Doctrine and Covenants 46 to 48 –“Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts”

Doctrine and Covenants 46 is known for its list of spiritual gifts, but we should note the foundational message here to seek the Spirit so that we will not be deceived. John Whitmer is called as record keeper, and the Ohio Saints prepare to welcome Saints from New York.

“Historical Context and Background,” Steven C. Harper and Casey Paul Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Central

Read about sections 46 (seeking the Spirit), 47 (John Whitmer) and 48 (assisting the Saints from New York).

“Religious Enthusiasm among Early Ohio Converts,” Matthew McBride, Revelations in Context
D&C 46 was given in response to Joseph’s inquiries about how to conduct sacrament meetings.  With these revelations, Joseph and the Kirtland elders were better equipped to understand and discern the many spiritual manifestations they encountered.

Chart 12-10: “Gifts of the Spirit,” Charting the New Testament
This chart compares the lists of gifts of the spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, Moroni 10, D&C 46, and Article of Faith 7. Cumulatively, these gifts are an impressive list of God’s gifts to his children.

“Gifts of the Spirit,” Craig K. Manscill and Derek Mock, Religious Educator 6, no. 2 (2005): 69-84.
The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the gifts of the Spirit. As disciples seek to know Christ and his works, they seek for increased spiritual growth through his gifts. To obtain his gifts, seekers must be believing, be worthy, serve selflessly, and be wise stewards. Saints must take care not to misuse their gifts contrary to the will of God.

“Gifts of the Spirit,” Cecil O. Samuelson, Religious Educator 8, no. 1 (2007): 1-7.
“I suspect for all of us, there is a risk that we may not understand or recognize that we are greatly blessed with several gifts of the Spirit. Even when we do, we may not fully value them or recognize the significance of them in our lives and in our baskets of overflowing blessings….We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the Apostles’ days.”

“The Seduction of Our Gifts,” Pat Debenham, BYU Studies, Vol. 41, no. 3
Though we are taught that all spiritual gifts are to benefit the kingdom of God on earth, artists can be drawn away from a gospel-oriented life by the very artistic gifts that God has endowed them with. In this article, Pat Debenham discusses three thinking patterns that regularly lead artists away from lives centered on the gospel.

“History, 1838-1856, volume C-1,” Joseph Smith, April 28, 1842
From Joseph Smith’s History: “At two o’clock P.M. I met the members of the ‘Female Relief Society’ and after presiding at the admission of many new members gave a lecture on the Priesthood shewing how the Sisters would come in possession of the privileges, blessings, and gifts of the Priesthood, and that the signs should follow them, such as healing the sick, casting our devils &c and that they might attain unto these blessings by a virtuous life and conversation and diligence in keeping all the commandments.”