“Questions and Answers,” New Era, May 2012, 26–27
Talents or special abilities are gifts from our Heavenly Father. Recognizing the source of your talents is the first step in remaining humble about your achievements. But to make the most of your talents, it is up to you to practice and work on developing and improving them. The Lord has given you abilities, but what you make of them is entirely up to you.
Talents and gifts are given not only to better your life, but they are also meant to be shared and used to serve others. You should look for ways to use your talents to help others and give them enjoyment in either your performance or the works you produce. In this way, you are serving others and fulfilling your duty to develop your talent. When you are seeking to help others, it is clear that you are not showing off.
Gifts and talents come in many forms. As you learn to enjoy the talents of others, you will be better able to investigate what talents you may have been given and pursue them in a manner that does not involve boasting or showing off. It is a Christlike talent to appreciate others’ efforts and find ways to encourage them in addition to appreciating and developing your own gifts.
A way to share your talents and not show off is to help someone by teaching them your talent. That way you make a friend too.
Andrew P., 14, California, USA
Just realize that it is because of Heavenly Father that we have those talents. Be grateful to Him. Develop them to show love and gratitude to Him.
Kylee M., 16, Nevada, USA
Heavenly Father gave us all talents, and we do need to develop them. However, we need to know the correct time and place to do so. If you are purposely using your talents to get attention at the wrong time, you are showing off. If you are not sure when it is appropriate to show your talents to others, ask Heavenly Father and your parents. They will always help you.
Alex L., 13, Utah, USA
My family recently moved to a branch in a neighboring stake. Being the only branch member who can play the piano, I was called as pianist for sacrament meetings. Up to this time, I’ve only played classical and popular tunes. The challenge to learn hymns quickly has been a struggle. Now, rather than hearing applause for my playing, I hear the beautiful voices of the branch members as they sing the hymns in praise of our Heavenly Father.
Robyn P., 18, Tennessee, USA
Use your talents around people like friends and family. Once you get comfortable, you can use your talents in talent shows or at school and encourage others to try and develop their own.
Peri C., 15, Arizona, USA
It helps me to notice what others are good at and then compliment them on it. This shows people you don’t think you’re better than everyone else, and it keeps you wanting to improve yourself in these areas.
Heather W., 18, Oregon, USA
If you worry about what people think of your talent or if you’re showing off, then you’re probably developing your talent for the wrong reason. You should develop your talent because you love it. If you do that, then others will be able to feel your love and passion for it and will enjoy your talent with you.
Doran P., 16, Washington, USA
Those who focus on getting people’s attention may not develop their talents as well as those who try to develop their talents in a quiet and humble way. Just focus on what your purpose is, and let the Spirit guide you.
Madeleine P., 17, Mexico
Stay humble. Realize you have been given a gift that is to be shared and developed without all the arrogance that often comes with talent.
Lauren A., 15, Texas, USA
Having talents is different from showing off. Sharing gifts that you have been given by God is a way of showing your gratitude to Him. It is important to develop them and not be worried about showing off.
Taylor S., 15, Arizona, USA