Talk given at the ROC

For The Beauties of The Earth

Presented Oct 30, 2013 by Judy Larsen at the Devotional at the ROC (Record Operations Center)

Since we arrived in Mesa, Arizona, I have marveled at the beauties of nature and God’s creations.  I am so thankful to have eyes to see.  I get much joy and happiness in thinking about the different places we have visited and my amazement in their beauty.  Just in the last year we have enjoyed the beauties of:

  • Rolling green fields of Wisconsin and the well kept farms, barns and houses
  • The big red woods in the forests of Oregon
  • The beauties of the Pacific Ocean and Islands
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the life style of the Amish and their beautiful horses that trot down the roads pulling their unique carriages
  • Pine trees of Island Park, Idaho surrounding beautiful lakes
  • Beautiful Rocky Mountains surrounding Cache Valley, Utah.  The canyon that leads to Bear Lake with the most beautiful blue lake ever. I do miss the Fall season.

M Russell Ballard said:

“The advent of the fall season here in the Rocky Mountains brings with it the glorius colors of leaves transforming from green to blazing oranges, reds, and yellows.  During the fall all nature is in a state of transition, preparing for the cold, austere beauty of winter.”

  • The landscape of the red rock in, St. George and Zions National Park
  • And now the palm trees, orange and grapefruit trees, all different kinds of cactus, lots of blue sky and beautiful sunsets in Mesa, Arizona
  • As you think in your mind and envision the places you have visited, think how you remember certain places of beauty and sat in awe. It is wonderful we have pictures to remind us.  (if you have ever been to the Redwood Forest, it is impossible to take pictures that really see the wonderment of the majestic trees)

In D&C 59:18-20

“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.  Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.  And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man.”

The account of the Creation is a testament of God’s love for His children.  He could of given us just the basics needed to live and survive, but, instead, the Savior, under the direction of our Heavenly Father, created a masterpiece of unsurpassed and breathtaking beauty and variety.  Instead of one kind of everything, there are hundreds of varieties of foliage, flowers, fruits and vegetables, birds, animals, fishes and insects, and each is suited to its particular environment.  Instead of one climate and terrain, there are innumerable types of geographical variations that make the earth a tribute not only to God’s creative powers but also to His desire to please our eyes and gladden our hearts.  Where ever we choose to live, there is a special and unique beauty attached to all living things.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie reminds us that the beauties of the earth are a testament to the love and goodness of the Creator:  “An all-wise Creator has structured all the creations of his hands in such a way, not only to call attention to himself as the Maker, Preserver, and Upholder of all things, but to bear record of the nature and kind of Being he is…the voice of his creations declare his divinity… If men fail to live that law which enables them to see the divine face and converse with their Creator in plain words, at least they are obligated to hear the voice of Nature, which is also the voice of God”

Someone wrote that we should find wisdom in the beauty of nature and to glean from each part of creation that which it would teach us about its creator.

In John 1:3 is reads “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Robert Louis Stevenson offered an insightful definition of an abundant life:

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much: who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task, who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauties, nor failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life is an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

In Luke 12:15 it reads “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”

I am thankful to be serving our mission in Mesa, Arizona.  I am thankful for the things I am learning every day about myself and about the work that we are doing at the ROC.  I am thankful for the beautiful people we serve with.  I am amazed at the abilities of the members of the church.  The Family History department of the Church is amazing.  I am grasping the importance of this work.

Dallin H. Oaks said:

“Let us not forget that the activity in which we are engaged is to turn our hearts to the fathers.  We should reach out to them.  We should identify with and emulate their great qualities and make them known to our own children.  (also)

When individuals and families search out their ancestors inspiring actions and words, they will receive strength and direction for their own lives.

I am finding stories about some of my ancestors that have been put in Family Search.  I have gained respect for their lives and can see that if they can do hard things, so can I.  I am thankful for my heritage.

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