Lesson 35: I Have Talents

Primary 2: Choose the Right A, (1995), 187–92


Purpose

To help each child recognize that Heavenly Father has given each of us talents.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Matthew 25:14–29. See also Gospel Principles (31110), chapter 34.

  2. 2.

    During the week, contact each child’s parents and ask them what talents they have observed in their child. If necessary, suggest some less obvious talents, such as being kind, cheerful, obedient, helpful, forgiving, friendly, or prayerful. Make a list of talents for each child. Add to the lists the talents you have observed in each child.

  3. 3.

    Using your list, prepare a paper similar to the following for each child. Write the child’s name on a piece of paper. Fold the paper in half. On one half list the child’s talents that you will discuss during the lesson. Leave the other half of the paper blank.

    Make sure that each child’s paper has the same number of talents listed and that each child’s list contains at least one talent that can be demonstrated, such as singing, skipping, or reading.

  4. 4.

    Prepare to demonstrate one of your talents, or bring an item that represents one of your talents.

  5. 5.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible.

    2. b.

      Crayons or pencils.

    3. c.

      Picture 2-57, Heber J. Grant.

  6. 6.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

Talents Are Gifts from Heavenly Father

Attention activity

Demonstrate one of your talents, or show the item you brought and explain that it represents one of your talents.

  • What is a talent?

If you brought an item, tell about the item and explain why the talent it represents is important to you. If you demonstrated a talent, explain why you enjoy using that talent.

Explain that Heavenly Father has given talents to each of his children. Mention some people in your ward or branch who have talents the children are familiar with, such as singing, playing a musical instrument, or helping others feel happy.

Remind the children that each of them is a child of Heavenly Father, so each of them has talents also. Explain that everyone has different talents.

Each of Us Has Many Different Talents

Story and discussion

In your own words, tell the following story of a child who discovered that she had talents:

Wendy watched her sister Shelley draw a beautiful picture of the mountains behind their home. Wendy was discouraged because she couldn’t draw as well as Shelley did. Shelley played the piano too and was smart in school. Wendy thought about all the things that Shelley could do well. She wondered why she couldn’t do those things well also.

  • How do you think Wendy felt when she thought about all of Shelley’s talents?

One day Wendy’s teacher asked her to give a talk in Primary. She worked hard on it and gave a good talk. The bishop heard Wendy’s talk and told her how much he enjoyed her talk. He told Wendy that she was very talented.

A warm feeling came over Wendy. The bishop’s words helped Wendy discover something important about herself.

  • What did the bishop help Wendy discover? (She had a talent for giving good talks.)

Wendy soon discovered that she had other talents too. She made friends easily, and other children always wanted to be with her. She loved to read and write. When she went to church, she was reverent and listened to her teacher. Wendy had never thought that these were talents because they were not like Shelley’s talents. Now Wendy realized that she did have talents, but her talents were different from her sister’s.

  • What talents did Wendy have?

Emphasize to the children that everyone has different talents, but all talents are important.

Activity

Tell the children that they are going to learn about the many different talents of the people in their Primary class. Ask the children to listen carefully as you read each list of talents. Tell the children that when they know who you are describing, they should raise their hands but not say anything out loud.

Beginning with “I’m thinking of someone who has these talents,” read the list of talents you have prepared for each child.

When you have finished reading each list, let the children guess which child you have just described. If the children cannot guess correctly, give some obvious clues, such as describing the clothes the child is wearing or telling whether the child is a girl or a boy.

Talent demonstration

Remind the children that Heavenly Father has given them these talents. Invite each child to demonstrate a talent from his or her list. (Decide ahead of time which talents on each child’s list could be easily demonstrated in class, such as singing a favorite song, reading, skipping, or hopping.)

Jesus Christ Taught Us to Use Our Talents

Scripture story

Tell the children that Jesus Christ taught that we should use our talents. Briefly tell the story found in Matthew 25:14–29. Explain that Jesus told this story to his disciples to help them understand what they must do to live with him and Heavenly Father again after this life on earth.

Emphasize the following points as you tell the story:

  1. 1.

    In Jesus’ day talents were pieces of money.

  2. 2.

    The servant who received five talents used them wisely and soon earned five more talents.

  3. 3.

    The servant who received two talents used them wisely and soon earned two more talents.

  4. 4.

    The servant who received one talent hid it and did not use it at all.

  5. 5.

    The servants’ master returned and asked the servants what they had done with their talents.

Read aloud from Matthew 25:21 what the master said to the servant who was given five talents and earned five more.

Explain that the master said the same thing to the servant who was given two talents and earned two more. The master was pleased with these two servants for using their talents wisely.

