September 16, 2020 - Refined

The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things. If we could part the veil and observe our heavenly home, we would be impressed with the cultivated minds and hearts of those who so happily live there. I imagine that our heavenly parents are exquisitely refined. In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like them in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in the presence of heavenly parentage...

Douglas L. Callister, "Your Refined Heavenly Home", BYU Speeches, September 19, 2006

This talk was a bit of an eye opener for me. I never really considered what our heavenly brothers and sisters, let alone our heavenly Parents, enjoyed in their lives in heaven.

They don't watch TV to pass the time. Or entertain themselves with mindless movies, music, or social media. They are refined. They enjoy the beauty everywhere, fine literature, fine music, fine art, and fine culture. They spend time on making themselves beautiful inside and outside. Not in a vain or pretentious way, but in a "I will appear at my best in all aspects" way.

Brother Callister talked about reading from the best books. He talked about listening to uplifting and beautiful music. He talked about enjoying riveting conversation, not mindless entertainment. He talked about spending time on one's self to be presentable, not in allowing one's self go.

When I would see Lori watching or reading stories about 18th century life, you know, the Jane Austen type stories.... I would think to myself how annoying it would be to always wear those tuxedos with the extra long coat tails, and those ascot or ties, and those top hats. How much time is wasted just getting dressed in that get up?? But the more I think about it, the more I realize that making yourself physically presentable, also makes you socially, mentally, even spiritually presentable too, let alone the confidence that comes with it.

Christ doesn't care what you look like. But He does care how close you are in emulating your Heavenly Parents in taste, culture, refinement, attitude, obedience, generosity....and appearance. If He were to come into our home, would He find a house of order and beauty and refinement? One where good music is playing? One where good books in a library reside? One where beautiful art decorates our walls? There's a reason the temples look and feel the way they do.

The closer we are to God, the more we want the good, fine things in our lives and hearts. And, the more we have the good, fine things in our lives and hearts, the closer we are to God. A beautiful cycle.

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