When I became a deacon at the age of 12, I lived in New Jersey, 50 miles (80 km) from New York City. I dreamed of being a great baseball player. My father agreed to take me to see a game played in the old and storied Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx. I can still see the swing of the bat as Joe DiMaggio hit a home run into the center field stands with my father sitting beside me, the only time we ever went to a major league baseball game together.
But another day with my father shaped my life forever. He took me from New Jersey to the home of an ordained patriarch in Salt Lake City. I had never seen the man before. My father left me at the doorstep. The patriarch led me to a chair, placed his hands on my head, and pronounced a blessing as a gift from God that included a declaration of the great desire of my heart.
He said that I was one of those of whom it had been said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” [Matthew 5:9.] I was so surprised that a perfect stranger could know my heart that I opened my eyes to see the room where such a miracle was happening. That blessing of my possibilities has shaped my life, my marriage, and my priesthood service.
From that experience and what has followed it, I can testify, “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” (D&C 46:11).
By the Lord revealing to me a gift, I have been able to recognize and prepare for opportunities to exercise it to the blessing of those I love and serve.
God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve.
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Help Them Aim High,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 67.
As you read and ponder Doctrine and Covenants 46:11–26, pray to know what spiritual gifts you may have.
How can serving others help you develop your spiritual gifts?
If you have not received a patriarchal blessing, consider getting one.
Consider writing your thoughts in your journal or discussing them with others.