Monday, May 2, 2016

Harold B. Lee on a symphony of reverence

President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1941. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1970-1972, then as Church president from July 1972 until his passing less than 18 months later in December 1973.
"Reverence is profound respect, mingled with love and awe, as for a holy being, or place, or an exalted thing...
"A symphony is a harmony of sounds. Before there can be a completeness of the realization of the objective of reverence, there has to be a weaving together. It has to be found in the individual, in the home, in the Church, and toward the priesthood and God. Then, as I thought of that, I thought of that old Chinese proverb, 'If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.'"
- Harold B. Lee, "Symphony of Reverence," 50th Annual Primary Conference, 5 April 1956; see THBL p. 201

The concept of "reverence" in the Gospel sense is such a beautiful one—so much deeper and more profound than we often consider it. As the children's song teaches, "Reverence is more than just quietly sitting...."  I love President Lee's description of "profound respect" combined with deep "love and awe" for something that is holy or sacred.

But especially interesting in this excerpt is the "weaving together" of the different aspects of reverence, helping us see how they are inter-related and can lead from one to the other.

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