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D&C 82; " For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation."

 

What exactly is "given" in this life?  Consider the parable of the ten talents. The three servants were given different amounts of talents according to their ability.  The talents given were ones they did not have before although it was given according to their ability.

 

Some suggest that "talents" are intrinsic to the spirit of the individual, they came here with them.  In Gospel Principles is suggests that is the case (Chapter 2) that we developed talents before coming here.  If that is the case, then talents are not given, they are characteristics developed and earned.  Those would not qualify as a stewardship but ownership. If it is owned then it is not given.

 

If someone, for example, is a child prodigy piano player, is that a talent that was given in this life or was it developed in the previous life, a characteristic of that spirit? 

 

If someone is a prodigy boxer, was that a talent they developed in the previous life, or a talent given? 

 

What exactly is "given" and how does one distinguish that from something that was intrinsic to the spirit?

 

Along with that topic is the concept of stewardship. A steward, according to the Guide to the Scriptures on LDS.org is "A person who takes care of the affairs or property of another. That which a steward cares for is called a stewardship. All things on earth belong to the Lord; we are his stewards. We are accountable to the Lord, but we may report on our stewardship to God’s authorized representatives. When we receive a calling of service from the Lord or his authorized servants, that stewardship may include both spiritual and temporal affairs (D&C 29:34)."

 

So, what constitutes "our" property vs "things on earth" that belong to the Lord?

 

Are these "stewardships" permanantly part of our spiritual character or are they temporarily ours as a steward.  If any given aspect of ones character, talents or ability is not a stewardship, if it is intrinsic to the spirit, then it doesn't fall under the category of "where much is given, much is required".  Right?

 

If they are part of our character then why are they not called character (ownership) as opposed to stewardship?

 

How does one pick out traits that are intrinsic (owned) vs ones given (stewardship)? 

 

Possibly, they are all given, nothing is "owned" until they are inherited at the end of our test, like the parable of the ten talents.

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... talents are not given, they are characteristics developed and earned.  Those would not qualify as a stewardship but ownership. If it is owned then it is not given.

 

This is a false premise. Developed or not, we are indebted to God for all we have, even that we supposedly "earn".

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In either/or questions... I usually end up answering "yes".

Meaning I suspect both.

Our spirits are who they/we are.

But it is also my understanding that a big part of why we come "here" is to learn both what we are capable of, enjoy, excel at, etc.

Doesn't mean that we always do, or always do to our fullest extent

Consider a boy born in 1253 who if he was born today would be the best computer programmer the world had ever seen.

Or the girl in rural Africa who will never see a piano but would outshine Beethoven, Bach, & Chopin if she were born in Kansas.

Some things, we simply don't have the ability to learn about ourselves in this life.

That doesn't mean that they don't exist, or that we won't learn them about ourselves in the next.

So for those 2.... They dot simply come here and learn nothing.

They learn and develope other parts of themselves, instead.

Perhaps that's even WHY they chose to be born in a time or place that is missing their X Factor.

So that they could learn & develop other skills & talents, already well aware of their gift in X area, they chose instead to explore other aspects of themselves. Or HF chose. I'm not "in" on those details.

So as to whether our talents are innate or acquired?

I think, at least in most cases, yes. To both.

Q

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Much has been given during this last dispensation and since the restoration of the church.

 

We've been given the opportunity for eternal marriage.  We've been given the spirit of Elijah and the opportunity to do work for our ancestors that didn't have the opportunities before us. We've been given the opportunities to have ordinances done by those that hold the keys of the Priesthood that weren't available prior to the restoration of the church.

 

I really thihk this verse is talking about so many of the things that are now available to us through the restoration of the gospel.

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In either/or questions... I usually end up answering "yes".

Meaning I suspect both.

Our spirits are who they/we are.

But it is also my understanding that a big part of why we come "here" is to learn both what we are capable of, enjoy, excel at, etc.

Doesn't mean that we always do, or always do to our fullest extent

Consider a boy born in 1253 who if he was born today would be the best computer programmer the world had ever seen.

