Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I was blind but now I see

Sabbath was a great day, as always. Church was great, we have good things going on everywhere with so many good people here in the branch. Julianne and I were able to take the time to interview each of our children and see how they are doing in things. They are such good kids. Each has their thing or two they need to work on, some bigger than others, but they are doing well. This was a great experience, and I need to do it more often.

Julianne as we visit with Jacob

Sunday the weather was terrible. It was a cold misty day with very, very strong winds. It was never a day where it seemed worthwhile at all to go out and do something. So we stayed at home and cleaned and organized and got stuff done that we have needed to do for a long time. I spent some of my time composing emails asking people to do better at certain things. There will undoubtedly be some fall-out. Some will struggle with what I am suggesting (which is basically that we view those around us a little higher and treat them a little better). I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone too much, and that good comes of it. I am blessed to be here with the greatest people in the world. The faculty members, families, and service couples are the best people I could ever hope to work with. I learn from all of them, love all of them, and think that they help me come closer to the Lord.
That night I did a presentation for the students on the Book of Abraham. I was surprised at how many came. It was a testament to the fact that it had been a long boring day for them as well, they had nothing else to do. But they paid attention to this very important topic, and asked a lot of good questions, and I think it worked out really well.
We were worried that the weather would be bad for the field trip on Monday. But it turned out to be great. It was just a little misty and a slightly cool breeze when we started, but it turned out to be full of sunshine and birds singing by the end. We went to the City of David. What a great place.

View from the top of the City of David down towards the valleys that protected the city so well, and with some of the walls that David overcame in view

There are so many significant things that happened there. It is amazing to walk around and stand in places that great people we have always read about were. We stood where David and Solomon certainly stood, where Isaiah prophesied and met people, where Jeremiah was imprisoned, where those who conspired against him and those who helped him were, and even looked where remains specific to those people had been found. We saw where homes had been destroyed by the Babylonians. We saw where the armies of Assyrian and Babylon would have encamped against the city. We walked around these places and read scriptures about them together. It was great.

Two students (Sadie and Kristin) with some of the City of David behind them (the stepped stone structure, possibly the millo)

We went down to the wall that stood there when David conquered the city. We talked about how Abraham would have seen this wall, how it may have been built by Melchizedek. There are so many touchstones of sacred history here it is incredible.

The wall that stood around the city when David took it, and stood for a long time thereafter. It may have been built my Melchizedek

A stone that was partially quarried out, but not finished.

We went down to where the gate for the city was, the place where Solomon was anointed king, and probably every king thereafter. I had a little horn and we reenacted it just a tiny bit, but nothing too much since so many other people were around.

The students and I looking over the remains of the tower at the Gihon spring, as I show them a horn that could be filled with oil and get ready to anoint one of our students king

Then we went through the tunnel that Hezekiah built to divert the water from the Gihon spring to the Siloam pool, or to divert it differently. It is always fun to travel through there. We would walk along, we sang, we twice turned out our lights to see how dark it really was. We talked about how it would have been to have been trying to hack your way through there by torchlight. Everyone loves this part, even our students who lean towards claustrophobia.

Students in Hezekiah's tunnel

Finally we ended up at the Pool of Siloam. There we read together the story of the man who had been born blind, and was sent by the Savior to wash his eyes there. It was at that pool that he first saw. We compared it to the spiritual sight I hope all the students are gaining. It was a good moment. I am so grateful for Christ and his willingness to heal us in every way imaginable, but most especially spiritually. There is some deep significance to that story, to being able to say that whereas I was blind, now I see.

The Pool of Siloam

We took some time to think, and I suddenly remembered that this was my last real field trip with this group. How did it go by so quickly? How could it be ending already? How can I not keep doing these great things with these great students? I have such a high regard for them. The future of the Church is in good hands, these are great people who have an even greater future ahead of them. I only hope I can do whatever it is the Lord would have me do to help them reach that potential.
We also had one of the better Family Home Evenings we have had for a while. Of course it came after having to nearly blow up during dinner to try to get the kids to learn to listen to their Mom when she talks to them. But that seems to have scared them enough they actually were good listeners as we had FHE. We have had a couple of very good days in regards to all the kids treating each other in a loving way. It sure makes for a wonderful feeling in our home, a real sense of peace. We are very blessed.

Jacob and Sabrina playing together

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