Saturday, February 28, 2009

Elder Neuenschwander notes

The past two days we have been spiritually fed by Elder Neuenschwander, of the Quarum of the Seventy. I thought I may share a few of my random notes from his teachings.

*Matt 14
  • Jesus teaches Peter about faith by walking on the water
  • "Be not afraid..." to have faith in Christ
  • Accomplish what you came to accomplish (in Jerusalem and in life)
  • At the Pools of Bethesda the Savior said "Arise and walk," this is an invitation to help us rise where we are and walk to do better.
  • "Rise from the dust and be men" 2 Nephi 1:21. What dust in our lives do we need to move away from
  • Lehi's sons are murmuring but he tells them to arise and overcome--> faith is how we do this
  • A person of faith doesn't get mad but says give me the strength to learn whatever I need to learn
  • Repentance is not harsh, but an invitation to come to a better spot. It is also the entrance into the mercy of Christ. If we do not repent we miss the love of the Atonement
  • "Give away all our sins to know Him" as Lamoni's father mentions
  • Knowledge doesn't bring me comfort and peace but my faith does "My peace I give unto you"
  • The Savior gave to the apostles anything but peace. To preach the gospel meant leaving their families, comforts and ease. But the Savior gave them a different kind of peace that the world gives. The peace the Savior brings is the presence of the Holy Ghost
  • "The Lord accomplishes multiple outcomes with a single transaction," said Elder Maxwell in a Priesthood leadership meeting in Rexburg, Idaho
  • Seer= prophesies and makes hidden things manifest. Prophet= teaches the gospel guided by inspiration. Teacher= to teach by the Holy Ghost. We are all to be teachers and constantly have opportunities to teach the gospel.
  • What is preaching without praying?
  • Be honest with the Lord, talk to Him as your father
  • We too are called to be teachers from God
  • "The Lord is our example. It would be hard to call Him an executive, He was a teacher" Elder Packer
  • *D&C 88:118
  • Like you, I want to be a better disciple and teacher
  • "Master the tempest is raging" All things will be subject to obey His will
  • Righteousness will always triumph evil
  • "Brethren work harder, it's OK if you die we will replace you," said President Hinckley

Seder Dinner

4 cups of "wine"
Shelby winning the matza scavenger hunt
Jeff and Mike rapping Jewish style
Ophir washing his hands One of many musical numbers Symbolic food
This week we had a Passover Seder Dinner here at the JC. It really was fun and enlightening to participate in this long-standing tradition. We all dressed up and were in the Oasis by 5:00pm. The tables were arranged like this: there was a large U-shaped table in the middle for Ophir and the 12 or 13 readers who took turns reading paragraphs from the Haggadah, surrounded by smaller tables of 4 or 6. There were 2 flower arrangements on the head table, and colored candles in clay pots on each of the smaller tables. A Haggadah was placed at each seat as well so everyone could follow along, whether or not they actually read.We began by singing the table of contents, which we did whenever we began a new phase of the meal- there are 12 of them. Each phase entails either a musical number, washing of the hands or reading a different part from the Haggadah. The night lasted from 5 until 9 for us. In terms of food, we started out with a piece of lettuce dipped in salt water and matza (unleavened bread-much like a cracker). Next we had soup and salad, followed by the main course of bbq chicken, veggies & potatoes. Dessert was fruit salad and an assortment of bars and cookies. Our professor and his 4-year-old son did not eat the same thing because it was not made in a Kosher kitchen; they had a special meal brought in.

