The Giver of Our Gifts


It is interesting to me that there is so much confusion about the nature and identity of God. We understand that there are three exalted beings in the godhead, God our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ our Savior, and the Holy Ghost. Unlike all of the rest of Christendom, we believe and proclaim that the Father and the Son are perfected beings with perfected non-mortal bodies of flesh and bone. The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit.

With all of this elevated understanding about the nature of God, we still mix them up – almost all the time. We almost always credit God the Father with gifts and blessings we receive directly from Jesus Christ. In speaking and praying, we ask Heavenly Father to lead and guide us – when it is Jesus Christ which leads us moment by moment. We often intermingle the roles of the Father and the Son in our language, such as in songs. Consider this beloved LDS child’s song.

I am a child of God,  (Father)
And he has sent me here, (Father)
Has given me an earthly home (Father)
With parents kind and dear.

I am a child of God, (Father)
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words (Jesus Christ)
Before it grows too late.

I am a child of God, (Father)
Rich blessings are in store; (From the Father)
If I but learn to do his will (Will of Jesus Christ)
I’ll live with him once more. (Father)

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, (Jesus Christ)
Help me find the way. (Jesus Christ is the Way)
Teach me all that I must do (Jesus Christ teaches us, and He established the law we must “do”)
To live with him someday. (Father)

I consider that this mild intermixing of the roles of deity is harmless in that the Father and the Son operate as One. The will of of One, is the will of Both. But their works, and their interaction in our lives has always been different, even when their goals are identical.

We worship the Father, and we venerate and worship Jesus Christ. In order to truly worship both the Father and the Son, we must know them. John 17:3 wrote upon the skies of our souls the unvarying truth that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” We can’t know God, and be confused about what each of them has done for us. We can’t understand and love and honor the atonement, and then attribute large parts of it to someone else – even if that other person is the Father.

For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. (D&C 88:33)

We strive to appropriately “rejoice in him who is the giver of the gift”. One of the greatest gifts ever given to mankind was the giving by the Father of His Son to atone for our sins. The second greatest gift I consider to be the life and blood which our Savoir freely gave to secure our hopes of salvation. Every other gift flows from these two things, like a divine river that divides into two channels, bringing every blessing into our lives.

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)

Let us speak and pray, even rejoice and worship with eyes and hearts open to Who actually is the giver of our gifts.

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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4 Responses to The Giver of Our Gifts

  1. Brent says:

    This is a great post. As I listen closely to new converts and investigators, you can hear how they try to mimic us and refer to a new and unknown God as Heavenly Father, and seem to have great confusion about the exact things you have discussed here, and how Jesus Christ does fit into the LDS religion. It is kind of sad. Maybe we should go back and read Paul’s address to the uknown god.

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  2. Michelle says:

    I have been taught the same as the poster above. I WANT to have a relationship with Jesus and find myself at odds with what I have been taught and what I want to do which is to pray to both at different times and sometimes ,as directed, to both at the same time. I know that sounds weird but, I don’t know how else to describe it. I would also appreciate more discussion on this subject.
    Thank you!

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  3. Melody says:

    I appreciate this post, and I’d be interested in more on this. Many years ago when I was at BYU, I believe it was, I heard Bruce R. McConkie give a talk in which he said, as I recall, that we were not supposed to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, only with the Father, which is why we pray to the Father. If we are about to get into a car accident and we only have a second to call out to help, to whom do we call? “God or Father help me!” or “Jesus help me!” Based on what I think I heard Elder McConkie say, it would be inappropriate to call on Jesus. Can you give some more information or examples about this?
    Thanks so much!

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  4. Jeff says:

    I’ve had some of those thoughts recently. Yet, we’re taught to pray to the Father in the name of the Son. Sometimes it seems more natural to direct the prayers to the Son for specific things. Or, is it enough to recognize the difference while still praying to the Father. I always appreciate you insight. Jeff

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