We believe that all of us are given talents from our Heavenly Father and we have an obligation to recognize and develop them, using them to serve Him and others. Any talents you don’t use, you’ll lose. As you use the ones you have, you may discover even more that you possess.
Talents are more than the ability to sing, hit a baseball, speak a foreign language, sew, etc. Our talents can include forgiving easily, being a good listener, having great patience, the ability to teach, cheerfulness, or compassion.
We also believe that we should use our talents despite any criticism we face. A pianist takes years to perfect their skills and will never get to that point without hitting a few bad notes in front of a crowd or shaking nervously. Developing your talents can be a difficult process, but a rewarding one. When we use our talents, it can glorify our Father in Heaven. We shouldn’t hide the gifts we have been given, just as a pianist shouldn’t hide their talent when they are needed.
Our Gospel Priniciples manual explains how to develop our talents in six steps:
First, we must discover our talents. We should evaluate ourselves to find our strengths and abilities. Our family and friends can help us do this. We should also ask our Heavenly Father to help us learn about our talents.
Second, we must be willing to spend the time and effort to develop the talent we are seeking.
Third, we must have faith that our Heavenly Father will help us, and we must have faith in ourselves.
Fourth, we must learn the skills necessary for us to develop our talents. We might do this by taking a class, asking a friend to teach us, or reading a book.
Fifth, we must practice using our talent. Every talent takes effort and work to develop. The mastery of a talent must be earned.
Sixth, we must share our talent with others. It is by our using our talents that they grow (see Matthew 25:29).
The combination of all of God’s children’s talents ensures our survival and makes this world a wonderful and interesting place.