The Passover Seder Meal is a Jewish ritual feast held on the first and the second nights of the Jewish holiday of Passover. This holiday usually comes in late March or April, but we had to have it early this year since our professor would be helping with his own family's Seder meal during the traditional time. Our Jewish Professor, Ophir Yarden, led the dinner.
The Seder dinner we had was as close to the real thing as you can get. In typical Jewish tradition, families and friends gather around the table on the nights of Passover to read one of the many versions of the Haggadah, the story of the Israelite exodus from Egypt. Seder customs include drinking of four cups of wine (grape juice), eating matza, and partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate. With a Haggadah serving as a guide, the Seder is performed in much the same way all over the world.
If not for the Exodus, as explained in the Haggadah, the Jewish people would still be slaves in Egypt. Therefore, the Seder is an occasion for praise and thanksgiving and for re-dedication to the idea of liberation. The Seder goes on until late at night, with the participants reading the Haggadah, studying the meaning of various passages, and singing special Passover songs. Ophir said it's not unusual for the dinner to last until midnight or 1 am- trying the whole time to keep it entertaining enough for the kids to stay awake.
Here's part of the group in front of the Oasis (cafeteria) before we entered the dinner. There were 2 anointed hand washings involved in the dinner. The first time Ophir just did it for all of us, but the second time we got up and used the special bowls to wash our hands.This is what the appetizer plate looked like. Earlier in the day one of the jobs in preparing for the dinner was helping in the kitchen. I wandered in for a bit when they were making the brown stuff in middle- it's a sweet crunchy apple salad and so delicious~One of the first steps was dipping the herbs in salt waterOne of the first musical numbers~Grape juice- we drank 4 glasses of it throughout the night. After we ate the main part of our dinner Ophir said he "lost " part of the original matza bread that was supposed to be saved for dessert. He sent everyone on a scavenger hunt to find it and Shelby was the lucky winner! This was just one example of something they do to keep it upbeat. Jeff & Mike accepted the challenge of turning one of the Passover songs into a rap.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sisters of Sion

Sisters of Sion

Today our journey through the city began at the Sisters of Sion located in the Muslim quarter of the Old City. The Ecce Homo Convent throughout the years has had many and varied purposes. Right from the early foundation it was always a place for pilgrims to stay while in Jerusalem.It also was a school with many students coming from neighboring countries and was well known throughout the region for its academic excellence. With the closure of the school in 1948, the sisters then felt that an ulpan would be of great benefit to both Arabs and Israelis in that this provided each group time to meet the other and have the opportunity to learn their language. This continued for 10 years and then the program was taken over by Hebrew University.

Church of Condemnation

" While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: 'Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.' But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.'Which of the two do you want me to release to you?' asked the governor. 'Barabbas,' they answered. 'What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?' Pilate asked. They all answered, 'Crucify him!' 'Why? What crime has he committed?' asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, 'Crucify him!'When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.'I am innocent of this man's blood,' he said. 'It is your responsibility!' All the people answered, 'Let his blood be on us and on our children!'Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified."

MATTHEW 27:19-26

This is believed to be the spot where the above passage took place. Where Jesus Christ was condemned to cruxifiction by Pilate and took up the cross.Inside the Church of Flagellation, which is right next door to the Church of Condemnation. According to tradition the church enshrines the spot where Christ was flogged by Roman soldiers before his journey down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. The original building was built in 1839 over the remains of a medieval crusader shrine.

its fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A!
Every Sunday one of the service couples, the Squires, take 6 students over to the YMCA building to play the giant bells from the bell tower. I went yesterday and it ruled- the only thing that woulda made it better is if knew how to read music. No one told me playing the bells is like playing the piano! Who knew? So the girls I went with all played songs for the 60,000 people of west Jerusalem and Brother Squires helped me with my song. He's so great- he and his wife are so musically talented, they lead the choir here at the center. They're also in charge of the weekly concerts put on at the center. The best talent from around the area comes for a performance for the local people, and we students get the extra standby tickets. Bro Squires himself is an amazing organist and trained under famous people.He told us that the two music directors only let students play the practice bells. He said, " I let everyone play the real ones- who cares! " Lesson learned.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gram, on behalf of the world, we thank you

I would like to thank my Grandma Alice for her great sacrifice in helping to save many Jews from the wickedness of the Holocaust. Gram, along with her parents, helped smuggle Jews from Denmark to Sweden. They participated in the resistance against Germany. They tapped the Nazi lines and learned about who was "next." They then risked their lives to help get people out. I grew up hearing stories around the dinner table by Gram and GG about the war. I never fully understood the impact of these INCREDIBLE HEROS. I would like the world to know that my Grandma is a wonderful lady. She is classy, elegant,driven, dedicated, determined, a spiritual giant and follows her heart. She knows what is innately good, and acts on it despite road blocks.

