God knows us and our heart and we are seeking, whether we're, you know, a 17-year-old little girl, a 52-year-old, an 83-year-old, we're just trying our best. We really are. I don't know that gives me hope. I love it. I love the "seeketh."
It totally made me think of you.
Seeking to keep the commandments.
Like, "I'm trying, but I'm trying."
I'm trying so hard!
I know you are.
And if we think of when a little child says that to us, like in Primary if they're doing something and they're like, "Well, I'm trying!" You know, your heart breaks for them. And you're like, "You are trying! And you're doing the greatest job!" Heavenly Father's thinking the same thing about us. Like, "You are trying! And I'm so happy that you're trying."
And when you say that to your kids, like, "Well, what if I don't get 100%?" and often parents, I mean, I've said this, "We just want you to try your hardest. We just want you to do your best. If I know you're trying, that makes me happy." Like I have four daughters and they are all going to get different GPAs. There's just, that's just how it is. And I can't expect everyone to get a 4.0 like one of my daughters does. But there's one daughter that I know is trying so hard and her C's for us are A's. They just are. And so we will celebrate that GPA like we do the 4.0. Because she's trying and that's what God does with spiritual gifts.
Well, and isn't it interesting, we do that for other people, our children, or our neighbors? We're like, "Why would you think that? You're amazing!" But we can't do it to ourselves?
We get so hard on ourselves and feel like we have to be this perfect person.
And all we have to do is consider. Just take a minute and consider where you are. Oh, God does love you. You're doing great.
Yes. Because we're His favorite. I'm His favorite, for sure!
Becky Farley 35:46
And I have to say that even though you look at those C's, but yet she has A's is in so many other ways. Like that's what's so beautiful about spiritual gifts.
Oh, she's got an A in tenacity, I'll give her that.
Becky Farley 35:58
Yeah, that's, that's what I'm saying. Like, there's A's in so many things. And we just have to look at What are we measuring? What's our measuring tool? Why do we have this one stupid measuring tool? Let's open our vision up a little. We all have a different measuring tool, and God, He doesn't measure us against each other. He just allows us to grow and be who we are, through our spiritual gifts.
And I'm gonna bring it back to gratitude. Because when we are grateful for the other gifts people have and recognize their gifts, and are grateful for their influence in our life, then we become more happy and content with what we have.
So we have to read this cool quote about spiritual gifts. This is by Elder Orson Pratt, and here's what he had to say about it. And so, Holly, can you read this quote for us?
“Whenever the Holy Ghost takes up its residence in a person, it not only cleanses, sanctifies, and purifies him, in proportion as he yields himself to its influence, but also imparts to him some gift, intended for the benefit of himself and others. No one who has been born of the Spirit, and who remains sufficiently faithful, is left destitute of a spiritual gift. . . . Each member does not receive all these gifts; but they are distributed through the whole body [of the Church], according to the will and wisdom of the Spirit. . . . Some may have all these gifts bestowed upon them, so as to understand them all, and be prepared to detect any spurious gifts, and to preside over the whole body of the Church, that all may be benefited. These spiritual gifts are distributed among the members of the Church, according to their faithfulness, circumstances, natural abilities, duties, and callings; that the whole may be properly instructed, confirmed, perfected, and saved”
Thank you. I think it's interesting when it says how they're distributed: "according to their faithfulness, circumstances, natural abilities, duties, and callings." I mean, and then sometimes I feel bad for the people who are musical that always get musical callings. But I'm like, "Thanks for having that natural ability, because I really need it."
And if somebody who plays the organ could move into my ward, I'd really appreciate that too. Just saying that right now. But how cool when you think about what you're naturally good at, is going to let you know what your spiritual gifts are.
Becky Farley 38:43
Well, I think that's something to consider also, to take a minute to have self-appreciation. I just think that we do not appreciate ourselves because we feel like that's bragging. No, I think God wants us to look at what we are naturally good at. And to be honest about it. Not to go around and say, "I make the best cherry pie ever!" But to say "You know what? I am pretty good at making—I mean truthfully, I am good at making peach pies. Let's be honest."
You're a good cook, yeah.
Becky Farley 39:15
And I can use that to bless other people's lives.
Yeah, I love that no matter where we go, right, what congregation, there's going to be people there who have all of these different gifts because He's distributed them. So that's all, so that we can understand them all.
Becky Farley 39:35
I loved that line. I think all these different gifts people have help them so that everyone in that congregation gets understood.
I kind of think like that word "distributed." I'm so glad you pointed that out. Because we always joke about our premortal life, before we came down here, we stood in lines and God punched our ticket for certain things we got. But what if it's like a game of Uno where he just dealt out the cards and is like, "Here's your gift," and "A gift for you," and "A gift for you." Like, I don't know how it all worked out. But what I do like about this Section is verse 10. Because look at verse 10, we are asked to specifically do two things when it comes to these verses. Holly, will you read verse 10 for us, and let's mark the two things we're asked to do.
"And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church."
What does he want us to do?
Retain it in our minds.
I love that it's given unto the Church, it's not unto us, isn't that interesting? We get kind of selfish, "Well, I'm really good at this." But it's not for us. It's for the Church. That's fascinating.
That is exactly it! He wants us to always remember and always retain that these gifts were given to the Church. So they are given to build up Him and His people. That's what He wants us to remember and retain, always in our minds.
Becky Farley 41:06
But I do want to say one thing about the word "remember." That actually that is a mindfulness term. Remembering is a form of mindfulness, of considering, of being mindful of what your gift is, and how you can give it to God. And then I have one more thought, which is Sister Eubank's talk all about when she quoted that part of Boys in the Boat, and she talked about swing, it talked about swing. Every person has a different gift with rowing, that it doesn't work if we're all good at the same thing. You have to have someone that cheers on and someone that, and I can't remember all of it.
Great example, though.
Becky Farley 41:54
I mean, it's all over the place. Then you go into, what is it Tam, Corinthians? Where the body, we're all of one body? And what if the hand said I don't need the head? And what if the foot said I don't need the knee. We all need each other because we are all one body.
When we talked about this with Ben Schilaty, when we were like, if the body of Christ was just an eye, we'd only be able to see, we wouldn't be able to smell or hear. If the body of Christ was just a mouth, no one could see, smell, or hear, we'd just be talking all the time. And so if the body of Christ was just one spiritual gift, well, what good would that be? If we only have the ability to speak in tongues, but not interpret? So yeah, it's, it's so important. So this idea of remembering and retaining, that the gifts are for the body of the church, this is going to be so much fun then. Now and what I love about this section, remember it, let's go back to context. There are people who are feeling the Spirit differently than other people. And so they asked Joseph, "Is this really how we feel the Spirit? Is how it works?" Everyone's "seeking so to do," let's remember that. So when Joseph went and asked the Lord, "Is this the Spirit? Is this how we feel the Spirit?" The Lord takes the opportunity to restore this knowledge, the knowledge of spiritual gifts. You guys, this gives me goosebumps, I'm so excited. Because it is at this point now that the Lord is going to teach us about spiritual gifts and what it looks like and what it means to have spiritual gifts. So we're going to jump in and study this in the next segment.
