The Unsurmountable, Philosophical, Theological Sitcom Analogy Theory

I’m not entirely sure what this has to do with the gospel. I’ll try to make it work, but basically this is a philosophy I’ve developed on my mission that has helped me get through a lot of hard times. The title of the blog came from my current (and hilarious) companion who I related the idea to. Ready? Here goes…

Sitcoms. I love ’em. Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Seinfeld, etc. These are some sweet shows. For the sake of the anology, I’m going to focus on Seinfeld. Honestly, to enjoy Seinfeld, one has to get to know their inner sadist. It’s an extremely sadistic show with no character development whatsoever. Day by day, the main characters (and the unfortunate souls who have to associate with them) are put through countless misfortunes of all kinds. Physical injury, public humiliation, awkward situations, etc.

If the things that happened on the show happened in real life, they would be horrific, tragic, nerve-racking, and agitating. But they’re not. They’re funny. Why are they funny? ‘Cause it’s just a sitcom. We can laugh because we know it’s not real. If I revealed my secret ATM pin to an old woman and she shouted it just before she died, that would be terrible. However, when George did the same thing to Mr. Peterman’s mother, it was hilarious.

And so, here’s my philosphy. Your life, my life, and everyone else’s life is a sitcom, or rather, may be viewed as such. When tragic things happen, when we find ourselves embarrassed, or caught in an awkward moment, or when nothing goes right in the day… picture yourself or someone else watching your life in the form of a sitcom. Imagine an audience machine laughing during those awkward moments, or even cheering when you one-up someone at something. It makes it funny. Maybe this all just sounds crazy and weird, but it’s worked for me.

Yes, there will be times when true tragedy strikes, and this analogy will be rendered useless. But it works for most situations in life. Laughter is the best medicine as they say, so why not take it whenever you can? I’ve been able to laugh off more stupid/awkward situations than I can count. I just imagine myself as a victimized soul, subject to the  cruelties of a sadistic (yet funny and creative) team of writers.

Again, maybe this isn’t for you, but you can try it. I really don’t know how to connect this to Jesus Christ, but it’s something that’s meant to make life better. The Savior did say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And truly, that team of sadistic writers doesn’t exist. Our team of Writers are not sadistic at all. They do have a sense of humor (and a perfect one at that), but They love us. They care about us and want us to be happy and succeed. Our team of Writers consists of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Together, they’ve written out a plan of salvation for us, a plan of happiness and progression.

Our sitcoms are filled with humorous situations like Seinfeld, but unlike Seinfeld, they’re full of character development. So… laugh at the hard times. Don’t let them get you down. Laugh, shrug, move on, and make your sitcoms awesome!

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Yea or Nay: Choose Your Path

I can’t take credit for this insight, but I was made aware of it just yesterday by another missionary… who is very awesome. It’s another one of those ‘simple yet profound’ things. Let’s go to the Book of Mormon…

We find here a Nephite missionary named Ammon teaching a Lamanite king named Lamoni. Ammon had been defending Lamoni’s flocks against thieves, and in doing so cut off the arms of the thieves and saved the sheep from being stolen. Lamoni was amazed and desired to speak to Ammon. He thought that Ammon was the Great Spirit the Lamanites believed in, but Ammon taught him about the true God. He asks Lamoni if he believes in God. Lamoni doesn’t understand what Ammon means by that word, so Ammon says something he knows Lamoni will understand.

And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?

And he said, Yea. (Alma 18:26-27)

Lamoni eventually became converted, which resulted in the conversion of much of his kingdom. He went on to prosperity and happiness. His answer to Ammon’s question was short and simple. Ammon basically asked him, in his own terms, if he believed in God. Lamoni answered “yes.” That simple answer set the course for what would happen later.

Now we go to a different part in the Book of Mormon. Alma, the prophet and high priest of the Church, is ‘facing off’ with an anti-Christ named Korihor. Korihor not only denied the Christ, but denied the existence of God, claiming that there was no proof that a Messiah would come. Alma asked Korihor a very simple question, to which came a simple answer.

And then Alma said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

And he answered, Nay. (Alma 30:37-38)

Korihor claimed he did not believe in God, though in reality he did. He demanded a sign, and as a sign he was struck dumb and became a beggar. After this, he admitted that he was teaching false doctrines, and that Satan had tricked him. He was eventually trampled down and killed.

Lamoni’s answer and Korihor’s answer are the two shortest verses in the Book of Mormon. Each person gave a simple reply. Yes or no. One said yes and led a happy life. The other said no and led a life of misery until he was killed.