The other night as I was brushing my teeth I couldn't help but think if I had lived in 1944. Would I be rationing my toothpaste or would I use a full amount because it may be my last night to live?

This past week I was able to attend the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) this was such a humbling experience. After studying the horror and terrors of these poor people in my Jewish class we went to the museum to learn more. I couldn't help but weep there.

The things that were hardest for me to see at the Holocaust Memorial was the shoes. They had this big pile of shoes from when the prisoners would take of their clothes, enter the "shower" (gas chamber) and then be taken to the crematory. Another thing that was heart wrenching was a continual picture that began with a man happy, plump and with family. Then it shows him being taken to a concentration camp by train. Then he is digging a grave. Next he is being shot and falls into the grave he just dug. It was horrible. This made me weep.

There were a lot of film clips showing the ghettos filled with poverty and starvation. I was so proud of the section that honored the Danes resistance and being the first country to stand against the persecution. Another room that made me tear up was a room filled with lists of people that had been killed. As I went up to it the first name I saw was a girl age 23 named Emilie, spelled exactly like mine. It was so humbling to think what if it had been me. I cannot imagine walking to my death and signing my name off the list as I enter the gas chamber.

There was a special "Children's Memorial" for the 1 million children that were killed. You walk down into a dark room that is shaped like a gas chamber. Inside were 6 candles lit (one for each million of people that died) then it was surrounded by mirrors. It gave the appearance of a galaxy of lights. It was beautiful, yet so humbling. It is unfathomable to comprehend how many died.

A few of my thoughts while going through the center:

1. I am so grateful for my grandparents and great-grandparents in standing up for God's children despite the terrible opposition they faced. They made many great sacrifices in order to do what truth requires. I am honored to have learned of their heroic stories in helping with the resistance.

2. I think I would have rather died than survive a continual nightmare. I don't know how people, after being in a concentration camp, carried on with their lives. Where did they go? They no longer had a home, family, or respect. I wouldn't know how to cope with the pain and agony after the war.

3. Would I have become bitter or hard-hearted towards God? Where was God when 6 million people were slaughtered? I understand that God has to allow others their agency, but at what point can he step in and stop the sinners as he did with the flood or mixing up the languages during the Tower of Babel. How much more wicked can people get? I am scared for the future it will only be worse.

4. Why weren't other countries stepping in to help? Perhaps because it was so secretive and most did not know what was happening, especially without the modern communication technologies that we have today. Or perhaps because of fear/danger of what they may step into. But I guess the same question can be posed to you and I. Why are we being ignorant to the things occurring right now in Africa and other countries?

5. I don't understand why the Jews are persecuting the Palestinians for their belief and their lands. You would think they would be more open and trying not to repeat the history of oppression. This perplexes me.

This experience was a sobering one. It made me realize how blessed I am. I can never complain again. I have no trials or hardships in comparison, my life is so petty.

Tonight as you brush your teeth, thank Heavenly Father for the life he has given you!

"Remember, only that I was innocent and, just like you, mortal on that day, I, too, had had a face marked by race, by pity, and joy, quite simply, a human face!"

Benjamin Fondane (murdered at Auschwitz 1944)

Time to fill you in...