Or the girl in rural Africa who will never see a piano but would outshine Beethoven, Bach, & Chopin if she were born in Kansas.

Some things, we simply don't have the ability to learn about ourselves in this life.

That doesn't mean that they don't exist, or that we won't learn them about ourselves in the next.

So for those 2.... They dot simply come here and learn nothing.

They learn and develope other parts of themselves, instead.

Perhaps that's even WHY they chose to be born in a time or place that is missing their X Factor.

So that they could learn & develop other skills & talents, already well aware of their gift in X area, they chose instead to explore other aspects of themselves. Or HF chose. I'm not "in" on those details.

So as to whether our talents are innate or acquired?

I think, at least in most cases, yes. To both.

Q

I have pondered this as well.  This is why I wonder if really what is "given" is more about what is not "given".

 

Like going on a hiking trip, you can only take so much in the pack.  One person might get the pots and pans, the other might be "given" the tent, etc.  What is given is less, in comparison, to what we had before but in that sense it is "given" or allowed, or carried through.  They were ours to begin with but allowed to carry through this life. Someone with dyslexia, for example, might call the ability to read without dyslexia a "talent". 

 

The opposite to that would be talents were given in this life that we didn't have in the previous life.  This would fit better with the word "steward". 

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This is a false premise. Developed or not, we are indebted to God for all we have, even that we supposedly "earn".

What is the false premise?  I am not following what you are saying is a false premise.  Indebtedness, I think might be your false premise, I wasn't talking about indebtedness or gratitude, like you said, I agree, that does not distinguish something given vs earned in this sense because the opportunity to earn was something given.  I think the discussion I was trying to stimulate was the concept of ownership vs stewardship and especially as it relates to "talents".   Both ownership and stewardship can generate indebtedness. 

 

If my neighbor loans me her bread maker, while I am using it I am grateful and then I give it back.  She could also, I suppose, give me a bread maker, then I would be grateful as well.  Whether there is gratitude or not does not help distinguish whether something is "given" or a stewardship. Even if I purchased her bread maker from her, I could still be grateful and indebted to her in that she let me buy it.

 

Are talents in this life traits that we were allowed to develop with Heavenly Father's help and therefore we are indebted to Him or are they temporary stewardships for this life that we did not necessarily develop before this life as implied by the parable of the ten talents (also which we would be indebted to our Heavenly Father for)? 

 

The reason to ask this question is, I think it is an important "game changer" doctrine to believe that a particular "talent" can be given (loaned, stewardship, etc) as opposed to the person developing it through their own efforts (plus opportunity and instruction given) and thus claiming it as a part of their spiritual character.  Because, then it raises the question of how is that given ... is it given by providing a body? (the bigger question - which I was going to wait to ask but now the cat is out of the bag).

 

There are certain circumstances where that might be more obvious, such as a person given a body in this life that has a strong stature and muscle make up and the hormonal drives (adrenaline etc.) to be a "natural" athelete.  i.e - would Shawn Bradley been a professional basketball player if he was only 6 feet tall?  Or is his aptitude and talent for basketball and blocking shots independent from his body, it is a spiritual talent? 

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D&C 82; " For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation."

 

What exactly is "given" in this life?  Consider the parable of the ten talents. The three servants were given different amounts of talents according to their ability.  The talents given were ones they did not have before although it was given according to their ability.

 

Some suggest that "talents" are intrinsic to the spirit of the individual, they came here with them.  In Gospel Principles is suggests that is the case (Chapter 2) that we developed talents before coming here.  If that is the case, then talents are not given, they are characteristics developed and earned.  Those would not qualify as a stewardship but ownership. If it is owned then it is not given.

 

If someone, for example, is a child prodigy piano player, is that a talent that was given in this life or was it developed in the previous life, a characteristic of that spirit? 

 

If someone is a prodigy boxer, was that a talent they developed in the previous life, or a talent given? 

 

What exactly is "given" and how does one distinguish that from something that was intrinsic to the spirit?

