Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, I’m not creative”? I’ve not only heard this phrase dozens of times, I’ve also said it. But is it true?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared in an October 2008 conference talk, “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.” Where did this desire come from?
God the Creator
I think it is an undisputed fact that children inherit some talents and traits from their parents. With God as our spiritual Father, it only makes sense that we were given a part of one of His greatest gifts and abilities: creating.
President Uchtdorf shares: “Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.”
We know our brother Christ had this gift, as He helped create the world. He and Heavenly Father created us. Who is to say we, too, are not endowed with this divine gift.
“Creation is one of the characteristics that defines God,” Sister Mary Ellen Smoot shared in April 2000 general conference. “He takes matter without form and molds it into stars, planets, and solar systems. . . . Brothers and sisters, we are children of God. Shouldn’t we be about our Father’s business? Shouldn’t we be creators as well?”
Creating: Our Birthright
We learn from President Uchtdorf that “We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.”
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While some people have invented or discovered miraculous things that benefit society at large and others build or design things in smaller circles, President Nelson (who was himself a creator, helping develop the first heart-lung machine for open-heart operations) reminded us in April 2000 general conference, “Any manmade creation is possible only because of our divine Creator. The people who design and build are given life and capacity by that Creator.”
We create many things, even without effort on our part. We create legacies, identities, and happiness simply by living. What we need to remember is that we have control over them. We can find joy from creating spiritual things, from smiles to faith, as we learn from Sister Smoot: “I believe that we carve souls—our own and others—every day. Let’s determine now to make those souls pure and chaste. Create homes filled with love and serenity. Relieve suffering. Create enduring testimonies of eternal truths in ourselves and others” (emphasis added).
God's Creative Power on Earth
The word create means “to bring into existence.” We know that doesn’t only mean intangible things. We actually have access to one of God’s greatest tools of creating through procreation. No wonder we are expected to treat it with such reverence.
We learn from Elder Ballard, “There was provided in our bodies—and this is sacred—a power of creation, a light, so to speak, that has the power to kindle other lights. This gift was to be used only within the sacred bonds of marriage. Through the exercise of this power of creation, a mortal body may be conceived, a spirit enter into it, and a new soul [be] born into this life.
“This power is good. It can create and sustain family life, and it is in family life that we find the fountains of happiness. It is given to virtually every individual who is born into mortality. It is a sacred and significant power. . . .
“The power of creation—or may we say procreation—is not just an incidental part of the plan: it is essential to it. Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan.”
The manual True to the Faith reminds us that “In the world today, Satan has led many people to believe that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is acceptable. But in God’s sight, it is a serious sin. It is an abuse of the power He has given us to create life.”
To me, this emphasis on treating the powers of procreation with care tells me that creation in all its forms is a sacred skill and blessing that has been shared with us and is an important part of our identity.
I believe that when we become gods and goddesses, we will need to exercise and use those powers of creation we practiced using on earth in mortality. Think of all the inventions in the world. Think of the creative ways we problem-solve, express ourselves through art, tell stories, cook, or compose music, to name a few. I believe we were born to be innovators. Sister Smoot reminds us, “Creation isn’t drudgery. Creation flows from love. When we do what we love, we rejoice along the way.”
We need to find ways to use our creative, heavenly genes. Whether it’s through writing, speaking, building a family, or reaching out to those in need, we are all blessed with the gift of creating. So remember that the next time you start to tell someone that you aren’t creative.