I have started reading books by Hugh Nibley, probably the best Mormon religious scholar, only recently. Since moving to the US, I have heard his name over and over again, and for a while his brother was even my home teaching companion, but I was always busy with other things. Then finally I decided to start reading one of his book, The World and the Prophets, and after that I kept reading more and more.
Long before moving to the US, and before deciding to come to BYU, I had decided to study English mainly to have access to better Mormon literature and studies. Unfortunately, in other languages very little is available for those who want to read more than the Institute manual of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and a couple of other books.
Living still in Brazil, I was happy to discover a new bookstore, opened near the San Paulo Mormon temple, where they had many books about the Church, but all written in English. Having read in previous years all that was available and interesting in other languages, I realized that I needed to improve my English if I ever wanted to have access to more interesting books about the Church. So, I decided to buy some of those books, and armed with a dictionary I went to a discovery journey. Among the first were the collection The Mortal Messiah by Bruce McConkie. But the books in the store were relatively expensive, and eventually the bookstore went our of business.
Now it is easier, I have finally learned English (more or less), and I am in the US, and I do not even have to buy the books, just go to the library. Today by chance I found these videos about Hugh Nibley, and I want to share the link for those who may be interested.
Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping occurred on June 5, 2002, when 14-year-old American was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Smart was found nine months later on March 12, 2003, in Sandy, Utah, about 18 miles from her home, in the company of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee, who were indicted for her kidnapping, but initially ruled unfit to stand trial. However, on March of this year U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball declared Brian David Mitchell competent to stand trial.
Because of this new development, Elizabeth Smart who is serving a mission for the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church) in Paris, France, had to return temporarily from her mission to testify in the trial.
The article overall is pretty good and respectful, in spite of little biases that show up here and there, such as when it describes an LDS Church mission as ”a rite of passage” (as expression that does not convey the proper meaning of a Mormon mission), or when it says that Elizabeth Smart has “been cut off from television, barred from seeing movies and prohibited from following the news” as if she was again “captive” for religious reasons.
It was also interesting to read a few of the many comments to the article, starting with the one that set the tone for the rest of the comments, a heated debate between believers and non-believers,
Faith is the one thing I will never understand; This young lady has seen the dark side and yet she still believes in the Great Not There
or this reply,
Trying to convince people about faith is like trying to convince blind people that there is such thing as sight. “If I have not seen/experienced it, then it must not exist”
Elizabeth Smart testifying in the courtroom in the middle of her Mormon mission is a powerful way of testifying at the same time about her faith, not only because of what she says, but also because of what she does or does not, and what she has become. I am sure that her testimony of God and the Gospel is a lot stronger because of her unfortunate experience. But she had the ability to overcome adversity and transform a sad experience in an great opportunity to testify to the world about her faith. She could have abandoned her faith, many would have felt justified in doing it by a wrong understanding of God and spiritual things. As the first comment above demonstrates, some assume that because bad things happen to people then God does not exist, or does not care. But He exists and He cares, we are under trial to prove our faithfulness, not Him.
So now, as the article appropriately mentions, Elizabeth Smart has a great opportunity of testifying about her faith, even when she will not mention it directly, because
What we do know is that as Smart testifies about her painful past, the media, the jury and others following this sensational case are hanging on her every word
This is the video of the complete Rome Mormon Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony held in Rome, October 23, 2010.
A few parts are only in Italian but most of the talks were given in English, including obviously the final talk by President Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).
President Thomas S. Monson was accompanied by Church officials including Elder William R. Walker, Executive Director of the Temple Department; Erich W. Kopischke, President of the Europe Area and his two counselors, Elder Gérald Caussé and Elder José A. Teixeira; Elder Alfredo L. Gessati, Area Seventy; President Massimo De Feo, Rome Italy Stake President; and President Raimondo Castellani, Bern Switzerland Temple President. Numerous government officials were also in attendance including Mr. Giuseppe Ciardi, vice mayor of Rome, and Senator Lucio Malan.
In his remarks, President Monson emphasized the unique and historic nature of the temple’s construction, which has significance extending beyond the borders of Rome and Italy. He thanked the Saints for their faithfulness and commitment to follow the example of Jesus Christ, urging them to be good citizens. He said, we love, honor and obey the laws of the country, and we love, honor, and obey the laws of God.
All Italian Saints are now hoping to see the temple completed according to schedule, before the end of 2013.