Friday, April 29, 2011

The Temple: A Place for a Royal Wedding

Photo taken of the St. George Temple on April 22, 2011
The photo shows the moon in the morning sky as well as the American Flag in front.
The American Flag is significant in the photo due to the fact that the Founding Fathers
appeared to Wilford Woodruff in this temple to get there work done for them.
Across the "pond" was the Royal wedding of Prince Willaim and Katherine in Westminster Abbey. I find such a huge contrast to the weddings of the world compared to the simplicity of the weddings and sealings that occur in the temples. I went through the St. George temple for the first time last week. Here are a few facts.  The St. George Utah Temple is the oldest operating temple of the Church. (it was dedicate before  the Salt Lake Temple.The St. George Utah Temple is the only temple completed during Brigham Young's 30-year tenure as president of the Church. The orginal tower of the St. George Utah Temple fell casualty to a lightning storm about a year after the dedication, leaving it badly damaged. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America appeared twice to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Utah Temple asking why their temple work had yet not been performed on their behalves. A striking painting depicting this singular event hangs in the temple lobby.

When the St. George Temple was dedicated. Chief Tuba  ( a Hopi Indian) attended the dedication and was baptized. He and his wife were the first Indians to receive their endowment and be sealed. Tuba City, Arizona was named in his honor.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter morning

photos taken on top of Hidden Peak (Snowbird's Aerial Tram) on April 24, 2011

I will write more shortly

Thursday, April 21, 2011

EASTER: The Resurrection and The Rising of the Son in Glory

Photo taken this morning of the sunrise on April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Photo taken on April 19, 2011 just up the hill from our house.
Highs and Lows of the Last week in Christ’s life:

This week we remember, honor, and celebrate the last week of our Savior’s life. Sometimes we get too caught up in the decorating of eggs and chocolate bunnies. Far from today’s jelly beans and marshmallow treats…. what transpired over 2,000 years ago was a culmination of events which included the highest of highs and lowest of lows in Christ life. Events including: the Passover, the Last Supper, the confrontation with the religious leaders, the betrayal from one of His disciples, the Garden of Gethsemane, the denial from His chief apostle, the mocking and scourging, the Crucifixion, but ultimately what we as Latter Day Saints focus on most.. The Resurrection.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, also known as Holy Friday. It is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemoration the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary.

Below are a few photos that I wanted to share with you all. These trees are in grassy section in front of the LDS ward building in our stake. It is located at the top of a hill from our house . A tragic accident happened here a few days ago when a car driven by a young man struck the middle tree. His car slammed broadside and wrapped around the tree. He died at the scene. The scarred and missing bark shows the place of impact. It is interesting that the two trees on either side remain unscathed. Family and friends who are now grieving have left flowers marking the place of this tragedy. This tree now becomes a memorial. When I walked by the tree, I noticed that the sap, the inner liquid of the tree is seeping at all the pores. It actually appears as if the tree is weepy, or even “bleeding” at every pore.

I couldn’t help but see the similarities of the three trees, on top of this hill.. where a tragic death occurred on the center tree.

Yet, as tragic as this scene is, there is the sign of hope of rebirth in the photo. Branching out and behind the pine tree is a flowering pink tree. The hope of life after death made possible by the Son of God.

While our focus is and probably should be on the resurrection, However, it might be important and humbling to reflect tomorrow morning what the Lord endured and suffered for each of us. Just a couple of thoughts. He was crucified at 9:00 AM (Mark 15:25, crucified at third hour, Mark 15:34-37 died at the ninth hour.) Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. During his last 3 hours on the cross, from noon to 3 p.m., darkness falls over the whole land.

Here is a interesting quote from the book, Come let us Adore Him. “Crucifixion was a brutal way to die. It may have been the most cruel way ever used by government to execute a “criminal.” It combined prolonged torture and public humiliation for the victim, together with intimidation to all who saw it. The cruelty of this awful form of punishment was necessary for Christ to suffer. His purpose was to deliberately descend below all things. A pain-free, dignified death would not do. It had to be such an ordeal that any of us thinking about what He endured would be convinced He did not spare Himself. He suffered to the limits all that He could endure. He proved His love for us beyond any doubt.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Authentic vs Counterfeit (Part 1)

We live in a day when Satan deceiveth the whole earth. (Revelations 12:9). While many of us can discern between obvious truth and error, see the difference between black and white, or feel the difference between hot and cold… it is more difficult to discern between what is real and what appears to be real, to discern what is “authentic” and what is counterfeit. Unfortunately, many times the counterfeit version actually looks better, seems to it make us feel better and sounds better to our ears. These counterfeit look so real that "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24), all the while they believe they are following the real thing.

Authentic : created directly from the source, the author or maker. Embodies the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions.

Counterfeit: an imitation or variation of the original. Assuming the appearance of something, made by another. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

We should always be careful not to be deceived. It is unfortunate when we honor, worship or follow things that are counterfeit, thinking it is the real thing. Here just a brief examples.

Photos taken in Florence, Italy on May 2009
Michelangelo selected a used piece of marble. It was heavily scarred by previous sculptors who had given up on carving this particularly difficult stone. Skeptics doubted that anyone could produce anything worthwhile from this battered and overworked chunk of marble, but Michelangelo saw something within it that nobody else could see. Other sculptor created pieces of art from beautiful, unmarked and without outward flaws.

As Michelangelo’s Statue of David was being transported to the place of honor, the statue was stoned and attacked by unknown assailants. We also know in later political upheavals, the David was knocked of its perch and its right arm broken. Fortunately, another artist and supporter of Michelangelo salvaged the pieces and had the statue repaired when social order was restored. However, in 1873, it was decided that the David statue would be safer indoors, and a copy was set in its place.

It is very difficult to tell the difference between the two statues. The replica actually looks better to some because it is newer and without blemish or scars.
Sidenote: The stone that the builders rejected for Solomon's Temple was "blemished" and in their opinion, unworthy to be used. (Psalms 118:22) But more importantly it parallels Christ when we read in Isaiah 53:3 - “he was despised, and we esteemed him not”.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6: Alignment of Light

Photos taken on the morning of April 6, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Conference 2011

Photo taken from the Church's new highrise condominium project on March 17, 2010