And so, with us, the simple decisions we make in life can be profound and make more of an impact in our lives than we think. There are critical times in our lives when a decision needs to be made. It can be a matter of “yes I will do this” or “no I won’t do this.” It’s important that we don’t overlook these moments, for they can dramatically affect the course of our lives.

This same Alma once counseled one of his sons, saying, “…behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…” It’s so true, and it can go both ways. Great and wonderful things can be brought to pass by small things, and great and terrible things can result in the same manner. The little decisions we make do matter. So when we arrive at those decisions, will we be like Lamoni and choose God, or will we be like Korihor and reject Him? One ends in happiness, the other will get us trampled.

The Poetic Corner: Another Light

Another Light

the world may not be what we want

but it’s okay, we all feel that way

at least once a day

our lives may not be what we planned

but it’s alright, we’ve still got time

to work on this, our lack of faith

 

the sun may be behind the clouds

but if we try, our eyes can see

the silver lining just beyond

and if the darkness spreads abroad ’til we can’t walk

using our sight

we’ll run and let our guide be another light

oh, there’s another light

 

oh, there’s another light

when the doors are shut right in your face

you’re out of place and suddenly it’s night

reach for the ember in the corner of your mind

make it a fire, let the Savior’s warmth keep you alive

oh, another light

He’s a light that never fades

nothing else can take His place

 

you wonder how you’ll make it through another week

of uncertainty

but you always do

you can’t explain the emptiness inside your soul

and how it fills

until it’s full

God’s in control more than we know

 

we may not have everything

but what we have is what we need

not a light of the world

there’s another light

He’s all we need

and that’s fine with me
Let’s face it, more often than not, life is not how we want it to be, and it usually doesn’t go as planned. Whether in our own lives, the lives of our family and friends, or the lives of those around the world, the world seems to be fighting against us. What guidance does the world offer? Nothing that results in much good. Most of the time, when we follow theworld’s guidance, we end up in a darker situation than where we started.

So what do we do when we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel? Thankfully, there’s another light. This light is Jesus Christ. His light is eternal and never fades. His light can penetrate any darkness. It leads us into His presence, whereas the “wisdom” of the world only leads us into the chains of Hell.

We read in the first epistle of John, chapter 1 verses 15 through 17,

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The wisdom of the world will pass with time, and everything and everyone that is allied with it will pass as well. If we expect to get through this life, we need to cling to the only Light that can brighten any path.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5-6)

Only in Christ we have life and light. The world cannot offer such things to us because Jesus Christ is truly all we need. If we rely on His light to guide us, everything will be taken care of. We may not have everything the world has to offer. We may not have a nice car, or a big house, or a large bank account, but it’s alright. These things will pass anyway. What matters is that we hold on to Jesus Christ. He is another light. Through Him we can have all we’ll ever need in life.

Line Upon Line

We are children of God. Every single one of us. The bond and the free. The poor and the rich. The intelligent and the unlearned. The famous, the infamous, and the unknown faces. Every person that has ever lived, is living, and will ever live in this universe is a literal son or daughter of a Heavenly Father. And compared to His capacity, every one of us is indeed nothing more than a child. The most intellectual and/or spiritual person on this earth is still to God as a toddler is to its parents.

We are all learning and will still have opportunities to learn long after we pass from this mortal stage in our lives. That’s why we’re here, to learn and grow. A father or mother does not expect their child to fully understand the ways of life before they leave home and begin their own lives. The child continues to learn lessons about life as they grow older, go to school, begin careers and families, etc. Inevitably, mistakes are made along the way and the individual(s) learn how to adjust their ways so they don’t make the mistakes anymore.

Christ said to “be ye perfect,” even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. I’m sure the Savior was fully aware of this impossibility. He wasn’t referring to this life though. Indeed, we should strive to get as close to being like God as we can. Naturally, however, we are bound to epically fail at this endeavor. It’s alright. Perfection can be reached in the life to come. This life is a preparatory state, and like children, we learn how to be like God one lesson at a time.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi expounds this idea nicely.

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28:30)

Through humility, we can be taught by the Spirit of God and learn what God would have us learn. Just as a child must grow in education and understanding, starting in pre-school, moving on to elementary, middle, and high school, and then perhaps on to college and family life, our spiritual minds also must learn by steps and levels. God will give us what we can handle. We can take it, learn and apply it, and then move on to the next thing, or we can desire something more than we can handle and fail… epically.

