The 7th Article of Faith reads:
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues and so forth.
Gift of Tongues
The gift of tongues is the ability to speak that others might understand, and the ability to interpret spiritual truths by the power of the Holy Ghost. Its purpose is to teach the gospel to others and is bestowed upon those who desire to serve God, through the power of the Holy Ghost. When one is given the gift of tongues, it will always be given so that there is understanding between the speaker and the listener. The gift of tongues is not present in speech that cannot be interpreted
The prophet Joseph Smith cautioned the saints when he said, “Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The devil can speak in tongues; the adversary will come with his work; he can tempt all classes; can speak in English or Dutch. Let no one speak in tongues unless he interpret, except by the consent of the one who is placed to preside; then he may discern or interpret, or another may.”
Though many believe that the gift of prophecy is no longer on the Earth and died with the ancient prophets and apostles, as Latter Day Saints we know it is the contrary. God loves all of his children just the same and continues to lead them through a modern day prophet. He has never left us and the heavens are open. We receive direction from President S. Monson and his Apostles monthly in The Ensign Magazine, General Conference talks, letters, and through various other sources.
From Moses we learn the gift of prophecy is not restricted to Church leaders only. “Would God,” he cried, “that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”(Num 11:29) According to John, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10). Through this wonderful gift we can know that the Savior lives and that he loves us.
Anyone in the church who is called to serve in any capacity small or large, is set apart by the laying on of hands and through the holy priesthood that they may receive revelation from God pertaining to their responsibilities in that calling. Whether they be a nursery leader of three-year-old children or bishop of a ward.
Revelation is also the gift by which we can know the choices we are making are the right ones. Those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost can receive revelation “within the sphere of responsibility and authority given to [them]” (Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, 155). Parents can receive inspiration in guiding their children. A visiting teacher can be prompted to help a sister she teaches. We may all be inspired in our daily lives.
I have received revelation many times in my life. Some of the things that were revealed to me were as clear as day as to what I should do and how I should do it. These revelations prevented me from experiencing much tragedy and trials and blessed me and my family with greater happiness.
God often reveals answers to our prayers or important direction for us through visions. Visions can occur in the form of dreams or while we are awake. Some of my pioneer ancestors recorded their personal experiences with visions. My great, great grandmother wrote of an experience in which she was a young girl in her native land of Switzerland. She had been introduced to the gospel by Mormon missionaries and was very interested. Her only obstacle was that she had never been taught to pray over food. She had a hard time understanding the teaching of “blessing food” before eating it. As she struggled over this in her mind a vision appeared before her like a video playing right before her eyes of the Savior blessing and breaking bread with his disciples. This experience felt so real to her that she knew it was an answer from the Lord and she was then baptized and made the long trek to Utah.
We know that the power of healing comes from God and is dependant upon our faith. By faith, prayer, and the power of the holy Melchizedek priesthood God heals. If we pray, believe and our faith is strong we can experience the gift of healing when we do not have the priesthood present.
In addition to physical healing there is also spiritual healing. This can be a gift bestowed upon many to help others heal from spiritual wounds and come to know their Savior.
Interpretation of Tongues
As many are able to speak in tongues very easily and understand, there is also the gift of interpretation. The ability to understand a foreign language even when you are not able to speak it is a marvelous gift. This gift is sometimes given to us when we do not understand a language and we need to receive an important message from God.
It is important to remember that Satan can also mimic these same gifts to deceive us. There are many in the world who heal, see visions, speak in strange tongues and so forth. Yes, this power is real and very convincing but it does not come from God. So how do we know so we are not deceived?
Those who have been blessed with the gift of discernment will know good from evil and where the source comes from. I have been blessed with this gift in my life and it has been revealed to me that this is a gift that will be blessing to me as long as I live close to the Lord. The Lord can help us discern good from evil through the power of the Holy Ghost. Those who do not have a close relationship with the Lord or a testimony of Him will be easily deceived. The Lord has a purpose to carry out and so does Satan. Satan is very intelligent and knows how to best deceive us. He tries to mimic the “gifts” of God to destroy God’s plan for us and lead people away.
By establishing a close relationship with God and praying for any of these gifts the Lord can bless you with what you desire. He wants to bless you with the things you will need to return to Him after this life. He wants you to be happy and to use your gifts to bless others. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.