Friday, July 17, 2015

Richard L. Evans on the importance of patience and perspective

Elder Richard L. Evans (1906-1971) served as a Seventy from 1938-1953, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He died in 1971 at age 65.  He was known as "the voice of the Tabernacle Choir" from the beginning of its broadcasts in 1929 until his passing.
"There seems to be little evidence that the Creator of the universe was ever in a hurry. Everywhere on this bounteous and beautiful earth, and out into the farthest reaches of the firmament, there is evidence of patient purpose and planning and working and waiting.
"This is a point to remember when we become too impatient with our own problems or with the many unanswered questions that are in the minds of most of us.  And when our troubles trouble us too much, when our lives become too tense, it might be will to take time for a long look—out into the infinite and awesome vastness of the universe—across 'worlds' that can't be counted—in sight of 'suns' that can't be numbered—into space that can't be contemplated by the mortal mind of man....
"Everywhere there is evidence of a long, unhurried plan and pattern and purpose, of intelligence and continuous creation, and of the Creator....
"And a long look at the endless, orderly plan and purpose of the Father of us all may make some of the petty and passing things appear not so important as they sometimes seem. And when we find ourselves in conflict and confusion, we can well learn to wait a while for all the evidence and all the answers that now evade us.
"Thank God for a glorious and interesting world, for truth, for 'infinity,' and for 'eternity' in which to find it—and for faith and assurance of the limitless and everlasting future."
- Richard L. Evans, "The Long Look," The Spoken Word, August 28, 1955; see Improvement Era, November 1955, p. 842; see also Conference Report, Oct. 1952, p. 95
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Evans was such a poetic writer and speaker. His "Music and the Spoken Word" comments were always sensitive and insightful. This is a great example of that; he describes what he understands of God's role as a creator, and how the creation is a manifestation of God's love.

The implication is that we should hurry less, and be more patient and deliberate in our planning and execution. And that we should take time to notice the evidence of God's infinite and awe-inspiring work throughout the vast universe:

During the past week, the world has been in awe as the "New Horizons" spacecraft that was launched almost a decade ago flew near to Pluto, billions of miles away from earth. We've had a small glimpse of the immensity of our own solar system, which is a fraction of the known galaxy, which is a dot within the known universe. But I wonder how many people have taken the time to consider, as Elder Evans suggests, what this says about the Creator and His "intelligence and continuous creation" that surrounds us??

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