Okay, so if someone's listening, and they're unsure what their gifts are, what recommendation would you give them to find out?
Oh, well, first pray, right? If you pray about what your spiritual gift is, I believe that it will be shown to you. I truly do.
Let me just interject really quick here, Holly, because the answer that you gave, there's a reason you gave it, it's because you actually did this. You prayed to know what your spiritual gift was.
Well, my gift is people open up to me and tell me—
Oh, yes! For sure!
Becky Farley 44:04
In the grocery store line.
It doesn't matter where it is.
No, that is a gift!
People feel comfortable enough around me, from meeting me, from "Hello." I always said, "If I had a dime for every time somebody said, 'I can't believe I just told you this,' that I'd be a millionaire." The biggest time that stands out is that a grandpa, a dad, we were at a soccer game and he sat next to me and he just told me all of this stuff about his daughter. He had told me that she had just been diagnosed with ALS. And she wasn't there, she was at Girls' Camp. And it was her son who was playing. The next day, it was a tournament, I talked to her and I said, "Oh my goodness. I am so sorry." So I told her. So I talked to her about it and she started to cry. She goes, "I can't believe my Dad told you that! I haven't even told my siblings. I haven't told my best friends. I haven't told anybody except for my mom and dad. I can't believe he told you that!" And I grabbed her arm and I said, "Please don't be mad at him. He couldn't help it. It's this gift I have. It's the oddest gift, I know, but people tell me everything." And she's like, "Okay." And then she started to tell me everything. And she started to cry again. She goes, "You're right, you do have that gift. I can't believe I just told you all that." And I had just known her maybe a month.
I've always thought, "Why do I have that gift? Like, what does it benefit people?"
So people just want to be heard. And you, you listen. It's the gift of listening too. They go hand in hand, and then you empathize with them. That's the other one of your gifts. So...
Well, it took me a long time to understand that and have to ask in sincere prayer, you know, What my gift is? And it was definitely manifested. That's my gift. And it's not a silly gift. So I guess I shouldn't mock it.
Becky Farley 46:08
Well, I think another way that you can learn your spiritual gift, along with prayer, is to actually just look at what you're naturally good at. I mean, Holly is naturally good at talking to people. And it just comes natural. What's coming natural to you? I would think that would be a place to start with your prayer.
Wow, great, great suggestions. Adding to that, your patriarchal blessing. Adding to that, asking your friends and family what they think you're good at, seek some counsel and wisdom from that. I think those are all great ones. So we're just going to look at verses 13 through 18. That's it. 13 and 14, I love. They go hand in hand. It's "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. 14: To others it is given to believe on their words..." And 14 is mine. I just believe. When people tell me, I believe. I don't know, I for sure have the gift of belief. And I thought that was always like, the world wanted me to believe that that was a stupid gift. Like, "Oh, you're just a believer. You're, you know, you're a sheep, you follow." But I like right here that the Lord's like, "No, we have people who know. And then we have to have people who believe those who know. They have to go hand in hand." So I just loved those two. Really powerful gifts. And remember once again, context, we have to keep in the back of our mind. The members wanted to know if what the people were experiencing was the Spirit. And I love this so much. Some of you will have the gift to know and then testify for others to believe. God is so good. Then in 15, and 16, these are good ones. So highlight and mark this, in verse 15. Farley, will you read 15?
"And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men."
But to know the differences of administration, what's that?
Becky Farley 48:15
Well, isn't that knowing what people can do for the church? Like understanding that Holly would be a really great Relief Society Activity Coordinator and to actually know what their gifts are, maybe not specific, but feel like "Wow, yeah, that it's the right person for that job at this point."
Yes. And well, not only to know what their gift is, but to let them do it. And when you have a problem in whatever it is, and the person you naturally should go to is the Relief Society President, you go to her, you follow the order of authority. That's another part of this, too, is that you know their gifts and you're letting them do that, you're letting them do their gift or do their calling. So that's a great way to put that.
Becky Farley 49:02
Oh, I love that.
Yeah, thank you for pointing it out though, Farley, about you recognize their gifts. You do. You recognize that's their gift, that's their calling and you're gonna let them do it. So 16. Holly, read that one for us.
"And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal."
Okay, highlight "to know the diversities of operations." What's that one? And I'm asking my guests cuz I sent them descriptions of these gifts so we could just talk about them. Which apparently Farley didn't read according to her face.
Becky Farley 49:42
I did! I did read! I'm waiting for Holly to answer.
I'm just kidding!
Oh, I was waiting for Tam to answer.
Great, I'm teaching it. Okay, here we go. No, just kidding. No, the diversity of operations. What did you get from that one?
Becky Farley 49:57
I can't remember. I literally just read this before. Tam, I read it twice.
You're fine! You're fine!
Becky Farley 50:02
I read it three times.
Quit your boobin. Alright, I'll just go into this one. This one, now this one's interesting, because you're like, "Well, what's the difference between 'the differences of administration' and 'the diversity of operations'? Kind of sounds the same to me." So here's the difference. It's being the ability to see the difference between authentic gifts from the Holy Ghost or false spirits and doctrines and commandments. It's the ability to hear something and go, "Yeah, that doesn't feel right. Like, I don't think that's right." When someone teaches something, you're like, "Hmmm," or when someone teaches something, you're like, "Yes. That resonates." Like, "I feel the Spirit." And so that is a spiritual gift. Not everybody has it. There are some people that are just not going to get it. But some people absolutely know, "Wow, that is from the Holy Ghost." That gift is from the Holy Ghost. I thought that was kind of cool. So that's what that one means. Okay, now we're going to go to 17 and 18. This is a fun, and Holly, you love this. So I'm going to read these and I want to know what your thoughts are. So 17 and 18 says: "And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom. To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge." Okay, what do we got there? Because does that really mean like, "Doctrine and Covenants 89, Word of Wisdom?"
No, it's not The Word of Wisdom. It means just to have wisdom. And I think we all know those people who just are wise, and the words they speak, penetrate to your soul. And then the Spirit tells you it's true, right? They just are wise, their counsel is always very, very wise. And something just came to me about wisdom and knowledge. I think some people have to recognize when you say or give wise counsel to people, it doesn't mean that you're learned, that you're so knowledgeable. You don't have to have three degrees and your PhD to be wise and give incredible advice to people.
You're totally right. And then you have the gift of knowledge, which is different. And the gift of knowledge is really knowledge acquired. We have a friend who has that gift. She's just so smart.
Like she's Catch Me If You Can smart. She could be, she could be a doctor in 15 minutes. I mean, it's crazy.
Becky Farley 52:18
Or a lawyer or an engineer, whatever. Whatever you need, she can do it.
And it's fun to watch people with these different gifts use them. I love to sit back and watch people with the gift of knowledge or the gift of wisdom use it. It's beautiful.
Becky Farley 52:37
Well, isn't that a gift? I mean, isn't that a gift in itself? Like the gift of watching? The gift of observing? Because I think that that is something, we all need to be observed in our lives.
Well, that's great. I like you pointed that out, Becky. That's good. Wow, that was such a great discussion. Thank you, Farley. Thanks, all. Those are the first gifts, 13 to 18. And there's more. So in the next segment, we're going to pick it right up and start in verse 19.
