Saturday, December 18, 2010

Developing Our Talents

We recently had a lesson in Young Women’s about developing our talents. I have been thinking all week about what my talents are. I know I don’t want to bury my talents, I know I want to use them. What are they though?

Sometimes in our sacred role as “nurturer” it may seem that anything we are good at has to take a back burner. While that may be true I believe that it is embracing our role of nurturer that we truly begin to recognize what our talents are and the things that we are passionate about. Too often I have thought that I need to separate myself into being “Deanna, the organizer,” from “Deanna, the nurturer.”

I have learned that when I submit to my role as nurturer (wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter) I have found along the way that I do have multiple talents and abilities. Not only have I come to recognize talents but I have come to find out that I am able to magnify them more fully while I am submitting. The moment I say, “eureka, I have a talent” and try to separate it out for selfish gain or glorification I fall on my face. However, when I use a newly discovered talent to further my role as a mother or wife I see that I am progressing and increasing.

That’s where I have to stop and sigh. It just always seem to fall back to submission. In order for me to progress I simply (yes simply) have to submit to God’s plan for me. (Which God’s plan for me is to be a wife and mother). The world wants me to think I need to be more than this or that I deserve to be and do other things too.

 Elder Maxwell, gave this marvelous quote,
“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our will be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him” (Insights from My Life, Ensign, Aug. 2000, 9)
What I learn from this is that it’s “nice” for me to do the things I want and create the things I want, but my true submission comes when I let God’s will truly become my will. I have already learned from the Proclamation that my role is to nurture along with multiple other things like: replenish the earth, chastity, love and care for my children, teach my children to love and serve one another, have our foundation be Jesus Christ, respect each family member, and pursue wholesome recreational activities….

David McConkie said in this last conference, “Brothers and sisters, it is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to repeat to each of us individually what He has already revealed to us collectively. The scriptures contain the words of Christ. They are the voice of the Lord. Studying the scriptures trains us to hear the Lord’s voice.”
I take this to mean the Lord has already established my mission and what I need to submit too. I can learn more about my mission and hence my talents as I submit to His plan by reading His word.  As I do so the still small voice of the Spirit will distill upon me as the dews of heaven and I will see clearly His will for me and the talents He has given me.

I have gone in this essay from a + b + c…. How do I get this back to a? Talent acquisition comes in submission, by submission we learn we need to read the scriptures, in the scriptures we learn our mission, while learning our mission we recognize the talents we have inherently already been given and how we can magnify them so we are not burying our talents. Make sense? I think it’s interesting that submission includes the word mission. We discover mission (and talents) as we submit.

That’s of course not saying we are all the same. Each of us have unique families and personalities. As I’ve submitted to my role of mother for example I have learned that I have a talent for organizing, multi-tasking, doing hard things, teaching, testifying, being on time, efficiency, and personal discipline for example. I think many of us have learned these things. That’s what moms do. In the past I looked beyond the mark and thought that my talent acquisition required great and grand things that had to be done outside my home.

I believe that God's plan is truly marvelous.  As we submit we become much more than we would be on our own.  The ability to do hard things and easily testify to others are not unimportant things.  They are vital talents that I must continue to develop in order to successfully navigate myself through this life.

I am grateful for the knowledge of scriptures and prophets which teach and inspire me in the way of these principles.  I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that allows further clarification and personal revelation in my own life. 

I have seen that personal submission to God is the way to true happiness.  Happiness in my life has not been found as I've submitted to the world's plan for me.  Sometimes it his hard to find value in what we are doing or that our mundane tasks are the seeds to our great talents. 

In the book "Addiction Recovery Program: A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing" written by LDS Family Services available through the Church Distribution Center it says,
"As Elder Maxwell observed, this submission to the Lord is hard doctrine.  It requires us to rededicate ourselves to His will at the start of each day and sometimes every hour or even from moment to moment.  As we are willing to do so, we find the grace, or enabling power, to do what we could not do for ourselves." (pg. 14)
I seek to purge out the world's version of developing my talents.  I choose to stay focused on Christ and allow Him to define my talents and mission.


Rebekah said...

You are an awesome example!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

For part of our seminary lesson earlier this week we each needed to find a favorite scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants, share it with the class, and then tell why we like it. I shared D&C 88:77-80

"And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom

"Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

"Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

"That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you."

I love how we are to learn everything - church doctrine, history, geography, science, current events, etc. And that which I learn will help me be prepared to magnify my mission as a wife and mother. Those talents we have are given so we can use them to serve most especially in our families.

Kimberly said...

I think it's so fascinating that magnifying talents in the Lord's way is different than the world's way.

Some of us are great sewers, and while we might use that talent for monetary gain (which would be fine if necessary for survival) truly magnifying that talent would be to use it to serve our fellow man.

I love how you talk about not separating our talents from our role-how easy it is to do that! The world teaches we need to be an independent woman with our stuff going on to be a 'good' mother-but that's just not right.

Really enjoyed this post-very interesting stuff.

Jennifer said...

This is a fabulous post! I have been pondering a lot of these things, too, and am grateful for the words you put to my thoughts. : )