Look for the Beautiful


(Adapted from an April 1985 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1985, pages 27–28.)

One evening shortly after beginning three years of service as a mission president, I looked up to see my thirteen-year-old daughter approaching my desk. She stopped and looked at me intently. She finally said, “Dad, I think that I have you figured out—you’ve devoted your life to the beautiful, haven’t you?”

I thought for a few moments, then replied, “Yes, Carole, you do have me figured out. Thank you.”

My family had long been aware of my interest in the beauty of buildings, as expressed in my work as an architect, and also of my interest in the beauty of this world, as expressed in my landscape paintings. Carole had now correctly concluded that I had an even greater interest in people of beauty—the type of radiant beauty that comes from righteous living and acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In traveling around the world, I have observed this same beauty and spiritual glow in a number of those with whom I have associated. I have also observed many types of buildings. More and more I see how buildings and people resemble each other. The most beautiful buildings that I have seen are our sacred temples.

The Lord has told us that we can be beautiful, even like a temple. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 [1 Cor. 3:16] we are told, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

By seeking the Lord through prayer and through His holy scriptures, we learn to look for the beautiful and to develop positive attitudes. We achieve guidance in the building of our foundations and our lives.

As we live righteous and unselfish lives, the Spirit of the Lord enters our souls and then radiates from us. We become beautiful, even as a holy temple is beautiful. And as missionaries we can help others to become beautiful. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings” (3 Ne. 20:40).

Our Church provides the way for each of us to construct that which is truly beautiful—a Christlike life, which brings joy and happiness now and in the eternities.