Nephi’s brother, Jacob, spoke of this in regards to the Jews before and during the time of Christ.

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. (Jacob 4:14)

The prophets spoke plainly to the Jews. Christ spoke plainly to the Jews. Yet they rejected Him and His apostles. They spoke in their own manner of teaching, i.e., Christ often spoke of Himself as the living bread, that they who ate of His flesh would have eternal life. Such was common symbolism in the Jewish culture, yet they would not listen or understand. They hardened their hearts and instead sought for things they could not understand. We often do this, hoping that in looking beyond plainness we will not be held as accountable for our mistakes.

Well, obviously God knows this when we try and do it. There’s not much point ’cause we’re basically just setting ourselves up for failure. So don’t harden your heart against plain truth, and also don’t sell yourself short. We climb a ladder one step at a time.

 

The Giant and the Underdog

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and of the best anyone could ever read or hear comes from the Bible. It’s the story of David and Goliath. If you aren’t familiar with this story, just crack open your nearest Bible to the first book of Samuel, chapter seventeen. Or, if you just want to read it right now, click on this link.

To be brief, the Philistines were at war with Israel. One Philistine in particular was creating quite a stir. His name was Goliath. He was huge, perhaps about nine feet tall, and he would present himself to the Israelite army and tell them to bring him a champion to fight. But No one in the Israelite army was brave enough.

David heard about Goliath, he said to everyone, “Who’s this guy think he is? Why doesn’t someone beat him?”

Well, Saul, the Israelite king,  heard about the things David was saying and sent for him. David came to him and said, “I’ll go and fight this battle.”

“You can’t fight him,” Saul told him. “You’re just a child, and Goliath has been raised in the ways of war since he was a child.”

“I killed a lion and a bear once!” David exclaimed. “And I’ll do the same to this Philistine, ’cause he’s defying God! If God can deliver me from the attacks of a lion and a bear, He’ll do the same for me when I face up to this Philistine”

“Alright,” Saul gave in. “Go, fight him, and God be with you…”

So David went and grabbed his sling and five smooth stones to face Goliath. When he approached Goliath, the Philistine laughed because he was just a scruffy little boy. “Once I kill you,” Goliath yelled, “I’ll feed your dead body to the birds and the beasts!”

“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a shield,” David then said, “But I come to you in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, who you’ve mocked. Today God will deliver you into my hands. I’ll kill you and cut off your head, and I’ll feed your dead body to the birds and the beasts! And everyone will know that our God is real!”

Furious, Goliath charged. David did the same, taking out a stone from his bag. He put it into his sling and slung the stone right into Goliath’s forehead, killing him. Needless to say, the Philistines ran, scared out of their minds.

Just like David, we all have Goliaths we face in life. They’re giant, they’re intimidating, they’re in our face. It can be spiritual or temporal. A sin, an honest mistake, bills, debt, school and tests, a job, an attack on our faith, etc. These things may seem enormous, and at times we may feel like David standing in front of Goliath. But like David, we can turn to the Lord and rely on Him! David wasn’t afraid, because he knew that it didn’t matter how big Goliath was. He could’ve been one hundred feet tall and David would’ve acted the same way.

Like David, we also need to do our own part and prepare ourselves to face our Goliaths. David was prepared with five stones and a sling. He had a plan in mind and he trusted that God would support him with his plan. We too need to prepare and plan to face life’s challenges, all the while seeking the Lord’s help and inspiration.

If we do so, we too will find ourselves conquering our Goliaths.

Happiness and the Fall

There is a lot of misconception about the Fall of Adam and Eve. Many are under the impression that it was a mistake. That it wasn’t supposed to happen. That life would be better if it never happened. Well, I’m here to tell you that such ideas aren’t correct. The Fall was in fact part of God’s plan, and because of it we can be happy. Allow me to explain. I’ll start off with some verses from the Book of Mormon. The prophet Nephi explained the necessity of the Fall as such,

And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. (2 Nephi 2:22)

If Adam and Eve had not eaten the fruit they would’ve remained in the Garden of Eden. Nothing would have changed. Makes sense, right? Nephi continues…

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:23-25)

Adam and Eve’s state in the Garden was that of pure innocence. They did not know what evil was. But because of this, they could not progress. If we don’t know bitter we cannot enjoy sweet. If we know no sin we cannot know goodness. There must be opposition in all things, and in order for mankind to progress, opposition had to be introduced, and therefore the Fall was needed.

