Some people think spiritual gifts are like a lottery.
You are either born with certain gifts or you're not. Period. The end.
That, my friends, is false.
You can ASK for spiritual gifts! God wants you to!
In fact, in this short half-page article in the back of this month's Ensign, we are told SEVEN times by George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency in 1894 that God wants us to ask! If you click on my picture below you can see my hand-written list on the bottom left.
Then this prophet, seer, and revelator said SEVEN times that God promises, wants, is willing, or gives us spiritual gifts! See my hand-written list in the middle column.
We are told that it is NOT God's plan for us to say, "Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature" because "God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give us gifts that will eradicate them."
And it goes without saying that once we pray for something, we get off our knees and work hard to help the Lord answer that prayer!
If we pray for charity and then receive a prompting to forgive someone or to be kind when the temptation is to be mean, following those promptings is part of how we allow God to give us the gift of charity. When you ask for a gift from God, also commit yourself to follow any promptings He gives you.
Here is my favorite quote about spiritual gifts, that happens to be in this tiny summary of President Cannon's talk.
"If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the gospel. They are intended for this purpose. 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" (George Q. Cannon, "Seeking Spiritual Gifts," Ensign, April, 2016 quoting Latter-day Saints' Millenial Star, April 23, 1894. 258-62).
Here is my favorite quote about less conspicuous gifts of the spirit.
Did you know the ability to weep is a spiritual gift? If anyone has seen me in sacrament meeting with my tissues when I feel the Spirit, you'll understand why I appreciated learning this is a gift.
Marvin Ashton said, "Let us review some of these less-conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost" (“There Are Many Gifts,” Conference Report, October 1987).
Click here for more quotes about gifts of the Spirit, including a mini handout of quotes.