So by now, hopefully, some of you are thinking, Hey, I do that! That's something that I do when it comes to spiritual gifts. It's kind of fun, like, yeah, you probably do have that gift. And now we have so many more listed. So as we go through these, I hope that many of you in your brain go, that sounds like me, because everyone has one of these gifts, at least one. But for sure you could have more. So let's look at more of these gifts in Section 46. And let's start with verse 19: "To some it is given to have the gift to be healed," and verse 20: "And to others it is given to have faith to heal." What struck you with those?
Becky Farley 53:58
I'm just thinking about when you gave the episode on Lectures on Faith. I think that it was John Hilton and he said that faith was, or maybe it was you, Tam—faith was a verb, not a noun. I can't remember who said that. Maybe it was Mandy. But just that faith is a verb, that you have to keep it up. I think about, in the New Testament, that man with the boy with palsy, and he said, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief." And I think that that's something that we can develop. Maybe some of these gifts are harder to develop. But I feel like that gift, with the "faith to be healed," I think that could be developed. I mean, I don't want to say for sure, but the more you recognize your faith, I think the more that you can be healed.
If it's God's plan to be healed.
Becky Farley 54:57
For you to be healed.
And we just learned that a couple of weeks ago, we talked about that. Holly, I love that you brought that up.
Becky Farley 55:03
But I have to say that healing comes in so many different forms. You have to open your mind up to healing being something different than being perfected with it. I mean healing could be, "I understand why I struggle with this. I now have more compassion for other people, because I struggle with it." I think that's a form of healing, that God is going to heal you in whatever way is appropriate or whatever way He says.
Finally, I love what you just said about all of that. Because something cool about this thing is, as we're not even necessarily talking about being healed physically from death or cancer. But this idea we can be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ with anything that's hurting us, emotionally or spiritually. This is a very big word: "to be healed." What are we talking about here? It could be so many things. And let's not discount that healing also includes getting therapy. We've had many talks from the pulpit that have said that: get the help that you need. I just think God in His goodness, has allowed for this day and age to have people with those skills, with those spiritual gifts to listen and to heal, and heal by meaning being a therapist. That is very healing, to be able to go and talk to someone and get that help.
Becky Farley 56:22
And also, being healed, I think means being able to be patient with the time that it may take for the healing to happen. Like that is a form of healing too. And there's another spiritual gift, the gift to be patient in my own healing, and to be open to the different options that may be coming along my way.
Yeah, this word "healing," "being healed" is so broad, it is so big. And it's important for us to look at all the different ways that this word can apply to us in our lives. And it's, you know, again, it's interesting that verse 21, would be: "And again, to some is given the working of miracles." I mean, they all kind of just go in there. And what does that miracle look like? Because everyone's miracle looks different. And we have to recognize that, that find the miracle in your journey, for sure. Holly, you were going to share earlier about this whole idea and your husband's spiritual gift. Tell me what you mean by that, Holly.
My husband does have the gift of healing. It mentions it in his patriarchal blessing. And for us, it's been just physical problems, really. The first time he ever tried to use it with me, and we had gotten married, and I was pregnant with our first baby. And one Saturday morning, I woke up, and I wasn't feeling very well. And the phone rang. And Robert, my husband, he was going to school, and it was a girl that he worked with. And she was pregnant. Her husband was out of town and she said, "Can you come over and give me a blessing? I don't feel very well. I think I'm having a miscarriage." So Robert got out and left, and he went to go give her blessing. When he got home, I was crying. And he said, "What's wrong?" And I said, "I think I'm having a miscarriage." So he gave me a blessing. Then we went to the hospital. And sure enough, they said, "There's no heartbeat, you know, in the babe. We're going to have to give you a DNC." We're driving home and I'm crying, I was going to have to go back in the next day. And I turned to him and I said, "Well, what did you say to that other girl that you work with?" And he said, "I blessed her that she would deliver a healthy baby, and that her body would function properly, and that her baby would be fine. And I tried to say it to you. I tried. But I couldn't. I'm so sorry I couldn't." That particular moment strengthened my testimony on the power of the priesthood more than anything that has happened before or after. And since that time, he has blessed our children. He's healed them. Many, many times, of big things. He's also healed other people. And it's an amazing, amazing, powerful gift.
Did that women end up giving birth?
She did. But, you know, I look back at that, and I'm grateful for that experience. Because there would come another time, almost the exact same situation. Many years later, on a Christmas Eve, where he would bless me that the power of the priesthood would course through my veins and what was happening would stop. And I didn't lose that baby. Interestingly enough, my son, before he went on his mission, he got his patriarchal blessing, and he, too, has it.
And when he got it, the patriarch's wife, she was sobbing, and she said, "Of all the hundreds of blessings he's given, he's never given that gift to anyone yet. He's the first person." That was beautiful to me to know that, I guess, not very many people have that gift.
But how cool that those who have it, now it makes sense, doesn't it, that to remember and retain that these gifts are given for the church?
So then how do you tell people that you have that gift? You know what I mean? That was such a sacred like, "Well, my husband has the gift to healing, would you like it?" [laughter]
I think they might frown upon that.
I mean, I don't know the rules. But if it's to better the church, and the people in it?
Well, what we do know about your husband is that he is ready on the draw to give a blessing at any time for anyone in any circumstance. He has never, from what I know, he's never turned down an opportunity. He's never rolled his eyes at it. He's never made fun of people that ask for blessings. Like he, he recognizes that's his gift and he is using it. And I think that's what it's about.
Right. For sure.
Cool. Thank you for sharing that story, Holly. That was excellent. Okay, let's look at a couple more of these gifts then. We have verse 22, which is the gift to prophecy. This is kind of a fun one. And men and women can totally have this gift. And it's just the ability to say things present, past, or future. And you're not speaking for the Church, but you're speaking for situations, yourself, your family members. And that is a powerful gift. I love that one. I don't know anyone with that, but it's pretty cool.
Okay, then we have the gift of discerning spirits. What's that one?
Becky Farley 1:02:04
Well, I think that could go back to verse 7 where we were saying that "ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils." That you kind of know in your own life what is an evil spirit. What you need to stay away from, what you, you know, what works for you and what doesn't work for you, if we're taking it down to that level.
What's so cool about this specific gift is Barbara Morgan Gardner talked about how verse 23, we often call it "mother's intuition" or "women's intuition." But that's what this spiritual gift is, the discerning of spirits, having thoughts that prompt you to do things for your kids or because of your kids or when they tell you they're going to go do something. And Holly, your daughter Ellery, shared this last year where she said she was going to go do something and you told her, "I don't feel good about it. This is not a good decision." And we get that often. And so you can call it intuition. But right here, I love, it's actually the discerning of spirits. And it's telling you and giving you guidance. I think it's such a cool gift. I love that gift. Many, many people, I think many people have that. And then we have verses 24 and 25, which is the gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues. And this is a cool one, because going back to that quote we read earlier, where he said that sometimes spiritual gifts are given based on circumstance. And that one's me for sure. Like I didn't know I had the gift of tongues until I needed to speak Spanish on my mission. And then I was given it and it's pretty cool. I love those spiritual gifts. Any thoughts you have on those two verses?
