DEVELOP AND NURTURE YOUR TALENT1 MPAPE

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DEVELOP AND NURTURE YOUR TALENT1 MPAPE

  1. 1. DEVELOPANDNURTUREYOURTALENTS INTRODUCTION: You may not think you’re particularly gifted or talented, but, guess what? You are! And God has a plan to use your unique abilities for a purpose far greaterthan you could imagine. By Sam Rawson We all have special gifts, talents, and abilities given to us by our Heavenly Father. When we were born, we brought these gifts, talents, and abilities with us. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about a property owner who gave three employees a share of his assets before travelling on business. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to the third he gave one. Then off he went. What a large amount of money; Upon his return he asked them to accountfor what they had accomplished with the talents they received. The first and second servants, those who’d been given five and two talents respectively, had doubled what they’d been apportioned. Wow! Understandably, their boss was very pleased with them, and praised them accordingly. The third employee, however, he was not so pleased with. For when approached to give a report of what he’d done with his one talent, he admitted to having “hidden it in the ground” through fear of what his boss mightthink.
  2. 2. The end result was not pleasant for this last employee. In fact, he was swiftly reprimanded and, I’m guessing, in a similar tone to that of Sir Alan Sugarof the popular show The Apprentice, heard the words, “You’re fired.” Well, something of that nature. So Use Your Gifts for God’s Glory Whatis talent? Talent(s) is/are the natural abilities/gifts/skills a personposses, these talents could be endowed on the person by nature or acquired through the process oflearning over time. And talents are meant for the sole purposeof service to God through service to humanity. Talents are the naturalabilities we wereborn with. talentss come fromGod “We have different gifts according to the grace given to us…” (Romans 12:6) Wehave already been equipped withabilities for the work that God wantsus to do. Everyonehas abilities. Note; “since your naturalabilities are from God, they are just as importantand ‘spiritual’ as your spiritualgifts.” (Rick Warren:ThepurposeDriven Life p242). As Michael Green says: “…to prizethe so-called supernaturalgifts of the Spirit above the naturalis an affrontto God…” (Michael Green: “I believe” quote by Rick Warren: “You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you”. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. ‘Now it is required thatthose who have been given a trust must prove faithful’ (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV). When God made you, he made an investment in you, and he expects a return on that
  3. 3. investment. Are you using what He’s given you for the benefit of others? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself?” Not only has God given us a bounty of gifts to be used for his purposes but if we don’tuse these gifts, or if we use them selfishly, we’re actually mismanaging his blessings. We are stewards, not owners of all that God has given to us – including our gifts and abilities. And great stewardship means we need to invest everything we have been given in accordanceto Christ’s will – and in doing so, we make God more evident to those around us. We Should Use and Improve Our Talents How can we develop our talents? We have a responsibility to develop the talents we have been given. Sometimes we think we do not have many talents or that other people have been blessed with more abilities than we possess. Sometimes we do not use our talents because we are afraid that we might fail or be criticized by others. We should not hide our talents. We should use them. Then others can see our good works and glorify our Heavenly Father (see Matthew 5:16). There are certain things we must do to develop our talents. 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.
  4. 4. 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). All of these steps are easier if we pray and seek the Lord’s help. He wants us to develop our talents, and He will help us. We Can DevelopOur Talents in Spite of Our Weaknesses How can we develop our talents in spite of our weaknesses? Because we are mortal and fallen, we have weaknesses. With the Lord’s help, our weakness and fallen nature can be overcome (see Ether 12:27, 37). Beethoven composed his greatest music after he was deaf. Enoch overcame his slowness of speechto becomea powerful teacher (see Moses 6:26–47). The composerand writer of CHB ..AMAZING GRACE did that as a blind young girl.
