- Reverence may be defined as a profound respect mingled with love and awe. Other words that add to our understanding of reverence include gratitude, honor, veneration, and admiration. The root word revere also implies an element of fear. Thus, reverence might be understood to mean an attitude of profound respect and love with a desire to honor and show gratitude, with a fear of breaking faith or offending.
He shares a personal letter from Senator Jake Garn who was also an astronaut. He talks about the experience of seeing the earth from space and how it testifies of God's existance.
- Astronauts viewing the earth from space have stated how incredibly beautiful it is and how alive it appears. United States Senator Jake Garn wrote of his experience in space: “It is impossible for me to describe the beauty of the earth. It is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring, spiritual experience to view the earth from space while traveling at twenty-five times the speed of sound. I could also look into the blackness of the vacuum of space and see billions of stars and galaxies millions of light-years away. The universe is so vast as to be impossible to comprehend. But I did comprehend the hand of God in all things. I felt his presence throughout my seven days in space. I know that God created this earth and the universe. I know that we are his children wherever we live on the earth, without regard to our nationality or the color of our skin. Most important, I know that God lives and is the Creator of us all” (letter to M. Russell Ballard, 3 March 1988).
When we recognize the simple miracles that God has created, we recognize the greatest creation he has created is you and me.
- When we look to see the evidence of creation all around us, from a grain of sand to the majestic planets, we begin to realize that we are the greatest of all God’s creations; we are created in his image.
- The gift of new life brings a profound feeling of reverence. Parents and other family members are drawn closer together. Even little children sense a feeling of awe and wonder. They want to hold the baby, touch it, run their hands over its warm, soft head, or extend a finger for it to grasp and hold. Welcoming this new little spirit into our family circle brought home once more to me an incredible truth. I realized again that God created the earth in all its magnificent glory, not as an end in itself, but for us, his children. Indeed, we are his children, his offspring, and he is the Father of our spirits.
God has not left us alone to figure out life by ourselves. Because of His love for us, He has provided us guidance about our progression and this step in our eternal progression.
- God expresses his love for us by providing the guidance we need to progress and reach our potential.
The greatest gift that God has provided His children is His son Jesus Christ. The atonement makes it possible for us to return to God at the end of this life.
- He who knows most about us, our potential, and our eternal possibilities has given us divine counsel and commandments in his instruction manuals—the holy scriptures. When we understand and follow these instructions, our lives have purpose and meaning. We learn that our Maker loves us and desires our happiness. In an incomparable manifestation of this divine love for us, he sent his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
- In the atonement and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can glimpse the reality of his divine mission to redeem all who will come unto him and will honor and reverence God, our Eternal Father.
- We may begin to understand the depths of Christ’s love for us when we consider that he was willing to atone and suffer the pain for our sins, “which suffering caused [him], even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit.” Nevertheless, he gave glory to his Father and partook and finished his preparations unto the children of men.
Elder Ballard concludes with council to take time to observe the marvelous creations that God has given us. He encourages us to literally take time to smell the roses. With that appreciation, we will feel a deep reverence and love for the gifts that God has given us. We will recognize that all these gifts are given to us today but the ultimate gift we seek is to return to God's presence with our bodies and spirits reunited in the resurrection.
- To truly reverence the Creator, we must appreciate his creations. We need to plan to take time to observe the marvels of nature. Today, we can easily become surrounded by brick buildings and asphalt surfaces that shelter us from real life around us. Plan to share with your family the miracle of buds changing to fragrant blossoms. Take time to sit on a hillside and feel the tranquillity of the evening when the sun casts its last golden glow over the horizon. Take time to smell the roses.
- All the marvels of nature are glimpses of his divine power and expressions of his love. Yet the greatest of all miracles awaits us. It will occur when, by his power, we will come forth from death and the grave to a new world that will not pass away, where, if we are worthy, we will be with him and our Father in Heaven forever and ever.
I am convinced that the greatest mistake we make in life is having a lack of gratitude for the sacred things that God has provided to us. Elder Ballard encourages us to reverence the gifts that God has given us and take time to appreciate and express gratitude for the many blessings we have in our lives. God has created amazing things for our enjoyment and pleasure and it would be great for us to acknowledge His hand in the blessings we have in our lives.