“The Magnificence of Man”

Elder Russell M. Nelson

1987 BYU Devotional Address

“Think of the protection provided by the skin. Could you make, or even conjure in your mind how to create a cloak that would protect you and yet, at the same time, perceive and warn against injuries that excessive heat or cold might cause? That is what the skin does. It even gives signals indicating when another part of the body is ailing. The skin can flush and sweat with fever. When one is frightened or ill, the skin pales. When one is embarrassed, the skin blushes. And it is replete with nerve fibers that communicate and often limit possible harm through perception of pain…The concept of self-renewal is remarkable.

Each cell in the body is created and then regenerated from elements of the earth according to the recipe or formula contained within genes unique to us…Consider the concept of adaptation. People on the earth dwell amidst climatic and dietary differences of vast scope…Yet these different groups work and adapt to varying conditions and diet available to them…With the blessing of our bodies to assist us, we may develop spiritual qualities of honesty, integrity, compassion, and love. Only with the development of the spirit may we acquire “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence” (D&C 4:6).