… aren’t receiving revelation themselves. Otherwise, they would know “how it works.” (more…)
A certain man fell among thieves, and was robbed and beaten and left for dead.
A Levite walking by took a selfie pic with a concerned face, and posted it to Facebook, with the comment that somebody should do something and it was time to stop the hate. It got lots of likes and re-shares.
And a priest walking by also saw the man, and a took a photo, and tweeted it, #NoMoreRepublicanSpendingCuts. And lo, the hashtag trended, and a celebrity did retweet it. And verily the counter hashtag, #VictimLivesMatter, which shared a clip of a Democratic congressman calling for an end to oppressive policing in the Jerusalem area, also trended.
And a Samaritan passed by, who possessed not even a smart phone, neither did he watch the news. And he had compassion on the man, and bound his wounds, and took care of him.
Who then was this man’s neighbor?
Tools are beautiful. Even the words for tools and their parts have a charm to them. Tang, ferrule. They are most beautiful when you know their use because you have used them, such that your hula hoe has some hint of ripe tomato in your mind. (more…)
I have probably said something snide about “checklist” Mormonism a time or two. But rules, checklists, and practicality have the same relationship to spirituality that flesh has to spirit. The former provides form, content, and meaning to the latter. The former is often the best route to the latter. Eating is more important than studying nutritional principles.
I have read and written breathless little sermons on the spiritual value of gardening. The glories of creation and all that. I love them.
But the Mormon says, “Why should you garden? For the cheap vegetables.” (NB: it takes a fair amount of mental independence these days to grow cheap vegetables. Much of the gardening advice out there will get you growing very expensive vegetables indeed.) (more…)
Saturday you drive a van of youth, ages 12 – 17, 3 hours to the temple. They talk happily the whole time. Riddles, books, rubik’s cubes, music. You are amazed at the health of it.
Sunday one of them slowly, gropingly, fervently bears his testimony about the temple. It was his first time.
Your Elder Quorums’ President is in a kilt. His daughter saved her money to buy it for him for Christmas, he says. So he is wearing it.
You meet a man who is there for the first time. His family will be joining him in June. You invite him over to dinner along with your home-teaching family. It turns out he had been fasting because he was sad from loneliness.
Every year there is an end to Christmas day and an end to the Christmas season. It is always a bit melancholy. Each of us will have a last Christmas of our life. That will be a bit melancholy too.
Our kind of Christmas will end someday too. Someday there will be a Last Christmas within the circle of the world.
But this year I have had an intimation that at the true last Christmas, Christ will be there. It will not be sad at all. (more…)
The Book of Revelation is an exceedingly mysterious and symbolic text; and I have never been convinced by any particular interpretation of its meanings.
It seems like a multi-referential code, understandable to an initiate of the time, no doubt; but whose ‘key’ has been (to a significant extent) lost. Consequently, guesswork is required, and results will be tentative… (more…)
“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Enjoy these goodies. (more…)
An old horse looked sorrowfully over the fence at a bull calf in the next pasture and gave a long sigh. The bull calf respectfully asked what the meaning of these expressions of sadness were. (more…)
This was our family’s smoothest, most comfortable Christmas that I can recall. No stress, no melancholy, lots of coziness.
- We bought two presents for each child. One small, one medium. The kids didn’t miss the extra presents and it makes it much easier on us. Less mess, less wrapping, less arrangements.
Today we will sing the hymns of Christmas and take the sacrament.
One of the several things a belief in and love of the supernatural does is increase one’s admiration for nature.
If nothing else, looking at the intricacy of nature as a divine handiwork makes one grateful for the gift the creator bestows by crafting the stars to look as they do; or planets and comets in their careers; or the rings of Saturn and his moons like Christmas tree ornaments; or snowy mountain crags; or thunderstorms at sea; stately oaks with crooked limbs;or hawks on the wing; or horses who race with manes like banners flying; or the look of a girl just turning her head to expose the line of her throat and the curve of her cheek; or the laughter of a child ringing; or the shapes of leaves of beech and ash and elm; the whisper of wind in wintery branches; the crash of the surf at the strand; the energetic dance of butterflies in a sunlit meadow; the ungainly speed of the ostrich; the whistle of birds at dawn; the twitch of a rabbit’s nose; the sweetness of honeycombs; the intricate mathematical beauty of crystals and chemicals; the abstract elegance of a noble helium atom.
If all this was merely the product of blind forces, it is certainly amazing, but the amazement is merely within our brains, and has no further meaning. If all of this is handiwork, it was made for you.
It is a gift, just as much as the child God sent to the Virgin on this day to redeem all these things from time and death.
And if it is a gift, then let us give thanks and rejoice, because gratitude is the only thing that makes life not just endurable, but joyful
-thus John C. Wright.
In hymns today we will rejoice with sound and lips and tongue and soul and feeling. Spirit and flesh. (more…)
On the sweetness of Mormon life.
Really, on the sweetness of fatherhood and motherhood.
There is something irreplaceable about carrying your small, sleeping children to bed. It is an experience that never palls. (more…)