Thursday, September 29, 2011


photo of the Ensign Peak Monument taken on September 22, 2011

"And the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away,
and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth."
Doctrine and Covenants 29:23

The square is a symbol of earth and the four corners, the circle is symbolic of heaven.  This transition or point of contact from earthly ways to spiritual ways is seen in this pillar monument on top of Ensign Peak. It also represents a place where earth meets heaven.. since this was a location that the early Saints where given the temple endowment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


photo taken on my hike up to Ensign Peak on September 22, 2011

Nephi describes his life's learning as
 "having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,
nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days."
I Nephi 1:1 

Enos describes his life's learning as having been raised
in the "nuture and admonition of the Lord."
Enos 1:1

 Nephi draws attention to "afflictions' first, then to having been "highly favored". In contrast, Enos draws attention first to "nurture", and second to "admonitions". Nephi could see the overriding hand of Providence in the afflictions he endured. He acknowledges God's hand in all that he suffered. He was the better for having passed through his life's ordeals. God's hand in Enos' life was more gentle. He needed admonition, as we all do. However, he was perhaps a more willing student, or a more optimistic personality than Nephi.

Whatever accounts for this difference, Nephi's formula includes "afflictions" first, and God's "favor" second, while Enos follows the formual but adopts "nurture" first, and only secondly "admonition."

The above photo show two trailS side by side. Both going to the same direction and to the same destination. Both are uphill. However, the one on the left looks more difficult, steep, and with more weeds. The path on the right looks more gentle, and steady, clear, without as many obstacles. 

Nephi's path on the left? Enos's path on the right?

Monday, September 26, 2011


photo taken on September 22, 2011 of original trail leading up to Ensign Peak

RECLAMATION is the process of reclaiming something from being lost or from a less useful condition. It is a act of recovery as well as a restoration. It also could be said that it is the process of rescuing something from error and returning it to it's rightful state.

Last week I climbed to the top of  Ensign Peak, the first of my three hikes. What appears to be the "original" path taken by the early saints to the top is now closed. A sign states that the trail is under reclamation.  A barb wire fence is placed in front of the trail which controls people from ascending to the top of the peak on this original path. The now acceptable path detours the hikers farther away, which makes the hike much longer to reach the top. It does not appear that any work is currently being done to "reclaim"or improve the path.. but instead, weeds are growing over and covering up the trail. I think the desired result is to the erase away this trail.... to forget about it, dissolve it.. not necessarily to "reclaim" the trail.

In the photo, you can see to the right of the sign, a large wood pole that is leaning up against the fence. It looks like some adventurous hiker has used the pole to climb over the barbwire fence and hike on this original trail. Not sure what price needs to be paid for doing this. Most will never do this, since we are obedient to the rules and regulations set up by laws of men.

For the past several weeks I had been reading a 500 page book. I brought the book up with me on the hike and finished the last 50 pages on top of the mountain. It is ironic that the book speaks about the need for reclamation in our lives.

It is amazing how quickly one can hike to the top of the peak by hiking on the original trail. :)


photo taken on September 22, 2011
of graffiti at the base of the trail to hike Ensign Peak

We have all hear the phrases..."The third time's lucky." or  "the third time's a charm".

There is a common belief that the third time something is attempted is more likely to succeed than the previous two attempts. But why is the third time lucky?  In doing some research I came across a piece of history that under English law, anyone who survived three attempts at hanging would be set free.

 However, It seems more likely "x3" is a belief that, having had setbacks, we ought to persevere and not give up. This is enshrined in the phrase 'try, try and try again'. Three seems to be the right number of times to try. Two isn't enough but four is too many.

Think of every time you've seen a movie or drama in which a character tries to unlock a door with an set of unfamiliar keys. The first key fails, the second key fails - it is always the third that works.

Personally the number three has had significant meaning for me lately. The past couple of blog post (and the next several ones as well) will be photos I have taken on three different hikes that I climbed over the weekend. Seeing this graffiti sign of x3 at the beginning of my first hike was a confirmation of the importance for me to do this hikes.  Also in the above photo, there is additional symbolism. The times sign or "X" is the symbol of a chiasm. The color blue is also important, as well as the three dots forming an inverted triangle pointing down.


photo taken of a hawk that continued to circle around me on September 23rd
on Fall Equinox in the hills above Salt Lake Valley

the hawk flying above the Salt Lake Valley

It is rare to see a hawk flying freely over the metropolis of Salt Lake City. I am fascinated with such occurences. I think it is meaningful and symbolic. This particular hawk followed me and circled around me for quite sometime. Below is some information that my friend sent me after he had seen four hawks flying and circling in a clockwise direction the same day.

