Windows to the Earth


Looking down from 23 stories high gave me a new perspective. Was this a glimpse of how the Lord sees us?

Being an intern for the New Era magazine is definitely a thrill. I get to discuss the exciting future of the youth of the Church, learn about how the Church magazines operate, and write to my heart’s content.

Of course the job does have a few snags—I have to wear dresses every day, I have to be here at practically the crack of dawn, and riding the elevator up to the 23rd floor of the Church Office Building after lunch makes me queasy. But the benefits by far outweigh the costs.

The only thing missing from this opportunity of a lifetime is an office with a window. Of course, I’m a bit out of line wanting one—I think you have to work here about 20 years before you get that blessing. But one day one of the editors called in sick. I knew what that meant. I’d get to use her office for the day, and I’d have windows.

For about the first 15 minutes, I didn’t get anything done; I was too busy enjoying the view. The office faced west, and I had before me an unsurpassed view of Temple Square and its surroundings. Moroni was sparkling in the sunlight, and it was the first time I’d ever seen him without getting a crick in my neck.

I watched the ant-sized people milling about the grounds. I saw a wedding party trying to organize itself for the photographer, flower beds aglow with spring blossoms, and magnificent structures built to give glory to the Lord.

Then I looked beyond the temple grounds to the surrounding city. Somehow, it paled in comparison. The grass wasn’t as green, and the people didn’t seem quite as buoyant. I saw grim asphalt parking lots, dusty train yards, and a tan layer of air covering the valley.

Then I looked up at the sky, and a thought popped into my head. This must be what it’s like for Heavenly Father. I wondered what he thinks as he observes his children from on high. I found the answer in the scriptures.

In Psalms 14:2, David says the Lord “looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.” [Ps. 14:2] and again in Jeremiah 31:28, the Lord speaks of watching his children, saying, “As I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.” [Jer. 31:28] The Lord watched over the children of Israel during times of joy, sorrow, obedience, and transgression—just as he watches us now. And although we aren’t always as righteous as we should be, he is always there.

It’s reassuring to know that the Lord is always watching and will not forsake us.

Tomorrow, I return to my storage-closet-turned-intern-office. I’ll still envy others’ windows, but I’ll have quite a different perspective on the world than I did before.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Steve Kropp