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.



“Before I formed thee…”

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

When Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, he did not feel like he was up to the job. He felt inadequate, unqualified, perhaps even unworthy.

We are counted on to do a lot of things in life. Many of them are just… tough. Many of them are things we may not want to do. Oftentimes we just don’t feel like we’re strong enough, prepared enough, or good enough. The counsel of the Lord to Jeremiah can be applied to us.

Before this world began, we existed as spirits with our Father in Heaven. We conversed with Him just as we converse with our parents here on the earth. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet because the Lord knew him. He knew Jeremiah’s strengths and weaknesses. He knew his likes and dislikes. He knew Jeremiah better than Jeremiah knew himself.

Our Father in Heaven knows you. Just like Jeremiah, He knows you inside and out. He knows what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. He knows what you like and what you despise. He knows what you love and fear. He knows exactly how to push you because He knows exactly what you’re capable of, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

1 Corinthians 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Whether it’s temptation or just something that is difficult to do, God will not allow an impassable obstacle to block our path. Whatever life throws at us, it’s there because Heavenly Father knows we can conquer it.

I know this to be true. I know God knows us all better than we know ourselves. And I know that by trusting in Him, and having faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, we can endure anything.