Occasionally, it is necessary for me to reevaluate what I’m doing with my life. I enjoy life, but I want to make sure that I’m doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do. When I find myself sitting in my chair watching reruns of shows I have memorized, I start asking myself if my time should be spent in a different manner. What does God want me to do today? What does he want me to do for the rest of my time on earth? What is my assignment? Sometimes, I even ask myself if I really do have an assignment.
Remember, in the world before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to. You are accountable for those things which long ago were expected of you just as are those we sustain as prophets and apostles! (President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Oct. 1979 General Conference, read by Camilla E. Kimball because President Kimball was in the hospital.)
If that isn’t clear enough, consider the following:
Have you ever wondered if Heavenly Father has a work for you? Are there important things He has prepared you—and specifically you—to accomplish? I testify the answer is yes! … These divine assignments are not reserved for a privileged few but are for all of us—regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work (see Moses 1:39) (Elder John C. Pingree, Jr., Of the Seventy, I Have a Work for Thee, Oct. 2017 General Conference).
Elder Pingree went on to teach how we can discover our individual earthly assignment. He said it is important to (1) focus on others, (2) discover and develop spiritual gifts, (3) make use of adversity, and (4) rely on God.
My recent self-evaluation focused on discovering and developing spiritual gifts. In my youth, I thought that each of us were given certain spiritual gifts, and that was that. It wasn’t until I received my Patriarchal Blessing (a priesthood blessing given by someone called as a Patriarch in the LDS Church) that I understood there is more. Yes, we come to earth with certain spiritual gifts, but we are also expected to ask for more spiritual gifts as we need them to serve others and complete our life’s mission. How do we know which spiritual gifts to request?
I pondered that question long and hard. What I decided to do was to ask for spiritual gifts as situations come up in my life that require specific gifts, as long as the goal is a righteous goal. I don’t take spiritual gifts lightly. These are gifts given from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. Spiritual gifts are given to those willing to use them for good. A mother might ask for the gift to teach so she could teach her children. That would be a righteous goal.
Life brings us challenges daily. Is there something in today’s challenge that I can turn into a positive? Can I help someone along the way?
After turning some negatives into positives, patterns begin to emerge. There often is a window of opportunity to do something good, or meaningful. If we recognize that opportunity, we can use our spiritual gifts to do some good for someone. Those are our little assignments. The problem is that we don’t always recognize those assignments until it is too late. Possibly, we could pray for the ability to recognize the little opportunities to do good and be of service. We can pray to recognize our individual assignments.
It is easy to sit back and think that if we are not a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist, or a literary genius that we have nothing to give to the world. That is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous to our spiritual development. Heavenly Father gives us gifts to benefit all His children—including ourselves. As we use our gifts to benefit others, we grow and progress.
We each have a role to play. We each have assignments. We each have the capability to benefit mankind. Helping others is not just a potential hobby if we have time; it is an assignment from our Heavenly Father. It is our great responsibility to humble ourselves and complete our individual assignments by recognizing and using the spiritual gifts we have been given, as well as asking for additional spiritual gifts that will help us along the way.
This is something that I think about periodically as I set goals and reevaluate my life. God’s assignments are much more important than the assignments we received in school. After all, life on the earth is the ultimate school. I hope we will always strive to use our spiritual gifts in a manner that would most effectively complete our individual assignments from our Heavenly Father.
One parting thought to consider:
I believe that most members consider service to be at the heart of their covenants and discipleship. But I also think that sometimes it’s easy to miss some of the greatest opportunities to serve others because we are distracted or because we are looking for ambitious ways to change the world and we don’t see that some of the most significant needs we can meet are within our own families, among our friends, in our wards [congregations], and in our communities. We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class (Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women’s General President, “The Needs before Us,” Oct. 2017 General Conference)
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.