I want to share with you a story. I know I've shared this with people, before. Maybe I've blogged about it. But since today for #LightTheWorld we have been advised to think about humility, I want to share it, again.
Many years ago (10? 11?), I was visiting a ward (congregation) out of state. During Relief Society (the meeting for only women), the lesson was on spiritual gifts. The teacher was very good and very eager to discuss the topic. She asked if anyone would be willing to share their specific spiritual gifts with the group. It was quiet for a bit, and I decided to raise my hand. I had received zero promptings to share; I didn't even feel compelled to share outside of my own pride. I figured, "I've got this one great spiritual gift --I should share it with everyone!" I didn't think I was sharing to brag...
I shared this gift (I'm purposefully not sharing it, dear reader, in this blog post) and the teacher said she was a little envious, that this gift was something she had always hoped to be given. I felt a little smug. I don't think anyone in the room felt anything was amiss --the only thing amiss was my heart.
Lo, and behold, I discovered (very soon) that the specific spiritual gift I had described to everyone, in that very moment, was taken from me. It was gone. Honestly, it felt as if something was quietly removed from my soul. I felt the absence.
I felt awful. I felt so repentant. I felt incredibly humbled.
Over the course of the next 2-3 years, I struggled to regain that gift back. I learned a lot about humility, spiritual gifts, pride, and what it means to give the glory to God. I realized that every good thing we have been given is for the betterment of mankind and to bring souls to Christ. They aren't to raise ourselves above others! I learned that "Pearls before swine" doesn't always mean sharing spiritual things with evil people --it could really mean just sharing sacred things we have no right to share until we've been prompted to share it by the Holy Ghost.
Slowly, I regained my spiritual gift. I believe it has returned, but I'm very careful about how I use it.
It made me think about Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Harris, and how, in an effort to please his friend, Joseph ended up losing the ability to translate. It was taken from him for a very long time! I can't imagine how frustrating and humbling that must have been for him, especially since he had known better and he knew he had been commanded to translate the Book of Mormon quickly. But like me, Joseph repented, he was humbled, and he was given back the gift of translation from God.
When I think about his experience, and how it mirrors my own, my heart swells with gratitude for such a merciful and loving Father in Heaven. He is the greatest of all, and yet He takes effort in teaching us all, so individually, the things that we need to know to become more like Him.
Jesus Christ exemplified humility in every way. He did the will of His Father without complaint. He served without expecting rewards. He healed (raised people from the dead!) and asked people not to boast of His power and strength. He was meek, mild, loving, and oh, so humble. He gave all the glory to Heavenly Father, never once attempting to take it for Himself.
I still need to work on humility, but I'm grateful for the experience I had that showed me how important it is to give the glory to God, wait for the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and keep sacred things sacred.