Thursday, May 27, 2021

Elder L. Tom Perry on our divine gifts and potential

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"In the eighth Psalm of David, he gave us a vision of who we are and the eternal opportunities which are ours. He said:
"'O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens....
"'When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
"'What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
"'For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
"'Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:...
"'O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!' (Ps. 8:1, 3-6, 9).
"Have you ever thought of yourself as a junior angel crowned with glory and honor? Every one of our Father in Heaven's children is great in His sight. If the Lord sees greatness in you, how then should you see yourself? We have all been blessed with many talents and abilities. Some have been blessed with the talent to sing, some to paint, some to speak, some to dance, some to create beautiful things with their hands, and others to render compassionate service. Some may possess many, others only a few. It matters not the size or the quantity but the effort we put forth to develop the talents and abilities we have received. You are not competing with anyone else. You are only competing with yourself to do the best with whatever you have received. Each talent that is developed will be greatly needed and will give you tremendous fulfillment and satisfaction during your life. 
"The almost universal gift everyone can develop is the creation of a pleasant disposition, an even temperament. It will open more doors for you and give you more opportunities than any other characteristics I can think of." 
- L. Tom Perry, "Youth of the Noble Birthright", General Conference October 1998
Click here to read the full talk
We all occasionally need to be reminded to see ourselves as God sees us, "a little lower than the angels... crowned... with glory and honor." To be able to share in that perspective makes all the difference in this world! It's particularly helpful to know that each of us is unique, has been given our own gifts and talents, and has the ability to develop and magnify those abilities so that we can use those gifts in God's service.

It's also so easy to forget that we are not competing with others as we develop our talents or abilities. It matters very little how we compare to those around us, in the Lord's eyes. He cares only that we do our very best, and strive to reach our potential!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
January 14, 2015

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