Wednesday, January 12, 2022

President Thomas S. Monson on exploration, discovery, and creation

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley and then became Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade until his passing in January 2018.
"The spirit of exploration, whether it be of the surface of the earth, the vastness of space, or the principles of living greatly, includes developing the capacity to face trouble with courage; disappointment with cheerfulness; and triumph with humility.
"God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation."
- Thomas S. Monson, "In Quest of the Abundant Life," Ensign, March 1988, pp. 2-4
Click here to read the full talk

This is a fascinating insight from President Monson into the nature of our mortal experience. We are here to "explore" — to learn to confront problems and opportunities, to make our way through situations of trouble, disappointment, and the triumph, all of which present their own challenges.

I really loved this passage about the reasons for the "incompleteness" of our world, and the opportunities it presents for us to "know the joys and glories of creation."

How well are we doing, collectively and individually, in "finishing" the world? How are we doing in our individual, personal worlds? We each have wonderful raw materials, and the invitation to make something of them.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
September 11, 2015

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