To build the tabernacle, Moses needed all who were “willing hearted” to donate materials. (See Exodus 25:2, Exodus 35:5, 21-22, 29.) He also needed people who were “wise hearted” to donate labor. (See Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:6, Exodus 35:10, 25, Exodus 36:1, 2, 8.)
What does it mean to be wise hearted? You can tell by what the Lord asked them to do:
- “Speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments” (Exodus 28:3, italics added).
- “All the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun” (Exodus 35:25, italics added).
- “Every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them” (Exodus 36:8, italics added).
It doesn’t take any particular skill to donate materials, but the people who are going to actually build something have to know what they are doing. “Wise hearted” in these passages means proficient. Many English translations use terms like “skilled craftsmen” or “gifted artisans” in these passages. (See, for example, Exodus 35:25 and Exodus 36:8 on biblehub.com.)
We all have skills, and sometimes we underestimate what we have to offer. By calling those people “wise hearted,” God recognized them, called them to action, and reminded them to be grateful for their capabilities.
“Every good gift cometh of Christ,” wrote Moroni. “And they come unto every man severally, according as he will” (Moroni 10:17-18). Moroni lists a collection of gifts that seem pretty extraordinary, including healing, prophecy, and miracles. But we might add to the list some skills that seem more ordinary: woodworking, music, writing, or financial management, for example. If we thought those skills made us “wise hearted,” would we put more effort into refining them? Would we find more opportunities to use them? Would we volunteer more often to share them?
Today, I will be grateful for the skills God has given me. I will remember that He values those skills and wants me to use them to bless other people and to contribute to His work.