Spiritual Gifts in Mormonism
Mormon theology teaches that when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are faithful and worthy (obedient to the commandments of God in all aspects of their life), they can receive and nurture important spiritual gifts from the Lord. A prophet in the Book of Mormon (which volume of scripture is the very “keystone” of Mormon theology) described this beneficient state among his people of the ancient Americas: “We search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea” (Jacob 4:6).
Gifts of the Spirit are special blessings, granted by the Lord, of spiritual wisdom and power. Enumerations of these blessings are available in the official Mormon scriptures, such as the following in the New Testament:
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
Information about these gifts was revealed by God to the modern-day prophet Joseph Smith during what Mormons believe was the restoration of Christ’s Church to the earth. In the Doctrine and Covenants (another important volume of scripture in Mormon theology), a prophecy is recorded which includes many of the same gifts listed above, as well as others:
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. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful. 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. 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 (Doctrine and Covenants 46:13-16).
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe that these spiritual gifts, or gifts of the Spirit, come from God and are to be used in service to His children. Mormons believe the Lord knows and loves each person on the earth. He understands perfectly what they can accomplish in building His Church and undergoing personal development according to His gospel. As another of God’s prophets stated in the Book of Mormon:
And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. . . . And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men (Moroni 10:8,19).
Because of the restoration of the priesthood power or authority to act in God’s name, and because of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon worthy baptized members, all of the charismatic spiritual gifts are found and are even commonplace in the Mormon Church. This is the living gospel, with the power to heal, to prophesy, to speak in tongues, etc., bestowed upon its worthy members according to their service (or stewardship) in the kingdom.