Well, it just talks about the gift of tongues to speak, and then to interpret, which are totally different. And my sister learned that on her mission, because she has the gift of one—she could speak it. She learned it really quickly. But she couldn't understand it. Which was fascinating. But she could communicate really, really well with everyone, but she couldn't understand.
In fact, she got a blessing on her mission because she was having such a hard time with the language. And in that blessing, it said, you have the gift of tongues, you do not have the gift of interpretration, and you will struggle your whole mission with that.
Oy, yoy, yoy. Yeah, that's interesting. And what's cool about these two verses is you can't have one without the other. Meaning like, if you're going to have the gift of tongues, there has to be someone there who can interpret it. So even though she could speak the language, there were people there who knew what she was saying. You're not going to stand up and speak gibberish that no one understands. And so that's why those two verses go hand-in-hand. Super important. Okay, well, then we just have to read my all-time—oh, go ahead, Farley.
Becky Farley 1:04:39
Well, I was just gonna say, I mean, I shared this last year with the episode that I was on, but just that tongues might not just be another language. It's speaking "teenager," it's speaking, you know, what your three year old needs, it's speaking, without them being able to explain what they need, you kind of know what they need. Actually, that would be interpretation of tongues, right? That you can interpret what your teenager is saying when they're going, "Uh, eh, ur, ehhh." Then you kind of go, "Oh, yeah, I know what you need." I mean, I don't know, I just think that it goes a lot deeper and further than just languages.
Oh, I'm so glad you brought that up. Because when you taught that last year, which, interestingly enough, was the "Gifts of the Spirit" lesson last year. And I didn't even know when I assigned you this section that that's what it would be about, which was so cool. But I loved when you said that, because a lot of us were like, "Oh, my gosh, you mean I don't have to speak a foreign language?" I mean, there's nothing more foreign than a teenager, and the language that they speak.
Well, and don't you think, Tam, that that's another one that I think might be kind of specific to mothers, along with discerning of spirits, the interpretation of tongues, and that a lot of us probably have experienced it. Or have it. That's one that I think is pretty widespread.
Very prevalent. Great comment. Thank you. Okay. And then we just have to read my all-time favorite spiritual-gifts quote, and we're going to read it every time we give this lesson. It's by Marvin J. Ashton. And it just makes me so happy because if anyone's sitting there still thinking they don't have a spiritual gift, listen to this. It's so good. And Farley, will you read this quote, please?
Becky Farley 1:06:31
"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."
Thank you. Any of those stand out to you?
I love them. I love all of them. I feel like I want to have this in my house.
Becky Farley 1:07:27
You want to put that up.
I feel that about my kids, my friends. They're all such beautiful gifts to have.
Becky Farley 1:07:35
I mean, the one that I just, that sticks out to me is number one, the gift of being able to ponder. That's obviously gonna stick out to me, and the gift of not passing judgment. And now automatically we think not passing judgment on other people, the gift of not passing judgment on yourself.
Becky Farley 1:07:55
The gift of giving yourself a break.
I'm working on that one. I don't have that gift, the gift of not passing judgment. And I'll be honest with you, I feel like I've gotten so much better at it.
As I've worked on it, and realize that I would love to have that gift and pray for that gift. I feel like I've gotten really a lot better at it.
Becky Farley 1:08:25
I mean, we could just spend an hour on all of these. The gift of avoiding vain repetition. Like get out of your circle. Get out of your, get out of your same old, same old.
Get out of your rut.
Becky Farley 1:08:36
Yeah, out of your rut and try something new. You know, I mean, that's vain repetition. You think, oh, okay, well, that's just, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you..." you know. No, it means more than that. Vain repetition on your life, recognizing who you are, and moving forward with what gifts you have, or doing something different to try to figure out what gifts you have, and what you can do to help others, and to have gratitude, like Holly was saying, to have thanksgiving and gratitude every day. That's avoiding vain repetition.
Yeah. Well, and I'd love to know what people are thinking, is what their gifts are. And maybe we can put this on social media this week, I would love to have people answer "What is your gift? What do you think your spiritual gift is? And do you have one that's not listed?" Because there's not an all-inclusive list. And when Marvin J. Ashton said this, it was just groundbreaking for everyone. And as you were reading it, I was thinking of like, and then there's the gift of mothering. And then there's the gift of playing an instrument. And then there's the gift of trying. I mean, how about when people will just try stuff? I mean, there's so many incredible gifts. And so I want you to kind of think about that this week. I want you to take time to "consider," as we've been talking about, to just consider the gifts that God has given you and why He's given those to you, and then we end with verse 26: "And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God." And so everyone has at least one gift, and we can use our gifts to help others. Wow, what a great way to end our discussion of Section 46. That's it. That's our discussion on the gifts of the Spirit. We all have gifts, and the Lord needs us to use our gifts. And the timing couldn't be more perfect for receiving section 48. So I'm going to show you why in the next segment.
Let's just jump into section 48. And we are going to read the section heading. Holly, will you read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants, section 48?
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 10, 1831. The Prophet had inquired of the Lord as to the mode of procedure in procuring lands for the settlement of the Saints. This was an important matter in view of the migration of members of the Church from the eastern United States, in obedience to the Lord’s command that they should assemble in Ohio."
Perfect, okay. So I just think it's interesting how the Lord's like talking about gifts, how they're going to benefit all mankind and the children of men. And now we have this verse that's talking about the gathering of his Saints now. And there was a problem at the time, in The History of the Church, volume one, page 166, it says this specifically about Section 48, quote, "It was agitating the minds of the brethren in consequence of the expected arrival in the near future of the saints from New York, who had been commanded to gather in Ohio and for whose reception it was necessary to make preparations" unquote. Like they were really bothered, like, "What are we going to do? How are we going to get land? How are we going to provide for all these people that are coming from New York?" And it was a real problem. And so when we talk about how, again, this is a book of questions and answers, two days after receiving the Gifts of the Spirit revelation, Joseph received Section 48. So the title for Section 48 is "Preparation for Missouri, Land for Gathering in Ohio." Again, that's "Preparation for Missouri, Land for Gathering in Ohio." Now, I just had to laugh when I read this because I totally thought of you, Becky Farley. I was looking over some my old seminary manuals, and it asks you to start out Section 48 by asking the question: "Imagine that the Saints in a distant area had to evacuate their homes and come and live with you. Would you be able to let people in?" Holly, what do you think the answer for Farley would be?
Well that's so funny you say that, because as I was reading this, I'm like, "Well, no wonder why Farley was supposed to be on this thing." And because Farley opens her home willingly and lovingly to anybody who may need it.
Always. There's always randos living at her house. I love it!
Well, she doesn't let them just live. Then she loves them and takes care of them. And she's like, "Guys, I gotta go. I gotta make dinner for the 13 people that are staying at my house right now." And we're like, "Gol, can't they make their own dinner? Can't they...?" "Wellll, I don't know. I should probably go and make them dinner. And then we were going to do this tonight." So she goes above and beyond.
You would have been great during this time, Farley!
