Cloisters to Courtyards

May 21, 2012 by

While in the Convent of San Marco in Florence and the Church of San Damiano in Assisi, I learned about cloisters. Cloisters are a central architectural feature of the living space for those who have committed themselves to religious life. It represents the shared space of the community of Christ and is meant to be a sanctuary for reflection and communion with God. They usually are cultivated with beautiful flowers to represent the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived in God’s presence. They usually have wells in the center as a symbol to Christ as the Living Water. The Church of San Damiano has this design. They can also have a tree at the center as a symbol of the Tree of Life, like at the Convento de San Marco. The cloister...

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Bruce R. McConkie's Description of Receiving the 1978 Revelation...

Mar 1, 2012 by

President Spencer W. Kimball was the prophet when the revelation was received in 1978. Ordaining all worthy males to the priesthood weighed heavily on his heart and he began petitioning the Lord concerning it. Elder Bruce R. McConkie was an Apostle during this time and in his biography, written by his son, he describes the experience of receiving the revelation. A long discussion followed in which each member of the Quorum of the Twelve expressed himself.  Elder McConkie recorded: “A strong, compelling spirit of unity was in the meeting.  It seemed as though all of the Brethren were in effect joining in the prayers which President Kimball had recently been making on this tremendously important matter.” President Kimball suggested that they go forward with the prayer. He said that if it was agreeable with...

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My Current Explanation of Life’s Purpose...

May 16, 2011 by

Life’s purpose is to increase in spiritual power by the cultivation of faith in God. I make sense of the purpose of life through the framework of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One of its tenets includes the pre-mortal existence of mankind in the presence of God, “For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth…for in heaven created I them”[1]. In this state, we had a consciousness of the goodness of God and accepted the transition to a mortal existence. Since early Sunday School, children learn that the purpose of life is to come to earth to get a natural body and gain experience by learning and growth. I have heard this narrative so many...

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"Blessed are the [pushovers] for they shall inherit the earth"?...

Mar 16, 2011 by

I’m not normally a people watcher. I’m split almost evenly between introversion and extroversion. When I’m in someone’s company, they have my undivided attention, which is a manifestation of my extroversion. My introversion manifests when I’m alone; I’m in the company of my own mind and heart, often giving only enough minimal  attention outside of myself to navigate my surroundings. It was a wise moment when Eleanor Roosevelt said: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. This is why I’m not normally a people watcher. Plus, I also have a sense of allowing others their privacy. Watching them like a hawk and drawing preliminary conclusions about their lives seems to violate their right to privacy. And that feels rude. However, this last week I was waiting in baggage claim...

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Resume Envy

Feb 2, 2011 by

“This guy is impressive,” was my reaction to his bio.  I was prepping for a meeting at work. I pegged him in his mid-twenties and his list of accolades included: He graduated summa cum laude from his noteable law school, He has published 7 legal papers (some law professors haven’t published that many!), His blog gets 10,000 hits per month, He’s still heading up this nonprofit he founded in law school while currently clerking for a circuit court judge. I wondered what his personal life was like. Does he get enough sleep? Does he have a wife/girlfriend? If so, does she feel like she has to compete with his interests? And if so, is she winning the competition? My admiration for him made me want to do great things too, but I’ve recently been...

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