What a Wonderful World!

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform the shaker song “Simple Gifts,” arranged by Ryan Murphy.

What a Wonderful World! – Sunday, August 18, 2019

Recently, a group of university students were discussing their spiritual beliefs. They talked about what they believed in, what they felt the purpose of life might be. One young man stated, “I believe in nothing except myself. I believe only in me.” A lively—but respectful—discussion followed, as many of his classmates questioned his view of life.

Young people are often encouraged to believe in themselves, and a healthy sense of self-worth is valuable, even essential. But several of the college students who were part of the conversation that day sensed that something was missing from their friend’s outlook. It seemed narrow to them, a hollow, even empty way to live. He had the right, of course, to believe—or disbelieve—as he liked. But his words led many of his friends to ponder what they believe, and they found themselves arriving at the opposite conclusion: that for life to have joy and meaning, there simply has to be more than just “me”—more than the here and now. 

Many people come to this same conclusion by observing the beautiful world around them. Nature, it seems, is an excellent teacher of faith. The stunning vistas, from mighty rivers to small streams, from magnificent mountains to a single wildflower, from the wide starry sky to the intricacies of a butterfly wing—all of it tends to humble us away from self-centeredness. The variety of trees and plants and animals, both the beautiful and the unusual, seems to declare that God’s hand is in this world. 

But perhaps even more wonderful than the earth’s natural beauty are the people who call it home. Think about the variety of people you see—each one with a unique, fascinating story, and every one a testament to the beauty of life.

All this did not happen by random chance. Each of us is placed here for a purpose. God loves His children. He wants us to find joy and fulfillment, and He knows we’re not likely to find it alone. So He surrounded us with other people, both loved ones and strangers, so that we can help each other, learn from each other, and grow together. That is why we are here, together, in this wonderful world. 

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