Awe- Sunday, April 12, 2015
At the end of a long day of school and work, a busy college student was asked about his exhausting day. Instead of mentioning his difficult chemistry class or his burdensome homework assignment, he talked about the beautiful sunset he saw on his way home. The highlight of his day was a moment of awe.
Awe is what we feel when we encounter something vast and majestic, something bigger than ourselves. It breaks us free from the mundane and expands the way we see the world. We all need these moments of awe that calm our nerves, enlarge our perspective, and lift our attitude.
According to recent studies, awe-inspiring experiences “benefit us in all sorts of ways, from stronger health to improved relationships.” They make us quicker to help someone in need, more willing to share with others, and less interested in monetary rewards for the good we do.1
There seems to be something about awe-inspiring moments that puts life in perspective and inspires us to trust and connect with our fellow human beings. Such experiences make us feel small while at the same time making us want to reach out beyond the limits of our private circle and embrace all of humanity.
And the good news is that this glorious world is full of “awe experiences.” They’re all around us—all we have to do is look for them. That may mean taking a walk or a drive to see the beauties of nature. Or pausing to look deeply into a star-filled sky or at a glorious sunrise. Or watching grandkids having fun at a playground, or reveling in the joy of a new baby. Listening to inspiring music, watching an uplifting television program, or reading something enriching—all of these things can create awe. If we take the time to seek moments of awe, to appreciate something grand and glorious, to contemplate something bigger than ourselves, we may be surprised to find that our life is bigger, grander, and filled with more awe than we ever imagined.
-Lloyd D. Newell
1. See Elizabeth Bernstein, “Researchers Study Awe and Find It Is Good for Relationships,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23, 2015, D3; wsj.com/articles/researchers-study-awe-and-find-it-is-good-for-relationships-1424717882.
Apr. 12, 2015,
Broadcast Number 4,465
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Lead, Kindly Light
John B. Dykes; arr. Mack Wilberg
Prelude on an English Folk Song
Awake the Harp, from The Creation
Franz Josef Haydn
I Think the World Is Glorious
Alexander Schreiner; arr. Mack Wilberg
May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You
Meredith Willson; arr. Mack Wilberg