Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spiritual Gifts

It's been a while since I have posted here. A lot has been going on lately!

Today we got a new bishop. Yesterday, on two occasions, the thought came to me "tomorrow we're getting a new bishop." I didn't know what to make of the thought. Was it all in my head, or was it from above? I've had similar experiences before with other events that happened such as the passing away of a man I hadn't seen in years.

The Lord told Oliver Cowdery that revelation comes to our minds and our hearts (see D&C 8:2). For me it generally comes to my mind as thoughts or impressions that seem indistinguishable from my own thoughts. I realize this has little to do with apologetics, but I'd love your input. How do you come to distinguish between the two? What is the purpose of such insights (like, "we're getting a new bishop tomorrow" or "Brother Lowery will be joining his wife soon")? Spiritual gifts, we are told, are for the benefit of the members of the church (see D&C 46:9). Are some gifts just for our own personal benefit as well?

4 comments:

RoAnn said...

I think that the type of personal revelation you mentioned may primarily come for our personal benefit, perhaps to confirm that we are progressing in our efforts to be in tune with the Spirit.

However, although most instances of predictive inspiration are probably meant to be kept private (at least before the fact), IMO that personal spiritual gift ultimately benefits other members, because our increased faith motivates us to serve and strengthen those around us.

I agree that it is often extremely difficult to distinguish between "inspired thoughts" and our own thoughts. Maybe the ability to distinguish between the two comes through experience, plus a willingness to give God (rather than our superior intellect or intuition) the credit?

Andrew I. Miller said...

roann,

Great comments and insights. Thank you! I seldom share such insights when the come unless I feel inspired to do so or the benefit for the other individual is obvious. I agree that they probably are meant usually for ourselves to help us know we're on track. I think one of the purposes of the gift of the Holy Ghost is to let us know that we are pleasing the Lord and are in tune with him and his will. It is a sweet reassurance that helps us know that we are on the path that leads to eternal life and glory.

Thanks for your comments!

Bryce Haymond said...

I believe that when we learn something we previously didn't know, the insight is revelation from God. I think there is a quote from one of the prophets to that effect as well.

Michaela Stephens said...

I once had a feeling what the topic of our ward conference was to be before I went. Another time I dreamt about the topic of a particular church meeting before I went. I agree that these are for our own personal benefit. Spiritually, it also indicates that we are becoming the Lord's friends more than just His servants, because the servant doesn't know what the master is doing, but the friend is let in on what's going on.