Creators, We

When we lived in Pasadena, CA fifteen years ago my husband and I team-taught our Sunday School class.  We enjoyed it immensely, both because we got to prepare together and because we both enjoy teaching.  We were teaching right from the beginning of the Old Testament and so one of the first lessons was on the Creation.  I had prepared some thoughts on the possible symbolism of each of the creative periods and thought I had some decent ideas, but G.O. was the first one to stand in front of the group and share his thoughts on the topic.  

He spoke about the scriptural account of the creation of the world and got some good audience participation.  He is a great teacher and people usually respond well to his approach.  After a thorough discussion on the topic he presented the idea that each of us are inherently creators. We may have even taken part in that first creation.  "Sister Mayo, what do you think you may have helped to create?"  "Brother Long, what are you doing in your life right now that fits under the title of creator?"

Ever since then I have contemplated that idea that being actively involved in creating things is part of our God-given heritage.  That we are not whole unless we are exercising that characteristic.  When I was in a leadership position in my ward (congregation) I encouraged the women to fill their lamps regularly with prayer, scripture study, all of the things we need to feel closer to the spirit.  I needed that reminder so much in my own life because I had/have a tendency to fill it up with temporal things first and then squeeze in the rest.  And then I remembered that Sunday School lesson years ago, and added in my encouragement to find daily ways to create.  Paint, sew, write (blog), cook, photograph, whatever our souls need.

Last night we were blessed to hear President Uchtdorf offer official counsel on this topic.  He said, Being a creator is an inherent craving of each person on this earth.  I believe this.  I have felt more comfortable in my own skin when I have found ways to exercise that craving.  It is a liberating thing to know we are supposed to make something new where nothing was before.  I like to write (NANOWRIMO is coming up in November and I encourage all of my blogging friends to look it up and think about participating). I like to cook Indian food. I like modern design/decorating (my living room below). What do you do as a creator?


LisAway | September 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM

I love this! Wish I could have been in that Sunday school class. This is really interesting concept. It totally makes sense. I really enjoy cooking and baking. I recently read somewhere someone talking about how you take some pretty gross things like flour and baking soda, raw eggs etc. and put them together and create something absolutely delicious. At first I was thinking, Oh dear, I'm not a creator, really! But, no. I love to make things in the kitchen. And I love the wonder of pregnancy, which is kind of the ultimate creation for us in this life.

Thanks for a thought provoking post. I'll be coming back to read other responses.

Kazzy | September 28, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Good ideas, Lisa. When we use the word "talents" people tend to think they have none, but when we talk about creating it is such a better description about what we do in/with our lives. Thanks for getting the ball rolling :)

Midge | September 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

OK, so I like to create organization out of chaos. An organized closet is a dream. Everything in it's proper place.
I guess that is why I like to scrapbook so much. Pictures, papers, stamps, ink, words, ribbon, etc. all organized into a page to look at for hours; or maybe a lifetime.

Scott | September 28, 2008 at 8:49 PM

Thanks for this post Karen. It was exactly what i needed to hear today!

charrette | September 29, 2008 at 12:44 AM

I bet you and G.O. were such a dynamic duo in the classroom!

And I heard Pres. Uchtdorf's talk was just incredible! (That would be the one Saturday I decided NOT to go up to the conference center with Bonnie!) :)

Creation has always been paramount in my orientation to the world. You might remember, my dad has a PhD in Creativity. We grew up in a home that valued creativity and expression over almost everything but truth itself.

When we moved here and I didn't have to work full-time any more, the first thing I did was "take my life back" by pursuing music, painting, and writing. I always made time for those things before, but now that I have a tad more time on my hands, that's where the time goes. I can't think of anything more rewarding or fulfilling...besides communing with the Creator himself.

And I LOVE what you do...Your living room rocks! :)

Kazzy | September 29, 2008 at 6:39 AM

You are a prime example of creativity, Charrette. Between cooking, painting, piano-ing, etc., you live this principle. Thanks!

Miss Brandy | September 29, 2008 at 9:34 AM

I felt an enormous void for such a long time, caused by infertility. I thought that the most important "creative" job was of carrying a baby.

It's only very recently that I've drawn the conclusion that I am creating a family where there was none, so far for 6 individuals. Not many people can say that. As much as these babies are the most precious blessing in mine and my husband's lives, I imagine it goes both ways and here and now I'll take some credit :)

Of course, I could not agree more with Midge. Organization and order are another of my creative joys, as well as trying to create a home that suits myself AND my husband. So far I think I like it better, but I do my best.

Thanks Karen, great topic!

Luann | September 29, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I was really inspired by that talk by President Uchtdorf. I have my creative outlets, and during times when I can't get to them for a time, I quickly feel very stifled and tense. It's not that I think I create anything the world can't live without, but I can't seem to keep myself grounded without the spiritual experience that comes from putting thought and effort and love into something "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise-worthy".

One thing President Uchtdorf said struck me as particularly simple, beautiful and empowering. If you don't feel you are creative, start small. Just see how many smiles you can create.

Kazzy | September 29, 2008 at 11:13 AM

I think once we realize our creative outlets serve US as much as anyone else we can get our feet under us and go for it. Miss B... You got it right, friend. And creating the family and home you have created is beyond wonderful.

Heather of the EO | September 29, 2008 at 7:28 PM

I love to write. It's my favorite creative outlet. But then I just remembered (as I read this) that I have an ability to draw. And I miss it. Haven't used it in years. Thank you. It's so sad that we so easily forget!

Little GrumpyAngel | September 30, 2008 at 1:38 AM

What a beautiful and inspiring thought you've put forth here. I guess when I hear the word "creative" to describe people I don't quite associate it with the ultimate creation which was "In the beginning..." Perhaps our creative spirit propels us to practice for our destiny: exaltation and godhood. Profound. I will have to ponder that. Thanks for this post.

Heidi | September 30, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Speaking of creativity and sharing it--for some reason the post that keeps coming up on Blogger's Annex for you is Softening which is pretty old, right? When you leave a comment on someone's post, your most recent post is the one that is supposed to be attached. You might want to ask them to fix it. And then I could click on your most recent post from there. So get on it because I'm lazy!