Friday, April 18, 2014
Mormons believe in the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues (Article of Faith 1:7), but not that crazy speaking in tongues stuff! Well, at least not anymore. That tongues of fire shit was so early 19th century!
This gift of the spirit has really wised up. Today it's all about speaking languages that other people use and live with every day. No more mystical chatter coming to you out of the blue. Now it's about studying vocabulary and grammar and careful memorization of set phrases for prayer or testimony sharing in, say, Spanish or Korean or Twi (and sometimes emoticons).
Never mind the fact that many missionaries return from foreign lands with really shitty language skills. Not everyone enjoys the same gifts. Never mind the fact that world travelers often have stories about being somewhere where they do not speak the language and yet they manage to perfectly and inexplicably experience a moment of clear communication and understanding with a local. The gifts of the Spirit can be enjoyed by all from time to time, like by infants who suddenly start speaking by about two years old. Then, of course, there's everyone else who learns various languages throughout their lives. All of that's through the Spirit.
You might be thinking "hey, the gifts of the Spirit typically come after someone has been given the Gift of the Holy Ghost!" Don't worry about it. All you need to know is that only Finnish babies and Mormon missionaries can learn Finnish, and that relentless study and over a year of living abroad can never produce the kind of gifts of tongues enjoyed by the missionaries. Now do yourself a favor and avoid discussing amazing moments of breaking the language barrier with anyone who's not Mormon.