Last Sunday at church, a brother in my HP Group described a sacred event that happened to him. His testimony has resurfaced on my mind several times this week, as I have reflected upon it and the events of the last few weeks in my own life. The priesthood lesson was on prayer, and as the discussion coursed through gratitude and then on to guidance from the spirit, this older brother raised his hand and asked to share. He went on with his story: while on his mission as a young man, he was very troubled by the constant rejection he was experiencing, and so was pouring out his soul to the Lord, questioning why life was the way it was. Why wouldn't people just listen? How come there was so much strife and discord in the world? As he was praying, he felt as if he was being carried away, removed from the surface of the Earth, to view the world from the vantage point of space. How beautiful our world was! He then saw our planet diminish in the distance as the universe expanded to his view. Then he heard a mild voice that simply said, "There is joy in creation." This closed his vision, and he found himself back in his bed, to ponder on what he had been told. His vision of creation has guided and tempered him throughout his life.
Lately I have been busy creating many new flavors of ice cream for my employer. It has been stressful to get multiple tasks accomplished, lots of different components designed and figured out for cost, label information, etc., all by a deadline. I've been working long days, and yet in a word, I've been having the time of my life! Yes, some people actually get paid for inventing ice cream. I'm one of the lucky ones, and no, you can't have my job! Anyway, last week as I was making samples of new ice cream flavors in my lab, it was late at night, I was exhausted, and yet I started feeling such gratitude to my Heavenly Father for just being there and being able to do what I was doing. You see, I know what it is like to be stifled at work, to be bored at work, and to be unemployed. I started to weep for the simple joy of my creations, right there all by myself in my little upstairs lab at the dairy. It's not a fancy place, I have no team of people to manage, just a little ice cream mix and a batch freezer, bottles of exotic flavors, a little chocolate, a little caramel, some fruit preps, and my imagination. And it is wonderful.
This last Monday I took the samples of my creations, ten new flavors in all, to 'Show & Tell' with the owners and the Sales Team. Typically they launch 4 new flavors a year; it was going to be hard to see which ones they'd cut. Everyone was excited to see what I might come up with, since this was my first product presentation for the team. They loved the first flavor, a trio of sour sorbets patterned after Jolly Rancher profiles. And they loved the next, a northwest berry trio, and the next, a cherry cordial, and the next, a peanut butter ice cream with caramel and chocolate covered peanuts. Sample after sample they raved and couldn't get enough. They even liked the Orange and Licorice combo. By the end of the show they applauded, and everyone was full of ice cream and smiles from ear to ear. Then came the concensus discussion for what flavors to launch, which ones to hold back. It became evident they wanted them all; they ended up approving eight new flavors, and discontinuing six existing flavors in the line to make room for the newcomers. Now I've got twice as much work to get all these new flavors set up for production, but I'm happy.
And so I come back to this idea of having joy in creation. Whatever we do, we can take great satisfaction in what we do, even if it's splitting wood, as one brother contributed in the HP lesson. How true. We are also the creator of ourselves, day by day. With honesty and the gifts of the spirit in our lives, Heavenly Father is able to show us our potential, whatever that may be. Joy in creation is not gender or orientation conscious. It operates in great diversity. It is the work of our Creator.