Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Aquisition of Talents

By Lacey Gunter

The parable of the talents, most of us are familiar with it. If not, you can read it in the Bible in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25.

I have been thinking a lot about this parable lately. A couple of weeks ago a neighbor gave a talk in church and referenced the parable. He reflected on the idea that there are many followers of Christ who are generally good and honest people, but who are essentially the same person they were 5 or 10 years ago.  Not much had changed about them. In essence they were living life in their comfort zone. He likened this to polishing up their talent so it looks nice, but then putting it away in storage for safe keeping. Wow! Kind of makes you pause and reflect upon your own life and consider what you're doing to try and improve yourself, doesn't it?

Sometimes we can get caught up in thinking if we are living "righteously", Heavenly Father will just bless us with a bunch of knowledge and skills without have to work for it. But that isn't really Heavenly Father's way. As a previous LDS President, Spencer W. Kimball, put it1:
"We must do more than ask the Lord for excellence. Perspiration must precede inspiration; there must be effort before there is excellence. We must do more than pray ..., though we must surely pray. We must take thought. We must make effort."
In terms of developing our writing talents, what does this mean? If we are aspiring to be that next great author whose works are well read and who leaves a lasting impact on those who read them ,we better do more than just live righteously, pray for it and then sit around waiting for inspiration. As LDS Apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, suggests2:
"We can measure up to that challenge only with solid individual effort... isn't it significant that [the Lord] has revealed .. scientific wonders through natural channels, to persons who were pursuing learning by secular means and for secular purposes?
     There have been inspired men and women in every discipline. The Lord expects us to learn what we can from what he has previously revealed. ... We must put our own efforts into paying the price of learning, of degrees, and of all intermediate steps necessary to acquire depth in our individual disciplines and skills. Future revelation in a particular discipline or skill is most likely to come to one who has paid the price of learning all that has previously been revealed."
So there it is. If you want to be a great writer or you're looking for that great inspiration for your current WIP, dig in and get to work! Start reading all the great books around you. Take classes or go to conferences. Talk to people who have been successful and learn from them. Share your work with others and get feedback. Practice, write and practice some more. Then, after you have done all that you can do, leave it in the Lord's hands.

Well, I better go now. I got a lot of work to do!

1Spencer W. Kimball, "Second-Century Address," BYU Studies 16, no. 4 (1976): 453.

2Dallin H. Oaks, "A House of Faith," BYU forum address, July 5, 1976.


  1. I just went to a conference today, and this was practically a mantra- it’s hard work, but just keep working. You will try and you will fail and you will try harder and you will fail better. ;-) Just KEEP AT IT! :-) Guess that’s what I’ll do!

  2. So true - great post!

  3. What an inspiring post--thanks so much!

    I just discovered Mormon Mommy Writers via twitter a week or so ago, and I really love how I can come and be inspired from all the great posts here! I love looking at writing from a gospel perspective. You ladies are doing a great thing!

  4. It's true, God honors and loves our hard work, no matter what our field. We must keep going!

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad to have you join our community here. There is enough negativity and degradation out there. We seek to send out a more positive light and just hope it will shine for others.



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