Becky Farley 1:13:32
Oh, you guys. Well, I wouldn't have been sleeping on the floor with my coat. I don't think so. No, I'm not gonna give anybody my bed. But you know.
In fact, Farley, you have to tell everybody the story because you are going to serve a mission. And you just have to tell this story.
Becky Farley 1:13:48
So Doug, and I were thinking about going on an inner-city mission. And it's something that we've always kind of wanted to do.
Cuz you're empty nesters. Kids are grown.
Becky Farley 1:13:56
Yeah, well, yeah. We thought, "Well, okay, it's time. Everybody's gone." And everybody's gone to college and got married, moved on. Well, then, you know, COVID happened. And I have a niece living with us. And I have a neighbor who I call her my godchild, and I'm our godmother, and Doug's her godfather. And, you know, we take care of her, and and love her, and love my niece, and love all of my new—I've had three, you know, two kids that have gotten married in the last two years, and another one that's so close to getting married. And here we all are under one roof, and they just need us and that is our mission. So I told Doug the other day, "Well, I guess you're Elder Dad and I'm Sister Mom."
For sure. Well, let's go into section 48. Let's just read verses 1 through 3, and read what it teaches us about helping others. And I'll read these verses and then I want you guys to tell me what it says. "It is necessary that ye should remain for the present time in your places of abode, as it shall be suitable to your circumstances." Oh my gosh, if that's not your story, Farley. 100%!
Becky Farley 1:15:06
I'm kind of tearing up right now. I did not know Section 48 was going to like, be so prominent to me where I'm at right now.
That's what the Spirit told you to do. "And inasmuch as ye have lands, ye shall impart to the eastern brethren;" And that means the New York Saints. "And inasmuch as ye have not lands, let them buy for the present time in those regions round about, as seemeth them good, for it must needs be necessary that they have places to live for the present time." All right, what did it teach us about helping others?
Becky Farley 1:15:40
If you have it, give it, and if you don't, help them figure out a way.
Amen. That is exactly it.
And I had you guys read this section, all 6 verses of it. And I wanted you just to mark and highlight "What are some of the things that the Lord's teaching us in here about helping people?" Or what's some other good advice that's filled in Section 48?
Becky Farley 1:16:04
Well, I kind of feel like it goes along with that self-reliance class that is being taught in the Church right now. I mean, like, verse 4: "It must needs be necessary that ye save all the money that ye can, and that ye obtain all that ye can in righteousness, that in time ye may be enabled to purchase land for an inheritance." So you know, save your money. And then when you save your money, purchase what you need to purchase. Like, I just feel like it's all self-reliance based with that. And stay where you're at. I mean, obviously, you know, grow where you're planted, and make it better. But then help others with what you have, and then figure it out yourself. That's what I get from 48.
Well, I highlighted the—that's funny, I just in verse 6, I highlighted something.
What did you highlight?
And that is "Every man according to his family, according to his circumstances." So although you're going to help everybody out at the beginning, then eventually they're going to go to their circumstances. Everyone's still going to live within their own means, eventually.
Yeah, in fact, read above it, where it says "gathered with your families." First you gather with your families, and then every man according to his family.
Yeah. So am I reading it wrong, that it's not going to be a forever thing that you're saving for other people? It's just the Lord's asking him at this particular time to do it.
Yeah! In fact, I love that you said that, because in the very beginning, when it says "for the present time," meaning, just like right now, right now is what I need you to do to help these people. I love that you brought that up, Holly. Well, in this verse, it reminds me of you, Holly, because when it says gather with your families, and then every man according to his family. You know I watch you, and you love to gather with your family. You're kind of, I've always said this about you, you're like the oldest sister I never had. You have this maternal instinct where people are around you, and you have this gift to gather, and bring people in and make them feel so loved. And I just think of that, where you're like, everybody come in, come on in.
Becky Farley 1:18:20
Nobody gives a party like Holly, nobody.
Becky Farley 1:18:24
Nobody sets a table like Holly.
But when I'm reading this, I wonder would I be like that if I was forced to? You know, I look at these things. I'm just trying to—
Because you don't like to be told what to do. Sure.
Right. And now if they said, "Now, Holly, you're going to save your money, not so you can finish your house, but so you can help somebody else buy a house." Hmm. You know, like, "What would I have been like? I don't know."
Becky Farley 1:18:53
The Spirit would have moved you.
Yeah, you would have done it for sure.
I just find these Saints so incredibly strong, and such beautiful people. What they've been through.
You would've felt bad for the kids.
Yeah, I would've.
That's what you do. I watched you do that the whole time you were Primary President. Oh, you just felt so bad for some of these little kids. You did everything you could to make them feel loved, equal, provided for, everything.
For sure. For sure.
Becky Farley 1:19:23
But what did the sacrifice bring them? It's a blessing to sacrifice in some regard. And I hate saying that out loud. But it is.
"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven," right?
Becky Farley 1:19:36
Yeah. We know that.
Becky Farley 1:19:37
Sing it, Tam, sing it.
Uh, no, I won't. But I love that.
It's true. The blessings they received, I'm sure.
Becky Farley 1:19:47
And those blessings extended down to us. Here we are, talking about it.
Well, and it goes back to how we started in verse 47. The beauty of it is it created this community of faith. It created this bigger picture that the Lord needed a bigger family, where we're going to take care of each other. Like don't kick anybody out because they don't believe, let's let everybody come in, let's be directed by the Spirit as we do this. And let me give you some gifts so we can help everybody at this time. And it's going to be hard, and God knew that! You know, as we continue to read, we're going to read about how they're going to get kicked out of Ohio, and they're going to go to Missouri, I mean, it's going to be tough. But when you think about the experience you've had in the ward, now you two have been in the same ward for a very long time. And that is your family. And when you think about how, over the years, you have rallied around specific people in your ward to help each other out. There's nothing else like that out there, is there, in the world? Nothing else like a ward family?
Becky Farley 1:20:47
It's such a blessing.
And I think COVID brought that into light for us. We had a man bear his testimony, probably our second or maybe third fast and testimony meeting. And he got up and bore his testimony. And he's such a beautiful, humble man. And he spoke of a trial that he had been going through. And it was so raw and powerful that no one ever would have expected. The Spirit was so strong in that room, you could have literally heard a pin drop, when people say that. And I just sat there and wept. And I looked at my kids, and they were all just bright-eyed, listening in awe of what he was saying. And I was so grateful that that particular man happened to be my son's home teaching companion for four years. He's had him since he was 14, and my son just turned 18. And so, for four years, my son has been mentored by him. But now my son was able to see this man in a different light, with problems, and that it's okay. And it was mind boggling to me. And it was one of the most beautiful experiences for me, and for my son. I think he'll never be the same. I know I'll never be the same. But I thought "What other church gives you that opportunity?" And it was powerful, powerful.
Becky Farley 1:22:25
And how God performed a miracle on that day.
A beautiful miracle.
Becky Farley 1:22:32
But at that moment, too, I was so grateful that God had given us the wards. That He had set up His Church so perfectly, so that we could learn and grow from each other in such beautiful ways that I never would have dreamed of. Now I know why we have wards and why we're set up the way we are.
