Beauty and morality
    Footnotes

    “Beauty and morality,” Ensign, May 1971, 12

    Beauty and morality

    “The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System February 21, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

    We cite here three short sentences to help present a point. One is from Frank Lloyd Wright, who said, “Beauty is the highest expression of morality.” The second is from Plautus: “I regard that man as lost who has lost his sense of shame.”1 And the third is from Juvenal: “The worst punishment of all is that in the court of his own conscience no guilty man is acquitted.”2 These three short sentences may bring to mind the moral looseness that has overtaken us in our times, and the feeling some seem to have that the commandments have somehow been repealed, or replaced; that the moral laws are old-fashioned; that consequences no longer follow doing what we shouldn’t do—in short, that standards are no longer necessary. There is no experience in all history, there is no assurance from any source that says that this is so. And we should be most grateful for moral standards, for the experience of the past, and for the laws that God has given, because they give us guidelines—means by which to weigh and measure—and the certainty that consequences will always follow causes. Without such laws and standards we would all be left loose in life, not knowing when we would be acceptable—to God, to others, or even acceptable to ourselves. Despite all enticement and temptation to abuse the body, to cloud the mind, to weaken the will, to debase the soul, there are still standards; laws, commandments; causes, consequences; results to be realized, depending on how we live the laws of life. “Beauty is the highest expression of morality.” Morality is also the highest expression of beauty—and without these there is ugliness everywhere. “The worst punishment of all is that in the court of his own conscience no guilty man is acquitted.” “I regard that man as lost who has lost his sense of shame.”