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Monson Aubree Monson Ed Austin Dance 261 20 January 2014 1.

1 Examine the Words of Modern Prophets All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike (BrainyQuote). This quote from Maya Angelou helps us understand that all types of artists are intertwined and are more alike than unalike. Whether a painter, sculptor, musician, or dancer, all artists have something

in common: the innate ability and love to create. If its on canvas or expressed within the air, it is an expression of the deepest part of an artist: their human heart, and possibly, their actual soul. What many do not realize, however, is that each and every one of us is, in fact, an artist. We have been taught in the LDS religion that creativity is something all of us possess, and because of that ability, we will have the possible opportunity to create the most profound and impactful art: our individual unique worlds. In order for this opportunity to be a possibility, we have to understand that the blessing is determined by what we do here on Earth. We need to respect our earthly body and our eternal spirit by keeping our bodies and spirits clean, our actions honest and full of integrity, and also centering the arts on Christ. To have our body in tune with Heavenly Father, we need to treat our body as the holy temple it is meant to be. They are one of the most precious gifts we have been given, and because of that, we should treat it like the gift it is. In Elder Russell M. Nelsons talk,

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We Are Children of God, he explains the significance and the extraordinary miracle of each of the bodys vital organs and functions it possesses. Our bodies are truly miraculous, and we should reverence our own body as a temple. Your body, whatever its natural gifts, is a magnificent creation of God. It is a tabernacle of flesh a temple for your spirit (Nelson). It is the place for our spirits to dwell, and the spirit and body, when joined together, become a living soul of supernal worth (Nelson). He also says that we do not have to have an absolute perfect body; in fact, no one has a perfect body- it is not in Gods plan. We each came down here to receive a body, and in the Resurrection it will indeed become perfect. But while we are here that does not mean we can abuse our privilege of this divine gift; we need to stay physically fit, eat healthy, and not decorate our body in any way that seems to defile the precious gift we have been given. If we do these things, our body will become a fine-tuned instrument to serve us in our search to becoming like God and help us create creativity. Our spirit also needs to be in tune with God in order for our full creative potential to thrive. David A. Bednar, in his speech entitled That We May Always Have His Spirit to be With Us, he explains that our body needs to be in places, situations, and circumstances that aid for the spirit to dwell there, as well as have our mind thinking thoughts that are in harmony with the Spirit. We have to maintain a sense of worthiness so that the Holy Ghost can tarry with us much, if not most, of the time- and certainly the Spirit can be with us more than it is not with us (Bednar). We also have to realize, however, that we are fallen men and women living in a mortal world and that we might not have the presence of the Holy Ghost with us every second of every minute of every hour of every day (Bednar). We can try our utmost best to have the Spirit with us as

Monson most of the time as possible, and so we have to be careful with the media we watch and listen to. A large portion of media we watch is linked with the arts. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us (Bednar). Along with being in places where the Spirit can dwell, and avoiding such things and media that distract from the Spirit, we also need to act like the Spirit can dwell with us. That includes being honest and having integrity in all we do. According to an online dictionary, integrity is adherence to moral and ethical

principles; soundness of moral character; honesty (Dictionary.com). N. Eldon Tanner expresses integrity in his speech Integrity, Integrity, or the lack of it, touches almost every facet of our lives-everything we say, every thought and desire (Tanner). He continues to add to the definition that integrity is a state of quality or being complete, undivided, or unbroken (Tanner). We have to understand that to be undivided or unbroken from the presence of the Holy Ghost and our Heavenly Father, we have to be honest in all areas of our life integrity touches it all, including the arts. God is our ultimate creator. He has created worlds, created universes, and created our own physical bodies and spirits. However, He only has and only will create truth; God does not lie. In order to have the opportunity to create as He had, we have to also be honest and create only truth, including in the arts; then we will have the opportunity to be creative in our artist work, and more importantly, become creative in our worlds to come. As we practice creative practices here on our Earth today, we should focus on centering the arts in Christ.

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In Newell Dayleys talk entitled Centering the Arts in Christ, he pronounces, I offer my profound gratitude to all those faithful, sensitive women and men who loved beauty and truth enough to sacrifice their lives in service It is now our challenge to strengthen and extend their artistic work into the 21st century and beyond. Will we be willing to place Christ at the center of our work? (Dayley) It is a statement that all artists should consider. Dayley teaches us that there is a profound difference between the arts of Christ and the arts of the Devil. It is sometimes a hard distinction, but it is more than easy to witness farther along the path. We have to, as artists, make sure our arts are centered in Christ. The creative flame that ignites artistic creation has its origin in the light which is in all things His love impels us to creative action (Dayley). If we want the power of creative energy, we should center our arts around Christ, for He is the one who has given us our powerful bodies and creative spirits to construct beautiful works of art. Latter-day Prophets have received revelation for us in all areas of our lives today, including the arts. Their prophetic counsel teaches us that our bodies are to be celebrated; they are a wondrous gift from God. But with our bodies also comes responsibility; remaining worthy, maintaining our bodies properly, and using our bodies for good, not for evil. Because God only speaks truth, we need to follow in His footsteps if we ever want to become like Him. As we use our bodies for good by keeping them clean, staying honest and truthful in all we do, and centering the arts in Christ, we will become closer to our Heavenly Father and will have the privilege to become as creative as He is: to create our own wonders of worlds. After all, all great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us we are more alike than unalike (BrainyQuote).

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Works Cited Bednar, David A. "That We May Always Have His Spirit to be With Us." lds.org. Apr 2006: n. page. Print. <http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/04/that-wemay-always-have-his-spirit-to-be-with-us?lang=eng>. "BrainyQuote." Artists Quotes. 2001. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/artists.html>. Dayley, K. Newell. "Centering the Arts in Christ." lds.org. 06 Mar 2001: n. page. Print. <http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=264>. "Dictionary.com." 2014. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/integrity ?s=t>. Nelson, Russell M. "We Are Children of God." lds.org. Oct 1998: n. page. Print. <http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1998/10/we-are-children-ofgod?lang=eng>. Tanner, N. Eldon. "Integrity." lds.org. Apr 1977: n. page. Print. <http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1977/04/integrity?lang=eng>.