Sorry I am terrible at this blogging thing. I will try to quickly recap the last few weeks
  • YMCA Bells-we rang/played the bells for 60 thousand people. It was fun to go with the Squires, a senior couple here. Good thing Richelle could read music and plays the piano. She did all the work and I just hit the same 5 notes over and over. LOL
  • Valentines- "Greater love hath no man than this than He lay down His life for His friends." I went to the Garden Tomb and contemplated the great love of the Atonement and its implications in my life. I am so grateful to my friend for giving His life for me and my idiosyncrasies
  • St. Anne's Church (Pools of Bethesda)- This was such a simple, beautiful church with incredible architecture in the ceiling. With the small group that I went with we started singing some hymns because the acoustics were awesome. We turned around and there was a tour group from Sweden filming us, many of the women teary eyed and touched by the message of the hymns. If only we could have shared the gospel, dang non-proselyting contract. I really like the story from the Bible of the man waiting for years at the pools to be healed and the Savior heals him. It is beautiful! (The Karl Bloche painting is one of the best depictions we have of this scene).
  • Dome of the Rock-We were able to walk right up to this beautiful mosaic structure, but not able to go inside. But don't think I didn't try :). I put my scarf over my head and was wearing a skirt so I went to take off my shoes and go into the mosque. I was so close but a guard came up to me yelling that I was only allowed to walk around and not go in, dang it! The Dome is considered one of the most sacred sites in the world because this is where many believe God stood to create the earth, the place where Muhammad ascended into heaven, where Jews believe is the rock that Abraham sacrificed Isaac. Needless to say I was disappointed I couldn't go in to see this sacred rock.
  • Dormition Abby- where Mother Mary is buried (one of the spots they claim). The thing I liked about this church was that there are several beautiful murals from different countries (Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, US, Poland, Hungary, Greece and Africa). The murals are to honor Mary and a scene from the Saviors life. It was really neat. Also, above Christ is a mosaic of significant women in the Bible-Even, Esther, Judith, Miriam, Ruth and Jael.
  • Room of the Last Supper-not what I was expecting. Not big or preserved at all. But neat to think about the sacred events that took place here.
  • Knesset- Israeli Parliament building. It was cool that their seats are arranged in a Menorah. There is an interesting tapestry painted by Chagall representing Israel's past, present and future.
  • Russian Orthodox Church-while this church was beautiful what interested me most was in the back we were able to sneak around to find the original stairs that Christ walked on his way to Bethany. This is one of three spots archaeologists are certain Christ would have walked on. Pretty neat.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Adventures: Here, there, everywhere

Left: Playing the Carolong Bells for 60 thousand people

Here are a few random pictures from the last two days.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I love you!

I would like to tell my family and friends how much I love them. Thank you for your incredible examples to me. I am so blessed in my life to be constantly surrounded by great people and incredible experiences. Know that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for you!
Thank you for enriching my life.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ok so we've done some pretty neat stuff here, but today was definitely one of the most adventurous so far. I wanted to go out to West Jerusalem to buy a new flash drive so I recruited a few others and called a cab to come get us. We got to the Canon store and although none of us noticed at first, a sketchy guy with yellowed hair and a green jacket followed us in. He was staring really intently at our group of girls as we looked at a camera for Anne, a flash drive for me, and a charger for Moon. One by one we all got a little creeped out (except for Moon cause she hard core and super tough), and as we talked about it a little more we all gravitated towards the back of the store. Christine, Breana and Richelle were standing by the back counter when he approached us with a note. It had some Hebrew writing on it, and then some incoherent English words at the bottom. We blew him off, told him we couldn't help him and moved to the front of the store, where he followed us again. I approached him directly, and after asking him if there was anything we could help him with and getting no response, we all started to get a little more worried. We asked the shop keeper if he worked there, and he replied that he didn't and that he was even a little creepy to the shop keeper! He asked us if we had a man with us, and when we said no he told us we might want to call someone - so we called security. At this point the guy was passing me more notes saying that the devil had closed his mouth so he couldn't speak, and talked about...well I won't tell all but lots of other really disconcerting things. Moon and Richelle were outside practicing our Martial Art skills when Security showed up and escorted us to their van. I guess it wasn't as big of a threat as we thought, cause the whole way home they were teasing us about beating up the crazy 80-year-old "Santa Claus" as they called him, but we were all still glad we called! Some deranged old man was definitely not normal, especially when he would NOT stop staring and the content of his notes was...well...less than friendly. You'll have to check out the pics to see how awesome it was!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Notes from Egypt

Random notes from Egypt:

  1. Abraham 1:25-27 The Pharaoh's are seeking earnestly to imitate the priesthood. This passage shows the very first government is patterned after the patriarchal line. They imitated the Fathers. The religious system was patterned after the fullness of the priesthood from Adam's time.

  2. Abraham 3:15 God is showing the Egyptians what they already know about astronomy. Why? He shows Abraham these things before he goes to Egypt so that he can know how to declare things that the Egyptians will understand, he speaks their "language," which in turn builds a relationship of trust.

