City on a Hill

During my junior year of college, as I worked toward finishing my B.A. in American Studies, I took “Studies in the American Experience,” the major’s capstone course taught with wit and acumen by Dr. Neil York. About half way through the course, Dr. York explained to us that we were entering a third of the course where we would discuss some troubling aspects of America’s past. Over the next month or so, we discussed a number of mostly glum historical topics such as “America and Blacks,” “America and Asians,” and “America and the Minority.” Dr. York detailed the tragic paradox which weaves itself through American history, starting with a slaveholder who penned “all men are created equal” and working its way right up through the specatcle of Rodney King. (more…)

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Published in: on August 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm  Comments (1)  

The Heart of the Matter

Every ten years you live, your heart pumps enough blood to fill a rocket’s fuel tank. It does this by contracting and relaxing approximately once per second, over and over and over and over again, during every moment you breath. Every cell in your body has constant need both of new oxygen and of waste removal and blood serves both purposes. Your tissues can survive a few minutes without blood but anything more than that and they start to die–your heart can’t take any time off, it has to keep pumping interminably until the minute you die.

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Published in: on October 7, 2006 at 12:31 pm  Comments (2)  

Experiment on the Word

Some months ago, I was involved in an exchange of editorials and letters to the editor in the Salt Lake Tribune. At issue was the rationality of believing in Mormonism, or, more generally, accepting any kind of religion. One author wrote that no discriminating person could accept such silly precepts as those espoused by the Mormon Church. Drawing an analogy from C.S. Lewis, I returned that belief is not only rational but necessary and universal. Another letter-writer responded that no, my analysis was not correct, faith and rationality exist only in separate spheres—never the twain shall meet.

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Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Know

“Know” causes much consternation in the Church. On the one hand, small children are sometimes taught to profess knowledge they may or may not yet posses. On the other hand, most wards have a member who, upon bearing his testimony, will carefully remind members: “I cannot say I know these things, but I want you all to know I believe these things…” “Know” is a word we use often in the Church, but as I sat in Fast and Testimony meeting today I pondered what it means, for me, to know something.

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Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment