Monday, August 8, 2016

David O. McKay on appreciating the world's simple beauty

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"Perhaps we live in a cottage—only in a log cabin. We read about the millions that men pay for paintings from abroad, and on our wall hangs just a cutting from a calendar, but by this time we have learned to appreciate God's gifts and the most beautiful pictures in the world are ours for the looking.
"We turn from that and view our broadened horizon, and we can bask together in the glorious sunset that is ours. It doesn't belong to any millionaire any more than it does to us. If our ears are attuned, we can hear the music of the birds and of the humming insects.
"It may be that we can see tragedy, too, in this old world if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
"This life is good to us. Out of our little cabin, even between the chinks of the logs we can see the golden grain. We can hear the rippling stream. The Lord's gifts are free—
       "'Tis heaven alone that is given away,
       "'Tis only God may be had for the asking."
- David O. McKay, "Widening Horizons," Improvement Era, August 1939, p. 508, 511

"There is beauty all around"—and President McKay encourages us in this talk to seek it out and appreciate it in our lives. Even if we are in challenging surroundings and circumstances, the beauty God has created is there for us to appreciate, and will bless us with peace and hope as we find it and recognize it.

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