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|Normandy American Cemetery - August 2012|
|Utah Beach - August 2012|
|The English Channel from Pointe du Hoc - August 2012|
|The proverbial mustard seed|
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20There are 90,000 mustard seeds in one pound of seed. If you do the math and convert to grams, 1 mustard seed weigh 0.005 grams or 5 mg. It makes me wonder how many grams of faith it took to heal that child.
|Faust in his arrogance, as Mephistopheles patiently waits.|
An etching from page 4 by Harry Clarke in
Faust - by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (translated by Bayard Taylor)
“Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum"
The trap of Mephistopheles was hauntingly familiar, and it certainly was one that had worked before.* As the young man leaves awestruck, Mephistopholes says under his breath:(You will be like God, knowing good and evil).
Follow the ancient text, and the snake thou wast ordered to trample!
With all thy likeness to God, thou'lt yet be a sorry example!
|Justifying the Means|
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Matthew 13:14-17)
|Turret Arch - Arches National Park|
|Perspective: A 180-degree view of Turret Arch and the adjacent Windows Arches |
Arches National Park - August 2013
If something is to hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV. --Homer SimpsonKind of funny how much we have to learn from Homer. By contrast, you didn't hear Mormon tell his son "This is not working! These Nephites will never repent. We gave it our best shot and IIWII. Let's call it a day." Instead he said:
And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God. (Moroni 9:6)Mormon was not an "I choose to surrender" or "I'm over this" kind of guy. He was the original Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never give up." It's a big part of what makes this guy so heroic in my mind. His spirit inspires me to try to banish IIWII from my vocabulary.
Rorschach Inkblot Test
Hermann Rorschach - 1921
It is positively false doctrine in that it confuses our 'one life' with the brief span of mortality.
Our comprehension of this life is that it is eternal life—that we are living in eternity today as much as we ever will live in eternity … Eternal life is to us the sum of pre-existence, present existence, and the continuation of life in immortality. George Albert Smith [“Mormon View of Life’s Mission,” June 27, 1908, Church section, 2]
|Dan Martin of Ireland & Team Garmin Sharp|
100th TDF - Stage 9
|"The Subway" in Zion National Park - 2006|
Nothing exemplifies the power of persistence like the slot canyons of the Southwest.
"The Subway" is a very hard hike, but undoubtedly my favorite. This place makes you feel small and insignificant as you stand below 800 foot cliffs that rise up vertically on both sides.
Persistence: the act of persisting; enduring tenaciously.Since perseveration is a mental illness, it's differentiation from persistence and perseverance is less nuanced. Not so with the differences between persistence and perseverance. Perseverance can be thought of as persistence in a noble or just cause in spite of hardship or opposition. Where perseverance has connotations of things noble and good, persistence has connotations which are more mechanical and less principled. While persistence isn't necessarily always bad, perseverance is almost always good.
Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Perseveration: Uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.
Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.This quote is usually misattributed to Albert Einstein (or Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain). It actually comes from the 1981 Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous. In his Psychology Today article (here), Ryan Howe, PhD shows that although the aphorism is clever, it is a lousy definition for insanity. The idea does, however, illustrate that persistence in an of itself is not necessarily enough. Dr. Howe's article quotes another blogger who points out that sometimes wisdom dictates that we do exactly what would otherwise seem to be insane.
Sometimes doing the same thing a second time when it hasn’t worked the first is indeed just foolish. But sometimes it’s shrewd. Wisdom consists, in part, in knowing the difference.I do not believe that persistence alone will be enough to see us through the tempests of life and safely into the harbor--even when guided by wisdom. The counsel of God's prophets would argue that it will require perseverance. Perseverance requires faith and hope. Paul didn't actually use the word perservere when he was telling the Philippians to hold fast, but that's what he was talking about (Philippians 1:27-28). Elder Wirthlin taught:
I bear testimony that perseverance is essential to us in learning and living the principles of the gospel and that it will determine our progress as we strive to reach exaltation.With all the innuendo and subtleties that differentiate perseveration, persistence and perseverance, here's what I've taken away:
|Left Fork of North Creek, Zion National Park - 2005|
Persistence: a small stream within a stream cuts a channel into the bedrock.
It's neither good nor bad--just amazing.
|The St. Albans coin hoard|
"Thou, O God, dost sell us all good things at the price of labor." Leonardo da Vinci
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."" Calvin Coolidge
"In the sweat of thy face shalt though eat bread, till though return to the ground." Genesis 3:19Though Wesley Carrington has joined a local metal detecting club, he hasn't found anything else since October. With his beginner's luck having run dry, it looks like he will have to rely on hard work and persistence for his next find. Apparently it's not supposed to be easy.
|fighting off the charging peloton|
|Is this really happening?|
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. NLT 2 Timothy 4:6-8Sometimes one big win is all you'll ever get in life. These big wins don't just happen. They happen to people that are willing to go for it in spite of all the adversity and negative odds against them.
|Christ and the Young Child|
Carl Bloch, 1873
Carl Bloch - The Master's Hand
BYU Museum of Art - December 2010