  5. 5. Some great athletes have had to overcome handicaps before they have succeeded in developing their talents. Shelly Mann was such an example. “At the age of five she had polio. … Her parents tookher daily to a swimming poolwhere they hoped the water would help hold her arms up as she tried to use them again. When she could lift her arm out of the water with her own power, she cried for joy. Then her goal was to swim the width of the pool, then the length, then several lengths. She kept on trying, swimming, enduring, day after day, until she won the [Olympic] gold medal for the butterfly stroke—one of the most difficult of all swimming strokes” (Marvin J. Ashton, in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 127; or Ensign, May 1975, 86). Heber J. Grant overcame many of his weaknesses and turned them into talents. He had as a motto these words:“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased” (in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant [2002], 35). The Lord Will Bless Us If We Use Our Talents Wisely President Joseph F. Smith said, “Every sonand every daughter of God has received some talent, and each will be held to strict account for the use or misuse to which it is put” (GospelDoctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 370). A talent is one kind of stewardship (responsibility in the kingdom of God). The parable of the talents tells us that when we serve well in our stewardship, we will be given greater responsibilities. If we do not serve well, our stewardship will eventually be taken from us. (See Matthew 25:14–30).
  6. 6. We are also told in the scriptures that we will be judged according to our works (see Matthew 16:27). By developing and using our talents for other people, we perform good works. The Lord is pleased when we use our talents wisely. He will bless us if we use our talents to benefit other people and to build up His kingdom here on earth. Some of the blessings we gain are joy and love from serving our brothers and sisters here on earth. We also learn self-control. All these things are necessary if we are going to be worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again. What are some examples of people whose talents have been magnified because they used them wisely? (Consider people you know or people in the scriptures or Church history.) Additional Scriptures James 1:17 (gifts come from God) D&C 46:8–11; 1 Timothy 4:14 (seek and develop gifts) 2 Corinthians 12:9 (weak things made strong) Revelation 20:13 ; 1 Nephi 15:33 ; D&C 19:3 (judged by our works 1 Hebrews 13:21 (show good work) The prophet Moses was a greatleader, but he neededAaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman(see Exodus 4:14–16). Some ofus are leaders like Moses orgoodspeakerslike Aaron. Some of us cansing well or play an instrument. Others of us may be goodin coordination or able to work
  7. 7. well with our hands. Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, orthe ability to teach others. So how have others benefited from your talents? DISADVANTAGES OF NOT ……….. President Joseph F. Smith said, “Every sonand every daughter of God has received some talent, and each will be held to strict account for the use or misuse to which it is put” (GospelDoctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 370). A talent is one kind of stewardship (responsibility in the kingdom of God). The parable of the talents tells us that when we serve well in our stewardship, we will be given greater responsibilities. If we do not serve well, our stewardship will eventually be taken from us. (See Matthew 25:14–30). So, what are the lessons in the Matthew story? If you’re the introverted, hesitant, conscious ofbeing misunderstood when putting yourself forward type, then these three points will help you in considering why you need to use your talents. Equally, if you’re the kind of person more confident in putting yourself forward when you identify a need, it’s also worth reading. 1. You have a responsibility to others In recognizing your endowments as being gifts, or resources given to you for the purposeof benefiting others, you’ll be freed to acknowledge the onus upon you to use them.
  8. 8. You’ll also feel more comfortable and confident with the idea of moving progressively towards bringing them out of the ground and into the open; no longer shying away through fear of being misunderstood, wrongly perceived, or worse still, getting it wrong – as did the third employee in the bible account. Consider for a moment what some of your talents are. Furthermore, schedule just 10 minutes across the next few days to make a list of what you’re good at, what comes naturally to you, and what you get excited about. You may say to yourself:  “I’m good at helping people.”  “I’m good at organizing things.”  “People pay attention to me when I talk.”  “I enjoy entertaining and hosting.”  “I listen well to others.”  “I give good advice.”  “I give encouragement.”  “I have a good sense of humour.”  “I’m creative.” Whatever your list includes, be sure to recognize the items for what they are. Your talents. 2. You have a responsibility to yourself Your life is a treasure to be lived and enjoyed to the full. Sadly, failure to do so results in a lack of genuine joy.
