YOU—The Greatest Miracle
February 1976

“YOU—The Greatest Miracle,” Ensign, Feb. 1976, 2

First Presidency Message

YOU—The Greatest Miracle

Just a short time ago I read a book entitled The Greatest Miracle in the World, by Og Mandino. After reading it I asked several people what they thought to be the greatest miracle in the world. I was very much interested in their answers.

One said the resurrection, explaining why and what he understood of the resurrection, and then said that although we do not understand how it can take place, we do realize that it is essential to eternal life. The resurrection of course is a great miracle which none of us could accomplish or experience on our own, or without the great atoning sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We could perhaps think of no greater miracle, but it is not of this world, for it takes place following our mortal existence.

Another said that birth is the greatest miracle in the world, and everyone, I am sure, would agree that this is one of the greatest of miracles; surely it is one of the most important to a mortal so that he may sojourn here upon the earth. As one thinks of birth he realizes that not only the father and mother are responsible for the birth, but the mother also is a copartner with God in providing a mortal body for one of his spirit children. What a miraculous thing to think about!

Another replied that there is no greater miracle in the world than life itself, and I thought, “Who can argue much with that answer?” If you think of life here on earth as part of eternal life, it takes on an even more significant meaning and includes both birth and the resurrection.

No matter what conclusion we come to, these are all great miracles and should cause us all to stop and ponder as we realize that these answers and any other you might think of will likely apply to each and every one of us, and we should ask ourselves just where and how we can best become a part of it all and gain most thereby, and contribute most in the whole program of things.

The author of the book I have referred to concluded that YOU are the greatest miracle in all the world. I agree, because this includes birth, life, and the resurrection. He argues that although there are millions and millions of people in the world, no two are exactly alike in appearance, in personality, in intelligence, or in the way they think or respond. How true this is, though we are all humans and spirit children of God. When we realize who we are, where we came from, why we are here, and what our future can be, surely we must agree that the greatest miracle in all the world is YOU, the individual. It is YOU and what YOU do that will affect YOU eternally.

Reading this book, the discussions with others, and the conclusions we all came to caused me to really stop and ponder about that YOU again, and to ask myself, “Just what am I, and what is each one of us going to do to make the most of the greatest miracle in all the world? Am I satisfied to say, ‘Yes, sure I am the greatest miracle in all the world,’ and let it go at that?”

Emerson once made this meaningful statement: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is to you.” How true! What wise counsel! We cannot get away from ourselves. We must continue to live with ourselves, and what we do every day and how we respond to life determines the kind of YOU we are going to be and live with and how successful and happy we will be with the YOU we are.

In the council in heaven the gods said, “We will go down, for there is space there, … and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

“… and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Abr. 3:24–26.)

Our success or failure depends entirely on us. Are we going to prove ourselves to be worthy?

The importance of man—YOU—cannot be more greatly emphasized than it is in Genesis when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26–28.)

This means that man—YOU—is the greatest of all God’s creations, and everything was created for him, over which he will have full dominion. He is blessed with the ability to think, to know good from evil; and a spirit by which he can communicate with God, and a physical body with which he is able to do the daily things he wants to do.

Each and every one of these is a miracle in and of itself—a miracle that no human can explain. Every day, without giving it much thought, we use the mind, the spirit, and the physical body. Some study and learn; some continue to improve themselves; some seem satisfied to muddle along and are uninformed. Some practice to improve and accomplish and seem to take advantage of wholesome opportunities, while others seem to be satisfied with much less than they could become.

Each might well, and probably should, ask himself, “Am I using and developing my mind? Is my spirituality what it should be through study and prayer? Am I caring for my physical body as I should?” The thoughts we think, the choices we make, and the things we do constantly, every hour and every day, determine what we are. The person who is blessed or suffers most is the YOU with whom YOU must continue to live even throughout eternity, and YOU alone can determine whether YOU will prove YOURSELF worthy to go back into the presence of God.

To assure that the greatest miracle in all the world will be happy, successful, and enjoy eternal life, YOU must seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, always in the pursuit of learning, development, and righteous living.

Illustrated by Kent Goodliffe