Thursday, November 18, 2010


the recent rush of posts expressing gratitude has got me thinking about what i'm thankful for. yesterday i picked up a copy of the newspaper for the first time in a long time. the main reason i hadn't read it for so long was because i've been crazy busy with school, but also it's hard for me to find any pleasure in it. with all the convoluted political garbage and the depressing results of forgetting to love our fellow man, the news hasn't really appealed to me. when i picked up the paper yesterday i was worried it was going to be more of the same. scanning through the headlines about riots, financial crises, and criminals, i began to feel that similar concern for the world at large i had felt to so many times before. down towards the bottom of the page, however, i found a little spark of good news - Medal of Honor for Bravery in Afghanistan. I turned to the page as my chemistry class settled down and read the account of a hero. maybe i'm just a sap who has seen too many war movies, but i couldn't help but feel gratitude for what Staff Sergeant Giunta had done, and i couldn't help but feel hope that there are still people out there who are willing to risk everything to help someone in need.
later i was talking to my dad about it, and he recommended that i watch an interview with Giunta that had occured a few days prior. as i watched the man talk, his humility and servility were striking. he shirked all praise, he took no credit.
i am thankful for heroes like him who are willing to risk everything yet require no recompense. it reminds me of the many people that have given so much to serve me, and the One who gave everything to save me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


on the 5th of august 2010 the collapse of a mine in chile left 33 miners trapped half a mile below ground. it was 17 days before rescuers on the surface were able to contact the trapped miners, and almost 70 days before they could be rescued. on the 12th of october a newly-bored shaft and a rescue system began to extract the sequestered men. the next day the last of all 33 men was restored to the surface, the sunlight, and the anxious arms of his loved ones.
i was sitting in the doctor's office the afternoon the men were rescued. while watching the live feed on CNN i had the distinct impression that i was one of those miners. in fact we're all like those miners. we're far below our true home up above, and we are incapable of cleaving the barrier that separates us. we are stuck, but mercifully we are not forgotten. there is a Plan to restore us to our home and it is anxiously being carried out. there are numberless souls aflutter on the surface working to establish a path to us, and there is One willing to descend below all things to save us. sitting in the doctor's office and staring at the television i couldn't help but weep for the love that i felt in that moment. even though we are isolated, if we allow His Atonement to enshroud us, Our Savior will lift us to the surface and into His arms. we can be restored to the surface, to the light, and to our families. and like those miners in chile, He has the capacity to save every last soul.


i've never considered myself as sophisticated. in fact i've always prided myself on being a minimalist - a thoreau that never needs anything beyond the simplest solution. however, sometimes it's nice to treat yourself, and a few of your friends, to a little extravagance. not in the mentality of pride, exclusivity, or decadence, but simply to celebrate the things we are blessed with. this earthly experience can at times be a difficult one, but when an opportunity presents itself to enjoy a cheerful moment, it shouldn't be wasted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010