  9. 9. When you’re not doing the ‘thing’ you’re designed to be doing – as evidenced by your list of what you’re good at, what comes naturally to you, and what you get excited about – your existence becomes one marked with frustration and discontent. In learning to love yourself, again, as a means to being able to effectively love and benefit others, you’re to avoid the wrongful assumption that adding value to your life through the use of your talents, is inherently bad. Though you need to question your motivations, the mere fact that you do so, is evidence that you’re being rightfully provoked into ensuring that it’s not all about you*, but that you’re striving towards a greater purpose, as seen by the first two employees who made their bosses’bestinterest their primary focus. *A word of warning:to ignore that you seek some benefit from whatyou do, and to not acknowledgethatyou have a degree of tainted motivation, is both pious – as it’s a denialof your fallibility – and incongruent. 3. You don’t want to have wastedyour life How do you want to be remembered? At the end of your life, what is it you want to have accomplished? What do you want your friends, loved ones, and colleagues to be saying about you? How true would those statements be if you were to die today? When you shop it’s with intent. In going to the bathroom in the morning, though maybe not as considered, you’re subconsciously aware of the desired and likely outcome of your visit. You ensure that bothoccasions are purposeful.
  10. 10. Why should your life then, that has far greater significance than a visit to the bathroom or a trip to your local shopping centre, be of any less consequence? It shouldn’t! And neither does it have to be! Eleanor Roosevelt said, When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die. Adding to the good of others, and experiencing the resulting joy and rewards that come from sharing your treasure with those who benefit from your contribution, are not simply great motives for expressing your talents, they also give you a reason to exist. There is nothing wrong with creating opportunity to use your talent, for as we’ve seen, you have a responsibility to do so. There is everything wrong with burying your talent in the ground, for in doing so, you rob yourself and those you influence, of the benefits associated with your contribution to the world. You owe it to yourself, and to others, to use your talents. Now! HOW TO DEVELOP AND NURTURE YOUR TALENT: “Thepurpose of life is to discover your gift, while the meaning of life is to give awayyour gift”. David Viscott. Our efforts in the greater scheme of things amount to very little – our money will only go so far and our time will one day run out. But by blessing people with our
  11. 11. talents and gifts, we can be part of building God’sKingdom here on earth. The kind of Kingdom that isn’t going to crumble away. So how can we begin to discern what our gifts are and how to use them? We can start by asking some key questions like: What brings me alive? What injustices make me mad? What interests me? What are my passions?What am I good at? What do people say I am effective in? What doors for service are open? What needs to be done? Tim Keller says, “When all three factors [affinity, ability and opportunity] come together, you can see God has equipped and called you to do something or to move in a certain direction.” It might seem daunting at first to try and align the answers to all the above questions with a specific initiative or volunteer opportunity. After all, what you’re naturally good at might not be how God wants to use you in serving people. There is also the possibility that if you naturally gravitate towards serving in an area that you’re good at, or passionate about, you might miss out on other areas where God may want to use you. A good place to start is by seeing what opportunities are available, where the need is greatest and to start by serving there. You don’tneed to commit forever but by being open to serving in a variety of ways you might be surprised at how God uses you and reveals gifts you were never aware of before. So let’s begin this year open-handed and open-hearted to how God wants to use the blessings he has given us to bless others.
