Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jian Sword Dancing.

Rarely do I find a video on youtube that combines EVERYTHING I love about good videos. Well I found one. And it's called 'Jian Sword Dancing'.

I'm pretty sure these two might be Napoleon Dynamites neighbors. It just seems to fit. Also, I'm currently recruiting any of my sisters who would be willing to do this amazing sword dance with me at our next big family reunion. It's our families time to shine!

Feel free to check out 'Balisong Dancing' too. It's pretty good, but just doesn't have the inexplicable magic of the one I posted.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Of Prophets and Poets.

Something I love in life is when two things that have importance for me seem to overlap and intersect. I like to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, as I find it can give new meaning to each. I made such a connection this week between scripture and music. 

I recently finished reading through my 1830 replica Book of Mormon, which was a pretty cool experience in and of itself. There was something special about reading the entire book without verses or cross-references. I enjoyed reading it all while knowing that it was a book printed similar to that version that was used to convert the early leaders of my church. Reading it through with that specific mindset was something I had never done before and I found it enriching. I'll no doubt go back to that version again later, but for now I went back to my standard quad and started back again at First Nephi. 

The first chapter tells about a prophet Lehi that has a vision where he is given a book to read. Lehi reads from the book and experiences two reactions: he despairs for Jerusalem, and he rejoices in God. Here are the verses that specifically tell that part of the story:

1 Nephi 1:11- ...and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
12. And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
13. And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem...
14. And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!...

Time to overlap that story with one told in a song I heard for the first time recently. The song tells of a man finding a book which inspires similar reactions to Lehi as he read the book given him in his vision. The lyrics to the song are as follows:

Standing knee deep in cold water, swiftly moving, somehow I knew I'd lost something.
Wading waist deep I saw a book there in the river, waiting for me to find it there.
I tried to read it, neck deep, treading water, but the tide, it pulled me out to sea.
Then, with water in my eyes, the words began to rise from their place.
They were beautiful and dread; I reached for them and fed on each phrase.
They were honey on my lips, but then a bitter twist in my side.
I knew they'd lay me in my grave; "Is there no one who can save me?" I cried.
And when I lost all hope to look, someone took that heavy book -
from my hands; all its weight they set aside, after they had satisfied its demands.
I felt white and black reverse, and the lifting of a curse from my heart.
Then like one receiving sight, I beheld a brilliant light in the dark.
While I know this song wasn't written about Lehi, I really enjoyed seeing the similarities. While I've pretty much always been passionate about scripture and also of music, rarely do I notice such a strong connection between the two. It brought new light to each passage for me. 

If you're interested in learning more about Lehi or the Book of Mormon, go here: www.lds.org

If you're interested in the song, its "Words in the Water" by Thrice. A video of them performing the song live in studio can be found here (with the lyrics reposted in the description): Words In The Water