Bloggernacle Back Bench: Of groves and visions

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 16 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

What would it be like to manage the Sacred Grove in Palmyra? And read below about how the church is bringing vision to people in Africa!

Groves: In "Sacred Groves, pt. 4," blogger Jason Brown introduces us to Robert Parrot, “the Sacred Grove’s only forester,” whose job, since 1997, is to “restore the forest to health, vitality and biological balance giving visitors a sense for how Joseph experienced the lush forest in 1820. Under Robert’s care, the forest has regained much of its former diversity and vitality and now boasts a tangle of canopy layers, snags, downed logs, moss, lichens, fungi, birds, deer, insects and amphibians. The forest is also big enough to accommodate all the visitors that seek quiet solitude there. This mostly unknown story of the restoration has played out quietly under the care of a humble (non-Mormon) forester.”

And did you know that there are currently a few "witness trees”? These are trees which, Parrot explains, are at least 250 years old, “old enough to have been alive when Joseph sought their shade.” Parrot then testified to blogger Jason Brown that “ ‘Joseph felt the spirit of this forest long before he asked his deepest questions.’ Despite never being baptized, Robert believes deeply in the visionary Joseph and asserts that it was sacredness that drew Joseph here.”

To read more about “Sacred Groves,” both the famous one in New York as well as musings on the meanings of forestry and sacredness, click to get the rest of Brown’s series.

Vision: “The LDS Church has come at the right time. They came first and did a needs assessment. They then donated NEW equipment, not used or refurbished. Then they came and trained us on the equipment. If you are going to give a gift, give something of value.” So said Dr. Agaba, head of the ophthalmic department at Mulago Hospital in Uganda about a wonderful vision project just recently implemented in Uganda by the church. Humanitarian missionaries Lincoln and Marilyn Barlow blogged about "Strengthening a vision program" with descriptions and photos of these grateful people receiving supplies, equipment and training on the equipment all in an effort to provide better eye care for the people in Uganda. What a wonderful experience! Click to read more!

Now let’s find other beautiful moments from this past week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Take a virtual temple trip around Utah with this “Mormon Temples Timelapse” video that just took my breath away. The time-lapse nature of the video really highlights how serene, strong and absolutely gorgeous these sacred buildings truly are. Click into view, or better yet, share with your family!

Power pick 2: I found this lovely video tribute to Chieko Okazaki in my YouTube wanderings today, and just had to share it. It was put together by Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women and includes sweet quotes from friends, recorded moments of Okazaki's wisdom and, my favorite, a clip of her playing “You Are My Sunshine” on ukelele. Wow, what a beautiful (in so many ways) woman!

Techie tip: “As we navigate the physical world, most of us have some awareness about accessibility features in place to help the disabled: ramps, elevators and lifts, adapted washrooms and parking spaces close to buildings. However, far fewer people are aware of the equivalent features for websites. When website accessibility features are neglected, it can prevent people with visual disabilities and the deaf or hard-of-hearing from having a useful browsing experience.” So explains Sarah Levis in this new article at LDSTech on “The Accessibility Testing Project for Mormon.org.” She explains why this is such an important endeavor as it, ultimately, brings more people to the gospel. Click to learn more about this important project and check out the Accessibility Testing mormonorg wiki page for much more information. And did I mention that you can help? “All are welcome to contribute, disabilities or not. To join the Accessibility Testing team, click the Projects tab, sign in, and click the Accessibility Testing — Mormon.org project. Then click Join. The project team is currently small and needs more members.” Wow, click in to read more or join up!

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. She loves writing and editing projects and mommy-ing her five mostly delightful children.

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