  3. Egyptians are obsessed with eternal life and power and authority for eternity (symbol of the Ankh is everywhere). Egyptians are trying to figure out how they can have power and authority for eternity so they manipulate it.

  4. DJED: "May he or she have life, stability, dominion, protection, health, prosperity and eternal life."

  5. Eternal life is often portrayed as the serpent--the ultimate good deity that was responsible for bestowing eternal life is often misused by Satan as well, think of the garden.

  6. Egyptian Judgment scene: becoming like God requires satisfying sentinels by providing correct information. The only way one gets through the barrier (veil) to become a God is to put his hand through the barrier to come with deity. Veil is the boundary that separates them and those that have already become Gods. You must go through all of the barriers to become a God. Osiris, God of resurrection and judgment, himself had ascended the throne to become a god.

  7. Holy of Holies: Importance of ritual washing and anointing to make one clean and pure before being able to kneel before Osiris or Amen (God). Placing the symbol of godhood upon his head.

  8. Washing and anointing with veils. Being washed with the Ankh by eternal life so he c an have eternal life. The priests give him new clothes and then bring him to the barrier/veil. This was a big deal to the Egyptians, but it was demonstrated in many places and in many ways.

  9. Ritual "embrace" to the Pharaoh: families can be together forever

  10. Representation of the Gods bestowing power and authority after they have been brought through the veil. Robes are tied on the right side with a sash.

  11. Representation of the ultimate good deity is the snake

  12. God, Amun, has 74 aspects/resurrection

  13. Temple of Menubu has three divisions within the temple: You walk through three separate phases within the temple. All the while walking up toward the holy of holies. The Holy of Holies is the most sacred enclosure and often there are three division within the holy of holies as well. The wall around the temple is to show that there is a bearing on the universe and the sanctity of the temple that cannot be mingled with common life.

  14. Tombs at Giza, the pyramids: Represent the ascent to the abode of God. It is more than a simple step pyramid but the intersection between heaven and earth.

  15. Tomb of Tut III: Taking nourishment from the tree of life. Temples with gradation of Holiness. We saw associations with the bull or ox, which is the power of deity. If you look at the Hebrew version of Jacobs patriarchal blessing you read "the bull of Jacob" not "the God of Jacob." We saw the name Amen, interesting that we say Heavenly Fathers literal name, Amen, every time we pray.

  16. Tomb of Tuthankomen: The high priest is performing the "opening of the mouth ceremony" the high priest touches the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears so that the mouth may continue to speak and taste in the next life. The eyes that they can continue to see, the ears to hear,...We know it is the high priest because he is wearing the leopard skin on the right shoulder.

  17. What does all of this mean? That Joseph Smith could not have made a mistake. We have these ceremonies from Adam down to the other patriarchs. The Egyptians knew if they wanted eternal life they had to pursue the path, the ceremony and rituals that are displayed on the tombs in Egypt!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On the road to Jericho

Left: Marianne and I sweating after the hike up

Below: Firas, security guard and my yummy lemonade.
Center: Cool view of Jerico through the cross at the top of the mountain

Left: Joshua sounding the trumpet for the walls to fall down

Right: Jeff building the wall

Herod the Greats Winter Palace

Today we went to Jericho. It was cool to hike up into the mount of temptation where the Savior was tempted by Satan. They have a monastery built into a cave in the mountain, way cool. We went to Herod the Greats Winter Palace, where he killed his father-in-law, wife, and brother. He also died there himself. It was interesting to think that today is usually one of the coldest days of the year in Utah and we were here sweating at 7 am in 80 degree weather. It was kind of crazy, because Jericho is in the West Bank, we had all the big Jerusalem Center security guards go with us. They all have found a liking to making fun of me, I am not too sure why? Perhaps because I throw it right back, lol. So they kept teasing that they wanted to kick me out at the check point with the military guards. At the spring of Elisha I got the BEST fresh squeezed lemonade that I have ever had. It was divine. After our trip I totally crashed in my bed for much longer than I had anticipated, the sun just wears you out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Egypt: too much traveling

Left: Freezing on the top of Mt. Sinai waiting for the sunrise
Above: Dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cairo
Below: Watching the sunset with my roommates