With the Fall came sickness, death, and sin. But because of this we can enjoy health, life, and righteousness. Because of the misery we can know the joy. I know that the Fall was part of God’s plan for us. Adam and Eve fell that we might be happy and progress to everlasting life with God and our families.

The Story of Our Salvation

In this life, each of us has a role to fulfill. We were sent here on Earth to gain a physical body, be tested, and eventually return to live with our Heavenly Father, with our families, through reliance upon the Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. Our individual roles all play a part in God’s eternal plan, the Plan of Salvation.

These roles in our lives are a lot like characters’ roles in a story. Let’s take one of my favorite movies as an example, Lady in the Water. This movie is about a handyman at an apartment complex, Cleveland, who finds a water nymph, Story, in the courtyard pool. Story came from the “blue world” to deliver a message to a writer in the apartments. After she completes her mission, she needs to return home, back to the blue world. In order for this to happen, there need to be certain people present, each with a specific role. Cleveland does his best to find the people to fulfill the roles, all of which live within the apartment building.

Coming here to Earth, we each have duties to perform. There are tasks that only you can do, and people that only you can affect. Thankfully, God did not send us here blind. Through His love, he has given us prophets and apostles and His word through the scriptures. In this way, we can learn who we are and what our role is in life.

In the end of the movie, the roles are fulfilled and Story is able to return home. When we fulfill our roles, we are helping each other to return home to God.

We are here for a reason! To learn more about where you came from, why you’re here, and where you’re going, click on the link in the first paragraph.

Squares In A Masterpiece

Life is a masterpiece, a work of art, built by the hands of God. But sometimes it’s difficult to see this masterpiece. Unlike God, our perspective is limited. We can only see sections and slivers of this grand work. I’ll use Chuck Close as an example. He’s a pretty famous artist, well-known for his really huge portraits. He’s confined to a wheelchair, so he puts a grid on his canvas and paints one square at a time. If you look at each square individually, it’s just a bunch of really colorful boxes. But when you step back, you can see what the painting really is.

A Book of Mormon prophet named Alma gives some pretty straight forward counsel on this. He said,

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (Alma 37:6)

Our lives usually aren’t full of spectacular events. The hand of God is more often seen in the smaller things. The things we sometimes overlook. The things that require slowing down and having patience to see.

I know that God and Jesus Christ are in our lives, and that through the small and simple things God works His miracles. The greatest miracle, I believe, is life itself. What are some of the colorful boxes in our lives? Family and friends. A rejuvinating sunrise or a peaceful sunset. The sound of birds chirping. A family dinner. An afternoon hike. The sound of rain falling. A good song on the radio. These are just a few things that come to my mind. We all have our own.

All we need to do is take a step back and see how the squares, the simple things in life, come together to form the masterpiece.

No Giving Up

So your scars fade away
You soaked up the pain
A better person ’cause you lived through those days
And now you know what it’s like to prove
You can overcome anything that gets to you
Well it’s alright
We’re sayin’ our goodbyes
To the past and everything that ain’t right
We won’t waste another day
With all these silly things in our way

There’s no giving up now!
Do you really want to give this all away?
Can’t you ever see things in a different way
Somedays?
No giving up now!
Such a beautiful thing to throw away
You should think things through
Over and over again

No Giving Up“, by Crossfade

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like giving up. Hard times come and go. Such is life. When those hard times do come, we should always desire to be the optimist. Look at the beauty in life. Look at the blessings we’ve been given. We alway have so much to be thankful for. When Christ came to the Americas after His resurrection, He taught many of the same things that He taught those back in the “old country.” And of course He would; it’s the same Gospel after all.

Enduring to the end is a common phrase among Latter-day Saints. It refers to living our lives in harmony with Christ’s gospel, to the best of our abilities. It involves having faith in Jesus Christ, turning to Him in all walks of life, repenting daily of our sins, and keeping God’s commandments. It is the day to day things, the little things, that add up over time.

3 Nephi 15:9

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

With enduring to the end, there is no giving up, now or ever. Live each day at a time. We must not dwell on the past, but instead look steadfastly unto Christ. It is through Him and only Him that we can receive eternal life.

