“Building Creativity,” New Era, Aug. 1991, 4
During the past summer months, I watched a neighbor of mine construct a small storage building. He is an engineer and had drawn his own plans for the structure. As we occasionally talked about his project, I became aware of the deep sense of satisfaction that he was deriving from the work. The planning and construction of this building, which was being accomplished in the occasional free hours he found in a busy schedule, was a creative expression for my friend. He enjoyed explaining the little embellishments that he had worked into his plan. As these materialized in the actual construction, I noted the pleasure and fulfillment that he was experiencing. The effort was adding an important dimension to his life, enlarging and enhancing his creative capacities and his enthusiasm for living.
I believe a capacity for creativity is inherent in our natures. Perhaps it is one of the godlike attributes we inherit as our Heavenly Father’s children. This attribute finds different expressions in each one of us. In many it remains largely dormant because it is never given an opportunity to emerge. It is likely that each one of us has creative powers that can be developed and that can add significantly to the joy and satisfaction we experience in our lives. It may well be that this aspect of our development in mortality is as important in the eyes of a creative Heavenly Father as many other attributes that receive greater attention and emphasis.
Anyone who has struggled to paint a landscape and capture the essence of composition, light, and shadow reflected in nature simply cannot emerge from that effort without a more profound appreciation for the master Creator’s capacity to create the real thing.
Creativity reaches beyond the realms of music, literature, and the arts. As my neighbor demonstrated in the planning and construction of his storage building, creative expression takes many forms. We can value and appreciate all of them.
While some creative gifts become apparent early in the life of an individual, others may not develop without considerable conscious effort and purposeful training. But if you determine to become competent on a musical instrument, to try your hand at painting or sculpting, or to undertake one or more of a great variety of creative efforts, you are much to be admired. Along with the initial frustrations that can accompany such endeavors, you will almost certainly gain an enlarged appreciation for beauty, precision, and order. When you share the products of your creative effort, you will discover new facets for giving and for blessing the lives of others.
Developing a range of creative interests will make life fulfilling for persons of all ages. When you are young, it can help you learn more about yourself and more about the world around you. It can also be of particular value in later years, when the challenges of daily employment or family care are replaced by greater blocks of discretionary time. In some instances it can create a much-needed breadth and meaning to life’s purpose.
If you possess creative gifts, you have an obligation to use them in such a way as to bring beauty, peace, quality, utility, and refinement into life’s experience. As mentioned before, sharing your gifts can bring satisfaction to you as the gift giver as well as to those who enjoy the fruits of your creativity. Creative diversity has so many potential benefits. Simply by making an attempt to develop some talent or skill, you are almost certain to bring new dimensions of appreciation into your life. It is an enterprise well worth the effort.