Egypt was amazing. We saw so many incredible things. But I must say I am more than happy to be back in Israel. It was just so disease infested and dirty there. Here are a few highlights from the week long trip.
Favorite sites:
Climbing Mt. Sinai: This was my favorite part of the whole trip. We woke up at 2 a.m. after only four hours of sleep and started trucking up the mountain, which we didn't know existed since we had arrived late at night after a days travel through the flat desert. The stars were incredible. I thought a lot about Moses going up eight times and what he may have been thinking about. I thought about how all of us at some point have wilderness experiences were the Lord refines us and then we go to the temple/mountain to receive greater instruction and our wilderness experience suddenly makes sense.
We sat at the top for nearly two hours like sardines trying to keep warm. But suddenly the frost bitten hands and numb legs seemed to disappear as I watched the sunrise. It was incredible. Suddenly you could see all these grand mountain ranges all around us, that we didn't know existed in the dark.
Life isn't about the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away! This was one of those moments that just cannot be retold.
Beersheba: This place is highlighted often in the Bible because it was a main highway intersection and had a water system out in the middle of the desert. This was a place Mary and Joseph would have passed along with many other significant Biblical people. Interesting to note Beersheba means completeness or perfection.

Wilderness of Zin: Where the children of Israel resided for forty years. Yikes, there was nothing there but sand here. I don't understand how they survived. After only a week of being in Egypt I was so done with drinking bottled water and being in the disgusting disease infested country. I could better sympathize and only begin to understand the children of Israel's struggles.

Pyramids and Sphinx: It was incredible to see the pyramids that have been standing for so long. Even great-grandfather Moses would have seen these. We went inside and they really weren't anything special, just germs trapped for more than 5,000 years and empty, narrow hallways. Call me ignorant but I thought we would see all the treasures they found inside the tombs. Nope we just went down the pyramid to an empty room and back out. Not what I had anticipated. But it was still really cool, especially at the night show where they tell about it and have all these colored lights changing on them. It was a beautiful sight and pretty surreal.
Valley of the Kings and Tomb of King Tutankhamen: I think this was one of my favorite spots. It was cool to go through all of these tombs and see the writings on the walls. It was such a testimony to me that the temples are truly of God and have been the same throughout all time. He is in the details.

Temple of Ramses III, Colossus of Memnon, Luxor temple, Mohammad Ali Mosque, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Geyer Anderson Museum, Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Egyptian Museum Tour, Colossus of Memnon, Funerary Temple of Ramses III, Tel Avdat, Sound and light show, Memphis and the Karnak Temple were all incredible.
I was amazed at all of the symbolism between LDS temples and the ancient temples. It made me appreciate that God is the same today, yesterday and forever.

Travel: We went by bus, train, plane, carriage, feluca, camel, horse, water boat, sailboat and walking.

Food: The food was disgusting. We couldn't eat any fruits or vegetables because of parasites in the water which they wash the food with. We also could not drink the water either, which makes it very difficult to brush your teeth and shower.

Do we seriously have to eat this mystery meat on the train?

Health: I got motion sickness the first day on the bus and threw up at the boarder. Then I got the flu on top of everything. I was coughing so hard the whole week that I bruised my ribs. One day I had a fever so bad that I wanted a blessing so I could survive the long day. The only place there was a quiet spot with few people was inside of a bar. Hahah, how many people can say they received a blessing inside of a bar, it was funny. I am sick of being sick.

Hotels: Kibbutz, Oasis, Sheraton Hotel, train, back to the Oasis, Morganland Hotel

Gratitude: Walking through the poverty stricken areas was heart wrenching. It made me appreciate the life I have been given. I cannot imagine having to beg every day. It broke my heart to walk through the market and see diseased people missing arms, legs and love. I couldn't help but feel horrible every time we went back to our fancy hotel and think "Even though this food is disgusting it is still better than any meal these people will ever have." I received a deeper appreciation for the things I have been given. We truly are so blessed to have the fulness of the gospel and not have to mimick the priesthood as on all of the temples. We are blessed to have food to eat, warm beds, clean water and a country of laws and regulations that helps maintain order and safe driving :).