Attributes and symbolic meanings of the hawk:
  • Attention
  • Vision
  • Power
  • Energy
  • Leadership
  • Intensity
We take these symbolic meanings from observing the hawk in nature. The hawk has tremendous vision. Their eyesight is phenomenal and a key factor in their incredible hunting abilities. Here the hawk is a message for us to keep our eyes (both physical & spiritual) keen on the areas that most require our attention.

We derive the essence of power, energy and intensity just by visually appreciating the hawk. Consider its powerful beak and impressive talons. It’s steely stare and intense focus also contribute to the power the hawk holds. As such, the hawk asks us to be aware of the power each of us has over others.  The hawk is associated with the sun. It shares the same the attributes summed up by fire and sun. Attributes such as brilliance, clarity, energy, and unification. Also hawks represent our yearning for freedom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


photos taken at dawn (above) and then sunrise (below)
 on September 24, 2011 with Lone Peak in the distance

Dawn is the time that marks the beginning of the twilight before sunrise. It is recognized by the presence of weak sunlight, while the sun itself is still below the horizon. Dawn should not be confused with sunrise, which is the moment when the leading edge of the sun itself appears above the horizon.

The duration of the twilight period between dawn and sunrise varies greatly depending on the observer's latitude. Dawn may easily be determined by observing a piece of thread. When the color of a thread can be determined, changing from black to the thread's distinctive color, the 'crack of dawn' has occurred.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumnal Equinox:

photo taken up in the mountains today in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Sept 24, 2011

I came across this quote this week. I found it profound.

"For our day, (the last days), the Autumnal Equinox is very significant. The Spring Equinox is associated with life, birth, beginnings, restoration and newness. The Autumnal Equinox is associated with death, closing, judgment and endings. We live on the cusp of the end times. Though there remain a great many things to be done, our era is the time when history is about to close out.

Observing the Vernal, Autumnal and Solstices was something done from ancient times, in ceremony and in ritual. Whole cities were built aligned to the cardinal directions of the compass and the lights of heaven. The lights of heaven were given to us first as "signs" and secondly as "seasons." Don't let them pass by unnoticed. Otherwise you note less than even the plants and the animals whose life cycles and behavior acknowledge the passing of such events."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SEQUENCE OF SYMBOLIC IMAGES on the day of most light.

All of these photos were taken on hike on June 22, 2011 (Summer Solstice)
up Big Cottonwood Canyon

We live in a world of symbols.
No man or woman can come out of the temple endowed as he should be,
unless he has seen, beyond the symbols, the mighty realities for which the symbols stand.”
(Elder John A. Widtsoe, Temple Worship, p, 62)

The "storyboard" photos above were taken on a morning hike on the Summer Solstice of this year. I never had a chance to share them and wanted to before the Fall Equinox which is tomorrow. Each photo was taken in the order that I saw and took the picture. They tell a story. Nature can teach us beautiful gospel truth. The hike was a personel journey.. similiar to the temple narrative.. but wanted to share a couple of things.

The photos read left to right, top to bottom. They have alot of symbolic meaning to me. Here are a couple of insights:

We begin with creation.. everything begins with creation, the organizing of matter and when light enters darkness. Creation. We also see the division of a lesser light and a greater light. (Moon and Sun) .Great waters and dry land appear. Living water also is symbolic of washing and cleansing just like in the ordinance of baptism. We are then clean, pure and white. Water is needed for things to grow. Seeds are then planted and spring forth life. Green grass, flowers and other vegetation appear. All creation testifies of Christ. (5 pedals and the inverted star). All forms of animals are placed upon the earth and are commanded to multiply.