Explain that the master told the third servant that because he had not used his talent, it would be taken from him and he would not have it anymore (see Matthew 25:26–29).

Teacher presentation

Help the children understand that we should be like the first two servants in the parable. Although we use the word talents to refer to things we can do rather than to money, we should still use our talents wisely.

Explain that as spirit children of our Heavenly Father we have each received special talents or gifts to use and develop here on earth. When we use our talents, we make ourselves and others happy. Like the master in the story, Heavenly Father does not want us to hide our talents and perhaps lose them. He wants us to use our talents so they will grow. Then we can be prepared to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.

We Develop Our Talents by Practicing

Story and discussion

Show picture 2-57, Heber J. Grant. Explain that you are going to tell a story about Heber J. Grant, who later became a prophet and President of the Church, and what he did to develop his talents:

When Heber J. Grant was a boy, he wanted to play ball. But he was not able to throw the ball very far. The other boys made fun of him when he tried to throw.

Heber decided that he would learn to play ball so well that he would be chosen to play on a championship team. Day after day he practiced throwing the ball against the side of a barn. Sometimes his arm hurt so much that he could hardly sleep at night. But he kept practicing. After a few years, Heber did play on a team that won a championship.

  • What talent did Heber want to have?

  • What did Heber do to develop this talent?

  • What happened because Heber practiced playing ball?

Later in life Heber wanted to work in a bank as a bookkeeper. But a bookkeeper’s handwriting had to be neat and easy to read. One of Heber’s friends told him, “[Your] writing looks like hen tracks.” Another friend said, “It looks as if lightning had struck an ink bottle.”

Heber spent many hours practicing to improve his handwriting. Some years later he received an award for having the best handwriting in the state. He also taught handwriting and bookkeeping at a university.

  • What talent did Heber want to have?

  • What did Heber do to develop this talent?

  • What happened because Heber practiced his handwriting?

When Heber was young, his mother wanted him to learn to sing. When he was ten he joined a singing class. The teacher tried to teach Heber to sing but finally gave up and told Heber he would never learn. Years later Heber talked with a friend who taught singing. Heber mentioned that he would love to be able to sing a few hymns. The friend told him it would take time and effort, but he could do it. Heber was willing to do plenty of practicing, and he did learn to sing the Church hymns. (See Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1951], pp. 37–42, 45–49.)

  • What talent did Heber want to have?

  • What did Heber do that helped him learn to play ball, improve his handwriting, and sing?

Explain to the children that we develop our talents by practicing, as Heber did. The more we do something, the better we become at it. Heber practiced using his talents over and over, so he became better at them. Heavenly Father is pleased when we practice using the talents he has given us.

Summary

Activity

Review the specific talents of each child, as discussed earlier in the lesson. Give the children their lists of talents and pencils or crayons. On the blank side of their papers, have the children draw pictures of a talent they have or would like to have.

Let the children tell each other about their pictures and discuss how they can help the illustrated talents grow.

Testimony

Bear your testimony that Heavenly Father has given each of us different talents. Remind the children that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father want us to use our talents. When we use our talents, we can make ourselves and other people happy, and we help our talents grow.

Read aloud or have the children read the words at the top of each child’s list: “Ask me about my talents.” Encourage the children to show their lists to their families and tell their families what they have learned about talents.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that the child thank Heavenly Father for each class member’s talents and ask Heavenly Father to help the children use their talents well.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. 1.

    Have the children sit in a circle. Hum, sing, or play some recorded music while they pass a beanbag or other soft object around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the beanbag stands in the center of the circle and performs a talent. Talents could include reciting a poem, singing a song, reading a scripture, hopping on one foot, or drawing a simple picture on the chalkboard. Children could pantomime talents that cannot be demonstrated in the classroom, such as performing an act of kindness or kicking a ball. Ask the children to applaud softly after each child performs.

    Continue until every child has had at least one opportunity to perform.

  2. 2.

    Give each child crayons and a piece of paper on which you have drawn a star (a star pattern can be found at the end of the lesson). Ask the children to color their stars in unusual ways. When all the children are finished coloring, have them display their stars and sing or say the words to the first verse of “Every Star Is Different” (Children’s Songbook, p. 142).

    Ev’ry star is different,
    And so is ev’ry child.
    Some are bright and happy,
    And some are meek and mild.
    Ev’ry one is needed
    For just what he can do.
    You’re the only person
    Who ever can be you.

    (© 1980 by K. Newell Dayley. Used by permission.)

    Help the children understand that just as their stars are all different, they are all different because they have different talents and abilities. Remind the children that talents are blessings from Heavenly Father.

  3. 3.

    Teach the children a simple skill that could be developed into a talent, such as leading a song or making a craft item.