 

Along with that topic is the concept of stewardship. A steward, according to the Guide to the Scriptures on LDS.org is "A person who takes care of the affairs or property of another. That which a steward cares for is called a stewardship. All things on earth belong to the Lord; we are his stewards. We are accountable to the Lord, but we may report on our stewardship to God’s authorized representatives. When we receive a calling of service from the Lord or his authorized servants, that stewardship may include both spiritual and temporal affairs (D&C 29:34)."

 

So, what constitutes "our" property vs "things on earth" that belong to the Lord?

 

Are these "stewardships" permanantly part of our spiritual character or are they temporarily ours as a steward.  If any given aspect of ones character, talents or ability is not a stewardship, if it is intrinsic to the spirit, then it doesn't fall under the category of "where much is given, much is required".  Right?

 

If they are part of our character then why are they not called character (ownership) as opposed to stewardship?

 

How does one pick out traits that are intrinsic (owned) vs ones given (stewardship)? 

 

Possibly, they are all given, nothing is "owned" until they are inherited at the end of our test, like the parable of the ten talents.

I find it interesting the avenues you explorer.  I also like the idea that you throw out ideas and concepts to be discussed openly.  I think you are looking at ownership verses stewardship in conjunction with our pre-earth existence and our mortal experience.   Perhaps it is from my training but I tend to take a premise and try to apply it to actual test cases.

 

My view is somewhat slanted by my experience so I will begin with something I experienced with my father - who is the best type and shadow to our heavenly Father I have encountered personally in my own mortal existence.   My father owned several large apartment complexes when I was in college.  One summer he decided to have some of them painted so I hatched a plan to earn summer money painting for my father.  He liked my plan and I was given the go a head to put together a team to accomplish the task - he would pay me and my team.  Trusting my father to be just I never got a commitment on what we would be paid - just that we would receive profession pay - not by the hour but by the job.

 

It all sounded good and I gathered a team - we worked very hard and completed the first of two complexes and my father paid everyone for our first job.  However, much to my surprise I was paid much less than everyone else.  This shocked me because I was over everybody else on the job.  In addition I was always the first to start, last to finish and the hardest working in between - and my father knew it.  Disappointed I approached my father and asked him why I had been short changed and paid less than everybody else.   I remember well setting in my father's office almost in tears thinking I had disappointed him.  Never had my father openly complemented me and this was no exception.  First he reviewed with me the job and every little thing I could have done better.  He then pointed out that I was his son and because of that much more was expected of me than was expected of anyone else.  Everyone else on the team had exceeded his expectations so he had given them a bonus.  He said I had only done what he had expected me to do and since I had not exceeded his expectations I would not receive a bonus - in fact he said that he had expected better of me.   In addition he explained that everybody knew I was his son and he wanted to make sure that everybody understood that I did not get any special or unfair treatment from him just because I was his son.  Finely he said that because I was his son I would receive from him training, opportunity and many other non-tangible benefits just being his son worth much more than the money.  Plus he said that when he died I would inherit with my siblings - all he had.  At the time I was not impressed - it would take many years before I would appreciate his great gifts to me.

 

Being my father's son and learning from him and his example was and is worth far more that his estate.

 

I see strong parallels to the life and mission of Jesus - except that his father on occasions said he was well pleased.  Jesus does more than any of us from the very beginning all the way to the end and completion.  Yet he will not get any more of the Father's estate than any of the rest of us that have covenanted to complete the job.  Jesus has more talent than any of us and much more was expected of him - but he is given in the end no extra.  Is his stewardship greater? Yes!  Has he earned more? Yes!  Was he given more?  Yes!  But because he was the Son he did not get any special treatment and in essence we get paid more?  But being the Son he experienced more in the experience than we possibly can - and unlike me - it appears he appreciates already his opportunity to be in charge of the Father's team.

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What is the false premise?  I am not following what you are saying is a false premise.  Indebtedness, I think might be your false premise, I wasn't talking about indebtedness or gratitude, like you said, I agree, that does not distinguish something given vs earned in this sense because the opportunity to earn was something given.  I think the discussion I was trying to stimulate was the concept of ownership vs stewardship and especially as it relates to "talents".   Both ownership and stewardship can generate indebtedness. 

