Sunday, May 15, 2011

David O. McKay

I got to spend a couple of days at work preparing photos of President David O. McKay for a website we're putting up. I never thought photoshopping old, dusty, scratched photos could be a spiritual experience, but after an hour or so of staring into this man's face there was no doubt of his mantel and Priesthood:

He was a powerful proclaimer of the Gospel - famous for declaring "every member a missionary!" Under his guidance the Church nearly tripled its stakes and wards. He even consulted the director of "The Ten Commandments" during the film's production.

As I took the scratches out of the ancient, scanned photos, I found it a pleasure to be able to dust the jacket of a Prophet


I've been reading through George Herbert's compilation of poetry called The Temple in the last few days. I found this beautiful copy of it at the Harold B. Lee Library that was published in London during the thick of the American Civil War:

The personally inscribed inside cover of the book reveals that book was given as a gift from one affectionate friend to another in the year 1864. Even after 150 years of passing from hand to hand and eventually landing on the shelf of the HBLL, the love of the author, the affectionate friend who purchased it, and the One who inspired it still manages to warm your fingers as you thumb through the pages. The Temple poetically describes the Christian's experience as he moves deeper into the architecture of the church. Finally arriving at the sacrament table the compilation ends with the following poem:

How sweet the Lord's Supper is to the hungry soul. It is the highest form of affection and love, and He invites all guests to his table. No matter how dejected and cast-off we may feel, he will make room for us at his table if we will but sit and eat.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them."

-Alma 56:47


There's a hope in every new seed
And every flower that grows upon the earth

The trees grow, the river flows
And its water will wash away my sins

For I do believe that everyone has one chance
To [mess] up their lives

But like a cut down tree, I will rise again
And I'll be bigger and stronger than ever before

For I'm still here hoping that one day you may come back
For I'm still here hoping that one day you may come back

an elaboration of the previous post

George Herbert's "Easter Wings" was the subject of a term paper last semester, and personally the ideas behind it have kept me from crashing to the ground in the last month or so. It's oriented to appear as two sets of wings that depict divine ascension, but in order to easily read it, the poem must be placed on its side and then it paradoxically resembles two finite and earthly hourglasses. The combination of visual and textual symbols somehow still manage to make me shiver. The following is the conclusion to my term paper:
In summation, through means of contradictory imagery and shape, the reader is led on a sequential journey similar to the Christian’s experience. Upon first approaching the poem with the lines oriented vertically the reader sees wings, and, as they begin to read, the lines draw the eye from top to bottom in a descending manner that detracts from the divine graphic. Eventually the reader must turn the page to orient the lines horizontally and the fall is complete, the wings are destroyed, and the timed trial begins. Through contraction and expansion the speaker is made “poore” and “thinne”, but fortunately as all worldly “wealth and store” is taken away by “sickness and shame,” his fall will amount to flight as his life is impossibly imped on to the only thing that remains – the wing of Christ. As the reader concludes the read and restores the orientation to its vertical layout, the wings reappear, and two divine figures (one for the reader and one for Christ) ascend for heaven. What was once a tragic fall grace has paradoxically become divinely-facilitated flight.