Thanks for applying a Mormon perspective to one of the all-time great American
poems.It made my day.
Jerry, I always enjoy your articles/your unique perspective. Merry Christmas!
Keeping promises for their own sake is not necessarily a wise thing to do.Consider how Jerry's advice would apply to a radical Islamic terrorist
who has doubts about a suicide bombing? Should such a person be admonished to
"keep your promises"?Sometimes, what you think is
"darkness" of doubt is really your mind and soul losing an unhealthy
connection to something that is not what you thought it was. Sometimes, being
"overcome by darkness" is simply the extreme anxiety and fear of a
mind and soul conditioned since youth to believe things that are, ultimately,
not true. Sometimes, the despair comes from the prospect of having been
"duped" for so many years, and has nothing to do with some evil spirit
or influence: it is the natural reaction of the human mind to letting go of
childhood fables and embracing truth, reason, and reality.
Thank you for reminding each of us that whether it is darkness or light that we
face, we must have courage and determination within to make the best things
happen that we can.
I had to memorize that poem in 1971 in Miss Raithel's English IV class.
Remarkably, I can still recite it. I love the imagery of sitting in a snowstorm
contemplating the woods.
Thank you, Bro. Johnston. "Enduring to the end" is my LEAST favorite
Gospel principle, but in some ways it's the most important.
About every 3rd year or so the winter solstice falls on the 22nd of December.
Always by the 23rd however, the days start getting longer, the amount of light
increases and the sun starts pointing to spring and renewed growth. It struck
me as fitting when I read this article that we also mark the birth of Joseph
Smith on December 23rd.