 

If my neighbor loans me her bread maker, while I am using it I am grateful and then I give it back.  She could also, I suppose, give me a bread maker, then I would be grateful as well.  Whether there is gratitude or not does not help distinguish whether something is "given" or a stewardship. Even if I purchased her bread maker from her, I could still be grateful and indebted to her in that she let me buy it.

 

Are talents in this life traits that we were allowed to develop with Heavenly Father's help and therefore we are indebted to Him or are they temporary stewardships for this life that we did not necessarily develop before this life as implied by the parable of the ten talents (also which we would be indebted to our Heavenly Father for)? 

 

The reason to ask this question is, I think it is an important "game changer" doctrine to believe that a particular "talent" can be given (loaned, stewardship, etc) as opposed to the person developing it through their own efforts (plus opportunity and instruction given) and thus claiming it as a part of their spiritual character.  Because, then it raises the question of how is that given ... is it given by providing a body? (the bigger question - which I was going to wait to ask but now the cat is out of the bag).

 

There are certain circumstances where that might be more obvious, such as a person given a body in this life that has a strong stature and muscle make up and the hormonal drives (adrenaline etc.) to be a "natural" athelete.  i.e - would Shawn Bradley been a professional basketball player if he was only 6 feet tall?  Or is his aptitude and talent for basketball and blocking shots independent from his body, it is a spiritual talent? 

 

My point is that it is all given. The false premise I mean to imply is that we "earned" any talents we have in life. From a broader perspective, we will all be equal in talents if we are obedient, and that too is given. Everything we have or will ever have is given. What is our property, even those things that we "own" rather than "steward" was still given.

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There's a piano in pre-mortal existence?

 

Ok ok... just kidding.

It gives a whole new meaning to "Starlight Lounge"

  

Yeah, exactly!  or boxing, etc.

 

What about the "talented" ranger sniper?

Hey.... I seem to recall mention of Armies of Heaven!

Q

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My point is that it is all given. The false premise I mean to imply is that we "earned" any talents we have in life. From a broader perspective, we will all be equal in talents if we are obedient, and that too is given. Everything we have or will ever have is given. What is our property, even those things that we "own" rather than "steward" was still given.

So, where it says in Gospel Principles, I think it is chapter 2 if I remember right, we developed our talents before coming here, that was "given"? or developed?  Or are you just saying the opportunity to develop them was given?   Aren't our spirits eternal in nature and have certain innate characteristics?  If we had them forever, or we developed them, how are they "given"? 

 

What is implied by "given" is that they can also be taken away.  What makes up the nature of the spirit is, I think, innate and for the most part eternal and unchangeable with the exception of this probationary period in which we have been given a time to have a change. 

 

If the character of the spirit is "given" like you are saying, then why did God not make all of us (or give to all of us) the exact same characteristics Christ has? 

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So, where it says in Gospel Principles, I think it is chapter 2 if I remember right, we developed our talents before coming here, that was "given"? or developed?  Or are you just saying the opportunity to develop them was given?   Aren't our spirits eternal in nature and have certain innate characteristics?  If we had them forever, or we developed them, how are they "given"? 

 

What is implied by "given" is that they can also be taken away.  What makes up the nature of the spirit is, I think, innate and for the most part eternal and unchangeable with the exception of this probationary period in which we have been given a time to have a change. 

 

If the character of the spirit is "given" like you are saying, then why did God not make all of us (or give to all of us) the exact same characteristics Christ has? 

 

God did give us all the exact same characteristics of Christ, but He also gave us agency. Every one of us has the same potential, and the some capabilities -- eternally speaking. Beyond that, I think it's guesswork.

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God did give us all the exact same characteristics of Christ, but He also gave us agency. Every one of us has the same potential, and the some capabilities -- eternally speaking. Beyond that, I think it's guesswork.

