Here are some comments I’ve heard from fellow ward members, friends, neighbors and relatives concerning the talents and gifts of others. Don’t worry, I’ve changed your names. 1. Sally: “You should see my sister-in-law’s amazing scrapbooks. They’re gorgeous. She’s so artistic, it’s sickening.” 2. Lizzie: “We have neighbors who have such a perfect yard that I refuse to drive past their house anymore. It’s too depressing.” 3. Pat: “We won’t be sitting behind or anywhere near the Parker family in church again. While our kids are putting on a three ring circus performance, their kids sit in a perfect line along the bench, all their cute little accessories intact, memorizing scriptures.” 4. Jan: “I’m going to be asking for a different visiting teacher. Mine told me that in all the years she’s done laundry, she’s never lost a single sock. I can’t relate to someone like that.” 5. Sadie: “Whenever I go to a talent show and hear all the beautiful voices and see all the talents, I come away wondering what on earth I’ve been doing with my time, and what’s wrong with me.”
Now some of the above comments, it’s true, were said in jest—sort of. And yes, I seem to be picking on women rather than men, maybe because I talk to them most, or maybe, (shall we say it?) because they’re more sensitive about these kinds of things. But now let me tell you about these ladies who made the comments: 1. Sally is super fun to talk to, and she’s a magician with our little children and grandchildren. 2. Lizzie is patient and giving beyond belief. She’s not only raising her own half dozen, but takes in foster children. 3. Pat is a totally creative thinker and we can always go to her for ideas. Her children take after her. This is one creative family! 4. Jan is hilarious. She could seriously be a stand up comic. We all call her when we need a lift. 5. Maybe Sadie doesn’t have a talent she can perform on the stage, but we’d all kill for her ability to lead and organize. Plus, get this: She not only knows about a zillion good quotes and scriptures, but then she can actually tell you where they are.
You get my point. All these ladies who are intimidated by the talents of others are sickeningly talented themselves. In fact, we’re all talented without exception—just in different ways from one another. It’s true! Yup, here’s where I get preachy. The scriptures tell us, “To some is given one and to some another, that all might be profited thereby.” I’d now like to apologize to those of you (and you know who you are) who brought by gorgeous produce and huge squash at the end of the summer when our puny plants . . . well, never mind. I’m sorry I just gave you that sick smile, but I’d just been out back and . . .Never mind! I hereby give a big and sincere THANK YOU for feeding and nurturing us this summer. And I give a big THANK YOU to all of you who share your talents and enrich and nurture me and the rest of us in so many ways. You are not sickening! And I really mean that—sort of.