It gives so much more power. Now your story, Holly, gives so much more power to verse 6, that part where, when we go to church on Sunday, when we all start going back and seeing each other, how brilliant and beautiful it will be to look around. Take a moment as you walk into that chapel. Take a moment to consider everyone sitting on those pews. And take a moment to gather with your families, every man according to his family, according to his circumstances, and just consider those people and what they're going through and what gifts they have, and what we can do. And we've been talking about this all year, but what we can do to build up the cause of Zion. That is what Doctrine and Covenants is all about. And that's why we're here. We are here because Jesus is coming. And He needs us to be a prepared people when He comes. And the only way we can do that is in this family unit, this beautiful, God's Church, His body, because we all have a part of that and it's just going. That's what we're, that's what it's all about. Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Becky Farley 1:23:57
Amen. I agree.
Wow, everything you guys said, that was so awesome. See, those of you listening can tell why I was so excited for this day. I love these friends. This is what it's like when we get together, only we eat a lot of food too.
Becky Farley 1:24:10
We eat cheese.
Becky Farley 1:24:12
Oh, lots of Doritos and Oreos.
Becky Farley 1:24:15
Coke, half-and-half Coke for Tam.
And we laugh. Oh, we laugh, do we laugh. It's so much fun. So ladies, thank you for being here. I want you just to take a minute and think what your takeaway was from today, and just kind of share it.
Well, I'll go first. I have two. When Becky said being patient in my healing, I loved that. I thought that was so beautiful. And I also am grateful for learning about the gifts that other people have but realizing that they're all for the good of others and our ward. And I think it's gonna help me even love my ward even that much more, and to look around, like you just said, Tam, and try to recognize what everybody's gifts are. And be grateful for that gift in my life, that I'm grateful that I'm here at this moment, this time, in this ward, with these incredible people to bless my life, that they have a gift that's going to help me.
Becky Farley 1:25:23
Well, mine kind of goes along with what you said, Tom, at the very end. Every man, that we'll be gathered with our families, every man according to his family, according to his circumstance. And I think about a quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh, who's a Buddhist monk in Vietnam, and he said that there are 10,000 things about every being, everything on the earth, that 10,000 things, meaning, innumerable things that make us who we are, that make us what we are, what we can become, and that these spiritual gifts are part of our 10,000 things that we can look at our parents and our growing up, and our who we're with now in our jobs and our interests, and our all of those things, and that makes us who we are. And then to look, come into Church with that attitude, considering the people that we love, and that we are around, what are their 10,000 things? Why? You know, in the story that Holly told about that wonderful, beautiful man, friend, our friend in our ward, and what are his 10,000 things, and the things that he struggles with, and yet, here he is continuing to trust in God in His healing, and recognizing the miracles. I mean, it's just so beautiful, that thought about considering sitting, looking at the person and ourselves, not being judgmental on ourselves, and moving forward with that.
Wow, thank you, Farley. That was great. Both of your takeaways were perfect. I mean, I don't even know where to start with my takeaways. I have just so many notes that I've written down. And I mean, immediately, I just think "These women? This is my family." You were my family when I was single. You guys loved me. In fact, going back to what you said earlier, you said, "Come sit with us. You're part of our family right now." Because my family didn't, they weren't here in Utah at the time. And you were my family. And I mean, I get so emotional about it. But we all have spiritual gifts. And I feel like we have, because of that, we have built each other up over the past 20 years. And how grateful I am for that to watch you each use your spiritual gifts and how they have truly, on this little small level, increased my testimony. And I can only imagine that that's what God wants us to do on this bigger scale for the whole family of mankind. And I've been able to watch in action over these years. And I'm so grateful for your spiritual gifts, and how they have blessed me. And Farley, talking about considering and facing the flag, I'm going to always remember that. I've loved today's discussion. Oh, I love you two.
Becky Farley 1:28:17
Love you guys.
And all of our friends who are listening, how we all just, we're all a family. It's really a unique, beautiful experience. I love you both so much.
Thank you, thank you. Well, those were great takeaways. And so of course, I want to hear what your big takeaway was. So if you've not already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go there. I want you to share what your takeaway was from this week's discussion because there was so much that we talked about. On Sunday, we do a post that says, "What was your big takeaway?" So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and just let us know what you learned. I read them all and I love hearing what you guys are learning and it's gonna be fun for this week. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. It's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where you have the links to all the references and we also have glue-ins for this specific episode. So make sure you go there and get those glue-ins and put them in your scriptures. We're going to have the awesome quote by Elder Ashton and so go there. The "Sunday on Monday Study Group" is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ Original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our so-fabulous study group participants were Holly Howarth and Becky Farley, and you can find more information about these ladies at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It's recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week. And please remember, as God's child, you have a spiritual gift because you're his favorite.
Becky Farley 1:29:46
Can I just blow my nose really quick? Sorry.
Becky Farley 1:29:49
I don't think anybody wants to hear that.
Becky Farley 1:29:52
That I needed to do after the prayer.
Go right on the microphone. How about you turn your head, Farley?
Becky Farley 1:29:57
Sorry! Gol. Hold on.
Were you raised in a barn?
Oh geez, the entire world and she does it on the microphone.
Becky Farley 1:30:06
Well, I was wearing my cowboy boots to Church and blowin' my nose in the microphone.
If you had church cowboy boots that you only wore to church, that'd be fine.
Becky Farley 1:30:15
I do have church—! No, don't get me started.
That's my goal, Holly. Our goal is to get her some church cowboy boots.
Becky Farley 1:30:19
Well, I can't wear cowboy boots anymore. I can't wear anything outside of New Balance.
She doesn't. She just wears Tevas.
Becky Farley 1:30:23
Can you get me a pair of New Balance special for church?
She just wears her Crocs. Alright, here we go.
Title for Section 46: Public Church Meetings; Gifts of the Spirit
Background for section 46:
"Joseph Smith joined the Saints in Kirtland. . . . When he arrived, he found that these Church members had adopted some false practices. One false practice was the exclusion of people from Church meetings. . . . Another false practice was that some members engaged in strange behavior when they attended Church meetings. They claimed that their actions were inspired by the Holy Ghost. Some members believed them, and others felt that the behaviors were not of God. In the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 46, the Lord taught principles that would help the Saints avoid being deceived and that would help them understand true gifts of the Spirit" (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, "Lesson 54: Doctrine and Covenants 46," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Background for Section 47:
"From the beginning of the restored Church, records have also been important. Martin Harris, Emma Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and John Whitmer all served as scribes or secretaries for the Prophet in recording revelations, translations, historical data, or other information, but there seems to have been some difficulty in keeping a permanent recorder. On 8 March 1831, the day after receiving Doctrine and Covenants 45 and the same day Doctrine and Covenants 46 was received—not even a year after the organization of the Church—the Lord instructed Joseph to call John Whitmer as Church historian. Though Oliver Cowdery had already served in this capacity part-time, John Whitmer is generally credited with being the first full-time and permanent Church historian of the Restoration.
