“My Talents, Your Talents—Not the Same,” Ensign, July 1980, 55–56
Frequently women lament to me, “Oh, my house is such a mess, and I’ve no idea where to start to come out of the chaos.” Other women confess that the thought of making lists and planning in advance is completely baffling to them. Some complain that they are always behind in their work and that organizing several children into a team of cooperative, productive helpers is an almost impossible task in their homes.
Through a personal experience I can better understand such plights. One spring our family undertook the complete redevelopment of our yard. Because neither my husband nor I has the artistic vision or botanical know-how to landscape a yard, we engaged the services of a competent landscape architect. But to our dismay, not only did he have to tell us what to plant and where to put it, but he also had to give us detailed advice and complete instructions—how deep and how far apart to plant, how often to water, which limb to prune, and so forth and so on—about every piece of greenery we stuck in the ground.
I’ve thought about this humbling experience a great deal. We all have talents and abilities, but we don’t all have the same ones. We were created by our Father in heaven in this way so that we can serve one another and have opportunity for growth. If we were all lawyers, who would remove a diseased appendix? If we were all teachers, who would build the houses? Because of our diversified talents, we sometimes give service and other times receive it. In one way we’re teachers: in other ways we are learners.
It’s important to be worthy of the gifts we have by sharing them generously and helping others to acquire them, if they so desire. We should also be humble enough to acknowledge where we are lacking and seek out those who can strengthen and help us.
It just takes a stroll through our yard to remind me of all that I don’t know. I am grateful to my Father in heaven for the abilities of other people who have helped me and for any gifts I have that might be shared with others.
But in addition to this feeling of humble gratitude, I feel excited at a new awareness developing in me. Now my husband and I know something about gardening! We can do a few things without being told; we can answer a growing number of our own questions; we have learned many important things about trees, shrubs, and flowers and their care.
We probably cannot all become experts in every field, but each one of us can learn to cope adequately with the responsibilities we have taken upon ourselves.