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December 26, 2012
Just for a Day
Knowing and Growing Talents
by Kathryn Grant

Looking at my family and friends, I’m amazed and thrilled at the diversity of their talents. My brother-in-law, John, has artistic gifts. My niece, Kaitlyn, is a creative storyteller. Among my friends, Kathy is an able editor; Dave is a skillful web developer; Rani is a woman of great courage; Steve is spiritually in tune and quick to serve others. My young friend, Kaydee, whom I see each week in Primary, is one of the most loving people I know.

The Lord has given talents to all of us (D&C 46:11) with the admonition that we are to improve upon them and gain other talents (D&C 82:18). Talents bring joy to ourselves, to others, and to our Lord who gave them to us (Matt 25:23). However, it’s not always easy to see our talents, and if we don’t know what they are, how can we develop them?

Sometimes we don’t recognize our talents because our definition is too narrow, only including “obvious” things like musical or athletic ability. But talents can be quiet and subtle, taking place off the stage and out of the limelight. Seeing the good in others is just as much a talent as a beautiful singing voice.

Other times our talents seem so ordinary to us that we don’t recognize them as talents. I had a life-changing experience when my friend, Liz, gave me a book called Now Discover Your Strengths, which included the StrengthsFinder assessment. I was shocked to discover that a quality which I was already aware of, but which I’d sometimes seen as a liability rather than a talent, was my top talent according to the assessment! Identifying this talent and working to develop it opened doors for me and continues to bring me great satisfaction.

The challenge for this week’s column is to set aside time one day to do an inventory of your talents. You will most likely be surprised at some of the gifts you uncover, and you’ll probably see ways to develop them further.

How can you identify your talents? Here are some ideas:

As we develop the gifts the Lord has given us, we can look forward to reporting back to Him one day and hearing His words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21.)

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