“Idea List: Unearthing Your Talents,” New Era, Sept. 1998, 47
You may be familiar with the parable of the talents recorded in the New Testament (see Matt. 25:14–29). It teaches us that the Lord expects us to develop our talents. If we are lazy and neglect the gifts he’s given us, our original gifts will be taken away. On the flip side, if we develop the talents we’ve been given, the Lord will bless us with more.
So don’t you think it’s about time to dust off your violin or enroll in that community art class? 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. Here are some shoveling techniques:
Spend some time each day perfecting a talent or skill you already have.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Read your patriarchal blessing to see what natural gifts are mentioned there.
Expose yourself to new activities. If you generally excel in sports, try something in the arts, or vice versa.
Read about the qualities the Savior possessed, such as charity, selflessness, and forgiveness. Since we all have the ability to eventually become like him, we should work diligently on developing these Christlike attributes.
Pray that the Lord will help make your weakness into strength as he promised in Ether 12:27.
Choose someone you admire to be your role model and find out what they did to develop their talents.
Participate in the New Era contest this year.
Choose a project in the Young Women, Duty to God Award, or Scouting programs that is different from the projects or values you usually choose. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new activities.
Look to your roots to see what talents your ancestors had. This could give you clues as to what natural abilities you may have, since some talents are inherited.
Plan to look semi-ridiculous while trying new things. It’s bound to happen. You may find you don’t have a natural knack for certain activities, but by trying new things, you’ll be gaining courage and the ability to laugh at yourself.