The following five reasons for the Lord giving the Latter-day Saints various Gifts of the Spirit come from a wonderful book, Receiving Gifts of the Spirit, by Matthew B. Brown. I highly recommend this book for further reading on this most important doctrine. Click here and here for a link to purchase or read more about it.
“Brethren and sisters, let us try to live our religion and sanctify ourselves before the Lord. Seek for the Holy Spirit; pray for it; and labor for visions, for dreams, for revelations and for the gifts of the Gospel of Christ, that they may strengthen us in the good work.” (Wilford Woodruff, Collected Discourses, 1:265)
“If we will live worthy, then the Lord will guide us—by a personal appearance, or by His actual voice, or by His voice coming into our mind, or by impressions upon our heart and our soul. And oh, how grateful we ought to be if the Lord sends us a dream in which are revealed to us the beauties of the eternity or a warning and direction for our special comfort. Yes, if we so live, the Lord will guide us for our salvation and for our benefit.” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 247)
“If we do not receive gifts and guidance and doctrine and commandments from on high, we shall of necessity receive them from some other source. Others have guidance to offer, doctrine to teach, and commandments to give.” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 369
“If we are indifferent to spiritual gifts, somehow there is a vacuum left which evil spirits are all too eager to fill” (Boyd K. Packer, General Authority Training, 1983, transcript in my possession)
“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. . . . They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, “Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.” He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things and to give gifts that will eradicate them.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, 1:155.
“…visions, dreams, revelations and prophesyings enlarged their minds, and prepared them for the society of the blessed.” (Oliver Cowdery, Messenger & Advocate, 2:20)
“There is a characteristic about the faith of the Latter-day Saints in which they perhaps differ from most of the professed followers of Jesus Christ—they do not believe that God expects or desires them to put off acquiring these perfections, powers, gifts and graces which belong to the heavenly world until they reach that world; but they believe that God has placed them here in a state of probation and that He has hid himself only to a certain extent from them.… Hence, the Latter-day Saints believe in doing everything here that will help to prepare them for life eternal in His presence. They look upon this world as a place where they should attend to these things. By baptism? Yes. By having hands laid upon them? Yes. Have the gifts of the Holy Ghost? Certainly, have them here as well has hereafter; have them here to a partial extent to prepare them for the life that is to come.” (George Q. Cannon, JD 17:230)
Can you only have one gift of the Spirit?
“More than one gift may be received by any person who diligently seeks for these things.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, p. 184)
“One person may receive several of them” (Charles Penrose, Contributer, 2:3:7)
“How many of you are seeking for these gifts that God has promised to bestow? How many of you, when you bow before your Heavenly Father in your family circle or in your secret places, contend for these gifts to be bestowed upon you? How many of you ask the Father in the name of Jesus to manifest Himself to you through these powers and these gifts? Or do you go along day by day like a door turning on its hinges, without having any feeling upon the subject, without exercising any faith whatever, content to be baptized and be members of the Church and to rest there, thinking that your salvation is secure because you have done this? I say to you, in the name of the Lord, as one of His servants, that you have need to repent of this. You have need to repent of your hardness of heart, of your indifference and of your carelessness. There is not that diligence, there is not that faith, there is not that seeking for the power of God that there should be among a people who have received the precious promises we have.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, 154-55.)