Christ comes in the meridian of time. Institutes the sacrament at his last supper. Red Grapes from the vine used for the symbol of his blood, the bread for his body. Christ then ascends up to the Mount of Olives with his disciples. Eight stay back lower and Three ascend higher. (photo of the trees) . The Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, the drops of blood from every pore. Then He was taken, and mocked and wore a crown of thrones. The rose has been another symbol for Christ. Crucified on the cross, died and laid in the tomb. Resurrection and the morning light. The Royal color of purple of King. The last picture of a mirror reflecting heaven. The Gift of Eternal Life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ORION: Symbols and Signs in the Heaven

photo taken early this morning on September 21, 2011 
"Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion."
Amos 5:8

Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Orion includes the prominent feature known as the Belt of Orion: three bright stars in a row. Surrounding the belt at roughly similar distances are four bright stars, which are considered to represent the outline of the hunter's body. Descending from the 'belt' is a smaller line of three stars known as the hunter's 'sword'. This constellation is also forms an X (a chiastic form)

The reason for taking this photo this morning is first of all, September 21 is an important date in the history of restoration of the gospel when the heavens meet earth. (Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith) but also because there are many who have been predicting that one the upper left (orange looking star) the stars in the Orion might go "supernova". This dying red supergiant star is called Betelguese (pronounced Beetlejuice) and could possible appear bright like a "sun" in the sky for a few weeks.


It is one of the only constellations mentioned in scripture; Amos 5:8, Job 9:9, Job 38:31
Also of some interest, the imagery of the belt and sword has found its way into popular western culture, for example in the form of the shoulder insignia of the 27th Infantry Division of the United States Army during both World Wars, probably owing to a pun on the name of the division's first commander, Major General John F. O'Ryan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

GREAT THINGS in Heaven and on Earth

photo taken on the summer solstice on June 22, 2011

"And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft,
 and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things."
I Nephi 18: 3

I will write more shortly.

Monday, September 19, 2011


photo taken of sunset from our driveway in July 2011

..."giving line upon line, precept upon precept;
here a little, and there a little;
giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come,

Doctrine and Covenants 128:21

Hope is a way to express the desired outcome of something we desire to experience. HOPE is to look forward with the assurance of obtaining the promised blessings that we seek.

It is confidence in a future event, the highest degree of well founded expectation of good.

We believe all things, we HOPE all things, we have endured many things, and HOPE to be able to endure all things.

Friday, September 16, 2011


photo take in August 2011 while lying on the grass up at my daughters karate camp.

Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visbile light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision

Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance of an object.

Depth sensation is the ability to move accurately, or to respond consistently, based on the distances of objects in an environment.

I will write more about the symbolism of this and compare it with our Spiritual Vision (eyesight), our Spiritual Depth perception and our ability to move accurately in the world in which we live.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


photo I took a candle that I purchased on June 27th, 2011
"For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall show great signs and wonders,
insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect,
who are the elect according to the covenant.
Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect's sake;
and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled,
for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet."
JST Matthew  verses 22-23

I took the above photo a couple of months ago for a different purpose. I post it here to illustrate the metaphor "Smoke and Mirrors" which is used to describe a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. The source of the name is based on Magicians illusions, where magicians make objects appear or disappear by extending or retracting mirrors amid a confusing burst of smoke.

I have always been troubled by one of the last days prophecies that the very elect shall be deceived...possible done by alot of "smoke and mirrors". The false Christs and prophets  will show great signs and wonders, and "if possible" they shall deceive the very elect. Is it possible?  If so, what should we do to make sure we are not decieved?.

We learn about that in the parable of the 10 virgins.

We read, “And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.” (D&C 45: 56-57)

The 5 wise virgins received the truth and took the Holy Spirit for their guide. They have the power to discern and judge correctly, and discriminating between what is true and what is false. They have taken the Holy Spirit to be their guide. They do not follow or trust in anyone or anything else but their guide, the Holy Spirit. We tend to think the Holy Spirit is the Holy Ghost. It might be more than that. It is a good thing to ponder about.

To "Receive" truth means to embrace, to allow, to retain, to welcome, to be endowed with, to bear with, to obtain.

The foolish are without understanding or judgment, possibly waiting to be told or guided what to do from other sources and not from the Holy Spirit but from others tell them to do. Relying on the arm of flesh.

