“Finnish Is the Very End,” New Era, May 1978, 21
Hours into its midsummer journey the golden, early morning sun shines across Helsinki and onto the little island of Seurasaari, gilding the roofs of two-hundred-year-old farmhouses, churches, windmills, and barns that line the streets of this national park.
Across town the golden rays find the windows of Helsinki’s Finnish Design Center, drawing rainbows from the lovely i-lasi glassware and Marimekko fabrics on display inside.
Nearby, the panes of a small hardware store reflect their own version of the Finnish sun and symbolize a miracle.
The miracle is that a foreign visitor could walk into the hardware store thinking it was the Design Center and leave still wondering, because the tools and utensils on the shelves of everyday Finnish shops are almost as beautiful as the treasures at the Center. Natural woods and simplicity of design make the most common tool as basic and appealing as the music of Sibelius, Finland’s beloved composer.
Meanwhile, on Seurasaari, sunlight fires the hair of seven young people whose lives radiate these same qualities of appealing naturalness and comfortable harmony with the beauty around them. Like other young Finnish Latter-day Saints, they dress simply, smile easily, share gladly, and are down to earth in their approach to living. Today they have invited us to join them as they visit their past under the midsummer sun.