Sunday, May 3, 2009
reflections of Christ --or-- the hamburgers i didn't eat
today i had an incredible experience. let me preface it with a taste of what happens and byu (and thusly what i have been living without for the last week and a half). at byu, we pray in class; our teachers weave the gospel into lessons about things like trigonometry and humanities; people bless their food in the public cafeteria; people hold doors for each other and say things like 'well did you pray about it?' when someone is having a hard time. i went to the temple and fasted every week, i regularly found opportunities for service; in short i was living in a veritable spiritual beehive. (there is a reason they call it deseret...)
anyway, so i guess i haven't been having spiritual experiences as often as i would have liked over the last few weeks, but tonight i was privileged to be able to go to an exhibit called "reflections of Christ"
finally the experience my soul had been hungering for. the exhibit is in short a photo collection of the life of Christ. it has never been done before-- someone depicting Christ in photography. Christ has been worshipped visually in sculpture, stained glass, theatre, painting, but never before in photography. these pictures are incredible.
it was amazing to hear the artist talk about the photos, and share some personal stories about himself and the path that led him to the knowledge that he needed to do this exhibit. he said he had had promptings to give up some distasteful music, books, and beverages. after doing that he was able to receive the direction that he needed to depict Christ through photography. he got a blessing from his bishop in which he learned that his photos would be seen all over the world, and that they would change lives. i hope that some of the visiting investigators were touched by the exhibit (shout out to the seattle missionaries who brought investigators!!)
here's something that i got from hearing mark speak. he talked about the things that he gave up, the things that he stopped doing that were clouding his perceptions. i started thinking about all the things that cloud my perception, but then started thinking about the things that i never have done that could have made my impressions go gray. i have never tasted alcohol, i have never intentionally viewed pornography, i have never smoked or been immoral. i believe that i am going to get some kind of heavenly credit for resisting all of these things. there's probably a celestial check list of things to NOT do (just like stacy and clinton teach what NOT to wear), and i am SO SO grateful that i have never done these things and will get that credit on the other side ;) but there are so many things that i wish i could say i've never done. i wish i had never seen an r-rated movie, i wish i had never used profanity, i wish i had never abused myself physically with my addiction to food, blah blah blah blah blah. a friend was telling me that she wanted to experience things so that she could have first hand experience in telling others why to not do it. to an extent i agreed. heck, i've even done things with the same motivation. but i wish that we could SEE the damage that those things do to us, damage that (though repentance can clear it all away) will always affect us because (luckily) we remember what we did. we will always know that we sinned, and for no reason at all.
i think that another thing on the no no list is 'eating 18 cookies in one sitting' (here's where the hamburger i didn't eat comes in...). for any overeaters out there: i really think we get spiritual credit for all the hamburgers we don't eat. every time we resist the urge to pull into dell taco for a 1/2 lb. bean and cheese burrito (its only 8 points, and high in fiber!! we whine), every time you drop that sixth tanton cookie instead of shoveling it in, every time you put the last maple bar in the trash and spray it with windex, someone upstairs notices. and you do too.
today i saw: the picture of DK's ring!! congrats mama!!
today i got to talk to: a ton of my favorite people :)
today i decided: i have a new favorite flower
today i petted: a puggle