On Wednesday of this week my plan was to go shopping with my friend to look for a bridesmaid dress for her sister’s wedding. After a few stores and no luck, I threw out the option that we could try a few more places or we could head home. (I didn’t want to go to institute. What harm would come from skipping it for one week?) Well my inner guilt and friend talked some sense into me and I went to one I haven’t gone to for a while.
We had a very nice teacher and a full class. I got kind of bored and was in and out of the lesson while I was doing things on my phone. We were talking about Christ’s birth and his parents. At one point the teacher posed a question that caught me by surprise. This was the question:
What attributes have you received from your parents?
I thought about the physical qualities I’ve gotten from both of my parents and some of the little quirks I’ve inherited. However, I just knew that the teacher probably was annoyed that I hadn’t been paying attention and that he was going to trick us by asking us a different question. So I let my mind wander and I came up with an even better question.
People in the class answered the question and we moved on. His question really was that simple. However I kept going back to the thought I’d had earlier. At a different point I put my hand up in the air and brought the class back to this question. I thought he was going to ask us about the qualities we’d inherited from our Heavenly Parents. It definitely changes the question a little bit.
I started wondering about what qualities Heavenly Father had specifically given me. I wondered what attributes I may have gained from a Heavenly Mother. Was I like them at all? Had I started out like them, and then strayed from who I truly am?
I realized we can glimpse into how Heavenly Father sees us when we read our Patriarchal Blessings. We have been given specific gifts, made and individually wrapped, for every single person. We all inherited different things, and received them so we can help our brothers and sisters.
There are so many ways! Ask the people around you to tell you what some of their favorite qualities about you are. Read your Patriarchal Blessing. Pray to know what the Lord thinks of you, or to know what kind of gifts you have. I have two posts that talk a little bit about this You Look Like a Princess andA Letter of Recommendation .
One of my favorite quotes about talents I heard in an institute class about 7 years ago. I looked up the talk and would like to share a few paragraphs from it. It’s entitled “There Are Many Gifts” by Marvin J. Ashton. Here is a part of it.
From D&C 46:11–12, we have this truth: “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.
“To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.”
[...] Taken at random, let me mention a few gifts that are not always evident or noteworthy but that are very important. Among these may be your gifts—gifts not so evident but nevertheless real and valuable.
Let us review some of these less-conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost.
We must remember that to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. It is our right and responsibility to accept our gifts and to share them. God’s gifts and powers are available to all of us.”
Aren’t those some great gifts!!! I think we so often longingly look at people’s obvious gifts, that we overlook the gifts we have and use every day. You have specific gifts and talents and they were given specifically to you to help not only you out, but those around you.
I’m going to post below one of the first songs I ever wrote. I was living away from home with some distant relatives and for Mother’s Day I wanted to surprise everyone by writing a song. It’s a little slowly played and a bit awkward, but I wrote it for my earthly mother, all of the mothers who have helped raise me, and my Heavenly Mother. Enjoy!