  12. 12. “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land thatI will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your namegreat, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” Genesis 12:1-20. DISCOVER AND UNVEIL THE HIDDEN TREASURES/TALENTS FIRST: Think back to early successesand times of great enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to dredge up memories that go far backin the past. The standing ovation from your classmates for that solo you sang in your high schoolchoir, for instance, might be the last time that you used your musical talent before it languished in a career that didn’t require that aptitude. Or how about that heroic moment when you caught a pass in the end zone and won the game for your college football team? Too bad your talent in sports wasn’t needed later in life. Or in your first job, you may have wowed the boss with your ability to speak Spanish to a group of visiting clients — only to spend the rest of your career in areas where language talents weren’t necessary. Helpful: Write a list of the talents that you haven’t used for many years. As you write the list, some will come to mind that you haven’t even thought of in quite a long time. Ask close friends and relatives about your talents. Others often see our strengths more clearly than we do. If you have any doubts about this, just think about your
  13. 13. own friends and the talents that they fail to take advantage of. Friends who knew you early in life can be especially helpful. Try things that you’ve never done before but perhaps always wanted to. Examples:Working on a political campaign… doing volunteer work… writing for the newsletter of your house of worship. New activities often reveal talents and interests that have remained dormant for a long time. 1. Recognize Your Talent Don’t under- or over-estimate your talent. The book, Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce, shares an important exercise (on page 9) to assess your talent and potential. Take the time to examine what has made you successfulin the past and what your career aspirations are for the future. With this process, youwill be able to identify the points when your talent hasn’t been tapped. This familiarity with your talent allows you to make critical career decisions, such as selecting the right next position or graciously turning down a seemingly good job offer while outlining steps to encourage growth and movement in your career. Another key factor is to identify your strengths so that you can be confident about what specific talents will supportyour career trajectory. 2. Identify What TalentMakes You Unique A talent that makes you stand out from the crowd because your skill and expertise can be considered a great asset. Do you speak a second or third language? Have you lived in several countries, or studied multiple disciplines? Companies are
  14. 14. searching for people with new and interesting perspectives and life experiences to solve complex business challenges. Showcase your unique style, and talent. Dare to be great! 3. Nurture And DevelopYour Talent All of us start off with raw talent that needs to be shaped and developed. It’s our responsibility to nurture and grow our talent, while positioning ourselves for success. To develop your talent, it is great to look for work assignments or volunteer opportunities that add depth to your skill base, value to your professional life, and exposure for your career. The key to success is applying your talents in different situations and changing your work environment to broaden your perspective. Again, developing your talent means staying in touch with your passion and building on your interests to add value in your profession and career. 4. Express Your Talent Self-expression is the key to growing your talent. Talent is like learning a fine instrument that you want to play well. You must practice, practice, and practice to be proficient at playing your instrument and learning how to play it for many audiences in different settings as a way to understand the full potential of the instrument. The more you exercise your talent, the more talents that you will discover you can use as well as the new places, situations, and people that can use your skills. In many instances, we limit our talent from reaching its full potential because we assume people are not interested in what we have to say or offer. You can plan to get involved with organizations and people who are interested in the talents that you bring to the table.
  15. 15. 5. Organize A PersonalGroup Of Directors That Focus On Your Talent This group of people is invested in you personally and professionally. They provide supportand guidance that unleash the hidden areas of your talent. Select group members who can see in you what you can’t see in yourself. Their role is to carefully nudge, recommend, confront, and embrace your growth. They can assist with you “Tapping Your Talent!” 1 Time. It’s scarce, and urgent tasks have a tendency to consume it. People who aren’t disciplined in their priorities will be subject to daily crises that interfere with activities that are part of a long-term investment in other people. Recommended by Forbes. 2. Focus on visible skills. As leaders rise to more senior positions, it’s natural to feel like they need to demonstrate strategic thinking, strong business acumen, and effective P&L management — noticeable skills that catch people’s attention. Building talent, on the other hand, is less obvious and has a long-term payoff. 3. Lack of development culture. One of the most interesting findings in the research is that even lower-level leaders who made talent development a priority start to slip when they enter the senior ranks. One-on-one coaching can be intrinsically fulfilling and, for that reason alone, leaders are more likely to set aside time for it. But senior executives make the biggest impact when they distinguish between individual coaching and organizational
