- By Elder Thatcher

A Thematic Blog - -By Elder Thatcher
"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"After All We Can Do"

 Michaelangelo Buonaroti, hailed as one of the most masterful artists in history, enjoyed much fame during his life.  He was given the distinction of being the first artist to have his biography published during his lifetime.  He was referred to, in Florence and around Italy, as Il Divino, or "The Divine One."  Once he entered the forefront of the Renaissance art society, his fame spread, and throughout his life he received commission upon commission by the most respected patrons in Italy. 

 Although reported to be somewhat arrogant regarding his talents, his own words provide a deep insight.

"If people knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it would not be so wonderful."  

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michaelangelo

Hesiod  (c. 700 BC)

The early Greek poet and author, Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer, believed as well in diligence.

"Mediocrity is easy, it can be had in quantity.  The road is smooth, safe, and it lies close by.  But, in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat and hard work and long and steep is the road to it, and rough at first.  But, when you make it to the top then it is easy, even though it is hard."  

 Several months ago, I went to a meeting where I was privileged to hear a man named Elder Kevin W. Pearson speak to a group of missionaries.  He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a special witness of Jesus Christ.  He said something that struck me and which I want to apply.

"Hard work reveals capacity....The harder I work, the more my innate capacity is revealed to me." 

Another special witness of the Savior, David O. McKay, who passed away in 1970, had a similar energy by which he did great things and inspired others to rise higher. 

"You are the one who has to decide whether you'll do it or toss it aside; whether you'll strive for the goal that's afar, or just be content to stay where you are."

 This life is a time to work and to work hard.  God will not justify anyone who refuses to measure up to his own potential.  We mortals are weak but we can give what we have, and when we do so, God can do great things through us. 
God doesn't want us to be average.  He wants us to be heirs of Eternal Life.  He wants us to be outstanding.  To obtain that type of excellence requires, as Michaelangelo said, hard, concerted, focused, and prolonged labor.

Our potential of our Divine spark is limitless when we strike the flint of our own diligent effort to the steel of God's grace.  It will light a fuse that can only be cut by our own doubt. 

In others' words,


"Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your salvation with fear and trembling before him."    

-Mormon 9:27

Book of Mormon Online - Mormon Chapter 9                                                                  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elder. I liked your post here. It reminded me of a quote by President Hinckley "Work is the miracle by which talent is brought to the surface and dreams become reality." I also like your "don't panic" title as it shows you're more than just a classicist :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your hard work in our mission. Sister Rombola (Jarrettown)