How Creativity Brings Us Joy
Updated: Jan 2
Recall a time in your young life when you ran to your parents excitedly to present them with a masterpiece you had created. What do you remember from that experience? The big grin on your face? Your fingers and clothes covered in mud or paint? The stick figures on the paper that came to life in your mind and appeared to be the awesome dream you had the night before? The biggest smile on your parents’ faces? The embrace you received for a job well done? What did you feel during the time you created said masterpiece and when it was presented to your selected audience? As we go through today’s message, I would like for you to think back on that experience and reflect on how your ability to create has developed over the years.
Our God is a God of creativity. Let’s look at the beautiful creation of our home—Earth. For purposes of this post, a few verses from Genesis 1 were selected. Please feel free to read all of Genesis 1 on your own.
Genesis 1 (selected verses)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 ¶ And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The Creation is summarized in just a few verses, but I want to know every detail! I love science, especially Biology. I earned my Bachelor’s in Biology, and not even all the courses I took give me a fraction of the knowledge necessary to comprehend the greatness of the Creation. You and I may not be creating a planet, but we have been given dominion over everything the Creator made for us. He created us in His image and likeness. Therefore, we have also been endowed with creative abilities.
You create something EVERY DAY, whether you realize it or not. Sometimes what you create isn’t physical. Your thoughts and ideas give rise to so many possibilities. You create your destiny every day. How is that? Because you have the power to CHOOSE what you do with your time and abilities. How you use all your gifts and what you do every day creates your PRESENT and your FUTURE. Whether you are a student, a stay-at-home mom, a professional, etc, you have the opportunity to create something from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. This includes any meals you prepare, the “look” of the day or a special occasion, an event or celebration you planned and executed, a space in your home or office you made your own, and so forth. All these simple things you may not think of as grand creative events, are what make you a creative being as well. I could list several other ways you can create all around you, but I will allow you the opportunity to think of the ways you create!
Some of the things that we make will define who we are, others will help us discover who we are, and others will allow us to explore possibilities over time. No matter the impact—personal, community, worldwide—our ability to create will bring a sense of fulfillment and overall joy. Why is joy a part of this equation? Think back to the first exercise of this post: the experience of your masterpiece. Did that masterpiece bring you joy? My favorite verse of Genesis 1 is verse thirty-one: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” When you made your masterpiece, did you behold it and also believe that it was very good? You shared it with people you cared about, so of course you did!
I believe that the greatest sense of fulfillment and joy will come to us as we recognize that some of our creative contributions will help others around us. Whether the meal you prepared feeds one or one thousand, you helped nourish someone. That can fill you with joy. Whether you invent the next technological advancement that will help society or write up a master schedule to juggle your family’s hectic schedules so that you can all spend a little more time together, you will be filled with joy as you realize that you made an impact.
Remember, every person on this planet has creative abilities. As Christians, we can rely on divine help from time to time as we make things happen. We can be guided to create solutions to problems when we pray. A few posts ago, we discussed How the Holy Ghost can Fill our Souls with Joy. I brought up a scripture then, which I will reference to again:
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
If the Holy Ghost provides us with knowledge as we study the scriptures, He can also provide us with knowledge to create something when we have no idea how to do so! There are several examples in the scriptures that discuss how individuals relied on the guidance of the Holy Ghost when they received commandments that they had no idea how they could accomplish. One example is Moses creating a serpent of brass to heal the people. During their journey in the wilderness, the people of Israel had their ups and downs, physically and spiritually. In one such instance, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them. The serpents bit the people, and many of them died. After they recognized that they had sinned, they asked Moses to pray unto the Lord and ask Him to take away the serpents. Moses prayed, received instruction, and did as he was directed.
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
King Solomon had the great responsibility of creating the house of the Lord. It had been a commandment first given to his father David. King Solomon took action and started hiring individuals to aid in the work. As you read the following verses, pay close attending to verse twelve.
1 Kings 5:5-6, 12, 17
5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
12 And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him:
17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.
Feel free to read about all the details that went into the construction and craftsmanship of the house of the Lord in 1 Kings 6. With the wisdom Solomon received from the Lord, Solomon was able to create an acceptable house where the Lord could dwell. This great temple did not take shape overnight. It took seven years to complete it. It was a special building, and needed specific instruction, materials, and design. Without the help of the Holy Ghost, Solomon would have fallen short of the Lord’s specific instructions for His holy house.
Another example is Nephi creating a ship at the command of the Lord to help carry his family across the waters to the Promised Land. Notice the process Nephi undertook to receive instruction on how to accomplish this task.
1 Nephi 17:7-8
7 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord.
8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
1 Nephi 18:1-3
1 …And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.
2 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.
3 And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.
Prayer is key. Praying often and listening to the Holy Ghost will allow you to accomplish and create great things! I challenge you to think of the many ways that you can achieve joy as you create, and to rely often on the Lord’s help just like Moses, Solomon, and Nephi did. The Holy Ghost will enlighten your mind and fill you with joy in that process as well. Also, think of the many individuals Moses, Solomon, and Nephi were able to help and provide blessings to because of the objects they created as they followed the instructions they were given. Who will you be able to provide aid to as you follow the inspiration of the Holy Ghost as you create something new? Please share your experiences and thoughts on this topic by commenting below!
That They Might Have Joy Series