Today, I spoke in church. The topic assigned to me was ‘Sharing our Talents. I’ve blogged a little about talents, but I wanted to give it a different twist tonight. The same twist that I used in my talk.
My blog from June 13th titled ‘The Gifts We Bring‘ started off like this: Imagine with me if you will….. a beautiful table full of gifts. Not one gift is the same. Some are big, some are small. Some have beautiful and bows, others are tied in twine or have nothing extra added to them at all. Some are plain and simple…. others are bright and colorful. Some gifts are wrapped in boxes and others carefully placed in beautiful gift bags. There is much diversity there, but as a whole it creates a pleasing picture to the eye and a sense of excitement! What will we find when all these gifts are unwrapped?
This is what I started my talk with today. I then added some really good ideas about how we can discover our gifts and talents that I took straight from my husbands cousin, Anya Bateman, from an article she wrote called: ‘If Your Talents Come Incognito‘ (available on lds.org). I also added some thoughts from her book: “I Didn’t Place in the Talent Race….. but” She made some really good points about what we need to recognize in the process of finding our talents.
Then, getting back to the theme of the gift bags, I added this part to my talk that I would like to share with you now.
So….. What’s in your package on that table I had you envision earlier? Have you searched completely through it? A friend of mine shared a story with me recently. His daughter had done some teaching years ago for me and a business partner of mine. She had worked with a group of music students we had. In an effort to Thank her for all that she had done for us, we presented her with a gift that had been wrapped in a gift bag. The bag was full of tissue as well as the gift along with a card tucked down inside. My friend told me that recently his wife was going through the gift wrapping things in their home. You know how we women like to save those kinds of things to reuse them! His wife ran across this bag we had given their daughter which had since been carefully folded, but still had the tissue inside. As she pulled out the tissue, out fell an undiscovered envelope addressed to their daughter. Inside the envelope was a note expressing our deep thanks for all she had done for us along with a bonus check, and our wish that we could have given her more. So now, 12 years later, an undiscovered gift was found inside the bag. While the note is still of value, unfortunately the check is not, since that account was closed 10 years ago.
Here’s the teaching moment….. What unwrapped gifts have you still not discovered in your bag? Have you found all of your talents and gifts? What divine potential is waiting to be discovered? Have you ever given someone a gift that they don’t care about or won’t use? Have you ever wondered if that is how the Lord feels when we ignore the talents He has given us?
D&C 88:33 teaches us: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.”
We are asked to develop and use our talents for the benefit of man, we are also promised that when we use them, they will be added upon. If they are always being added upon, perhaps it’s time to take a look in your bag again!
As Sister Marissa D. Thompson said: “Chances are you have many talents. So take your pick (or shovel) and dig in…… You may have to dig deep if you’ve been perfecting the role of couch potato for the past year. But don’t worry. There’s still time to harvest your gifts.”
I’m grateful for the gifts and talents the Lord has given me. I’m grateful for the reminder that I need to keep ‘digging’… that He will add upon them if I use them correctly. And though speaking in church is not my favorite thing…. I’m grateful for the opportunity of the studying I did to remind me that I am blessed with many gifts and that I need to keep searching for the gifts the Lord still wants me to use. Oh, and by the way, in case you are wondering….. yes, I did. I did take the opportunity to share my gift/talent of singing by ending my talk with a song.
I am Grateful! How are you?