I was reading the parable of the talents and was comforted to be reminded of a very important fact about our loving Heavenly Father.
In Matthew 25, it talks about how to he who was given five talents and brought five other talents, His lord said,
(v. 21) Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
To he who was given 2 only made another 2, but His lord said exactly the same.
(v. 23) Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He said the exact same thing to both of them. He didn’t tell the second man that he didn’t do as well as the first or even give him less of a reward. He was only upset at the servant who did not try and did nothing. Even if that servant would have ended up with 2 talents, it seems his lord would have had the same response as the first two.
We humans seem to compare each other so often and expect that everyone should be at the exact same point at the end to gain our reward. We might see someone who seems so much better than us at something (or even many things) and it discourages us that we haven’t gained as many talents, making it hard to progress and see our worth. Or sometimes when we compare ourselves, we see that we have gained more talents than someone and feel proud of it, which can also slow our progress since we don’t see the need to improve.
Either way, we are comparing apples to oranges. We are comparing how we are doing with our unique set of talents, abilities, experiences and challenges with someone else who has their own completely different set of them. But Heavenly Father always compares apples to apples. He sees how far we have come and how hard we have to try to progress to a level which is so easy for someone else. How beautiful and reassuring to know that Heavenly Father can still accept and love us even when we don’t have the same number of talents as someone else. As long as we are progressing upward and not hiding our talents, we can know we are doing our part.
"There is a natural, probably a mortal, tendency to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, when we make these comparisons, we tend to compare our weakest attributes with someone else’s strongest."
Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1989, 20
"God knows you and what you can become because He has known you from the beginning when you were His spirit sons and daughters."
President James E. Faust, Ensign, Mar. 2001, 2
"One of the beautiful things to me in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it brings us all to a common level. It is not necessary for a man to be a president of a stake, or a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, in order to attain a high place in the celestial kingdom. The humblest member of the Church, if he keeps the commandments of God, will attain an exaltation just as much as any other man in the celestial kingdom. The beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it makes us all equal in as far as we keep the commandments of the Lord. In as far as we observe to keep the laws of the church we have equal opportunities for exaltation."
President George Albert Smith, "Sharing the Gospel With Others", p.113-114
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