I watched this movie the other night – “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”. I never had seen it before, although it came out in 2007, but I couldn’t help but smile all the way through. It was a smile from somewhere deep inside – a smile buried under 60 years of living in a telestial world. For any who have not seen it, it is a delightful child’s story of magic and hope and discovering one’s potential. Dustin Hoffman plays a man who has been making toys for about 250 years. Decades before, he found his ideal pair of shoes in Italy, and bought enough to last a lifetime. Well, he now has holes in his shoes, this is the last pair, and it’s time for him to go. He is leaving his magical toy store to Molly, a child prodigy pianist now all grown up, but who is, by her own admission, stuck in life, trying desperately to finish her first symphony. He tells her repeatedly that she has the gift, and that she is the one chosen to carry on his legacy. She believes in Mr. Magorium’s magic and delights in it on a daily basis, but she has no idea where it truly comes from and she loses her faith when he actually departs. Though she has seen the manifestations of his love, she has trouble believing his words as applied to her. Alas, the magical store that was once so full of color and wonder goes dark without his magic, and the young heroine resigns herself to selling it.
But Mr. Magorium has left Molly a gift – a beautiful, if very plain, wooden cube. As one would expect in such a tale, at the last minute – just as Molly is about to sign away the store to a non-believer – a new friend expresses his faith in her, just enough to trigger the passion that, for her, was likewise buried under 60 years of living…well, ok – it was only 23 years of living, but you get the point. The box comes alive at her expression of faith in the magic, spinning wildly around the store and awakening the toys that were lying dormant, only waiting to be resurrected by the designated heir of the emporium’s magic. With child-like amazement, Molly throws her power about, bringing colors to life and tossing waves of animation into lifeless toys. At the same time she begins to see herself as Mr. Magorium saw her – as a creature of light, magic, and unlimited potential. As her own power blossoms, she fills her heavenly store with joy for all who have the innocence and faith to believe.
I have lived most of my life without passion. I don’t know why, but it’s a fact. Passion is what makes life truly worth living and I seem to have missed it, although for most of that time I didn’t realize that I was missing it. I once told my daughter, “Find something that you’re passionate about and do it. If you can make a living at it, then great; but if not, don’t ever stop doing what you’re passionate about.” I never even understood why that advice was so important until today.
Lately, my own soul has been awakened to many wondrous things. I have found that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is much more real and powerful than I ever knew, and that it alone can bring the magic of truth into my life. By cleansing me of the very desire to sin and by testifying to me of a world that is truly a place full of joy and the wondrous magic of love, this comforter has shown me what it means to truly be passionate about something for the first time in my life. The heavens have been opened enough to show me that eternal life can begin now; that I can know my Savior and stand in His presence; and that the Lord answers prayer with as much certainty as any law, physical or spiritual, that He has given.
The Lord has told us that we must become as a little child, that we must humble ourselves before Him and believe. Yet, even though we be numbered among the “humble followers of Christ, we must still overcome the things we have been taught “by the precepts of men” (2 Nephi 28:14) and embrace the magic that is the gospel. Just as Molly had to learn to believe the promises of Mr. Magorium in order to discover her extraordinary potential, we, too, must learn to trust in the promises of our Savior; they are many, they are bright, and they are beautiful. Truth and light will be revealed to us as we humble ourselves; as we learn to cast aside our jealousies and fears (D&C 67:10); and as we come to truly believe that we can become all that the Lord created us to be. I have discovered that I have a passion for my Savior and for teaching of His reality and His love. Many will not hear, but I will speak. Many will not follow, but I will lead. Many will not understand, but I will teach. For the first time in my life I feel truly alive and committed. I feel like Molly, who discovered the powerful symphony that was to be her life simply by exercising faith in herself and in her mentor’s promises, and then sharing it with those children who were humble enough to believe. The Lord keeps his promises. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!