As we grow old . . . the beauty steals inward. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Man’s machinery makes things alike; God’s machinery gives to things which appear alike a pleasing difference. . . . Endless variety is stamped upon the works of God’s hand. There are no two productions of nature, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, that are exactly alike, and all are crowned with a degree of polish and perfection that cannot be obtained by ignorant man in his most exquisite mechanical productions. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:369-70
To truly reverence the Creator, we must appreciate his creations. We need to plan to take time to observe the marvels of nature. Today, we can easily become surrounded by brick buildings and asphalt surfaces that shelter us from real life around us. Plan to share with your family the miracle of buds changing to fragrant blossoms. Take time to sit on a hillside and feel the tranquility of the evening when the sun casts its last golden glow over the horizon. Take time to smell the roses. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “God’s Love for His Children,” Ensign, May 1988, p. 59
A spiritually-minded man is observant of the beauty in the world around him. As the earth was organized, the Lord saw that “it was good.” Then “it was very good.” It pleases our Father in Heaven when we, also, pause to note the beauty of our environment, which we will naturally do as we become more spiritually sensitive. Our awareness of grand music, literature, and sublime art is often a natural product of spiritual maturity. In poetic allusion to the theophany of Moses and the burning bush, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, / And every common bush afire with God; / And only he who sees takes off his shoes.” — Elder Douglas L. Callister, “Seeking the Spirit of God,” Ensign, November 2000, p. 30
In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance – tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled – those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called “vain imaginations.” And in secular society, both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw, because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, p. 30
I believe in the beauty of nature – the flowers, the fruit, the sky, the peaks and the plains from which they rise. I see and believe in the beauty of animals. Is there anything more regal than a magnificent horse – its coat brushed and clean, its head held high, its gait a symphony of motion?
I see and admire beauty in people. I am not so concerned with the look that comes of lotions and creams, of pastes and packs as seen in slick-paper magazines and on television. I am not concerned whether the skin be fair or dark. I have seen beautiful people in a hundred nations through which I have walked. Little children are beautiful everywhere. And so are the aged, whose wrinkled hands and faces speak of struggle and survival. . . . Those wrinkles have a beauty of their own, and inherent in their very presence is something that speaks reassuringly of strength and integrity and a love that runs more deeply and quietly than ever before.
I believe in beauty – the beauty of God’s unspoiled creations, the beauty of his sons and daughters who walk without whimpering, meeting the challenges of each new day.
I believe in the beauty of good music and art, of pleasing architecture, and of good literature untainted by profanity or verbal filth.
My dear young friends, there is so much of ugliness in the world in which you live. . . . But you can rise above this and revel in the beauty to be found with a little effort. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “This I Believe,” BYU Devotional, March 1, 1992