I saw a quote recently from Elder Neal A. Maxwell that I really liked:
“When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time.”
I like this quote because it is a beautiful thought that when we feel joy for Heavenly Father’s wonderful creations, and for the talents He has blessed people with, we are exercising a divine quality. And when we recognize these miracles in our lives, we are acting in accordance with the 13th Article of Faith, which says: “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
We know that we are to seek after that which is good, but what does this mean specifically in our lives? President James E. Faust said:
“Members of the Church are to seek after loveliness. We do not seek a veneer painted on by a worldly brush but the pure, innate beauty that God has planted in our souls. We should seek after those things that endow higher thoughts and finer impulses. Man, as President John Taylor once said, ‘is destined, if he improves his opportunities, to higher and greater blessings and glory than are associated with this earth in its present state: … he may stand pure, virtuous, intelligent, and honourable, as a son of God, and seek for, and be guided and governed by his Father’s counsels.’ Indeed we may say with President Brigham Young that we hope ‘to be gentle and kind, modest and truthful, to be full of faith and integrity, … [for] goodness sheds a halo of loveliness around every person who possesses it, making their countenances beam with light, and their society desirable because of its excellency.’”
What stood out to me from this quote was that we should seek after things which “endow higher thoughts and finer impulses,” and if we strive to seek after that which God would have us seek, we can someday stand before Him with pure hearts and minds. I also liked how Brigham Young said that seeking goodness “sheds a halo of loveliness around every person who possesses it.” We can be good influences if we seek after the good!
And what is the good? The Book of Mormon tells us the answer:
“Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God… But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” – Moroni 7:12, 13
Moroni testifies in these verses that the things which invite us to do good and love God are the things we should focus on. I think some of these things include living the standards of the gospel, looking for opportunities to serve others, spending time with those you love, and seeking after that which is virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy.
I want to share a final quote about the things we seek, from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
“Oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are – and who we will be become.”
What do you seek after? Why do you seek these things?