Why More of Us Should Walk to Church

I hope everyone has had a chance to read Deirdre Paulsen’s excellent (short) article in this month’s Ensign, “Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart.” Sister Paulsen tells the story of Paulo Tvuarde, a Brazilian Latter-day Saint who, out of necessity, walked 25 miles (40 km) to church each week (usually missing once a month) for at least 14 years. This required him to begin walking at 3 a.m. The story was an inspiring one for me, when I thought of Paulo and the sacrifices that he made to worship and be with his fellow saints each week.

Reading Paulo’s story also reminded me, of course, how small a matter it is that my (pregnant) wife and I have started to leave 10 minutes earlier in order to walk about a half mile to church each week. We are happy to see several other walking couples in our ward, including several with infants and toddlers. But we walkers are a very small minority in my ward and stake. (We are in a BYU married stake with nine wards that meet in the same building; our apartment is probably the average distance from the meetinghouse.) Continue reading

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Tennyson

I trust I have not wasted breath:
I think we are not wholly brain,
Magnetic mockeries; not in vain,
Like Paul with beasts, I fought with Death;

Not only cunning casts in clay:
Let Science prove we are, and then
What matters Science unto men,
At least to me? I would not stay.

Let him, the wiser man who springs
Hereafter, up from childhood shape
His action like the greater ape,
But I was born to other things.

Adam and Eve

They, looking back, all th’eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Wav’d over by that flaming brand, the gate
With dreadful faces throng’d and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropp’d, but wip’d them soon.
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They, hand in hand, with wand’ring steps and slow
Through Eden took their solitary way.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book XII, 641-649)

What Does It Mean To Think in a Marrow Bone?

In one of my favorite poems, “A Prayer for Old Age,” W.B. Yeats writes:

God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone.

Here Yeats makes the provocative claim that thinking is not restricted to the mind, and that the wise person is the one who is able to “think” deep in the interior of one’s bones. Continue reading