Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reflections on the Holy Land

Since I got back from Jerusalem in June, my mind has been constantly taken back to the Holy Land. I have revisited sights in my mind over and over again and it has been wonderful. I, like many of my classmates, wrote the dates we visited different sites in my scriptures and hymnbook. It has been wonderful to be taken back at the sight of a simple notation.
I have also been reading Gerald N. Lund's series Kingdom and the Crown. I love his style of writing and his dedication to historical accuracy. Where story telling is required for the flow of the novel, he explains history in the chapter notes. It has been amazing to revisit the scripture stories through these novels.
Anyway, I begin reading them in Provo, checking them out from the BYU library. I finished the second book when I was visiting family in CA and died of anticipation waiting to get back to the library to check out the 3rd book. Finally, I checked it out and was only 50 or so pages into the book when I moved up to Logan and had to leave the book behind with instructions for my sister to return it to the library. The Friday after I got to Logan I found myself at the Institute Building once again seeking the book! Checking in with the Librarian I became eligible for check outs and eagerly took the book home. I spent the next week of late nights working through the book.

I finished a week and a half ago late at night. I just want to say that again I know my Savior lives. I didn't need to visit Bethlehem, Galilee, the Garden tomb or read these books to know it, but the Spirit I have felt all over the Holy Land and then again in my own room in Logan witnesses to me that He lives and did what He says He did. I am so grateful for that knowledge. My life will never be the same because of what I experienced in Jerusalem. I read the scriptures differently and I long to know my Savior more. 
It has been over three months since we have returned from Holy Land. Sometimes it seems a dream that we were there. But every time my mind is taken back into that wonderful dream I will thank God for what I learned when I lived in the Holy Land. 

Father, How do I express the songs of my heart?
I hear the prayer calls and again my heart is drawn out in gratitude towards Thee.
Why have I found favor in thy sight?
I am daily surrounded by the tokens of Thy Son's sacrifice.
Churches erected, song and stories etched in stone.
The roads where He walked, the stories He lived, the pilgrims who come.
My song is unchanged. The testimony that must be shared is there as it ever has been.
Only now the harmonies are richer, the melody more pure.
Father there is a song in my heart. Be with me yet, lest I ever forget this great symphony.
-Written 5/23/08 at Shepherd's Fields Bethlehem


Jessi said...

I've been debating reading the Kingdom & the Crown, so now I think I really need to! I miss you so much!

Anna said...

I know you're probably done with this blog, but I think its great the experiences you guys had. Awesome awesome awesome.

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