The Lord promises spiritual and temporal gifts to His children. Gifts like life and breath and Earth and diversity and autonomic body functions and resurrection are gifts He freely gives. He also promised that everyone received at least one spiritual gift from Him.
“…to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.”
Many additional gifts are available, conditional on our asking God for them.
The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
How do we ask for gifts? What does that look like?
King Lamoni’s Father: Willing to Give Away His Kingdom and All His Sins For the Gift He Sought
My scripture study this morning included King Lamoni’s father who empathically stated he would give away all that he possessed to receive the gift of remission of sins.
And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: I will give up . that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joyshall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be , having this wicked spirit out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he,
He bowed before the Lord and sacrificed his sins for the gift he sought.
O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.
The king received the gift he sought.
Blind Bartimæus Tenaciously Sought His Gifts
Blind Bartimæus, on hearing the boisterous crowd approaching, called out for Jesus. “Stop yelling for Him,” people said. But Bartimæus called louder, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call theman, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Can you see it? Can you see Bartimæus approaching Jesus in the midst of the throng? Can you see the Savior’s face, form, and figure waiting for Bartimæus on that road? Can you see it?
Bartimæus couldn’t see it because of the veil over his vision. Yet he perceived the opportunity. He’d heard of Jesus and His miracles. And he was in the right place at the right time.
No amount of naysaying could defeat his purpose. He “cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Jesus found the man in his darkness. Bartimæus’ faith demanded an audience with the Lord. According to the story, Bartimæus sought two gifts. He sought audience with Jesus and then he asked for his veil of darkness to be removed. And immediately it was.
The Nephites All Moved Forward to Receive A Gift
When Jesus visited the Nephites after His resurrection, He showed them His hands and feet. He organized a church among them. He reiterated His doctrine. He explained how He fulfilled the law.
With His day’s assignment complete, He explained that He needed to return and report to the Father.
The people collectively honored His schedule. They’d spent a glorious day with Him. They’d all felt the indicators of His temporal crucifixion. They’d experienced His presence. They understood that He needed to go. But they didn’t want Him to go!
did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were , and
The Savior knew their hearts. He perceived their desire.
And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled withtowards you.
Have ye any that areamong you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or , or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that youris that I should heal you.
And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their , and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude didhis feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
They all went forth! The whole multitude moved!
I see that youris that I should heal you.
Jesus knew what gift they sought. They all moved forward to partake of His gift and they were made whole.
The people had His presence and He swept their darkness away. Jesus offered them a gift beyond any they could have imagined.
What does it mean to you to be made whole?
As Mormon recorded this story, he mentioned the physical maladies Jesus healed—sick, lame, blind, and dumb. He also mentioned “afflictions” were healed. What are your “afflictions?”
As I ponder this scene, some nonphysical afflictions healed perhaps related to unbelief, mental illness, broken hearts, weaknesses or habits needing the strength of the enabling power of the Savior’s Atonement. Maybe their afflictions were scars inflicted by someone else’s misuse of agency which violated their body and souls.
Whatever their particular affliction, the Savior seemed to heal the effects of the Fall.
He blessed them. Their bodies and minds were sanctified. They saw angels descend in flaming fire and then bless their children. Their ears opened and they heard Jesus pray unspeakably beautiful things to the Father. They were holy and able to build Zion after the Savior ascended to the Father. They built a city of unity, perfection, and love. They were all of these things because of a gift, His gift, to them.
be unto God for his unspeakable .
…O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all , ye that hear me;
The Lord is abundant. He desires to bless us—especially because the nature of His blessings tends to point us to eternal life, for His work and glory is “to bring to pass the .” and of man