Let us prove our minds are set on beauty and true excellence

Let the people bring out their talents, and have the variety within them brought forth and made manifest so that we can behold it, like the variety in the works of nature. See the variety God has created—no two trees alike, no two leaves, no two spears of grass alike. The same variety that we see in all the works of God, that we see in the features, visages and forms, exists in the spirits of men. Now let us develop the variety within us, and show to the world that we have talent and taste, and prove to the heavens that our minds are set on beauty and true excellence, so that we can become worthy to enjoy the society of angels, and raise ourselves above the level of the wicked world and begin to increase in faith, and the power that God has given us, and to show to the world an example worthy of imitation.

Brigham Young, Journals of Discourses, 11:305

A 19th century perspective on American civilization: elevation and beauty

What really dissatisfies in American civilisation is the want of the interesting, a want due chiefly to the want of those two great elements of the interesting, which are elevation and beauty.

Matthew Arnold, Civilization in the United States (1888).