Lesson 44: Developing Talents

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 169–71


Objective

Each young woman will recognize and develop her talents.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Bring paper and pencils for the class members.

  2. 2.

    Prepare a list of each class member’s talents. You may wish to contact each mother to discuss her daughter’s talents. This list will be used during the spotlight activity at the beginning of the lesson.

  3. 3.

    From the lists of talents you have prepared, select one less obvious talent for each young woman. Write this on a slip of paper, place the paper in a box or package, gift wrap the package, and label it with the young woman’s name.

  4. 4.

    Prepare a piece of paper for each scriptural reference used in the Scripture Search. Number these papers in the sequence indicated in the lesson. Then put all the papers into another package and gift wrap it.

  5. 5.

    Assign a class member to prepare to tell or read the parable of the talents, as found in Matthew 25:14–30.

  6. 6.

    Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction: Spotlight on You

Spotlight

Place a stool or chair in the center of the room. Distribute paper and pencils to the young women. Explain that you will spotlight special gifts each of the class members has received. Have each young woman, one at a time, sit on the chair or stool. Give her the gift box you have prepared for her. Instruct her to open it and read aloud the talent written on the paper.

After she has done this, ask her to identify another gift that she possesses. It may help to ask one or more of the following questions:

  1. 1.

    What do you do that makes you feel good or gives you a sense of accomplishment?

  2. 2.

    What is something you do now that you could not do three years ago?

  3. 3.

    What do you do that others do not do?

If the young woman is still unable to identify an additional gift herself, suggest one from the list you prepared.

Next ask the class to identify a third gift the young woman possesses. Three gifts should be identified for each young woman and recorded on her paper.

Continue this process until all class members have been spotlighted and have had at least three talents identified.

We Should Be Aware of Our Talents and Interests

Scripture

Have the class read together Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–9. Briefly discuss this scripture and write on the chalkboard: “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts.”

Worksheet discussion

Have the young women identify talents or gifts they have or would like to have that they have not already written down.

Have them add these to the list of gifts on their papers. Encourage them to include desirable character traits in their lists as well as obvious talents.

Scripture search

Explain that Heavenly Father has given us our talents and abilities. Ask the young women to recall any scriptures in which Heavenly Father has told us about these gifts and talents.

Open the remaining gift box. Have each class member draw out a piece of paper with one of the scriptural references. Have each one find the scripture and read it in the order indicated by the number preceding the reference. As each reads her scripture, have her identify the main idea. Write the idea on the chalkboard.

Scripture Search

Scriptural References

Main Idea

  1. 1.

    Everyone has a gift.

  1. 2.

    Some fear and hide their talents.

  1. 3.

    Some fear in their hearts.

  1. 4.

    Do not bury your talent.

  1. 5.

    Do not neglect your gift.

  1. 6.

    Responsibility comes with gifts.

We Should Develop Our Talents

Parable discussion

Have the assigned young women tell or read the parable of the talents (see Matthew 25:14–30). Discuss the parable, using the following questions or your own.

  • What happened to those who used their talents?

  • What happened to the one who hid his talent and did nothing with it?

  • What do you think motivated the profitable servants to increase their talents?

  • What were their rewards?

Chalkboard discussion

Explain that as we develop and increase our gifts and talents, we not only receive additional talents, but we also gain personal satisfaction.

  • What can we do to develop the talents we have?

Write the young women’s ideas on the chalkboard. Their ideas may include the following:

  1. 1.

    Have a desire.

  2. 2.

    Set reachable goals.

  3. 3.

    Establish a program to work on one talent at a time.

  4. 4.

    Talk with someone who has the talent. Discover how he or she developed or acquired it.

  5. 5.

    Pray for help.

  6. 6.

    Have faith.

  7. 7.

    Practice.

  8. 8.

    Report progress to someone.

  9. 9.

    Persist.

Ask the young women how they would feel if they gave a gift to someone who acted as if she did not want it or would not use it.

Write on the chalkboard: Doctrine and Covenants 88:33. Ask a class member to read the scripture to the class.

  • How should we feel about the gifts the Lord gives to us?

Conclusion

Scripture discussion

Have the class members turn to Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–9 and reread the scripture. Point out that our admonition is to “seek ye earnestly the best gifts” and then to remember the purpose for which all gifts are given: “for the benefit of those who love me.”

Point out that in addition to the gifts that have been talked about, many other spiritual gifts may be developed. (See D&C 46:13–26.) All gifts are given for our benefit. They will bring us great joy and satisfaction as we receive and develop them and use them for the benefit of others. As those in the parable of the talents received great joy as they developed their talents for their master, so can each young woman have joy as she develops her talents for our Master.

Lesson Application

Suggest that each young woman avoid burying her talents by choosing a gift she would like to have and recording her choice on her paper. Have her copy from the chalkboard those steps that would help her develop that gift. She should supplement this list with her own plan of action. (This may be a good time to work with each young woman individually to develop goals and a plan of action.)

Suggested Class Activities

Consider the following activities to help class members develop and share talents:

  1. 1.

    Plan and organize some workshops. With the approval of your priesthood leader, invite specialists to conduct workshops in areas in which class members wish to expand their knowledge or explore a new skill or trait. You can do this as a class, as small groups, or as individuals.

  2. 2.

    Plan a field trip to hear experts, or visit a library to obtain information about an area of interest.

  3. 3.

    Plan a class activity to learn a specific skill—quilting, sewing, cooking, or a craft. After the learning activity, the product could be shared with someone in the ward (a widow, parents with a new baby), thus emphasizing the importance of using our gifts to bless others.

  4. 4.

    Prepare and present a talent show of musical, artistic, or dramatic activities to shut-ins, people at a rest home, or children in a hospital.