Searching, Seeking, Reaching, Always

So if we keep seeking out what is right,
moving on after being set back,
searching out what keeps us strong.
Searching out, and always building up the things that we lack.
This path we choose is not the easiest to walk upon
And knowing that, I am more eager to continue on
because I know that when I reach the end
I’ll be better than before

Searching, Seeking, Reaching, Always” by We Came As Romans

Life is a process. Whether it’s literally moving from one place to another or wanting to achieve something, it must be done in steps. I’m not always a patient person. … Actually… I’m often not a patient person. I’m present-minded, and it’s hard for me to wait for things to happen, because for whatever reason it’s difficult for me to grasp how something can come about if I’m not presently seeing it in motion. Understanding that life isn’t meant to be instantaneous can help us to work through our goals in life.

The prophet Joseph Smith once counseled,

“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them”

We don’t know much. We may struggle comprehending God or Christ’s gospel. We might be frustrated at our lack of spiritual progress. Why does it seem I have no faith? Why can I never learn from my mistakes? Maybe we’re trying to repent and wish it could be done in an instant. Perhaps we’re trying to become more patient, or more obedient. Perhaps we’re trying to become better at our relationships. A better friend. A better sibling. A better son or daughter. A better parent. A better spouse. A better disciple of Christ.

As Joseph Smith said, the principles of Christ’s gospel are like a ladder. They must be taken one step at a time. Learning how to better ourselves comes through mastering each step. You don’t take the next step up if your foot isn’t securely on the one below. Yes, occasionally a slip-up occurs. It’s inevitable. But we simply work harder to plant our feet on that step, making sure we’re immovable, and then we can continue to ascend in whatever we’re trying to achieve, be it something specific or something general.

I know this to be true, and I second Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-4,

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope

It’s not easy having to go through the process, and the obstacles are sometimes constantly in our way. But hardship helps us to be patient. Being patient gives us the knowledge that enduring works, and when that happens we have a better hope. A hope the next step is possible to make, and that in due time we’ll have made it to the top of the ladder.

Remember that as you ascend to the next step in the ladder, you are better than before.


The Poetic Corner: Rain and Perspective

So… I like writing poetry. I don’t claim to really be any good, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I started writing poetry when I was about 17. It was mostly out of boredom. Plus, I like art and I like creative writing. Poetry is sort of like mixing the two together, and it fulfills my need for both of those things in an easy, convenient way.

I wrote this… let’s see… sometime in the beginning of my senior year of high school. I was sitting in class, paying more attention to the rain outside than to the teacher. Here’s what I wrote.

Rain

rain, rain
come to stay
i need you here another day
your ever-presence soothes my waking soul
i’ve never felt so worry-free
when you show up and comfort me
these tears of joy so make my person whole

rain, rain
touch my face
the sweetest voice, this rhythmic pace
our hands embraced in love i hope is true
and when this cloudy storm is gone
your touch forever lingers on
to fill my heart with memories of you

So, if you’ve read the “About Elder Wilkins” section on the home page, you’ll know that I grew up in Wisconsin, south-eastern Wisconsin, to be a little more specific. The weather there is rather mild and often cloudy and rainy. While it doesn’t quite match up to the rainfall you might find in the pacific north-west, it still rains quite a bit.

I grew up with rain. I love rain and cloudy, stormy weather. A lot people don’t. Stereotypically, clouds and rain are known as “bad” weather. To me, however, it’s wonderful. And it’s really nothing more than a matter of perspective. Someone may hate the rain because they don’t like getting wet, because it ruins their outdoor activities, or because they don’t like the dark clouds.

I don’t mind getting wet. I like looking at the dark clouds. I love the sound of rain and the way it looks when it falls from the sky.

Life is all about perspective. We must choose how to look at what it throws at us. We can see the rain and think that it has done nothing more than ruin the day, or we can choose to see how it may add to the day and make it more beautiful.

How do you see the rain?

Our life… and concept albums.

Coheed and Cambria is probably my favorite band. Actually… scratch that… they are definitely my favorite band… of all time. One of the many things about them that I admire is the science-fiction story behind their albums (which also happens to be a comic book series known as The Amory Wars). For the most part, the songs follows the life of a certain Claudio Kilgannon. The fictional galaxy that the story takes place in, known as Heaven’s Fence, is ruled by Supreme Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan and his Red Army. But Claudio has a prophetic destiny, in which he becomes known as The Crowing,  to save the inhabitants from Wilhelm’s reign.

The band’s first album is called The Second Stage Turbine Blade, and it begins by following Claudio’s parents, Coheed and Cambria. They live normal lives, though unbeknownst to Coheed and Cambria, they have had quite an active past, being involved in an organization known as the KBI and a failed attempt at stopping Wilhelm Ryan from seizing control of Heaven’s Fence.