Chapter 2 Gospel Principles; "We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. We can learn more about our “eternal possibilities” when we receive our patriarchal blessings (see Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66)."

 

Gospel Principles chapter 12:"There are several reasons why Jesus Christ was the only person who could be our Savior. One reason is that Heavenly Father chose Him to be the Savior. He was the Only Begotten Son of God and thus had power over death. Jesus explained: “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17–18)."

 

“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name” (Ether 3:14)

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Chapter 2 Gospel Principles; "We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. We can learn more about our “eternal possibilities” when we receive our patriarchal blessings (see Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66)."

 

Gospel Principles chapter 12:"There are several reasons why Jesus Christ was the only person who could be our Savior. One reason is that Heavenly Father chose Him to be the Savior. He was the Only Begotten Son of God and thus had power over death. Jesus explained: “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17–18)."

 

“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name” (Ether 3:14)

 

I'm simply talking potential. We all have the same potential given to us by God. We also have agency and are and were free to do with that potential as we will. Not all will have chosen the same. But the potential is freely given.

 

I'm not saying we were all the same or had the same growth there. I'm not even saying necessarily that we all were even capable of growth at the same rate. I'm definitely not saying any of us could have been the Christ. I'm saying that, ultimately, we all have the same potential, everyone equally. That is given by God.

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One talent that members are given is the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is given from God, and that makes it a talent.  I think the verse referenced is talking about being given stewardship and being given talents, one of which is the Holy Ghost.

 

If we are given inspiration and/or answers via the Holy Ghost and we choose not to act on the prompting, the "talent" will be taken away and given to someone else, just as in the parable of the talents.  That is one way that people can get lost in the mists of darkness.

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I'm simply talking potential. We all have the same potential given to us by God. We also have agency and are and were free to do with that potential as we will. Not all will have chosen the same. But the potential is freely given.

 

I'm not saying we were all the same or had the same growth there. I'm not even saying necessarily that we all were even capable of growth at the same rate. I'm definitely not saying any of us could have been the Christ. I'm saying that, ultimately, we all have the same potential, everyone equally. That is given by God.

Ok, thanks.   So, are you saying that is what is being referred to by the word "given" in D&C 82:3?

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I'm simply talking potential. We all have the same potential given to us by God. We also have agency and are and were free to do with that potential as we will. Not all will have chosen the same. But the potential is freely given.

 

I'm not saying we were all the same or had the same growth there. I'm not even saying necessarily that we all were even capable of growth at the same rate. I'm definitely not saying any of us could have been the Christ. I'm saying that, ultimately, we all have the same potential, everyone equally. That is given by God.

If we were all given the same potential then how does that translate to the idea that some were given much? 

 

If you are saying the differences are in terms of growth or no growth, then the growth is where some were given more than others?    That doesn't make sense to me.  Not sure how you can say that growth is something "given".  Again if you go back to saying it is just potential then you are not describing how some are given "much" meaning some are given not so much and yet you say we were all given the same.  Please explain.

 

What part, exactly, could be described as "much" that is given that in comparison to someone else is more than what they were given?

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D&C 82; " For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation."

 

What exactly is "given" in this life?  Consider the parable of the ten talents. The three servants were given different amounts of talents according to their ability.  The talents given were ones they did not have before although it was given according to their ability.

 

Some suggest that "talents" are intrinsic to the spirit of the individual, they came here with them.  In Gospel Principles is suggests that is the case (Chapter 2) that we developed talents before coming here.  If that is the case, then talents are not given, they are characteristics developed and earned.  Those would not qualify as a stewardship but ownership. If it is owned then it is not given.

 

If someone, for example, is a child prodigy piano player, is that a talent that was given in this life or was it developed in the previous life, a characteristic of that spirit? 

 

If someone is a prodigy boxer, was that a talent they developed in the previous life, or a talent given? 

 

What exactly is "given" and how does one distinguish that from something that was intrinsic to the spirit?

