Because He Lives

Happy Easter, Friends.

 

 

 
They are starting to put ads on our blog. We do not approve these and are not getting any residuals whatsoever, so I apologize for the content. I’ll see what I can do about it.

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The Lord is Pleased

good 'nuff road - sign

“When you find your path,
you must not be afraid.
You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses
to show us the way.”
― Paulo Coelho

“Have no fear of perfection –
you will never reach it.”
― Salvador Dali

I have been keeping up with some of my missionary friends since being home from my mission. One in the field told me they were feeling down because they thought they weren’t doing enough to talk to people and that they were failures because of this. Hearing this, I dusted off my soapbox and gave my two cents on the matter. I thought the advice was equally important for those who aren’t missionaries to hear as well. So here we go –

Continue reading

Dante, Beatrice & The Divine (Romantic) Comedy

Dante and Beatrice by Henry Holiday

Dante and Beatrice by Henry Holiday

“Everything I understand, I understand only because I love.”
Leo Tolstoy

“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.”
Karen Sunde

dante statueFun fact:
In every single city and town in Italy, you will find a street named “Via Dante”.

At first it seems puzzling. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was not a king or ruler of any kind. He didn’t fight in any major battles, and he was a miserable failure at politics (he even got kicked out of his beloved Florence for it). Dante was nothing more nor less than a writer.

But Dante is arguably the most famous man Italy has produced (and the one Italians are most proud to call their own). He is often called by us English speakers the “Italian Shakespeare”, but as a writer and poet, Dante has no equal and no parallel.

Dante_Alighieri_1By far his most famous and enduring work is his Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia), a work made up of three parts chronicling Dante’s mystical tour of Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and ultimately – Heaven (Paradiso).

There are many reasons why his magnum opus is considered great – it was written in Tuscan Italian instead of latin (the common literary language), which laid the foundations for modern Italian. It’s a grand collection and embellishment of all the Catholic Church’s teachings concerning the afterlife. It’s the Who’s-Who of the medieval world, with Dante placing all VIPs, friends, enemies, courtiers, nobles, and even men of the church where he saw fit (spoiler: most end up in hell). It was an instant bestseller when it was published, and rocked Europe with its originality.

But what would push Dante to write such a work?

It was the love of a woman. Continue reading

When All Other Lights Go Out

Stars Above Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI

 

“Though here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the stars farewell.”
-Samwise Gamgee (LOTR 909)

 

I am a chronic stargazer. Place me under an open evening sky and I will inevitably look up and try to spot as many celestial lights as I can. I’ve been known to hassle my family for weeks on end to go stargazing with me in the middle of winter.

The stars just never cease to amaze me. Whenever I look at them, I feel like I am peeking through the cracks of eternity into God’s workshop. The sight of them moves me in ways that no other work of nature or art can. There’s no other word to describe it – to me the stars are holy.

As it turns out, I am in good company in my love and admiration for the stars. Man has seemingly always looked to the stars and found them to be more than mere balls of gas burning billions of miles away. Continue reading

Let It Be in the Lord

butterfly cacoon

“Love not what thou are,
but only what thou may become.”
– Don Quixote

Recently a visiting authority in the church called me up from the congregation to give an impromptu testimony. Since my dad is in the stake presidency, it would have been decent of him to have given me a heads up via text or creative hand gestures…but no.

So with heart beating, hands shaking, and a couple minutes to prepare, I made my way up to the front, and the following thoughts came to mind. So I shared. Continue reading