Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cheer Up!

Dawn Ann thought I needed a little cheering up. Friday, we had intended to go to Hogle Zoo. But by the time we got there, it was too late in the day. Friday was a warm sunny day (that is warm for us at 50 degrees). So after we drove away from the zoo, we just kept heading up Emigration Canyon, over to Parley's canyon, up to Park City, on to Coalville, through Hennifer and Morgan, and then back home via Highway 89 and I-15.

It was nice to get out of town for a little while and see the countryside. While in Morgan, we stopped off at the Jubilee grocery store, and stocked up on Pepsi for my mom.

While we drove, Dawn Ann read "The Shadow Taker" by Blaine Yorgason to us. I have to say that this is the first book in a long while that has really caused me to think and reflect a lot.

The story is of a man, who is the driver of a Jeep in Southern Utah, along the Hole in the Rock Trail, which was built by early Mormon Pioneers in 1880. The man is an insurance executive, who has cut many corners, and compromised his integrity on many occasions. He laughs at, and mocks another character in the book who is always trying to live by the rules, and who maintains his integrity.

The Shadow Taker is like an angel of death. When the man's jeep breaks down in the hot, searing desert, the man searches for water, and meets the Shadow Taker.

What ensues is a review of the man's life. The Shadow Taker shows him scenes from his life, from early childhood on down to recent events. The driver of the Jeep was shown to have lied, cheated, and hurt many people along the way. He attempted to justify his actions, and remained unrepentant. His heart was set so much on obtaining riches, and to gain positions of power and worldly recognition, that he didn't care much who he hurt or trampled over in the process.

This man's life could be summarized by the following scripture:

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men . . . (D&C 121: 34-35)

The driver of the Jeep had been a member of the church. He had been given every opportunity to take full advantage of the blessings of the gospel. Instead, he never did internalize the teachings of the gospel. He chose to worship the wealth and power of the world, instead of the True and Living God.

Now, the Shadow Taker was holding him accountable for his actions, and the future did not look bright for him.

In the days since Dawn Ann read this book to us as we traveled, I have reflected on it again and again -- which I'm sure was the hope of the author when he wrote it.

How and I doing? Am I honoring my covenants? Am I keeping the two great commandments, to Love God, and to love my fellowman? Are the aspirations of my heart set upon the things of the world, or the things of God?

On Saturday, we finally made it to the Zoo. We had an enjoyable time together, and we finised up just as the weather started to turn bad.

Here are a few photos from our outing:

The Mighty Cougar -- Go BYU!!!

Mama and Baby Giraffe

The baby Giraffe is only two months old, born on December 27, 2007.

The Tiger has Eyes for YOU!

Leopard on the Prowl

Never Cry Wolf!

Actually, "Never Cry Wolf" is one of my favorite movies.