Friday, April 21, 2017

D&C 46:11 -- On Gifts and Talents for All

"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."
Doctrine and Covenants 46:11

I really love the idea, and the fact, that we all have gifts from God. It's an evidence of God's love for us, and also that we all have something to offer.

I think it can be hard sometimes to see both our own value, and the value in others.  We have an idea that it must be there somewhere, but we're not always sure where.  Part of it is just that we have to take some time and learn to see past the external defenses that we all put up, but I think another part is that we are sometimes blind to the goodness within and around us.

When we leave home for the first time, for instance, we might realize that we miss the talent that someone had for humor, or witty banter, or music, or all of the above, or something completely different.  And though we will almost assuredly meet other people who have talents in similar areas, no one is that same personality/talent combination.  Similarly, although I am certain that we all have plenty of pride to go around (which, yes, we need to work on, but that isn't this conversation), we also all have self-doubt as well, and it is hard to see what we have to offer, when we know others that are better than we are at every single thing, and perhaps even much better in similar combinations.

And there is that other aspect of our gifts from God.  Part of the gift that God gives us is that talent combination... perhaps being kind and patient (I wish), or witty and wordy.  But it isn't *only* that.  It's the way our personalities mesh with our talents, and it is the way that all of that fits *exactly* with the opportunities that God places in our path.  No one else can *be* where you are, or where I am, or where any of us are in that moment when it matters.  God gives us the gifts that will make a difference in those moments, just like he did for Moses or Nephi or ... anyone.

That's the key, I think, to learning to appreciate both ourselves and others.  Remembering that we are all where we need to be, with the gifts that we need to handle it all.  ... Which means, by the way, that we are all placed in each other's paths for a reason.  We have a lot to learn from each other, and the ability to help each other cope and succeed.  We aren't alone, ever.  Whatever we need is at our fingertips.  We just have to learn to recognize it, and embrace it.  We have God.  We have each other. We don't need a stunt man, or that guy to fly in from Zimbabwe because he is way better than we are at this whole life thing.  We're here, and God "shall prepare a way" (1 Nephi 3:7).

Today, let's not focus on our weaknesses, but let's remember that we have the gifts that we need to cope with (and totally rock) the life that we have.  Let's remember that God doesn't leave us alone (John 16:32) or comfortless (John 14:18).  We can do it, with God's help, and the help of the people around us.  Let's learn about them and focus on their talents as well.

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