Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Try Something New

                We can bring the greatest of all liberties into our individual lives by living true and correct principles.  This liberty comes to us as we live as though Jesus Christ were walking beside us. 

                The liberty principle for today is the third in a series of true principles suggested by Elder Richard G. Scott in his book 21 Principles – Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit.  I will merely introduce the principle and suggest that you obtain Elder Scott’s book in order to truly understand this principle.  Elder Scott explained that principles “are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.  A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances.”  You can see principle #1 here and principle #2 here.  

                Principle #3 is the simple fact that we must try something new if we hope to reach a different goal.  “Although the principle of doing new things to achieve new results applies in many areas of life, the underlying quality is the same.  It is creativity.  Creativity is what allows us to see things in a new way [or think outside the box].  We can enhance our ability to think creatively by engaging in pursuits that are different from our normal activities….

                “Search for feelings that prompt you to try something new yourself, and if they are not there strive to generate them….
                “Every individual has creative capacity.  The satisfaction and growth creativity generates is intended for each of us, not just for the most gifted….”

                Elder Scott described his hesitation to start painting and shared the joy he receives from using water colors to create.  I am gaining the same joy through learning to play the piano.  I did not have the opportunity – or the inclination – to study music as a child or youth.  I had no natural musical ability or any musical training; therefore, I had no appreciation for the finer points of beautiful music.  I remember assemblies in high school that featured musical numbers.  I really enjoyed listening to performers who sang songs, but I did not particularly enjoy listening to instrumental music.     

                In my young adult years I began to understand the importance of music and insisted that each of my children learn to play the piano.  They learned the basics, but none of them continued to play, although a couple of them played instruments in school bands and some sang in choirs.  I remained tone deaf until recent years when I began to practice playing the piano on my own.  I gradually learned to tell the difference between the right key and the wrong key.  Later I had the opportunity to sing with a choir long enough to learn the difference between harmony and melody.  Still later, I learned the difference in the sounds made by different musical instruments.

                I recently found an excellent piano teacher; actually I rediscovered her because she taught my children.  This discovery came about in a very interesting way.  I was doing my regular practicing and realized that I had not advanced in over two years.  I said to myself, “I am not making much progress trying to learn to play the piano on my own.  At this rate, I will never learn to play at the level I desire.  I wonder if I can find someone to give me lessons.”  That very afternoon I received a card in my mailbox from my friend Chris looking for more piano students.  I had no idea that she lived in my neighborhood and had been there for eighteen years! 

                I called and made arrangements to start taking lessons from Chris.  Two weeks ago she told me that I had moved from level two to level five in just a few weeks.   Last week she told me I had a good ear for music!  I almost laughed out loud!  Only I knew how truly tone deaf I had been and the long road I had traveled to receive this wonderful compliment, which I graciously accepted without any explanation.

                Gradually but surely I am fulfilling a dream of many years of learning to play the piano.  I believe that the Holy Ghost helped me to reconnect with Chris after more than twenty years.  I believe that Chris was prompted to advertise in our neighborhood, and I believe that I was prepared to receive her card.  Chris gently encourages me to try new things and helps me learn material much more quickly.  

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