  16. 16. coaching. It’s the latter that lacks most. Call it the culture, or environment, of development that’s missing. Diligent leaders can avoid these traps. Brian Kibby, the President of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, wakes up early to complete his personal tasks before dedicating the work day to focusing on his people, even scheduling 15 minute blocks to have conversations with everyone in his organization. Nevertheless, it’s very difficult for senior executives to spend personal time with every single employee and provide the hands-on coaching and training that is the hallmark of a great leader. Cori Hill sees invulnerability to insecurity among leaders as a major stumbling block for organizations. The way Hill puts it, “Power messes up our ability to learn.” Leaders set the example of learning, which sometimes requires the admission, “I don’tknow.” She has these suggestions for senior leaders who want to create a culture of talent development: 1. Act as a role model. Be transparent about your own need to learn and develop and share how you’re able to do it. Embrace vulnerability: leaders are never more powerful than when they are shown to be learning. 2. Reinforce the value of learning. Go beyond the baseline conversation about goals. Ask about what they want to accomplish and what they feel their gaps are. When someone completes an assignment, celebrate both the outcome and the learning, especially if the assignment wasn’t completed as smoothly as everyone would’ve liked. 3. Build sustainable processesto support development. Managers should be expected to coachand develop their people. At a minimum, everyone knows
  17. 17. what areas they need to improve, and for those with particularly high potential, career tracks are developed that give them a sense of where they can go inside the organization. 4. Reinforce sharedvalues. Employees should be able to link their everyday tasks and responsibilities to the values in the organization. People need to understand why what they do is important. 5. Leverage problems as opportunities for real world learning and development. What’s an acceptable failure needs to be clarified and that way, by incorporating stretch assignments, employees can seek out challenges where they can develop without feeling like mistakes will set them back in their career or jeopardize their job. Learning organizations see problems as opportunities. Personally, I’d like to solidify a culture of development at Forbes. I’m a big believer in giving as much context as possible, and when I meet with members of my team each month, one of my favorite questions to ask is, “what have you learned recently?” When an entire organization is stacked — from top to bottom— in “step up” roles, everyone is learning and there’s the potential for high performance. I do wonder how leaders at every level, based on their educational background, perform on this dimension. For example, are leaders with MBAs more or less prone to coach and develop talent in their organizations? Inquiring minds want to know.
  18. 18. IN DEVELOPING AND NURTURINGYOUR TALENT STILL; You feel victorious. Your top candidate accepted your offer and you can’t wait to see what they can do for your company. But if you want to develop and retain the A-team, it’s going to take a little bit of effort and care on your part. 1. PROFILE YOUR IDEAL EMPLOYEES (be passionate aboutyour skills) A talented and skilled person has “the right stuff.” These individuals possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and personality traits (KSAPs) needed to excel at their tasks. To attract and retain talented persons around you, your group first needs to identify the KSAPs for each job using a three-step process: 1. Assemble a panel that is highly familiar with the purposes ofyour group. 2. Have the panel generate a task list for the proposed assignments. 3. Have the panel members ask themselves, “What KSAPs are needed for performing each task in an excellent manner?” 2. TEST FOR THE BEST (change your mentality) You have to change your mentality believing that you know what competencies it takes to measure for a particular role. A solid, you must have the right attitude to work, always being positive that you can be the best. 3. EFFECTIVELYMANAGE PERFORMANCE(be creative) Even star employees need to be managed well or their valuable talents will dissipate. Clarify for yourself what defines excellence in your role, and how you can attain it. Provide yourself with periodic feedback in the form of constructive
