Monday was a wonderful day.
I took two finals and turned in an essay; officially finishing my second-to-last semester at BYU.
That evening, I went over to Silvia and Dave's for Passover.
My experience with Passover is limited. When I was a freshman, a girl from my floor did a little passover thing in the basement because here father is Jewish. We did a sort of shortened version. This time, Dave led as the patriarch, and it was all in Spanish. The booklet we used included scriptures and thoughts from the New Testament that helped highlight the connection between Jewish ideas of sacrifice to the fulfillment of the covenants with the atonement of Christ. It was lovely. The ceremony really illustrated the concepts of trial, sacrifice, and patience, bringing them new meaning.
Today is Easter, and I think these examples show what this day is really about. Songs usually speak more eloquently than I can anyway.
John Wayne Gacy Jr. - Sufjan Stevens
"In my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look underneath the floorboards
See the secrets I have hid"
"I’m not so much empathizing with his behavoiur as I’m empathizing with his nature. I guess I believe we all have the capacity for terrible criminal acts, and though I don’t understand how he did what he did and can’t imagine myself doing anything like that, I do feel that we often use criminals and these kind of horrifying anomalies in human naure as moral leverage to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. There’s a real division between what is bad and what is good. I’m saying that I think we all have the capacity to do this..."
- Sufjan Stevens, June 2005
I think I've shared before, that it is easy to get caught up in the sad things in the world. Despite our good intentions, we slip up and make mistakes. Hopefully not to the extent of John Wayne Gacy Jr. but painful nonetheless. Our nature (the natural man), is so prone to be selfish and choose wrong. But we can have hope, and that hope comes through Christ.
The Salt Lake library never fails me. By chance, I picked up The Welcome Wagon's first album. I had been wanting to give it a listen ever since I heard this song* on Pandora before my mission. You can hear the Sufjan influence, no? That is because he produced this album. I love the Asthmatic Kitty family. I was worried they weren't sincere. I worry about sincerity a lot (see post on the Sufjan Stevens concert). Supposedly they are a husband wife duo and he is a reverend/minister.
I think they are earnest. This is the first track:
In the end, Christ knows our weaknesses and our faults, but he also knows our potential. He won't leave us alone. He makes up for what our "best behavior" lacks.
"For us our Heavenly Father gave His Son. For us our Elder Brother gave His life.
At the last moment the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things: the human race, the earth, and all the life that ever inhabited it.
No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5–6)."
- President Thomas S. Monson, First Presidency Message, Apr. 2011
Here's to a happy and hopeful Easter!
*this song was inspired by this song by Brother Danielson. Yep. He usually dresses as a tree when he sings.