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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The sun rises over the Wasatch Mountains on April 11, 2002.

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. This will be given July 29, 2018.

Do you consider yourself a creative person? Whether or not we know how to paint, decorate or compose music, in a sense we are all creators. We create our own future, day by day. Our life is our creation, and we make the kind of life we want. That doesn’t mean we can control every detail — we all face circumstances we would never choose — but if our minds and hearts are open, we will be given opportunities to step up to the challenges we face and make something of ourselves.

“God left a world unfinished for (men and women) to work (their) skill upon,” an insightful writer once observed. “He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gave to (us) the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He left the problems unsolved and the pictures unpainted and the music unsung that (we) might know the joys and glories of creation” (attributed to Alan Stockdale; see Sterling W. Sill in Conference Report, April 1960, page 70).

What could be more joyful and glorious than creating something worthwhile and good, turning randomness and chaos into a thing of beauty? That’s what we can do with the small portion of time we have been given — we can help create a better world and a better future. In fact, this is our common creation; we all share in the task of fashioning a better future.

It certainly isn’t easy, but effective creators take responsibility and work hard to make things happen. They try to remain positive even in the face of difficulty and discouragement. They see opportunities where others see problems. The poet Carl Sandberg described such a mindset when he spoke of the future as “the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning creative hand of God. I see great days ahead,” he declared, “great days possible to men and women of will and vision.” (see "Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations," edited by Suzy Platt (1993)).

1 comment on this story

With that approach to the world, almost anything is possible. We need only to put our mind and heart to the artistic work of creating our lives.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143), mormontabernaclechoir.org and youtube.com/mormontabchoir. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MDT on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.