Multiply Your Talents, Elder Rasband Tells Young Adults
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy encouraged young adults to magnify their talents and abilities in a Brigham Young University–Idaho devotional on January 25, 2011.
He began by retelling Jesus’ parable of the talents, in which three men are given varying sums of money (talents) by their master, who left for a long time and upon returning asked each man what he had done with his money.
The first two servants had doubled his investment, and the master said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt. 25:21).
But the third servant had been afraid and hid the talent. The master replied, “Thou wicked and slothful servant. . . . Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents” (Matt. 25:26–28).
The Lord, the Master of the parable, makes it clear that we are not to bury our talents, but to improve upon and add to them. He has promised that if we multiply our talents we will receive eternal joy.
“We need to engage in the activities, service, and lifestyle that will help to strengthen and protect our talents to be used righteously,” Elder Rasband said.
We cannot let fear that we can’t do something, that someone will do it better, or that others will criticize us stop us from developing those talents, he continued.
He said that President James E. Faust (1920–2007) warned that some are too content with what they may already be doing, content to “eat, drink, and be merry” and passively allow others to build up the kingdom of God, when opportunities for growth are all around us.
The Lord will give more to those who are willing to receive it, Elder Rasband explained, but those who say they have enough will have their talents taken away.
Elder Rasband shared three principles that have helped him develop his talents and abilities:
1. Seek earnestly to discover the talents the Lord has given you.
Each person comes to earth with his or her own unique tapestry, endowed with the talents he or she held in the pre-earth life. Study and ponder your patriarchal blessing, consult family and friends, and study your family history to find your talents, he said.
2. Use your talents to build up the kingdom of God.
That includes the Church, our own families, and others, Elder Rasband said. “The successes in life of those we assist, sponsor, mentor, and lift as they pursue their own talents can bring us great joy and satisfaction. Focusing on serving the Savior can guide us toward making proper decisions in our daily lives.”
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said, “Let us remember, too, that greatness is not always a matter of the scale of one’s life, but of the quality of one’s life. True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are.”
3. Acknowledge God’s hand in your success.
Whether our talents were given to us before our birth or acquired in this life, they are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father, Elder Rasband said, “and in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things” (D&C 59:21). [link] It pleases our Heavenly Father when we show our appreciation by simply and sincerely praying to Him, thanking Him for our blessings, he added.
“It is my humble prayer, my brothers and sisters, that we will seriously ponder and pray to find our talents,” Elder Rasband said in closing, “that we may use them in building up the Kingdom of God here on the earth, and that we may be found worthy to stand before the Lord at the last day and in His presence hear Him say: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”