The Spoken Word

Richard L. Evans


Some sudden, sobering facts to face

“The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System, February 7, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

A “life to live! We all want to do our best with it. We all want to make the most of it,” wrote one earnest searching person. “The question is not how much time have we?—for in each day each of us has exactly the same amount: we have ‘all there is.’ The question is, What shall we do with it? … What is worth while?” 1 A life to live—with days that pass so swiftly—sometimes carelessly, indifferently; sometimes without much apparent purpose. We struggle. We set our hearts on things we think we want. We rush around, sometimes in somewhat shallow circles, in repetitious routine, not always thinking what matters most. And then something happens—some crisis, some accident or illness—some hurt or harm to us or someone near or known to us, something serious and sobering: something beyond ourselves—beyond our little wisdom, beyond our own ability to alter; some sudden, sobering fact to face that makes us know what matters most, as life and loved ones, home and health and happiness take on new meaning and make some things much less important than we thought they were. Oh, the frightening, helpless feelings that sometimes are so hard to face and bring us pleading to our knees, and to a searching of our souls, with a sharp and sudden sense of what it is that is most precious, irreplaceable: home, health; life, loved ones; work, purpose; quietness of conscience. How better can a life be lived? And who would be so foolish as to fail to know of his dependence upon Providence! Respect life; cherish loved ones. Pray, work, be clean and comfortable with conscience, and humbly learn how much need there is for help from higher sources, and live to know what is worthwhile, what matters most. This is the lesson that is there to learn when there are sudden, sobering facts to face.

    Note

  1.   1.

    Anna R. Lindsay, Ph. D., “What Is Worth While?”

Two kinds of pollution …

“The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System, January 24, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” 1 Then later this follows in the account of the creation: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” 2 Indeed it was: the wonder of it, the beauty of it, its functioning and fruitfulness, as water and the air are purified and replenished; as spring returns, as seeds grow—the trees, the sky, the sea, the precious minerals, and all other elements; the harvest we have, with “all things … in … season … for the benefit and [blessing] … of man, … to be used, with judgment, and not to excess.” 3 The privilege and the trust that God has given on such an earth as this is awesome. To have dominion over all this is sacred and sobering. And when someone has given us something exceedingly beautiful and fine and functional, we have an obligation to use it well—or indeed we are ungrateful. And if we are to keep our trust with God, and with those who have gone before, and with those who come after, we will keep the earth as a place of beauty, as a place of peace, as a place of freedom and refreshment, a place that will provide for people far into the future; not wastefully dissipating its wealth, not defacing its beauty; not littering, not cluttering, not polluting; but replenishing and replacing, and keeping it clean. And in all of this there should surely be a sense of urgent concern. But it is not only in the realm of things physical that we should have a sense of urgent concern, but also in keeping clean the moral and mental and spiritual environment in which we live our lives, avoiding the pollution of lewdness and licentiousness, the befouling of the moral environment and atmosphere in sight and sound, in word and act and attitude, with filth and lewdness in picture and in print. Our concern for physical pollution is surely not more urgent than our concern for the pollution of the mind and soul of man.

    Notes

  1.   1.

    Gen. 1:1.

  2.   2.

    Gen. 1:31.

  3.   3.

    D&C 59:18, 20.