02 September 2010

Thoughts on the Gift of Discernment, Part 3

From Sister Elaine L. Jack, former General Relief Society President:

Spiritual gifts are powerful priesthood blessings. They increase our capacity as we develop them by drawing on the storehouse in heaven. One gift I value is discernment. When the Lord spoke to the woman at the well, He offered her living “water springing up into everlasting life.” He discerned her needs. His words startled her: “Go, call thy husband, and come hither.” She answered, “I have no husband,” and Jesus said, “Thou hast well said.” And “the woman saith unto him, … I perceive that thou art a prophet.” (See John 4:14–19.)

Many women have the gift of discernment. Often blessed with the power to know and understand beyond their experience, women draw on this strength as they visit monthly to teach in the homes or to assess needs as directed by the bishop. We use it as we nurture our children and teach them the gospel. We discern, by the power of God given to us through His Spirit that “one thing is needful” (Luke 10:42). Nothing we do is more important than the work of righteousness in our homes.

Discernment is critical for our times. President Boyd K. Packer has said, “We need women with the gift of discernment who can view the trends in the world and detect those that, however popular, are shallow” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, 8). That is exactly what we need.

-- Sister Elaine L. Jack, “‘Partakers of the Glories’,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 76, emphasis added.

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