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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!  May the Lord bless all of you this Christmas Season!

 Luke Chapter 2:
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Logan Temple in Fall

Here are a few photos of the Logan Temple I took a couple of weeks ago.  I thought they might be of interest, even though they aren't the best quality.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Beautiful Fall Day

Thursday was a fantastically beautiful fall day, especially for flying.  The wind was calm and the visibility was unlimited.  I knew I had to get my plane out before the cold front moved in.

I left work early and pulled my plane out of the hangar.  After a short mechanical  issue with the brakes, I went flying around the whole valley, from Fielding and Thatcher to Plymouth and over to Newton and Logan.  I made a stop in Logan and on the way home I took these photos of the Wellsville Mountains.  The Fall colors were vivid and bright.

 The Brigham City Temple is barely visible over the nose of my airplane.

 View of the Bear River Valley looking South.

 And finally home again to the Brigham City Temple!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Temple Dedication

I was just puttering around after work on Tuesday.  I sat down on the couch and I may have even nodded off while watching an episode of “How It’s Made” on Netflix.  When I came to, there was a surreal light in the sky.  I got up and looked out the window and said, “That’s weird.”  The sun was almost setting, and the last rays were reflecting off some clouds over the city and off the mountains. 

I grabbed my camera and rushed to the temple.  I knew that I only had a few minutes to get some fantastic photos.  I really wanted one that I could enlarge into a canvas print, like some I saw at Peach Days.  I wanted to buy one, but not for $325.  So, here are the photos that I took on the first day the temple was in operation.  The scene was stunning.  Another mini-miracle for me of the grandeur and beauty of the Lord’s House and the incredible blessing of having it here in Brigham City.

I also thought this would be a good blog to summarize my thoughts and feelings about the temple and the dedication.

I attended the noon session of the temple dedication with my wife.  We sat in the baptistry and watched the dedication on one of the many monitors set up so all could see the proceedings.  I didn't think there was any chance that I would be able to attend the dedication in the temple, but my wife received two tickets from the open house translation and interpretation committee she was a part of.  We even got to sit on the padded benches that face the baptismal font.

I was reflecting on the experience during the week and wondering how the temple has changed me.  Sometimes I still drive by the temple and think it can't be real, but there it is, right on Main Street!

On Monday and Tuesday after the dedication, I made significant progress at work on a problem that has been vexing me for some time.  It was one of those serendipitous moments when I think, yeah!  But, then I realize I must have had a higher power helping me, because I know the inspiration came from beyond me.

The inspiration and power that is manifest in my life is the reason I keep going to the temple to worship and make covenants with my Heavenly Father.  His Spirit blesses my life and my family.

The temple reminds me of the analogy of the pearl and the box.  This story has been told a number of times in General Conference.  It goes like this:

There’s an ancient oriental legend that tells the story of a jeweler who had a precious pearl he wanted to sell. In order to place this pearl in the proper setting, he conceived the idea of building a special box of the finest woods to contain the pearl. He sought these woods and had them brought to him, and they were polished to a high brilliance. He then reinforced the corners of this box with elegant brass hinges and added a red velvet interior. As a final step, he scented that red velvet with perfume, then placed in that setting this precious pearl.

The pearl was then placed in the store window of the jeweler, and after a short period of time, a rich man came by. He was attracted by what he saw and sat down with the jeweler to negotiate a purchase. The jeweler soon realized that the man was negotiating for the box rather than the pearl. You see, the man was so overcome by the beauty of the exterior that he failed to see the pearl of great price.

In my interpretation of the parable, the temple is the box; beautiful, brilliant, polished, and of the highest quality.  We admire the temple for these things, but the most important thing, the pearl, is what is in the temple and that is the Spirit of God. 

In the temple, we make covenants with our Heavenly Father that will allow us to return to him with our families.  That is His plan, made possible through the life, mission, teachings, atonement and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Temples direct our thoughts and actions heavenward, to Them.  The "box" is wonderful, but the "pearl" is most important.


Temple Cultural Celebration

The Temple Cultural Celebration was last Saturday.  Of course, if you had kids in it, you already knew that.  I went to the two o'clock dress rehearsal/performance and really liked it.  I was impressed that 4,000 kids could come together and perform so well.  No doubt it was the countless hours the leaders and volunteers spent putting the whole show together.

I can also tell you that my two sons were struggling to last thru one more practice and the 14 hour day that started at 6 am was nearly the last straw.  Now, after a week of reflection, my youngest, says it was fun to be with the other kids, but he didn't like the dancing very much.

I hope my sons can remember this event and the temple dedication the following day for their whole lives.  It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event!