President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901) First Counselor in the First Presidency:
“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts, and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth” (Millennial Star,23 Apr. 1894, 260).
The big thing that stuck out for me with this quote was this:
It is our Duty to Pray for gifts that will make us perfect.
Here I've been thinking that I've been asking for FAVORS by seeking out Spiritual Gifts. This is a big shift! Not only is it our Duty to ask for what we need to correct our flaws, He's just waiting for us to ask and will Bestow them upon those who SEEK after them.
Wow! This is exciting stuff here!
And have you heard this talk by Elder Larry L. Lawrence? It's called Why Not Ask?
This talk is packed with insight about seeking spiritual gifts! "Paul encouraged the early Saints to "desire" spiritual gifts and even to "covet earnestly the best gifts" (1 Corinthians 12:31). To me that means that if I notice a brother or sister who magnifies a gift of the Spirit, I am invited to seek that same gift myself. This is the only place in the scriptures where we are actually instructed to "covet." If you have a roommate, a sibling, a mission companion, or a spouse who really seems to understand the scriptures, you can covet that gift yourself and then ask for it.
I sometimes visualize a large storehouse up in heaven, completely filled with spiritual gifts, available to all Saints who have the faith to ask for them. Unfortunately, not too many are asking, so the storehouse is always overstocked." Can you picture that warehouse? Wow. That's quite an image. Gifts from Heavenly Father, just waiting for us to ask for them, desire them and desire to use them wisely. "Would you like the gift of recall or the gift of courage or the gift of dreams? Why not ask? I testify that the Lord won't scold you for asking. Does a member have to be perfect to ask for spiritual gifts? The Lord answered that question in the scriptures.
He explained that gifts are given for the benefit of "those who love me and keep all my commandments," and then he added, "And him that seeketh so to do" (D&C 46:9). That likely includes all of us here today.
The Lord's one stipulation is that we don't come seeking gifts for "a sign" or "to consume it upon [our] lusts" (D&C 46:9). In other words, we should not be seeking gifts to build ourselves up in the eyes of others or for personal financial gain. Spiritual gifts are given to help us build the kingdom so "that all may be profited thereby" (D&C 46:12). " We are to seek out the gifts we need to build the Kingdom, to help us perform our personal missions, to do the things that we were sent here to do and that we promised to do. Isn't God good? Go Listen or read this entire talk. Twice if you can. Or even more. He lists several spiritual gifts, along with examples of people who possess them. It might help you to start your own list of spiritual gifts to ask for. Why Not Ask?