Boyd K. Packer Quote

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Jack R. Christianson

We must let happiness, the Spirit, and spiritual gifts come as God grants them to us.  When we put our Father and his Son at the center of our lives, these gifts will flow unto us "without compulsory means. . . forever and ever." (see D&C 121:46)

Elder Boyd K. Packer, while speaking at Brigham Young University, taught a valuable lesson concerning the receiving of such spiritual gifts as happiness and the Spirit: 

I must emphasize that the word "gift" is of great significance, for a gift may not be demanded or it ceases to be a gift.  It may only be accepted when proffered. Inasmuch as spiritual gifts are gifts, the conditions under which we may receive  them are established by him who offers them to us. 

Spiritual gifts cannot be forced, for a gift is a gift.  They cannot, I repeat, be  forced, nor bought, nor "earned" in the sense that we make some gesture in payment and expect them to automatically be delivered on our own terms. There are those who seek such gifts with such persistence that each act moves  them further from them.  And in that persistence and determination they place themselves in spiritual danger.  Rather we are to live to be worthy of the gifts and they will come according to the will of the Lord. 

    Excerpt from the book:  Be Strong and of Good Courage (1994), by Jack R. Christianson, p. 6:  ("Gifts of the Spirit,"  Brigham Young University Sixteen-Stake Fireside, Provo, Utah: 4 January 1987.)