John Whitmer had actually been invited to accept this position some time earlier, but being reluctant, he asked Joseph to inquire whether it was the will of the Lord. 'I was appointed by the voice of the Elders to keep the Church Record. Joseph Smith Jr. said unto me you must also keep the Church history. I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer. And thus came the word of the Lord.'1 On 9 April 1831, John was sustained in his twin callings as both Church historian and Church recorder by a special meeting of elders in Kirtland.2" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 47," Deseret Book).
Title for Section 47: John Whitmer—Church Historian
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 8, 1831. John Whitmer, who had already served as a clerk to the Prophet, initially hesitated when he was asked to serve as the Church historian and recorder, replacing Oliver Cowdery. He wrote, “I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer.” After Joseph Smith received this revelation, John Whitmer accepted and served in his appointed office.
Cast no one out of public meetings:
2 But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the aelders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to bconduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.
4 Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him anot bpartake until he makes reconciliation (Doctrine and Covenants 46:2–4).
Quote: "After the bishopric member invited families to sit together during ward conference, someone tapped me on my shoulder.
"'I guess you’re in my family for the next hour,' a kind sister said, inviting me to sit with her husband and children. I am grateful for people like her who show they care about me and want me to feel welcome" (Jacob Call, "How to Not Single Out the Singles," April 2021 Liahona).
7 But ye are commanded in all things to aask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all bholiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, cconsidering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and dthanksgiving, that ye may not be eseduced by evil fspirits, or doctrines of devils, or the gcommandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils (Doctrine and Covenants 46:7).
- Consider: To think carefully about (something), typically before making a decision. Think about and be drawn toward (a course of action). Regard (someone or something) as having a specified quality.
Scrupulosity: A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did fight be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine ("Scrupulosity Fact Sheet," International OCD Foundation, iocdf.org ).
"During the three months Joseph Smith was in Kirtland before the Saints from New York began to arrive, he faced many challenges arising from the rapid growth of the Church there. The first problem was the manifestation of “strange notions and false spirits” among the members of the branch.10 Because they lacked the guidance of Church authorities in northern Ohio, some new members entertained “wild enthusiastic notions” about the effects of the Holy Spirit upon the converted. John Corrill, an early Ohio convert, was disturbed by the bizarre actions of some of the young people who claimed they saw visions: “They conducted themselves in a strange manner, sometimes imitating Indians in their maneuvers, sometimes running out into the fields, getting on stumps of trees and there preaching as though surrounded by a congregation,—all the while so completely absorbed in visions as to be apparently insensible to all that was passing around them”11 (Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual (2003), “Chapter Eight: Gathering to Ohio,” 89–101).
Why spiritual gifts 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 asign that they may bconsume it upon their lusts (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–9).
Quote: “Whenever the Holy Ghost takes up its residence in a person, it not only cleanses, sanctifies, and purifies him, in proportion as he yields himself to its influence, but also imparts to him some gift, intended for the benefit of himself and others. No one who has been born of the Spirit, and who remains sufficiently faithful, is left destitute of a spiritual gift. …
“Each member does not receive all these gifts; but they are distributed through the whole body [of the Church], according to the will and wisdom of the Spirit. … Some may have all these gifts bestowed upon them, so as to understand them all, and be prepared to detect any spurious gifts, and to preside over the whole body of the Church, that all may be benefited. These spiritual gifts are distributed among the members of the Church, according to their faithfulness, circumstances, natural abilities, duties, and callings; that the whole may be properly instructed, confirmed, perfected, and saved” (Masterful Discourses and Writings of Orson Pratt, comp. N. B. Lundwall , 539–41). (See also Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2nd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2001], 100.)
Two things the Lord tells us to do:
Quote: "In 1936, an obscure rowing team from the University of Washington traveled to Germany to participate in the Olympic Games. It was the depths of the Great Depression. These were working-class boys whose small mining and lumber towns donated bits of money so they could travel to Berlin. Every aspect of the competition seemed stacked against them, but something happened in the race. In the rowing world, they call it “swing.” Listen to this description based on the book The Boys in the Boat:
"There is a thing that sometimes happens that is hard to achieve and hard to define. It’s called 'swing.' It happens only when all are rowing in such perfect unison that not a single action is out of sync.
"Rowers must rein in their fierce independence and at the same time hold true to their individual capabilities. Races are not won by clones. Good crews are good blends—someone to lead the charge, someone to hold something in reserve, someone to fight the fight, someone to make peace. No rower is more valuable than another, all are assets to the boat, but if they are to row well together, each must adjust to the needs and capabilities of the others—the shorter-armed person reaching a little farther, the longer-armed person pulling in just a bit.
"Differences can be turned to advantage instead of disadvantage. Only then will it feel as if the boat is moving on its own. Only then does pain entirely give way to exultation. Good 'swing' feels like poetry4 (Sister Sharon Eubank, "By Union of Feeling We Obtain Power with God," October 2020 general conference).
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him (1 Corinthians 12:14–18).
Know and Believe:
Differences of Administration and Diversities of Operations:
15 And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the adifferences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his bmercies according to the conditions of the children of men.
16 And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the aSpirit may be given to every man to profit withal (Doctrine and Covenants 46:15–16).
Quote: "Differences of Administration: This phrase is first used in 1 Corinthians 12:5, where the Greek means 'the different kinds of ministries' or 'differences in ways of serving.' The full sense might be rendered something like 'the differences in how God has equipped each of us to serve.' Moroni seemed to use the term this way in Moroni 10:8, when he said, 'And there are different ways that these gifts are administered' by God to the Saints, which captures the true sense of 1 Corinthians 12:5. Thus, to know these differences of administration is to recognize how God has endowed different individuals with different gifts and with different 'styles' or ways of doing things. One prophet, bishop, or Relief Society president might have completely different gifts or a completely different style from that of his or her predecessor, yet they are equally called of God to their ministry. There is not just one correct way of serving the Lord or of magnifying a calling.
"By extension, it follows that Church leaders who recognize the differences of God-given gifts and ways of using them among the individual Saints will also know how best to utilize these different individuals for the benefit of all" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 46," Deseret Book).
Quote: "Diversity of Operations: is manifest in a person’s ability to see the differences between authentic gifts or workings of the Holy Ghost and false spirits, doctrines, or commandments (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, "Lesson 54: Doctrine and Covenants 46," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Wisdom and Knowledge:
Quote: "This word of wisdom is not related to what we usually call the Word of Wisdom in the Church. For example, note that it is by "the word of wisdom" that "a Word of Wisdom" is later given to the Church in Doctrine and Covenants 89. The gift of the Spirit called the word of wisdom is the gift of possessing wisdom, particularly in thinking, speaking, and counseling. Wisdom is knowledge or data plus judgment, understanding, or common sense. Knowledge in its narrowest sense is merely accumulated facts or information, and the word of knowledge is the ability to possess and convey information. But the word of wisdom is knowing how to interpret or apply information correctly and with sound judgment for the benefit of oneself and others" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 46," Deseret Book).
Faith to Be Healed, Faith to Heal, and the Working of Miracles:
Hebrew: Emunah = The Hebrew word for faith. It is a verb that means to be firm and steadfast. Its root is Aman, meaning to support.