We live in very deceptive times, we live in a world of lies and deceit. There is never a more important time than now to have the Holy Spirit to be our guide and recieve Truth.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


photo taken of household doors in Vernazzo, Italy in the summer of 2009

"Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."
Matthew 25: 11-12

The door is a place of peculiar sanctity and importance. The difference between the outside and the inside is that of two different worlds. In large houses the door-keeper sits at the entrance to answer inquiries and conduct visitors within, and at night he sleeps in a small room within the entrance at the side of the door, keeping guard over the premises. He is charged with the protection of the family. In smaller homes, a servant or family member calls out, "Who is it" If the visitor be a well-known friend, he exclaims, "It is I!" or "Open." The recognized tone of the voice is sufficient and no name is given.

When knocking at a door, an individual did not give their name because it was felt that an impostor or thief might try to gain access by using the name of a family friend. The voice of the one wanting to enter had to be recognized. This was a well-known custom anciently. So in the parable of the foolish virgins, when the Lord says, "I know you not, " he is saying that he does not recognize the virgin's voices. There hadn't been enough geniune interaction that their voices would be familiar. 

The door would remain closed. This is quite sobering to think about the importance of having geniune interaction with the Lord that not only He recognize our voice, but we recognize His.

One more example, when the Savior was walking on water in the dark of night, He replied to the disciples' query "It is I" and not "It's me, Jesus." He expected them to recognize His voice.

My wife is currently reading the book, "Beloved Bridegroom" by Donna Nielsen. This was a part of the book that she read to me. I thought it was important to post.

Monday, September 12, 2011


photo taken in July 2011 in near Siesta Keys in Florida

"Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence:
and likewise also the wife unto the husband."
1 Corinthians 7:3

I read this scripture this morning. We are currently studying Paul's letters to the Corinthians in Sunday School. I really liked this verse. It is good counsel for any married couple. The world would be a different place if we all "rendered benevolence" to our spouse.
RENDER: to give what is due, to bestow, to provide, to submit,
BENEVOLENCE:  the love accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

In the above photo my wife is about 5 months pregnant. We have our hands jointly together forming a heart shape on her "belly". My wife looks amazing. We only have a  few weeks left until the arrival of our 4th daughter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Significant Date: 9-11-11

photo taken of a burned tree stump and a horizontal crack in the white ash in Yellowstone Park
forming a cross taken on 8-12
I am reading a new book, it begins with this paragraph:

"History is comprised of pretty tough stuff.
The neat contours we tell one another after the events are not actual history,
but myth attempting to explain what happened in hindsight. The more important the historical topic, the greater the tendency to replace the rough, contradictory, failings of the past with an overall message of triumph or redemption."
excerpt from the book, 'Passing the Heavenly Gift'

Terrible things have happened on September 11th. Some events we don't even want to talk about... nor want to uncover and accept the truth. The Mountain Meadow Massacre also occured on a 9-11 where men, women and children were murdered in cold blood. Tragic stories usually has 3 types of people involved.. a victim, a perpetrator, and many times, an unsung hero. The innocent and their family unfortunately suffer (even for generations) from the hands of  the guilty. Those who are responsible for such tragedies range from the unintentional to the deliberate...usually with an agenda motivated by power, greed and selfishness.

 We have many choices on how we will respond  when faced with tradegy. We can focus on our grief, sorrow and suffering on one hand, or the anger, pain, and revenge to satisfy the demands of justice on the other. Most of us, if not all of us, in our lifetimes have been the victim, but also the guilty of hurting someone else.

What we need is to heal... by repenting and forgiving.  Learning the truth is also very painful, but is required for the process. Uncovering the unflattering and unpleasant history which has been glossed over, denied and/or whitewashed is usually not what we prefer to do.   Unfortunately when we tell a lie enough times we begin to accept as truth.. and thus procrastinating our day of repentance.

May we remember and pray for the victims, forgive our enemies, and praise the unsung heros. The ultimate unsung "hero" is Jesus Christ whose Atonement satisfied justice for the guilty and gave mercy and comfort to the innocent. It is His name that I testify of.. the only one who has the power to save.