 

Along with that topic is the concept of stewardship. A steward, according to the Guide to the Scriptures on LDS.org is "A person who takes care of the affairs or property of another. That which a steward cares for is called a stewardship. All things on earth belong to the Lord; we are his stewards. We are accountable to the Lord, but we may report on our stewardship to God’s authorized representatives. When we receive a calling of service from the Lord or his authorized servants, that stewardship may include both spiritual and temporal affairs (D&C 29:34)."

 

So, what constitutes "our" property vs "things on earth" that belong to the Lord?

 

Are these "stewardships" permanantly part of our spiritual character or are they temporarily ours as a steward.  If any given aspect of ones character, talents or ability is not a stewardship, if it is intrinsic to the spirit, then it doesn't fall under the category of "where much is given, much is required".  Right?

 

If they are part of our character then why are they not called character (ownership) as opposed to stewardship?

 

How does one pick out traits that are intrinsic (owned) vs ones given (stewardship)? 

 

Possibly, they are all given, nothing is "owned" until they are inherited at the end of our test, like the parable of the ten talents.

everything one has, that they have any control or capability to know and affect. The only thing that are truly ours is our will, and it will be how we use that in relation to what power we have that we will be held responsible for.

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everything one has, that they have any control or capability to know and affect. The only thing that are truly ours is our will, and it will be how we use that in relation to what power we have that we will be held responsible for.

So, besides our will, there is no other characteristic that you would say is intrinsic to our spirits?  How about if one is more faithful than another (I suppose that might be included in will)?

 

Or how about Alma 13; " And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such."

 

The process of being "prepared" in the pre-mortal realm was just gifts? and not something developed by the person?

 

Gospel Principles says that we developed talents before coming here; "A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities."

 

So, here, "our" individual talents and personalities is not really ours, as you say the only thing that is really ours is our will?  How do you make that fit with what Gospel Principles is saying?

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So, besides our will, there is no other characteristic that you would say is intrinsic to our spirits?  How about if one is more faithful than another (I suppose that might be included in will)?

 

Or how about Alma 13; " And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such."

 

The process of being "prepared" in the pre-mortal realm was just gifts? and not something developed by the person?

 

Gospel Principles says that we developed talents before coming here; "A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities."

 

So, here, "our" individual talents and personalities is not really ours, as you say the only thing that is really ours is our will?  How do you make that fit with what Gospel Principles is saying?

I place personality, belief, hope, and desire into what makes up will (I could probably throw in intelligence defined as the capability to attain knowledge, rather than knowledge itself). the reason i say will is the only thing that si really ours is because everything else than those things i mentioned are items that are acted upon rather than things that are core actors.

I tend to use the highest point i can see that primarily affects everything else that branches from it- the primary actors will be what is or the closest things that we have that would be truly ours, while all the branches would constitute what is given or what is mainly affected by what is given and how much the branches grow is how responsible we'll be held for that growth.

the more growth one has, the more power one will have and by the same token will be held that much more responsible.

The reason i do not place talent in tthat same category is because while the germ of a talent may be rooted in personality, talents are grown and acted upon, through interaction (or lost through inaction) with an environment that was not provided by us ultimately (and that the interaction is dictated by our will) hence its something that is acted upon. Nor can i find anything that should indicate otherwise for how they are developed in the spirit world.

The reason I also do not place knowledge as a core actor rather than something that is acted upon is because it is something that is affected by our wills as well as mainly by outside factors.

this question ultimately asks what is truly and uniquely ours and not God's to which there really isn't a good answer in scriptures, as well as at what makes us us. The closest i can find is what constitutes making a spirit (and unfortunately whats there doesnt really go in depth on it). The only other thing that i think that might give some idea is how the war in heaven was fought and what it was fought over for.

hence why about the only closest thing i'm willing to say that is completely ours is our will.... and even that isn't a 100%.

 

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as to how that fits iin with being called and prepared for before the world was is simple- we grew and were taught to a point where God entrusted us to whatever duties and responsibilities.

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I place personality, belief, hope, and desire into what makes up will (I could probably throw in intelligence defined as the capability to attain knowledge, rather than knowledge itself). the reason i say will is the only thing that si really ours is because everything else than those things i mentioned are items that are acted upon rather than things that are core actors.