  19. 19. criticism — both positive and negative — and allow yourself to be coached when you have performance problems. 4. DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS You have seen some of your group members very talented, but they were not born that way. They developed and nurtured those talents over time. And you need to groom the next generation of leaders in the business for your group. Strive to be the leader in the group and know it that Leadership talent consists of three essential skills: • Conceptual — seeing the big picture and envisioning the future gains importance as leaders move up the corporate ladder. • Interpersonal — getting along well with others is vital at every management level. • Technical — technical knowledge is necessary at all levels, but lessens in importance as you move up the corporatehierarchy. 5. FACILITATE CAREER GROWTH Most people want to take on more responsibility as they progress in their careers. You need to ensure you are developed ahead of time to make each move successfully. Too often, we see people being praised who eventually exhibit incompetence and frustration. Therefore help yourselves by offering training, continuing education or mentoring programs. 6. FOSTER“TEAMNESS” We created this term to emphasize the importance of teamwork in an group. Every group needs to encourage cooperation and collaboration to maximize people’s
  20. 20. talents, to augment one another and to be good team players. Not everyone is going to get along all the time, but they need to understand that they are working for the good of the group. If you have fostered a true sense of unity among your team, your group’s goals should alleviate any disputes that may arise. 7. MOTIVATE YOURSELVES Regardless of how talented some are above others, if they aren’t being motivated to use their talents, they are going to fall flat — and so are you. To motivate talented people, you must give them challenging work, recognize and reward them for their outstanding achievements, give them the resources they need to do their jobs, and treat them fairly. Recognize and praise them for the weaker ones to emulate. 8. CREATE A WINNING CULTURE (increase your responsibilities) It’s true that every organization has its own distinct culture. As a member of a group, you must maintain a culture where each and every one of you wants to be the very best they can be. Remember, you are setting the tone and style of the group. You must model the way to create a winning culture that everyone can succeed in. 9. BE PRESENT— AND PRESENTABLE (keepyour commitment) For your talent to develop and nurture effectively, you need to have — and maintain — a strong presence in the audience. The most talented people should want to work with you — but why? Ask yourself: “What am I doing to maintain a high–profile presence in the community? If I were looking for a job, why would I
  21. 21. want to work for this particular group?” Do your due diligence and be aware of how you and your group are viewed in the community so you know how you are being perceived. 10. COMPENSATE ACCORDINGLY Professional sports are a perfect example here: it’s easy to see the most talented athletes are paid extraordinarily well. The same should be true of yourself. whenever you exceeds your performance goals and have a direct and positive effect on the group’s bottomline, you should compensate yourself accordingly. Not all people are motivated by money alone, but if they are doing the job exceptionally well, they should be rewarded. Mosttimes after a particularly outstanding performance in an event, I would compensate myself with a specialmeal OR with a very goodmusical rendition all by myself and to myself to the extent that people around me would notice and make positive remarks about me. And I become more happy when that happens. Kenneth N. consulting firm. DouglasA. Strouse. ken@wexleyconsulting.com or doug@ceoclubofbaltimore.com. MIKE MYATT. STILL NURTURING YOUR TALENTS: It usually doesn’ttake long to discover several hidden talents that you would like to develop. To determine which ones are worth nurturing, try several. Then concentrate on the one (or ones) that give you the most pleasure.
  22. 22. You’ll know that you’ve chosenthe right one when you lose track of time in pursuing the talent. If you sang in the glee club, for instance, consider taking music lessons or joining a choir. If you enjoy practicing so much that you can barely stop, music is clearly a talent to nurture. On the other hand, you might discover that singing today isn’t quite as enjoyable as it was several decades ago. If that’s the case, move on to another dormant talent. Effective ways to nurture hidden talents… Take lessons. In doing volunteer work, for example, you may discover a talent for leadership. In that case, classes at a local business schoolcould be a way to hone your aptitude. Once nurtured, leadership ability could lead to starting your own volunteer organization or even a profitable consulting business. Get expert input. No matter which talent you want to nurture, you probably know people with the same interest who can offer advice. If you don’t, ask around at the clubs and organizations that you belong to. Or ask your friends if they have acquaintances with knowledge in your field of interest. If you were once talented in sports, forexample, talk with friends who have been involved in sports, suchas amateur or professional athletes, high schoolcoaches or employees at a local gym. They’ll almost certainly have advice on how to get back into the game — perhaps as a player on a senior circuit or as a coach to an amateur team. Or say that after working on a community newsletter, you rediscover your talent for writing. Seek out friends who are experienced in journalism, advertising or
