A Life without Work Is a Life without Growth - Sunday, September 2, 2018
Some years ago, a 17-year-old boy spent a long, hot summer doing landscape work. It was a hard, sweaty jobónot the kind of thing most 17-year-old boys enjoy doing with their summer. He dug trenches, laid sod, spread rock and bark, planted trees and shrubs, and mowed and trimmed lawns. One by one, his friends who worked alongside him were worn out by the work and quit. It wasnít their idea of summer vacation. But this young man stuck it out until summerís end.
Today, he looks back at that summer of hard work and is grateful he endured. He learned he could do hard thingsónot only that, he learned that doing hard things is actually quite satisfying. He returned home at the end of each day exhausted but content. He had done his best and had contributed to the world around him. One shovelful at a time, he had made the world a better place.
In our world full of labor-saving devices, itís common to think of work as something to avoid. Success is sometimes defined by how much leisure time one achieves. While itís good to be efficient in our work, and a little leisure is healthy, the truth is that a life without work is a life without growth. There really is no substitute for it. Work strengthens our determination and stretches us as nothing else can. Honest labor improves our lives in every aspectóphysically, emotionally, even spiritually. Some work with their hands, others with their mind, but all good workers labor with their heart.
Former U.S. president Calvin Coolidge praised work with these words: ďAll growth depends upon activity. Life is manifest only by action. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.Ē Everything good that happens in this world happens because someone worked at it. Whether itís mowing lawns or inspiring minds, building a house or building a relationship; whether itís in an office, a storefront, a classroom, or a conversation, honorable work builds us and our future.
1. Adequate Brevity: Mental Processes of Calvin Coolidge, comp. Robert J. Thompson (1924), 45.
September 2, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,642
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Goodness of Work
Morning Has Broken
Gaelic melody; arr. Mack Wilberg
Giulio Caccini; arr. Mack Wilberg
Traditional folk hymn; arr. Robert Hebble
Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel
Will L. Thompson; arr. Mack Wilberg
When You Wish upon a Star, from Pinocchio
Leigh Harline; arr. Michael Davis
The Lord Bless You and Keep You
Press Forward, Saints
Vanja Y. Watkins; arr. Mack Wilberg