Arms, Legs, Attitude, and Divinity

Dear Will:

Greetings from around the corner. I hope all is well with you and that your summer is shaping up to be full of fun, adventure, and prosperity. Failing that, then at least I hope you find a good book or two to read. I have several—I just don’t have time to read them.

But enough whining about petty things—here’s something really worth whining about: Today my oldest son Luke turned twelve. It didn’t exactly come upon me unawares, but it is a jolt nonetheless.

Feeling just a tad nostalgic, tonight my wife Dana and I leafed through photo albums, reminiscing about when he was little and cute. He’s still cute, of course, but in a completely different way. Now he’s all arms and legs and attitude, with a squeaky voice which reminds me that my little dude is quickly becoming (gulp!) a man.

The wondrous thing about watching a child grow is witnessing the discovery of interests and talents that seem to predate this mortal existence. Luke, we are finding out, is a reluctant pianist but gifted with the clarinet. He dislikes math yet won the Math Olympiad at his school. He is a fledgling artist (a genetic mutation if ever there was one) and, to my complete delight, a rather remarkable writer. I know that around twelve years ago I lost all ability to look at him objectively, but I do see in him a divine potential that I can only hope not to screw up.

Nevertheless, there is much that Luke still needs to learn, much that is far more important than the ability to paint a picture or compose an elegant phrase. I speak, of course, of the divine attributes which are the true sign of maturity. In that regard, Luke would do well to remember the words of our Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley:

There is something of divinity in you. You have such tremendous potential because of your inherited nature. Every one of you was endowed by your Father in Heaven with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world. Cultivate the art of being kind, of being thoughtful, of being helpful. Refine within you the quality of mercy which comes as a part of the divine attributes you inherited.  (Stand a Little Taller, p. 185)

That’s good advice for all of us, even people like me who don’t possess even a fraction of Luke’s talent and potential. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could cultivate a bit more of our divinity and in the process maybe make a difference in the lives of those around us? I know that my family would sure like it if I did.

PW

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