Quote: "Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that 'he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed' (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one 'asketh according to the will of God … it is done even as he asketh' (D&C 46:30).14
"From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord" (President Dallin H. Oaks, "Healing the Sick," April 2010 general conference).
Quote: "Working of miracles: A special divine power is needed for the working of miracles. The Prophet Joseph had this power in a very high degree. It was one of the evidences that he had the authority of the holy Priesthood. One of the numerous miracles God performed through him was the healing of one Mrs. Johnson, who, in company with others, visited his home in Kirtland, 1831. She had, for some time, been afflicted with a lame arm. She could not raise it to her head. The conversation turned on supernatural power, and someone in the company asked if there was anybody on Earth that could heal Mrs. Johnson for instance. The Prophet arose, walked over to Mrs. Johnson, took her by the hand and said, "Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command thee to be whole," whereupon he left the room. Mrs. Johnson at once lifted up her arm, and the next day was able to do her washing (History of the Church, Vol. I., p. 215)" ( Janne M. Sjodahl, Hyrum M. Smith, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, "Section 46," Deseret Book).
The Gift of Prophesy:
Quote: "To prophesy: That is, to speak in the name of the Lord, whether of things present, past, or future. This is a special gift. The Prophet Joseph had it in the highest degree. Heber C. Kimball also had the gift highly developed. At times he could see into the future as if it were an open book. During the time of famine in Salt Lake valley in 1847, when many subsisted on roots and hides of animals, and knew not where to obtain bread or clothing necessary, owing to the devastation by crickets, President Kimball declared in a public meeting that, within a short time, 'state goods' would be sold in the streets of Salt Lake City cheaper than in New York, and that the people should be abundantly supplied with food and clothing. Many who heard him refused to believe. He himself said he was afraid he had missed it. But the prophecy came true. Very soon the California gold-hunters came through the Valley. Salt Lake City became their resting-place, and they were glad to exchange their goods for whatever they could get. Many of them threw goods away, or sold them for a song, in order to lighten their wagons and be able to make better progress (Whitney's Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 401-2)" ( Janne M. Sjodahl, Hyrum M. Smith, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, "Section 46," Deseret Book).
Discerning of Spirits:
7 But ye are commanded in all things to aask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all bholiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, cconsidering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and dthanksgiving, that ye may not be eseduced by evil fspirits, or doctrines of devils, or the gcommandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils (Doctrine and Covenants 46:7).
Quote: "The gift of the discerning of spirits allows a person to recognize or understand others’ true intentions and hidden motivations. This gift helps a person to detect hidden evils and to see the good in others" ( Janne M. Sjodahl, Hyrum M. Smith, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, "Section 46," Deseret Book).
Quote: "From as early as I can remember, my siblings always had a paper route. By the time I was five, I started getting up early to help fold the papers, and by the age of six, I was helping deliver. As crazy as it sounds, I loved it! I loved walking around the neighborhood in the dark with my siblings and eventually doing so with just my dad. When I became a teenager, however, one day my dad slipped and fell on the early-morning ice, broke his leg, and was thus unable to help. I started doing the route alone. One dark morning, as I was turning the corner at the end of one of the streets in my neighborhood, a white van pulled up to me and a man opened up the side door and yelled at me to get in. Within seconds, our blue minivan screeched up right behind the white van, and my mother yelled for me to get in. I ran immediately for her van, jumped in, and slammed the door, and both my mother and the white van took off—in opposite directions. I sat in silence, filled with panic and awe, as we drove home. Once we pulled into our driveway, we looked at each other, and without my saying a word to her, my mom said, 'I just knew . . .'" (Barbara Morgan Gardner, The Priesthood Power of Women, "Filling the Measure of Our Creation," Deseret Book).
The Gift of Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues:
25 And to another is given the interpretation of tongues (Doctrine and Covenants 46:24–25).
Quote: "The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues are commonly manifest in missionaries who are able to learn and understand languages quickly. These gifts may also be enjoyed by people who need to overcome language barriers to learn and teach the gospel" ( Janne M. Sjodahl, Hyrum M. Smith, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, "Section 46," Deseret Book).
Quote: "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" (Elder Marvin J. Ashton,"'There Are Many Gifts,'" October 1987 general conference).
Title for Section 48: "Preparation for Missouri—Land for Gathering in Ohio
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 10, 1831. The Prophet had inquired of the Lord as to the mode of procedure in procuring lands for the settlement of the Saints. This was an important matter in view of the migration of members of the Church from the eastern United States, in obedience to the Lord’s command that they should assemble in Ohio (see sections 37:1–3; 45:64).
Quote: The need to procure land was “agitating the minds of the brethren in consequence of the expected arrival in the near future, of the Saints from New York, who had been commanded to gather in Ohio, and for whose reception it was necessary to make preparations" (History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 166).
Quote: "Ask students to imagine that Saints in a distant area have had to evacuate their homes. Church leaders have asked the students’ families to provide food and shelter for some of the displaced families for several months" (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, "Lesson 55: Doctrine and Covenants 47–48," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
"Lucy Mack Smith related of Emma Smith: 'How often I have parted every bed in the house for the accommodation of the brethren, and then laid a single blanket on the floor for my husband and myself, while Joseph and Emma slept upon the same floor, with nothing but their cloaks for both bed and bedding'"11 (Sheri Dew, "'Something Extraordinary,'" March 1992 Ensign).
How to help others:
1 It is necessary that ye should remain for the present time in your places of abode, as it shall be suitable to your circumstances.
3 And inasmuch as ye have not lands, let them buy for the present time in those regions round about, as seemeth them good, for it must needs be necessary that they have places to live for the present time (Doctrine and Covenants 48:1–3).
4 It must needs be necessary that ye asave all the money that ye can, and that ye obtain all that ye can in righteousness, that in time ye may be enabled to bpurchase cland for an dinheritance, even the city (Doctrine and Covenants 48:4).
6 And they shall be appointed to apurchase the lands, and to make a commencement to lay the foundation of the city; and then shall ye begin to be gathered with your families, every man according to his bfamily, according to his circumstances, and as is appointed to him by the presidency and the bishop of the church, according to the laws and commandments which ye have received, and which ye shall hereafter receive. Even so. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 48:6).
Quote: "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven," (W.W. Phelps, "Praise to the Man")
Quote: "You are all intelligent children and I am sure you will be able to understand and practice the things I will share with you… When you children peel a tangerine, you can eat it with awareness or without awareness. What does it mean to eat a tangerine in awareness? When you are eating the tangerine, you are aware that you are eating the tangerine. You fully experience its lovely fragrance and sweet taste. When you peel the tangerine, you know that you are peeling the tangerine; when you remove a slice, and put it in your mouth, you know that you are removing a slice and putting it in your mouth; when you experience the lovely fragrance and sweet taste of the tangerine, you are aware that you are experiencing the lovely fragrance and sweet taste of the tangerine… A person who practices mindfulness can see things in the tangerine that others are unable to see. An aware person can see the tangerine tree, the blossom in the spring, the sunlight and rain that nourished the tangerine. Looking deeply, one can see ten thousand things that have made the tangerine possible. Looking at a tangerine, a person who practices awareness can see all the wonders of the universe and how all things interact with one another" (Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, quoting from the Buddha).