The Gift of Life- Sunday, April 24, 2016
Have you ever observed a child who finds an injured bird on the ground? Almost instinctively, she wants to take it in, feed it, and make sure it doesn’t die. It’s the same impulse that leads a sailor to spend hours helping a dolphin get untangled from a fishing line. It’s what inspires a gardener to tend a withering plant, hoping to restore it to health again. It’s what causes an entire community to rally to the rescue when someone—even a stranger—is lost in the mountains or stranded in a mine.
The world over, regardless of culture or religion, we all realize deep down that life—in any form—is sacred.
Perhaps we sense a bit of the Creator in each of His creations—in every one of His children and in every living thing. Each is unique, and each is priceless. And so we pull together to preserve life, as if our hearts have agreed to set aside our differences and join in a greater cause. The Talmud contains this passage that resonates with all: “Whoever saves a life… [saves] an entire world.”1
Every human being has a kernel of kindness in the soul, an innate willingness to sacrifice time and effort when someone else is in need. We each have a sense of our own power to help someone less fortunate. This natural inclination toward love, compassion, and service is like a divine inheritance, a holy birthright that can become, if we choose, a guiding influence throughout our lives.
This is why we respond with tenderness—even reverence—when we see a new baby, newborn animals, even new blossoms on trees. We honor life’s value when we help another in need, when we nurture and preserve life, when we appreciate the beauty in nature, and when we act as stewards in caring for the world around us. In this way, we give our thanks for the most precious gift of all, the gift of life.
1. Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:9; see also mechon-mamre.org/b/r/r4604.htm.
April 24, 2016
Broadcast Number 4,519
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Hallelujah Chorus, from Christ on the Mount of Olives
Ludwig van Beethoven
Awake and Arise, All Ye Children of Light
Welsh tune; arr. Mack Wilberg
Early One Morning
English folk song; arr. Andrew Unsworth
American folk song; arr. Mack Wilberg
My Heavenly Father Loves Me
Clara W. McMaster; arr. Nathan Hofheins
One Person, from Dear World
Jerry Herman; arr. Ryan Murphy