Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gifts and Talents

"For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby," (D&C 46:11-12)

"Let us review some of these less-conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost." -Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Even on top of these characteristic gifts, there are spiritual gifts that we may have, as described in D&C 46.

In this life, so many people get caught up in what they can or cannot do. As a Mia Maid, we were sitting in class learning about talents. The instructor, my Mia Maid adviser, had each of us go around and list what we are talented at before we would go on to learn about the lesson on Talents. The girls went around and listed a few. When it got to me, I was able to prattle off several without having to think about it too hard. My Mia Maid adviser went last, and she hesitated. "I can't really think of anything I am talented at, I've never been particularly good at anything, unless walking to go visit people counts." As the lesson wore on, the Spirit touched us, and my teacher cried and smiled, and we left feeling strengthened. However, one thing bugged me. That my instructor, now a grandmother and a righteous, faithful member of the church, could even think she had no talents. I went home with a self made homework assignment. The next week, I came up to her and handed her a piece of paper. On it was a list of talents I saw in her, as well as using the help of the quote by Marvin J. Ashton.

Four years later, I was discussing with a friend my seemingly endless list of talents and abilities. "List them for me," he requested, "even the ones I already know." As I began listing, I quickly reached 20 different talents. Satisfied that that must be all, I talked to my mom about it. She gave me a strange look, and said, "Just twenty? You have more than that. Lets see, did you include..." The list was lengthened, and I went to the Relief Society General Broadcast trying to create my own list of talents. As I began writing, I hesitated on some of the talents my mom had listed for me. "Kindness is a characteristic trait, Mom." I pointed out. "Is that even considered a talent?" My mom looked at me. "Where do you think your characteristics come from?" A feeling of peace came over me as I acknowledged my Heavenly Father's hand in my own traits and qualities. After all, He is the Father of my Spirit, where all of my attributes really lie.
We sat down and were listening to the broadcast, when suddenly a thought struck me, and I began writing.

"Heavenly Father would not have blessed me with all of my talents if He didn't know I would use them to help others, and enlighten and lift them, and they have all been given me for specific reasons and purposes throughout my life as I serve and stay receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. These talents, attributes, and my temperament are amplified best as I allow myself to be an instrument in his hands."

I believe this to be true. We all have been blessed with divine gifts and talents, even going down to so simple as just attributes and characteristics that are divine and from God, our Father. Some have other gifts and talents, like the ability to listen, to cry, and spiritual gifts such as bearing a testimony or having the gift of tongues. Others have physical talents, such as athletics, musical abilities, or home keeping skills such as sewing or cooking. But all of these talents will best be amplified, in a manner that we can use them to bless the lives of others, as we live in accordance to the will of our Heavenly Father.


  1. *warm, tingly fuzzies* I am soo proud of you, Liza! This is such a good spiritual thought for the day for me . .. (hugs!)

  2. Some gifts can be given merely to bless you. I know of one that blesses me. Others blessed by my having this one seems to be negligible. I know I bless others in plenty of ways outside this. None the less, I feel Heavenly Fathers' love for having it.

    Thanks for your post. I will be pondering this further over the next few days.

  3. That is a very good point. In D&C 18, it talks about the worth of souls being great in the sight of God. And that if we even bring one soul unto him, how great shall be our joy in His kingdom. I had a seminary teacher point out that the first soul we must bring unto him is ourselves.
    I think that is easily connected to service, and the point you brought up. Sometimes we do need to, in ways, serve ourselves, and our Heavenly Father blesses us that we may have joy. I do not doubt that would include talents that we are blessed with on an individual basis.

  4. A friend of mine had this thought to add:
    Dave Ramsey, the most well-known financial person in America, said that everything on this earth is given to us by God to manage, but none of it belongs to us. He was referring to the more physical things, such as money or possessions, but this same principle is extended to our gifts and talents. Each of us have been given individual talents, but they don't necessarily belong to us. We are just given them to manage for Him. In other words, God gave us these gifts so that we may use them for Him. He trusted us with each and every ability we have so that we can manage them in a righteous way and hopefully help others see the beauty of God through the gifts and talents He has bestowed upon us.

    Connect this thought, then with the Parable of the Talents, found in ST Matthew 25, starting in verse 14. When all of the servants return to their master, he asks for his talents, and in turn blesses them with so much more when they return having used them well for his purposes. Now, I cannot say how that meeting in Heaven will go as far as talents are concerned, but I believe that the way we use our talents and amplify them, whether for our own use or for the use of others, will be of importance in both our mortal existence and throughout the eternities.

  5. You are definitely living up to your blessing . . I thought you needed my little input - you have taught me instead!