Religion Magazine

Gifts Of The Spirit

By Ldsapologetics
Spiritual gifts are defined by wikipedia as:
"In Christianity, spiritual gifts (or charismata) are endowments given by the Holy Spirit.[1] These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the church.[2][3] They are described in the New Testament, primarily in 1 Corinthians 12,[4] Romans 12,[5] and Ephesians 4.[6] 1 Peter 4[7] also touches on the spiritual gifts.[1] The gifts are related to both seemingly "natural" abilities and seemingly more "miraculous" abilities, but all spiritual gifts are empowered by the Holy Spirit.[3] The two major opposing theological positions on the nature of the charismata are cessationism and continuationism (see also Cessationism versus Continuationism).
Spiritual gifts are distinguished from other graces of the Holy Spirit, such as the fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, in that the charismata are to be used for the benefit of others while the fruit of the Spirit and other gifts result in personal sanctification.[8]"
In 1 Corinthians 12 the scriptures define it this way:

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 
So while the spirit may bestow the gift of tongues for one person another may receive the gift of healing and yet another the gift of prophecy.  The gifts are up to the spirit to distribute as it will to whom it will.  There are no gender restrictions.
I found a lengthy quote from an article on spiritual gits I'd like to share here.  "Prophecy is a spiritual gift with which the Holy Spirit gifted women in the New Testament. First Corinthians 11:5 says that prophesying women were active in the worship service. Female prophets were among those the Holy Spirit gave to the New Testament church (Acts 21:9 "And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." ). Scripture explains that though not every person is a prophet (1 Cor 12:29), any person (male or female) can be gifted by the Holy Spirit to prophesy (1 Cor 14:31). Furthermore, prophets are authorized to judge the authenticity of utterance gifts (1 Cor 14:29). Thus, those who prophesy have authority in the supernatural gifts. Since the Holy Spirit gifted women in the New Testament with prophecy--perhaps the highest of supernatural gifts--it follows that all the rest of the supernatural gifts are available to women as well."
Women possessed many spiritual gifts like the most cherished and the one bearing the highest degree of authority which is prophesying. So as stated above, women are by rights and implication of scripture, entitled to any and all spiritual gifts.
In the modern church since the 1940's women have been forbidden and excommunicated for using these spiritual gifts because any and all spiritual gifts have been confused with priesthood authority and abilities.
This definition of Priest and priesthood comes from biblestudytools:
"Old Testament Priesthood. The primary word for "priest" in the Old Testament is the Hebrew masculine noun kohen [ehoK], for which we have no certain etymology. It occurs approximately 750 times and can refer to priests of the one true God or of other supposed gods that other nations and sometimes also the ancient Israelites themselves worshiped (for the latter, see, e.g., Genesis 41:45 Genesis 41:50 ; 2 Kings 10:11 2 Kings 10:19 ). Related terms are the verb kahan [;h'K], "to act as (or become) a priest" (23 occurrences), the feminine abstract noun kehunna [h"Nuh.K], "priesthood" (14 occurrences see Exod 29:9 ; 40:15 ; Num 3:10 ; Numbers 18:1 Numbers 18:7 ; 1 Sam 2:36 ; Ezra 2:62 ; Neh 7:64 ; 13:29, ; referring to the exclusivity, perpetuity, and responsibility of the Aaronic office of "priesthood" cf. Num 16:10 ; for Korah's rebellion against the Aaronic exclusivity, and Joshua 18:7 ; for the "priesthood" of the tribe of Levi as a whole), and the Aramaic masculine noun kahen [eh'K] "priest" (8 occurrences, all in Ezra 6-7). Another Hebrew word, komer [r'm'K], "(idolatrous) priest, " occurs only three times in the Old Testament ( 2 Kings 23:5 ; Hosea 10:5 ; Zeph 1:4 ) referring exclusively to priests of foreign gods."
Here we have the official LDS definition: "The word priesthood has two meanings. First, priesthood is the power and authority of God. It has always existed and will continue to exist without end (see Alma 13:7–8; D&C 84:17–18). Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He exalts His obedient children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; see also D&C 84:35–38)."
No where in scripture are the rites and ordinances performed by the Priests and the miracles and wonders worked by Jesus' disciples, as in acts, confused.  Anyone can be blessed with the gifts of the spirit by the spirit.  Of all Jesus' miracles His healing miracles were the most potent throughout the ages given the horrible quality of medical care through the ages.
Women are entitled to use their spiritual gifts and should be encouraged to develop them.  As we all should develop our gifts that were given to us for a reason and to respect that reason we can nourish and develop the gifts of the spirit.
Rites and ordinances may be in the domain of the priesthood but spiritual gifts are something very different precisely because they are available to all.  Children may even possess them.  Or rather they may manifest in childhood and be developed throughout life.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Acts 1:8
The Holy Spirit bestows gifts of the Spirit to whoever it may, it is not up to us to deny others the use of spiritual gifts.  Joseph Smith had this to say about women performing blessings of healing:
“someone apparently reported to Joseph that the women were laying their hands on the sick and blessing them. His reply to the question of the propriety of such acts was simple. He told the women in the next meeting “there could be no evil in it, if God gave his sanction by healing.., there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on the sick than in wetting the face with water.” He also indicated that there were sisters who were ordained to heal the sick and it was their privilege to do so. “If the sisters should have faith to heal,” he said, “let all hold their tongues.”

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