Several things have made me ponder this recently. The church recently produced a video on the topic based on a talk by Elder Uchdorf that’s simply amazing. If you haven’t seen it, then I suggest you take a minuet and use the link below, because the way he talks about creative power is interesting and profoundly beautiful.
It just blows my mind. As we utilize our creative abilities we are exhibiting God-like characteristics. He created the earth. He created us. We are children of the most creative being and therefore, creativity is an encrypted part of who we are.
A friend of mine recently asked, “Why are outward talents so important? I mean aren’t the inward talents of humility and charity more important?” As I’ve thought of this, I think that our outward as well as our inward talents are a result of our creative inclinations. Some people answer their creative impulses by playing the piano, others baking a pie, interior decorating, writing poetry, creating a loving home environment, gardening, building lasting relationships, cross country racing. There are so many different outlets for creativity. I don’t know the answer to why they are so important. I definitely think the world probably puts more stock on outward abilities in comparison to moral inward characteristics than it should. But I also think that exploring and developing our creative capabilities is a valid part of what we should be doing with our lives.
Today in Sunday School this idea was developed further. We had a fantastic lesson by my roommate Lisa about the three degrees of glory with a focus on the ability to create. Most members of the church have heard the analogy where the telestial kingdom is likened to the light of the stars, the terrestrial kingdom is likened to the moon, and the celestial kingdom the sun. We reviewed this quickly and then Lisa turned off the lights. Once we were in total darkness she asked us how easily we would be able to create in this atmosphere. If I were writing or drawing or trying to read music it would be impossible to create something worth while. How unfulfilling life in this darkness would be without the ability to act on any creative impulses.
Next she turned on a small flashlight. This was the light of the stars. It was amazing how your eyes focus completely on the only light source in the room. While better than complete darkness, it would still have been very difficult to create anything. Even writing was only possible if you were within a small radius of the light source. A desk lamp represented the moon in the terrestrial kingdom. Once againm slightly better than the flashlight. I could now see the paper in front of me well enough to write, but I couldn’t see the board or my those around me very well.
And then the lights came back on and all of the complications that had been present before were irrelevant. I could see everything clearly. It penetrated every part of the room. Everything was visible and I could write and think and look at the faces of people as they commented on the lesson. It was interesting to me how much more readily my brain worked when all the lights were on in the room. The light stimulated and perpetuated ideas and focus. It was the place to learn and grow. A Godly people want to create and so they create an environment where creativity can flourish. This is why it’s such a huge part of the celestial kingdom and one of the reasons we’re striving to get there.
I love creativity. I love admiring others’ work, I love being a part of it myself. But it never really struck me how essential it was to who I am, and who I want to become until very recently. It just makes sense that when you aspire to be like Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven, you want to make the world a more beautiful place on every level. I personally am so grateful to be a part of this effort in my own small way. It gives me hope in the world, that inherently all children of God have this desire. And it makes me excited to work towards a place where creativity is wonderful and powerful and everything I create will reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ.