“Chapter 33: The Spiritual Gifts of Healing, Tongues, Prophecy, and Discerning of Spirits,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
Ask every class member to pick a gift that has really been significant to them in their lives. Some that they got a few years ago and still remember. One that they remember receiving for Christmas or a birthday. Have them write down why they remember that gift in particular over other gifts that they have received and forgotten about.
Have a few class members share. (The purpose of this is mostly to get them thinking, moving, and sharing. It warms the class up for the spiritual conversation. Once you get the class going the lesson will go better than just coming in and having someone read and asking, “What do you think about that?” You have to prime the pump a little.) Then ask, “What are the criteria for a great gift?” Not a good gift, but a great gift! Write down some of the answers.
Have the class quickly read over the story about Joseph Smith, or tell it yourself. (I wouldn’t have someone read the whole thing, it will take to long and kill the momentum you just created with the Attention Activity.) Ask the class, “What do we learn from this experience about why God gives us gifts?” (The answer you are looking for and wanting to build throughout the whole lesson is that God gives us gifts so that we can help other people.) Make sure you establish this point before moving on or the rest of the lesson will not work.
Now is the time to start developing the discussion and asking for ideas and thoughts. In each section Joseph talks about a gift and gives us some insights into what we are supposed to do with that gift to bless others. Heal others who are sick, teach others the gospel in any language, testify to others of Christ, and bless others by comprehending good from evil. You can have a great discussion talking about these gifts and how they have been a blessing in the lives of the class and how the class has seen them bless others. You could also expand the lesson to other gifts, but do not stray too far from the main topics in the lesson. The manual is always the guide!
The application here is to commit to and understand that God has given us gifts and expects us to use those gifts to bless the lives of other people. The main group of people to bless are our familes. So, what gifts can we use this week to bless our families. Even something so simple as listening, cleaning, hugging, talking can be gifts that God has given us to bless others, especially those that God has put closest to our reach.
Just my plug here, I have a new blog, Great LDS Gifts that has some great gift ideas powered by Amazon. There is also a daily list of what happened in Church history on that date. Check it out for fun and for some ideas on Great LDS Gifts.