  23. 23. editing. They’ll know of ways to nurture your talent and could also point you to part-time writing jobs in your area. Smartmove: Consider the experts who advise you as potential partners in a business. If you want to nurture a talent for gardening, for example, your friends might recommend that you speak with a local nurseryman. If the two of you hit it off, you might suggest teaming up to start a landscaping business. As people grow older, they rarely think that they need mentors. In fact, we can always use the advice of those with wisdom and experience. So when one or more people point you in the right direction, think of them as mentors. Keep in touch, and express your thanks whenever you have a success. Example:If your hidden talent is painting and a local artist recommends a teacher who guides you on a path to a gallery exhibition, invite them both to the show. Share the credit, and more help will always come your way. Similarly, Peter commands the use of the gifts within the church for the mutual benefit of those who comprise the church [note the phrases ‘each other’ and ‘one another’] resulting in praise to God [1Peter 4:7-11]. In addition: In 1Corinthians 14:20-22a the role and purposeof the gift of languages is specified - that they are evidence of God’s indictment against the unbelief of Israel. [Here Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11,12, a prophecyspokento the unbelieving Israelites at the time of their widespread national idolatry; he states that
  24. 24. languages are a fulfilment of this prophecy.]It is only when the languages are interpreted that they are of any use in the church [vv13-19]. About their use:  They are to be used with diligence, cheerfulness and faithfulness [Romans 12:6-8; 1Peter 4:10-11].  They are to be used in an orderly and fitting way [1Corinthians 14:26- 33,40].  Although given by God, how and when they are used is under the direction and controlof the individual who is accountable to God for his/her use of their gifts [1Corinthians 14:26-33,40]. This personal responsibility/control factor is in contrastto the ecstatic spirituality of the Corinthians prior to their conversion [1Corinthians 12:2].  The verbal content expressed in their use will express genuine acknowledgement of the deity of Christ [1Corinthians 12:3].  They are to be used for the good of the church [1Corinthians 14:5b, 1Peter 4:10].  The possessionofa specific gift should never be a cause of personal pride, boasting, individualism or isolationism [Romans 12:3; 1Corinthians 12:14- 26].  The possessionofa gift does not provide an excuse for disobeying God’s commands [1Corinthians 13:1-8a; 1Peter 4:7-11]
  25. 25. BENEFITS OF DEVELOPING, NURTURINGAND USING YOUR TALENTS: The Lord Will Bless Us If We Use Our Talents Wisely President Joseph F. Smith said, “Every sonand every daughter of God has received some talent, and each will be held to strict account for the use or misuse to which it is put” (GospelDoctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 370). A talent is one kind of stewardship (responsibility in the kingdom of God). The parable of the talents tells us that when we serve well in our stewardship, we will be given greater responsibilities. If we do not serve well, our stewardship will eventually be taken from us. (See Matthew 25:14–30). We are also told in the scriptures that we will be judged according to our works (see Matthew 16:27). By developing and using our talents for other people, we perform good works. The Lord is pleased when we use our talents wisely. He will bless us if we use our talents to benefit other people and to build up His kingdom here on earth. Some of the blessings we gain are joy and love from serving our brothers and sisters here on earth. We also learn self-control. All these things are necessary if we are going to be worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again. What are some examples of people whose talents have been magnified because they used them wisely? (Consider people you know or people in the scriptures or Church history.) Additional Scriptures
  26. 26. James 1:17 (gifts come from God) D&C 46:8–11; 1 Timothy 4:14 (seek and develop gifts) 2 Corinthians 12:9 (weak things made strong) Revelation 20:13 ; 1 Nephi 15:33 ; D&C 19:3 (judged by our works Hebrews 13:21 (show good work) The prophet Moses was a greatleader, but he neededAaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman(see Exodus 4:14–16). Some ofus are leaders like Moses orgoodspeakerslike Aaron. Some of us cansing well or play an instrument. Others of us may be goodin sports or able to work well with our hands. Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, orthe ability to teachothers. BIG QUESTION (HOME WORK): 1 How have you benefited from the talents of others and how have others benefited from your talent? 2 List five (5) people you know whose talents have improved over time because they are persistent/consistent in using them. Prepared By John Henry (B.A PHIL, PGD EDU). General Secretary, Mt Zion Prayer Group,
  27. 27. Catholic Charismatic Renewal Of Nigeria, St. John The Baptist’s Catholic Church, Mpape Abuja. henryjohnoe@yahoo.com, henryoejohn@gmail.com, 08036307059, 08050817907.

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