By Kari Diane Pike
“So it is with the talents the Lord has given us. He will come again and ask us how we did with His talents.
They are on loan to us, to increase them during our stay on earth. If we do our very best with them, we will be called good and faithful servants, and receive all that He has to give.”
I went back to my New Testament and reread Matthew 25. Actually, I read it several times, fascinated by the depth of this parable. I wanted to know more. I read all the cross-references at the bottom of the page and I turned to the Topical guide and looked up “gifts,” and “God, Gifts of,” and “talents.”
James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Doctrine and Covenants 6:10 says, “Behold, thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above.”
These scriptures verify the very thing Marsha shared with us. The gifts and talents we have all come from our Father in Heaven and they are sacred. Wow! But now what? How do we recognize the gifts over which we have been made stewards? What do we do with them once we have become aware of them? We know we are expected to do something with them because the parable teaches us that there will be a day of reckoning. The Lord tells us in Doctrine and Covenants 72: 3-4,
“And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity, For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father.”
Doctrine and Covenants 6:11 teaches, “And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know the mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.”
1 Peter 4:10 gives us another clue. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Doctrine and Covenants 46:11-12 says, “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. To some is given one, and to some is given another that all may be profited thereby.”
Doctrine and covenants 82: 18-19 says, “And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the property of the whole church – Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.”
Doctrine and Covenants 46: 26 tells us, “And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.”
As I studied these verses, I imagined all of us gathered around the Lord as he named our gifts and gave us stewardship over them. He knows us each by name and he knows our different abilities. Some of us received one, some of us received two, and some of us received five of these sacred and special responsibilities. We promised to develop our gifts so that we could share with all of our brothers and sisters; something like a co-op of farmers, each assigned different crops, all of which, after the harvest, would be placed in a community storehouse. Every talent or gift that we increase benefits not only our self, but every one of the Lord’s children.
I was excited to share my new understanding of these scriptures with my Monday morning walking partners. And guess what! I learned even more! Julie had just returned from a seminar at the George Wythe College in Cedar City. One of the lectures focused on the subject of recognizing, understanding, and using our gifts. He told the audience that he was going to name nine general categories of gifts. He said that one or more of those gifts would stand out to them and that he wanted them to write it down, because more than likely, that was their gift. He also told them that perhaps another gift would come to their mind rather than one of the ones he stated and that they should listen to their hearts and write them down. Then he began listing the categories,
“Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, teach truth, heal families….”
I didn’t hear the rest. I started crying. The spirit touched my heart, my mind, my entire being. I have since read the verses in Matthew 5, Matthew 25, and in Doctrine and Covenants 46. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the possible gifts the Lord has waiting for you? This question has been asked before on this Bog, but I will ask again. Why do you write? What is your purpose in writing? What is your gift? Take a moment, or an hour, and make a list of the gifts available to us. It is exciting!