Marie looked out the car window as she and her Primary class drove to the nursing home. She hoped none of the girls noticed the tears that filled her eyes.
When Sister Gibson had suggested the talent show for an activity day, it seemed like such a good idea. Every girl had gone to work planning the talent she would share. Marie had tried, but she hadn’t been able to come up with anything to do.
A couple of the girls were playing the piano. One girl was playing the violin, and one was singing. Another was reciting a poem she’d written, and Marie’s best friend, Shelley, was going to do a backflip. Andrea wasn’t performing, but she had made cookies for everybody to have after the show.
The more Marie thought about the talent show, the more she was convinced that she didn’t have any talents. She wasn’t even sure why she had come. Sister Gibson had tried to make her feel better, telling her that she hadn’t yet discovered a very special talent that Heavenly Father had given her. But that was hard for Marie to believe. She didn’t think she’d ever be good at anything.
The gathering room at the nursing home was quiet. There were old people everywhere, and that made Marie even more nervous. She didn’t know what to say to them or how to act. The other girls seemed to feel the same way too. They were huddled together, shyly looking around until Sister Gibson showed them where to sit.
Marie still felt bad as the program started. Then, just after the first piano solo, she heard someone coughing behind her. Marie turned around and saw a gray-haired woman whose body shook with each cough.
Marie stopped thinking about herself and started to worry about the woman. She quietly dug a hard candy out of her pocket and went to the woman. She put her hand on the woman’s shoulder and held out the small gift. When the wrinkled hand reached for it and the woman smiled at her, Marie felt happiness and peace.
Marie stayed by the woman for the rest of the program. She held her hand and sometimes told her about what was happening. It felt good to be doing something for someone else, and it kept her from feeling sorry for herself.
When it was time to leave, the woman hugged Marie and whispered, “Thank you for talking to me. You have a real talent for making people feel loved.”
On the way back to the church, Marie was grateful to know that she did have a talent after all. When she served others, she felt Heavenly Father’s love, and she helped others feel His love too. That was a pretty special talent to have.
“All of us are endowed with abundant talent, beauty, and ability.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Staying Power,” Ensign, July 2003, 42.
Illustrations by Brandon Dorman