I am truly astonished at the beauty men and women create out of ordinary substances—symphonies are created from a limited number of notes. Wondrous paintings are fashioned from only three primary colors. Dreams and hopes are lovingly quilted into remnants of simple fabric. The artist’s materials are rarely unique or unusual. It is his or her time, talent, and toil—and inspiration—that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
How grateful I am that God views humankind not with the eye of an art connoisseur, but with the discernment of Deity. Many individuals who appear bereft of obvious artistic talents have developed ordinary traits into extraordinary works of art. I have witnessed symphonies of service, ballets of kindness, sculptures of integrity.
For every writer who wins the Nobel prize for literature, there are countless other men and women who faithfully teach their families to love the scriptures. For each artist whose priceless paintings are displayed in museums, there are numberless individuals who are sketching lives of sacrifice and devotion. For every composer whose song catches society’s fancy, there are innumerable individuals whose lives are hymns of praise to God.
Every penitent prayer is important to God. Every faithful family may be a reflection of heaven. Every honest endeavor becomes an act of faith and hope. Every virtuous action may strengthen another’s faith.
It is our motivation, not our medium, that finally matters—“every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:19).