Love Is The Soul Of Genius


The motto of BYU is “The Glory of God is intelligence.” Sometimes we equate the word “Genius” with the word “intelligence”. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) who many recognize as a musical genius had this to say regarding the subject:

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

Mozart, the musical genius who is revered by most of the world wrote this in a letter:
“It is a great consolation for me to remember that the Lord, to whom I had drawn near in humble and child-like faith, has suffered and died for me, and that He will look on me in love and compassion.”

At this time of year when many are graduating from High School, Universities, and Graduate Schools, let us remember the words of Mozart the musical genius. He of course was only requoting the words of the Savior, a true genius in all matters of the universe.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

The genius of love is that through it and by it, the deepest and noblest emotion of man elevates, enlightens, and softens even the darkest recesses of the human heart.


The Pain Will Be Forever Buried When The Little Ones Come Marching Home!


Suddenly she said to me, “Pull over, pull over.” So I pulled the car off to the side of the road. “That’s the cemetery where my little girl friend was buried. She died when I was six. I want to see her grave.” It’s been over fifty years since my wife stood at her little friends graveside. She didn’t understand it all then, and like most of us, she barely understands at her age the complexity of this life that always ends in death.

We got out and found her little friend’s gravestone. Born April 20, 1957, died Febuary 19, 1963. As we surveyed the small cemetery it was clear that it was exclusivly made for children. In the middle of the cemetery, watching over the small ones was a statue of Mary with the baby Jesus in arms. My wife and I spent the next hour or so reading the inscriptions on the stones recording the tragedy of each small child who had tarried here for just a breath, or for those who had been lucky enough to spend a few years in this life.

Once, many years ago I held my own dying two year old in my arms. The panic and pain of my verbal cry, “Please God, save my son!” is still fresh in my mind. The pain of the potential loss was opened to my heart and soul but for a moment. I still hold his recovery to be divine. No singular event has left such a deep imprint on my soul. I wondered as I surveyed the graves how those mothers and fathers of lost little ones had been able to drink of that bitter cup without becoming jaded. I pondered what if?

No one asks for such an event to come into their life. No, none of the parents of the little ones asked for such a seperation. And although the fine trimmed lawn, fair weather, and serene surroundings were about this children’s cemetary, I am sure that the cries of the parents for their babies were not buried on the day of death inscibed on the tombstones. No, as I looked about at so many stones, I imagine the cries of the bereaved mothers and fathers is still echoing throughout the heavens. Who can console such pain?

Perhaps no one can fully remove the pain and suffering that comes with the loss of such an innocent one, yet for those who have been so tested, I suppose they have either cursed God above, or sought out His love and support through prayer while going through the grieving process. Perhaps they have done both.

Jesus Christ clearly loved ‘small ones’ and on numerous occasions told his followers to be like them, “for such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16)

Joseph F. Smith, who lost his own infant daughter to death once wrote:
“… Our beloved friends who are now deprived of their little one, have great cause for joy and rejoicing, even in the midst of the deep sorrow that they feel at the loss of their little one for a time…they have the assurance that their little one has passed away without sin. Such children are in the bosom of the Father. They will inherit their glory and their exaltation, and they will not be deprived of the blessings that belong to them…” (GDoctrine, 5th Ed, 1939, pg 452)

What a glorious doctrine! What a wonderful concept. What a merciful Father.

May all who sorrow at such loss seek out the Lord for comfort, and have faith and the hope, that someday the pain will be forever buried, and joy will rise out of the grave, when the little ones come marching home.

neil a maxwell

Death Is A Mere Comma, Not An Exclamation Point!


“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14)

The above scriptures refers to the last day just before the second coming of the Lord. It is our day! We are part of the multitudes living in “the valley of decision.” While the scripture in Joel speaks of an actual location, I prefer to think of it metaphorically. We have been part of that multitude “in the valley of decision” before. It was in the pre-existence. John the Revelator recorded that a war was waged in heaven and that Satan “drew a third part of the stars in heaven after him” (Revelations 12:4), and they were cast to this earth, un-embodied. We of course, choose to follow the Lord’s plan. Faced with a grand “decision”, we choose correctly. Once again we live in a time where we are faced with an important decision.

Our knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ should provide us with the ability to make an informed decision, to not only follow the Savior, but be active in promoting the gospel’s humanitarian benefit.  Neil A. Maxwell encouraged us to “Shine as lights in the world.” Quoting him:

“For many years now—in literature, film, and music—we have witnessed increasing expressions of a profound sense of what has come to be called existential despair, a hopelessness beyond hope…the holocausts and the wars have taken their terrible toll of hope among twentieth-century man. Said one eminent scientist, “The most poignant problem of modern life is probably man’s feeling that life has lost its significance, … [a] view … no longer limited to the philosophical or literary avant garde. It is spreading to all social and economic groups and affects all manifestations of life.” (Rene Dubos, So Human an Animal [New York: Scribners, 1968], pp. 14–15.)…Yes, there are some who live without hope who, though having reached such a wrong conclusion, nevertheless maintain right conduct. In such decent individuals, the light of Christ, though unacknowledged, burns still” (“Shine As Lights in the World”, GC, April 1983)

Then Elder Maxwell gives this inspiring charge.

“The need, therefore, is for devoted disciples to do as Paul said, to “shine as lights in the world”, illuminating that latter-day valley foreseen by Joel…The very way in which these illuminated individuals “take up [the] cross daily” is a sermon in itself. They lead lives not of quiet desperation but of quiet inspiration, constituting what Paul would call their “defence and confirmation of the gospel.”Theirs represents a tinier and quieter history within the larger and noisier human history, a joyful and reassuring drama within the more despairing drama being played out on this planet”

May we be of the type of person who lives a life of “quiet inspiration,” not of desperation. We have knowledge that should chase out such hopelessness.

Finally, quoting Elder Maxwell:

“To a world spiritually illiterate, (we) give great lessons in the grammar of the gospel, including this one: death is a mere comma, not an exclamation point!


Love Is A Song That Never Ends


I recently became aquainted with a man who was involved in a tragic motorcyle accident.  It left him paralyzed from the chest down.  This man who was once so robust, depite being in his mid-sixties, is now confined to a wheelchair and spends much of his day in visiting hospitals  and recieiving medical care at home. I marvel at the courage and resilancy of this man or anyone, for that matter,  who can overcome the temptation to cry, “Wo is me,” while they sink into a great depression of mind and spirit.  His story reminded me of a conversation I had many years ago with a good friend who had been striken in his fifties with a debilitating disease.  His spirit of joy and courage in his time of pain gave me great comfort and strenghtened my faith in the eternal plan of salvation.  As I lamented his situation and gave him my sympathy he said, “Well, we all die of something. It is all part of the plan.”  He said it without hesitation and it wasn’t a canned response to my words of encouragement. He was simply reminded me of a fact that He knew to be true and one that I needed to be reminded of.

I think one of the eternal beauties of this life is the belief that love is eternal and that it does not die with the mortal body. “We all die of something” is a true statement when it comes to mortality but my belief is like the thought expressed from the movie Bambi.

Love is a song that never ends

Life may be swift and fleeting

Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music

Comes each day like the dawn

That dawn has been provided, for eternity, by the Savior, who is the author of love. I believe it with all my heart and the thought of eternal love, moves me upward and forward with a desire to develop it, with my wife, my children and all mankind.

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