BUT I can whistle like there’s no tomorrow. Not quite to Roger Whittaker’s level, but still pretty good. And I can make beautiful jewelry. And I can take lovely photos. So, while my talents aren’t all the same as those of my siblings, I still feel pretty good.
God gave us talents. Every one of us. Some of us are naturals, while others have to work hard to learn a skill or train a voice or get our fingers to move like that across the strings of a guitar. But whatever we may think to the contrary, we are talented. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:
You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul...You might say, “I am not the creative type.” If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit [children] of the most creative Being in the universe.
I have been making jewelry since high school. Then, it was simple bead stringing on fishing line or cotton twine. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that I have learned to wrap wire or form beads from clay and fire them in a kiln. And I didn’t automatically wake up one morning knowing how to do that. I watched videos, went to classes, read books, and still had many failures. But every failure helped me know what to change for the next attempt.
I used to do a lot of jewelry shows, where thousands of people would come through and look at my displays. Invariably, I’d hear the words, “Oh! I wish I could make something like this.” And, also invariably, I’d reply, “You can! You just have to try it out!” They always shake their head and say, “No, no. I can’t do that.” But how will we know what we’re capable of, if we don’t try??
In one of his books, Elder Richard D. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, tells us:
Search for feelings that prompt you to try something new yourself, and if they are not there strive to generate them. Try art, poetry, prose, music, dance, photography, clothing design, or anything you haven’t done before. Otherwise you may never know the thrill of personal creativity nor enter the doors it opens to insight, enjoyment, and wonder.
Every individual has creative capacity. The satisfaction and growth creativity generates is intended for each of us, not just for the most gifted. To try takes courage.
Whatever our talents are, we have to find ways to use them to help those around us. Even something like jewelry can help someone feel better. A few years ago I got a wonderful email from a customer who had recently been through a painful divorce. She wrote to tell me, “Whenever I wear one of your beautiful pieces I feel interesting and awesome and hot. I just wanted to let you know that in a small way your artwork is legitimately helping people. Thanks for making the world more beautiful.”
So many times I have been blessed by the talents of those around me. I’ve been awed by the beauty of my sister-in-law’s graceful steps as she glides (almost floats) across the floor in dance. I’ve felt warm nourishment from the hands of those who have given their time to create a delicious meal for my family when we’ve been sick or have moved houses. I have heard the careful, comforting, eloquent words of those who have spoken from the pulpit and have helped guide the Spirit to my heart and mind. I have laughed at times when I thought I could only cry, because someone knew the exact words to say to lighten my load. I have smelled fragrant bouquets from those who cultivated a colorful flower garden and then arranged them beautifully just for me. I have felt the love, the beauty, the diligence, the joy.
We are God’s sons and daughters and have inherited His qualities. We are talented.