Sidenote... I was at church this morning and I happened to look down at my watch and it was 11: 11 on 9 -11-11. It was one of those Chaistic moments. (111191111)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


photo taken on August 4, 2011

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins
and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice,
and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.
D&C 93:1 

This is a photo that I took of a young bull moose. I "asked" permission from the moose to get this close and take his picture. He was flattered that I would want to take his picture. You can even see him smiling in the photo. :)  I have written previously about the symbolism of the moose here

Last week, a close friend and I went for  hike in the mountains. We thought we heard the sound of  another moose. It is somewhat rare to see and get close to a moose in the wild. Many are frightened at animals that many find dangerous, so they keep their distance, few feel at one with nature and actually seek out and experience the animals in their natural habitat.  I believe it  is possible to communicate with all of the Lord's creatures.  (For example: I know someone who can invite bees to land on his hand and can stroke it's furry body without having the bee sting him). While my friend and I never saw the moose, we were led to see another unusual phenomena that would be hard to describe. If we only stay still, listen, and seek we can be taught very important lessons from nature. Nature teaches about the birth, life, growth, maturity, and death. Everything begins with a small seed. A righteous seed in abundance can bring forth a righteous society.

Most do not think it is possible to communicate with anything other than humans. It is my belief that every living thing has intelligence and it is possible to communicate.. intelligence to intelligence. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


photo taken of butterfly taken up in the mountains a few days ago

 "And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:2

 A couple of days ago on the banks of the Provo River, we saw a beautiful yellow and black caterpillar. It was one of the biggest ones I had ever seen. I have always found the transformation from a crawling insect to a graceful flying creature as one of God's greatest beauties on this earth. There is alot of symbolism we can learn about the process of transformation of the caterpillar and how it applies in our lives.

 The transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly is nothing short of magical. Butterflies represent light, glory, and joy. The caterpillar to the butterfly is a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis. From egg, to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges in his unfurling glory. This unwavering acceptance of his metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith.. and being faithful.

SILVERFORK: receiving and reflecting the morning sunlight

photo taken of the peak of mountain up Silver Fork Canyon on September 3, 2011

"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."
Malachi 3:3

The above photo is taken of a mountain peak up SILVER FORK canyon. The early morning hours in nature is as peaceful as it gets. One who wakes up before the sun rises can experience the darkness turn to light. The sun always hits the mountain peaks first before it eventually shines in the valley. Eventually all will see the light, but not necessarily at the same time.

Silver is a metal that is known for being highly reflective. It has been uses in mirrors and on projector screens (thus the term "silver screen") It reflects clear and actual images.
Many of you have probably heard this story about the silver smith and purifying silver. Here it is:
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot – then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”  He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part — when I see my image reflected in it.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On the 3rd.....EARLY ONE MORNING

photos taken on September 3, 2011

"I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God."
I Nephi 11:25

Our family has begun reading the Book of Mormon again in conjunction with my girls going back to school. We have just finished reading about Lehi's dream. We read about Nephi's conversation with an angel on the meaning of his father's dream.  The angel asked, Knowest thou the meaning of the tree?  And Nephi answered him, saying: "Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things."

This tree in Lehi's dream brought forth fruit that was desirable to make one happy. We read that when Lehi partook of the fruit thereof it filled this soul with exceedingly great joy, wherefore, he began to be desirous that his family should partake of it also; for he knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

I learned recently that the word JOY can be defined as "to be as God"... So when we read, "Men are that they might have joy".. is actually saying Men are that they will be as God.

We will go to great lengths to help our loved ones, our brothers...our sisters, our friends to come to the Tree of Life. We would sacrifice all.

The above photos were taken on a recent hike this past weekend on the 3rd. The number 3 is very significant.

While these above photos are not particularly award winning, they will have a symbolic meaning to a few. Words sometime can't describe things that are spiritual.

We can learn alot from the aspen tree. I hope to eventually go with my dad to see the largest living organism (in mass) on earth.. It might be a suprise to some to know what that is.... it is a fully connected Aspen grove in Utah named Pando. Pando (Latin for "I Spread) . This aspen grove which is located in the Wasatch Mountains is what is techically called a "clonal colony" (which means a group of genetically identical individuals from a single ancestor of a single male Quaking Aspen.)

This particular photo above of this "single" Aspen tree is very unique. The main trunk was severed, broke, or decayed. A new branch grew out of that main trunk, and in a descending then ascending "s" shape, a trunk grew up and sprung forth new life. It is important to note the tree appears hovering in the air from the distance.

The aspen tree grows upright to search and  find the light. All light radiates from Christ. As we all seek it, may we find it.