Area Leadership Message

The Importance of receiving the gifts of the Spirit

Elder Markus Zarse
Elder Markus Zarse Area Seventy

On the April 2020 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, celebrating the bicentennial of the first vision, President Russel M. Nelson introduced a symbol that signified the central place of Jesus Christ in His Church[1].

This symbol included the name of the Church within a cornerstone, signifying Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. Symbolically Jesus Christ is standing under an arch, reminding us of the resurrected savior emerging from the tomb on the third day after his Crucifixion. The center of the symbol is a representation of Thorvaldsen’s marble statue the “Christus”, which was sculpted in 1820, portraying the resurrected, living Lord reaching out to lovingly embrace all of his children who will come unto him.

I have seen the original statue in Copenhagen and further statues adorning temple grounds and visitor centers in temples in Europe and I am always touched by the open arms that seem to want to embrace me. His wounds on his hands and feet reminding me of the price he paid to bring me home.

There are numerous gifts, our Father in Heaven wants us to receive to secure the way home into his loving arms [2],[3],[4].

I remember an experience with a new missionary companion. During the first days I thought that I would know better. When we intended to have a talk together he asked me to say a prayer. I vividly remember at the very start of the prayer this feeling of peace and love nearly overwhelming me and I heard myself say how sorry I was for being so arrogant and unkind and that I asked forgiveness from my companion. This has changed our whole companionship. I do not exactly know which gift I received, but I cherished it as a tender mercy from God.


We know that not all have every gift, but everyone of us has a gift [5] and these gifts are given us, not as a sign but as a means of obeying our divine mandate to help gather Israel on both sides of the veil [6]!

A divine way to combine and multiply the blessings of our gifts for the benefit of others is by counseling and serving together.

Have you asked yourself which gifts would help you to better honor your divine calling in family or church? Is it the gift of charity we like to develop for a certain brother or sister[7], or how we can better teach our children or fellow members[8]? There are countless gifts that are needed and given to those that seek.

It is however no coincidence that in Doctrine & Covenants the very long list of gifts of the Spirit starts with two gifts:

1. The gift to know by the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Son of God and our Redeemer[9].

2. The gift to believe on their words that they also might have eternal life, if they continue faithfully[10].

Sometimes we might feel that we lack something if we do not know but believe. My dear sisters and brothers never underestimate the gift to believe: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland affirmed “with all the fervor of [his] soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act,” and that a person need not ever feel ashamed for “only believing[11].” Even if we cannot yet believe but have the desire to believe[12], this can be the starting point to receive spiritual gifts. Russel M. Nelson declared: “Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. My beloved brothers and sisters…. I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation”. Let us all strive to follow the plea of our beloved prophet to receive more of the gifts that our heavenly father has prepared for us. They will help us to find our way home, where He eagerly awaits us to embrace us again.   


[1] Russel M. Nelson Opening the Heavens for Help, General Conference, April 2020

[2] Moroni 10:8-18

[3] 1. Corinthians 12:1-12

[4] D&C 46:11-33

[5] D&C 46:11

[6] General Handbook Chapter 1.2 The Work of Salvation and Exaltation

[7] Moroni 7:46-48

[8] Moroni 10:9-10

[9] D&C46:13

[10] D&C46:14

[11] Jeffrey R.Holland, “Lord I believe”, General Conference April 2013

[12] Alma 32:27