Do You Have Any Talent?

Often I hear people say to me, "I wish I could paint like you.  If I only had your talent!"  My talent is painting,  but there are so many other talents.  I am a believer that we "choose" our talents.

I teach an art class here in Provo, Utah.  Sometimes my students ask me,  "Do you think I have any talent?" My response is that if they took the time and effort to show up to this class, they definitely have talent.  I've always wanted to play the piano, but I was never willing to take the time to learn. So, I have no talent there.  You have to remember, there is always somebody better and always someone less skilled.  You can't worry about that!  My definition of talent is that if you have the passion or desire to work at something...you have talent.

Some of us think that unless we can slam dunk a basketball, play the piano, or sing like an angel we are without talent.  Some talents are simply worth more than others  Let me ask you a question.  If you could have any talent, which would it be? What is the greatest talent of all? 

I remember once when my wife was feeling bad and said to me that she just didn't have any talents at all.  I told her that I bet I could write at least twenty talents that I knew she had.  She gave me a disbelieving glance and without hesitation I wrote at least twenty on a piece of paper.  Some of my favorites were:  To show genuine love for people.  A good listener.  Always honest.  A deep love for the Savior.  A good mother.  Seeker of beauty.  
In my opinion, the greatest talent is one that effects the most number of people for good.  Now think about it. What talent can effect the most people in a positive way?  How much would you be willing to work to develop such a talent? 

It is my opinion that the greatest talent one can ever possess is:   The ability to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ with power.  Why do you say that?  Because I can not think of a single thing that has more potential to do good in this world.  When you convince another to seek the Savior it has a more profound influence on the life of another than anything else.  Not only can it change a heart and soul, but think of how they may influence others.  The ripple effect is eternal.  Their family, children, grandchildren, friends, acquaintances, all are benefited from one saved soul! "covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."(1 Corinthians 12:31)

There are different ways we can teach the gospel of Jesus with power.  For some, it is simply living a life of service and being an example of the believer.  Others choose to actually begin a ministry.  Some use their gifts of speech, music, art, etc. to inspire others.  How will you use your gifts?  Remember, that which you are most passionate about will become your gift.  I wonder which is better...to make a small difference in many lives or a dramatic impact in one life?  Seek the better gift.


  1. Jon you need to read the book "God owns my business." by Stanley Tam. You will see an individual that used his talents to build an empire and change millions of people's lives through Christ. It is an amazing story.

  2. Your absolutely right Jon and may I add, when an individual asks to try something and will cause no harm? Let them try it. I let a Young Teenage Girl try something in May of 85 and in June of 86 She was trying out for the Olympics. Who would ever think of the ability of a person doing such a accomplishment!

  3. Jon, You are absolutely speaking truth. After many years (more than I care to admit)I have returned "home" as the prodigal daughter to Jesus. 2 weeks ago I had a profound experience that absolutely changed me in the blink of an eye. It is one thing to "know Jesus intellectually" but quite another when He brings you a living experience of who He is. I feel so blessed and incredibly humbled. And honestly, discovering your art in the last couple of months had a LOT to do with that. Thank you for your gift of sharing Jesus through your artwork. I hope to attend one of your classes next summer. Bless you. Jodie

  4. You are absolutely right Jon! I loved painting in the Provo workshop trying to develop my talent with an awesome instructor. Remember "when the student is ready the instructor will appear". Thanks for reminding me of even greater talents to develop! How great is our eternal joy when we bring others to Christ! Stacy Hone

  5. My husband found a book online called, Talent is Overrated and I think you might find it interesting. It basically says that you aren't necessarily born with a talent/talents, that everybody can develop them with hard work and desire. FYI. My daughter, Michelle, works for you and enjoys her job.