In High Priests Group* today, our Group Leader brought up the issue of unity. He had us read D&C 38:27 where the Lord says, “Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”
Having studied a good deal about Zion, I was reminded by that verse of another one. D&C 70:14 states, “Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.”
This verse really jumped out at me as I realized what it was saying. It reminded me how I had often wondered in my earlier years why we don’t hear of many miracles worked by gifts of the spirit – the gift of healing, tongues, prophesying, working miracles, etc. You’d think, as the Lord’s true Church today, we would be seeing those things as abundantly as they were experienced in Christ’s and Joseph Smith’s time. Of course we occasionally hear of a miraculous healing, or a missionary who is able to teach in a language he barely knows, but we certainly don’t see the gifts of the Spirit around us in “abundance”.
This verse says in plain black and white, why we don’t. It says if we aren’t equal in temporal things, we won’t experience an abundance of the manifestations of the spirit.
Of course, the more argumentative among us might say, “Well, maybe it’s not talking about the gifts of the Spirit.” Yet, D&C 46, which is all about the gifts of the Spirit, uses the phrase “manifestations of the spirit” synonymously with “gifts of the Spirit”. Verse 16 says, “And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given [as in “gift”] to every man to profit withal.” This phrase is also used as a synonym of “gifts of the spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12:7 as well.
D&C 70:14 also says, even if we are equal in temporal things, but we do it grudgingly, we won’t have an abundance of the spirit either. So, in order to experience the gifts of the Spirit in abundance, we need to be equal temporally and happily so.
So, we can conclude that one big benefit of building and living in a Zion society where we experience temporal equality is that we would enjoy the manifestations of the gifts of the spirit in great abundance.
* A High Priests Group is an LDS Church auxiliary typically forolder men.