Sunday, May 4, 2008

Grazie, Padre Celestial!

Lately, our foster son Glen and I have been teaching ourselves Italian, using the Rosetta Stone software. Glen has always wanted to learn Italian, and I figured the best way for him to learn it would be if Göran or I studied it with him, and spoke it with him around the house. So I am thankful for the fun that Glen and I have had learning Italian together.

I am thankful that I have survived into my mid-forties, and for the wisdom and peace that I have acquired in the process, and for fifteen, going on sixteen, years of a relationship that keeps on getting stronger.

I am thankful for daily hugs.

I am thankful for family bicycle outings, and the fun we have swimming together at the YMCA.

I am thankful for good food.

I am thankful that after nine years of anxiety and uncertainty, Göran finally has information about who his father and mother were, and is finally starting to get answers to the most perplexing questions in his life. And he has a passport!

I am thankful for scriptures. All of them! All that we have received, and all that are yet to come forth!

I am thankful to be a teacher. (And a learner.)

I am thankful that my Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. I am thankful that divine guidance is always as near to me as my knees are to the ground. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, which fills my heart and my life and gives me the peace that makes everything -- even the hard stuff -- worthwhile.

I am thankful for our cats, and for the way they make us laugh!

I am thankful for May and the relenting of the cold.

I am thankful for life, for the way everything is interconnected in that divine, secret way. I am thankful for eyes periodically opened to see it.

I am thankful that the bad can only last so long, but the good will keep growing forever.

I am thankful for being, and for hope, and most of all, for love.


MoHoHawaii said...

And I, dear man, am grateful for you.

Chedner said...

I echo mohohawaii.

J G-W said...

Aw, shucks! I'm thankful for both of you too!

Bill McA said...

In the mouth of two or (I make) three witnesses....

Parallel Mormon said...


I am attempting to get caught up. Wow, you all seem like a loving family unit. You all seem happy to have each other. That's great! I wish you all tender unity, love and lasting bonds.

I couldn't help but notice your books. Besides, of course, our phenomenal Standard Works, you had the Teachings of Joseph Smith (love them), the Quran (wowie, love it too), the Gospel of Judas (very enjoyable tale, I'm fond of it), and Popul Vuh, from where I served my mission, Guatemala, and a wonderful mythology (both in general and as a Latter-day Saint I love when the "Sun" makes its debut, and the Virgin Conception of the Twins, heck, and the Heart of Heaven), and the Nag Hammadi writs (not bad). I must say that I really dig your spiritual library.

But what, no Kalevala?! And you call yourself a Finn! Absent the Kalevala, and the world would have no Song of Hiawatha, Lord of the Rings, or lesser-known but not any less worthy Kalevipoeg (Estonia) or Lachplesis (the Bear Slayer, Latvia). Surely Vainamoinen with his metric incantations to Ylijumala and his search for the Sampo merit a spot in your spiritual top 10.

James, the Parallel Mormon

J G-W said...

Cyberhugs to Bill!

Hey James!

(James and John conversing, I like that!)

I couldn't possibly include my WHOLE spiritual library in one photograph, so I just grabbed a sampling. Of course no self-respecting Finn would not include the Kalevala, which I have both in translation and in the original Finnish (though even my native-born Finnish mother finds the Kalevala easier to read in English than in Finnish).

I am just reading the Popol Vuh for the first time, and yes, the appearance of the Sun sends shivers down my spine. It is an AMAZING passage. And there is so much rich stuff in the whole story of the hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque. I am reading this for the first time, but I know I will be reading it again, again, and again.

Have you ever read Frazier's Golden Bough? I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it...

Parallel Mormon said...


I have not read Golden Bough, but I looked it up online, and it seems to hit very fascinating topics. If we apply the comparative method to reconstruct what the most ancient developed religion was, we end up with the worship of "Sky Father" (i.e. Heavenly Father)and His Son born of a Virgin. Hm, just keeps getting better and better.

J G-W said...

...and don't forget the God King who is born in the flesh, dies for the sins of his people, and then is resurrected from the dead.

It's well worth a read. It's the richness and the details of Frazier's study that make it so compelling. If any secular study could make me a Christian, The Golden Bough is it.