Our life, from an eternal perspective, is a lot like a three act play. At the moment, we’re in the second stage of the play. We can’t remember what happened in the first act. We don’t remember that we lived with our Heavenly Father as spirits. This is important though. This veil, if you will, that has been placed over our minds, allows us to walk by faith, rather than by sight. Our actions should be based on our wills and true desires, not on past memories of living with God.

Currently, the band has five albums. The next three after The Second Stage Turbine Blade are known as In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV Volume 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, and then the second volume (fourth album), No World For Tomorrow.

By the end of No World For Tomorrow, Claudio succeeds in his destiny and destroys Heaven’s Fence, saving the inhabitants from Wilhelm Ryan’s rule. Seems a little bitter sweet. But just like in this life, Christ will eventually come again in terrible and magnficent glory. Terrible for the wicked, magnificent for the righteous. The earth will be renewed and become a paradise.

The inhabitants of Heaven’s Fence meet a similar fate: Don’t cry no more, boy. You’ve got the other side of your life, so enjoy. ~ The End Complete V: On the Brink (last song on No World For Tomorrow)
Coheed and Cambria’s fifth album, Year of the Black Rainbow, is the prequel to the entire story. It talks about Coheed and Cambria’s life before The Second Stage Turbine Blade as well as how Wilhelm Ryan came to power.

Once this life is through, we’ll have a recollection of our lives in their entirety, and we’ll see how we faired when left to rely on our faith. I know that God has a plan for each of us, and that this life is a time to prove ourselves. All will be unfolded to us eventually, but until then, we must hold out with faith, endure, and prepare to meet God when the time comes for the second act of the play to come to an end.

Alma 42:4

And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God.

 

Praise and Adore

What I have to say is obvious
A knowledge free, for all of us are
Your Word leaves us with no excuse
The paths we choose make us who we are
There’s a breeze blowing through here tonight

So I praise and adore You
Lay it all down before You
In every way You’re beautiful
From my heart
I praise and adore
You made the world beautiful
I cannot stand and deny
You created life
And some live without it

Wake up morning sunrise in my eyes
At night the moon lights all the sky
Still some say You didn’t do a thing
The sound of hope that’s in the air
In everything, it’s everywhere
Reveals a truth that’s worth remembering
There’s a breeze blowing through here tonight

It’s true, it’s all You

And every breath I take
There’s no way
Accident created this place

Praise and Adore (Some Live Without It)” by Wavorly

Today Elder Holbrook and I took the bus down to Big Sky, Montana. It’s pretty much a ski resort town, and it’s very beautiful. When I walk, I often just look down at the ground. Definitely a bad habit to have, but it’s hard for me to help. Walking through Big Sky, however, my head was up. The mountains surrounding the little town, especially Lone Peak, are absolutely gorgeous. I spent a lot of my time taking picture after picture, wanting to capture every perspective.

God is truly an artist, and He certainly has an eye for beauty.

The beauty of the Earth, and our universe in general, is a testimony to me of God’s existence, and of His character. He has created such an amazing world for us to live in, with diverse, eye-catching geography and so many things to explore, learn about, and appreciate. With all these thoughts running through my head, the above song by Wavorly came to mind. There’s no way the world we live on was created by accident. It’s too beautiful, too perfect.

I testify that this world has a divine creator, an ultimate creator. This ultimate creator is our Father in Heaven. This world and everything in it has come from Him. Look around you. Examine the beauties of the world in which you reside. God can be found in all beauty and in all goodness.

The place where thou art.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:14 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

Everyone has had the thought cross their mind: If I could go back, knowing what I know now, what would I change? What mistakes would I be wise enough to escape? What challenges would I take from a different approach? Often these thoughts are accompanied by “I would probably be a better person than I am now”.

I have often pondered on this idea, and wondered what things I would do differently and how it would affect the person I am today. I have personally arrived at the conclusion that I would never want to go back.

Through obedience, and even through our sins, our Father in Heaven has His hand in our lives. He guides us each day, and where we are now is what we should accept and work with. I’m happy with the person I am. I regret mistakes, but my mistakes have humbled me and brought me closer to the Lord.

I know that the place where I am now is the place the Lord wants me to be. And the Lord is not selective with His counsel:

Doctrine and Covenants 25:16 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.

What the Lord says unto one, He says unto all. Our experiences and judgments, good or bad, help shape and mold us into the person the Lord desires us to be.

I invite you to examine yourself and see the good qualities that have developed in your life, and how your challenges and mistakes have helped you to turn to the Lord and grow to who you are now.