Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Happy New Year

January 01st, 2018 by G.

I am no fan of New Years resolutions.

But yesterday the Sunday School teacher asked us to make a bucket list of five things we’d like to accomplish with the rest of our lives. It tied in to a lesson on Zion, I forget how (bottom line for the Zion lesson: that the work of salvation is entirely or exclusively an individual thing is a chief heresy that the restoration overturned).

I was interested to see what popped up when I started jotting:

1. Kids married in the temple.
2. Kids have lots of kids.
3. Endure to the end (undivorced, unexcommunicated)
4. Serve historical mission with [the Lovely One]
5. Kids non-pozzed.
6. Have a team of Randall Lineback oxen.
7. Convert someone.
8. Write stories.

I am one of those people who get phrases stuck in their head. For the last few days I keep thinking “I went down the hill and then, I passed beyond the world of men,” which keeps reminding me of that dream about the Sane.

The other two phrases bouncing around are (1) “O Lord make my enemies ridiculous,” which is neither here nor there.

And (2) “he died with his music still in him.” It came while I was splitting wood. I saw it written on a gravestone and it occurred to me that it could still be true of even a very great writer. It also occurred to me that generations later coming on the gravestone could read it as a very positive message of someone who kept their integrity and their joy. Any how, that was the phrase that went through my head again which I lazily converted to “Write stories.” The parables, the comic poetry, the goofy posts, the stories, the political theory, it all bubbles around inside and demands to be let out. The mass acclaim of my quintillion readers is of course nice. But I’d keep writing even if I only had an obscure blog with about five guys who occasionally read it, mostly because they occasionally posted there also. Because I have to. Every week I get further behind on spitting everything out. In reality, my best case scenario is the recent comment from Bruce C., which touched me pretty deeply:

When I do these ‘different takes’ on doctrine or theology, the idea is that sometimes, some people need to see the important ideas from a new angle. ‘Some people’ including myself – in that there are matters that I find I do not *really* understand that everybody else apparently finds straightforward. Repentance has been one of them.

When I make some kind of a mini-breakthrough or obtain a clarification, my hope is that this might help somebody else (some individual – not some mass or group of people).

Surprisingly often, this is the case – and that person lets me know that it has ‘hit home’. This is what blogging is all about, for me.

The majority of people, for whom any specific remark is unhelpful, should (and generally do) ignore it!

I am not sure if I achieve that best case scenario often or at all. But I keep writing away, because I am a horse that has a rider, and when the spurs dig in, I must needs gallop.

My wife showed me her list. It was more ethereal and less concrete than mine. “Be compassionate,” stuff like that. But one of her items was “see Jesus’ face.” That stabbed me with longing. Frm time to time I am hit with a longing to see His face in this life. It is like C.S. Lewis’ idea of “Joy.” Wonderful and painful at the same time. But it has never seemed the sort of thing that would be appropriate to make into a goal.

Well. Reading back over this post, I see that it went in a much more melancholy direction than the chatty, lighthearted post I had in mind when I started out.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
Tags: ,
January 01st, 2018 10:09:45
2 comments

Bruce Charlton
January 2, 2018

G – Thanks for salvaging this from the comments – I also posted it on BC’s Notions.

Widening the point to my professional work, much the same applies. What I consider my most worthwhile scientific work derives from my solid inability to understand the explanations that ‘everybody’ else said they understood – concepts like ‘depression’, ‘antidepressant’, ‘psychosis in clear consciousness’, ‘delusion’, ‘antipsychotic’, ‘life’ etc.

I’ve always regarded such stubborn incomprehension as my only distinctive gift as a scholar!


Bookslinger
January 6, 2018

Speaking of bucket list, here’s a story about which goals to dedicate your resources to. Fits in with Step 3.

Told by Marion D. Hanks, quoted in Leon Hartshorn’s “Outstanding stories by General Authorities”.

It’s entitled “Boy, We Really Have a Swell Bathroom, Haven’t We?” on page 107.

One man tells another “You folks ought to take up skiing like our family and have fun the year round.”

“Doesn’t that get pretty expensive?”

“It’s funny. We live in an old-fashioned house — legs on the tub, that sort of thing. For years we’ve been saving up to have the bathroom done over. But every winter we take the money out of the bank and go on a couple of family skiing trips. Our oldest boy is in the army now, and he often mentions in his letters what a great time we had on those trips. You know, I can’t imagine his writing home, ‘Boy, we really have a swell bathroom, haven’t we?'”

Leave a Reply