I tend to use the highest point i can see that primarily affects everything else that branches from it- the primary actors will be what is or the closest things that we have that would be truly ours, while all the branches would constitute what is given or what is mainly affected by what is given and how much the branches grow is how responsible we'll be held for that growth.

the more growth one has, the more power one will have and by the same token will be held that much more responsible.

The reason i do not place talent in tthat same category is because while the germ of a talent may be rooted in personality, talents are grown and acted upon, through interaction (or lost through inaction) with an environment that was not provided by us ultimately (and that the interaction is dictated by our will) hence its something that is acted upon. Nor can i find anything that should indicate otherwise for how they are developed in the spirit world.

The reason I also do not place knowledge as a core actor rather than something that is acted upon is because it is something that is affected by our wills as well as mainly by outside factors.

this question ultimately asks what is truly and uniquely ours and not God's to which there really isn't a good answer in scriptures, as well as at what makes us us. The closest i can find is what constitutes making a spirit (and unfortunately whats there doesnt really go in depth on it). The only other thing that i think that might give some idea is how the war in heaven was fought and what it was fought over for.

hence why about the only closest thing i'm willing to say that is completely ours is our will.... and even that isn't a 100%.

 

Thank you, great comments.  I agree with most everything you say here.

 

As far as growth goes, remember that we matured as spirits before coming here.  He grew as much as we could as a spirit.

 

There are many statements in the Church publications that state that we developed talents or we were given talents before coming to Earth and some of them we carried with us here.  Gospel Principles Chapter 34; "

We all have special gifts, talents, and abilities given to us by our Heavenly Father. When we were born, we brought these gifts, talents, and abilities with us (see chapter 2 in this book).

The prophet Moses was a great leader, but he needed Aaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman (see Exodus 4:14–16). Some of us are leaders like Moses or good speakers like Aaron. Some of us can sing well or play an instrument. Others of us may be good in sports or able to work well with our hands. Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, or the ability to teach others."

 

And then in Chapter 2; "We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. We can learn more about our “eternal possibilities” when we receive our patriarchal blessings (see Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66)."

 

For some reason I kind of think of those that were drafted for World War 2.  Some were assigned to be soldiers and they worked on those talents before going off to war and others might have been assigned to be an airplane mechanic and so they worked on those talents before going to war, and other might have been assigned to the artilery unit so they had to learn certain things, etc.

 

I wonder if God, knowing what our certain aptitudes were, "gave" us certain training so that we could develop specific talents that would be used here.  Some got more training than others, more preparation as in Alma 13; " And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such."

 

This makes it sound like they had already passed the First estate test, "they having chosen good", then they were called, then they were prepared.  The question is; does "prepared" mean "given" talents?   And that is what is refered to by where much is given much is required?  

 

Even with that scenario, the "given" is based in "exceeding faith and good works" which goes back to what you are saying about the highest common trait, which would be will.  But even then, the "preparation" could be viewed as a reward, something "given".   For example, one of my relatives was in the Korean war as a pilot and then came home to fly commercial airplanes whereas another relative who was in the same war got no special training and ended up working in a field that had nothing to do with his service in the military.  One was "given" the training the other wasn't.

 

The bottom line is that it behooves us to understand as best we can what has been "given" to us, what our special assignment is and the talents that were "given" as we are expected to use them here.  A patriarchal blessing can help in that light.

 

What there is no evidence for, which I hear people say all the time, is that there is some special talent someone has that is not "given".  For example, if someone said, I must have delevoped a talent and appreciation for music in the pre-mortal world, then what they are saying is that they were prepared for a special assignment by receiving such individual training that maybe someone else didn't get, not that they have some intrinsic spiritual personality trait that leans towards music, it was acquired once the assignment was given.

 

The reason to say it that way is because it puts a different light on how we view our differences, the assignments are different, not necesarily our leanings or preferences in the beginning.  They become our preferences after the training, like my uncle who became a commercial airline pilot after his military training.

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