This week I drove across the country with my siblings, who are the best people ever and drove over 2,000 miles just to drop me off in Boston. (And are currently driving back to Utah!) The last day before arriving, we stopped at the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, NY, a forest behind Joseph Smith's childhood home where I (and other Mormons) believe he saw God and Jesus Christ when he was only 14.
Sitting there, in that holy wood, I was struck by the radical fissure that vision produced in Joseph's life. One day he is an ordinary farm kid--curious, walks with a limp--, the next day he sees God with his own eyes. Sure, he had to grow into his prophethood, he definitely didn't understand where the vision would lead him, but he was fundamentally changed. In his own words, "I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it" (Joseph Smith-History 1:25). He took a risk, sincerely asked God intending to act on whatever he learned, and was never never the same.
I feel like I have walked into a grove. And right now, that feels like a really stupid choice. I'm sitting in a huge city where I know a grand total of three souls, miles and miles from friends and family and my mountains and a valley I know as well as my own body, where I spent the better part of 24 years building a life that I walked away from in a matter of days.
But. This is my hope:
That it is exactly in the moments of complete disjuncture that God imbues the world with his power. A boy walks into a grove. A man travels to Damascus. A virgin sees an angel. A family leaves Jerusalem.
A man and a woman walk out of a garden. And nothing is ever the same.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
While cleaning out my computer, I found this mini essay from adorable 18-year-old Catie. I wrote it for my Chem 105 class (Dr. Macedone, whom I reference, was my professor), and reading it made me cry, so I thought I would share it with y'all:
“Both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual” (Moses 6:63)
I attended my home ward’s relief society over Thanksgiving Break and the teacher taught on how for every temporal thing, there is a spiritual parallel. As I’ve pondered on that, and as Dr. Macedone’s brought up examples in class, I’ve realized just how true that concept is. Covalent bonds require two atoms to share their electrons, integral parts of themselves. In order to form strong relationships, two people must allow each other to see parts of their personalities they wanted to keep close or hidden. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle says that we cannot predict where a particle is and how fast it’s moving simultaneously. The gospel is the Plan of Uncertainty; we all have agency and are not forced to do anything. But it’s also the Plan of Salvation. Even if we can’t predict the movements of others or ourselves, we know that God will always be the same, ready to answer us with love and mercy. The experiments of Dalton, Rutherford and Thomson are bases for our belief in the modern atomic model. In the scriptures we hear the testimonies of those who experimented upon the word, of Nephi, Enos and Alma, which in turn strengthen our belief in things we cannot see but know to be real. In fact, most of chemistry is a test of faith, of believing what Dr. Macedone tells us to be true. But he also shows us why things are true with experiments that we experience, and so we form our own understandings. What has intrigued me about chemistry this semester is how closely connected the spiritual is to the physical. As I continue to learn more about the wonders of the world around me, I will be able to join with Alma in declaring “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it” (Alma 30:44).
Monday, July 3, 2017
Friday 9:03 AM
Good morning sweetie! :) The sun is shining
here in Dallas! Give me a call when you’ve got a
Friday 9:44 AM
I parked over by the tennis courts. I’ll meet you
out there in a few.
Friday 9:46 AM
Girl, where are you? Durham is passing out the
Mom Missed call
Friday 9:47 AM
Friday 9:48 AM
Becky, I just got a call from Davey’s school. They
said he was riding his skateboard at recess and
broke his arm. Please call me back!
Friday 10:00 AM
Dave’s at the hospital downtown. Can you go
down there? I can excuse the absence. I
need you to answer me sweetheart. I need
to know if you’re ok.
Friday 10:02 AM
Hey where are you? They sent a note to
precalc saying you needed to go to the office.
Mom Missed call
Friday 10:13 AM
Mom Missed call
Friday 10:26 AM
Mom Missed call
Friday 10:31 AM
Friday 10:31 AM
Jace says he doesn’t know where you
are and he was super weird about it. What’s
up gfriend? Call me!!
Friday 10:33 AM
Rebecca Clearwater, if you don’t respond to me
I am missing my talk tomorrow and taking the next
plane home, you hear me? You promised to call
me if something went wrong, that was the deal.
Friday 10:39 AM
Becky, please. I know it’s hard for you to help
when you’ve got your own stuff going on,
but Davey needs you. Please get back to me.
WHERE ARE YOU?????????????????????
I’m going to change my flight. I hope you’re
hey, i’m at the hospital with dave. he’s
fine. it wasn’t too bad of a break.
Becky!!! Oh my goodness! Are you alright?!
Why didn’t you respond to my texts and calls?
sorry my phone was off. i was in the
operating room with dave.
yeah. i came here right after i got your text.
i’m sorry i didn’t respond, it’s been a little crazy.
Oh honey I was worried sick! I called the
school and Mrs. Yankowitz checked the
house. Next time you need to let me know
where you are sweetheart.
i don’t think you should change your flight.
you need to give at least one of these talks.
;) we’ll be fine for another day.
Thanks sweetheart, but we need to talk this
over. I’ll call you once I get out of this panel
ok. but mom, we can handle it. trust me.
What about sneaking out last night? How
can I trust you when you left Dave alone
and you won’t tell me why? Becky, just with
your bipolar and everything, I think I made
the wrong decision leaving you two alone.
not everything i do is because of my
I know sweetie, I’m sorry. But I think
it would be better if I just didn’t go to
any more conferences like this. It’s not
worth the stress for me or you.
i was with my boyfriend.
You have a boyfriend? How long have
you had a boyfriend? Why didn’t you tell
he’s just a guy i met at school. please
don’t come home mom, i told him
i won’t go out again until you get back.
We’ll see if there’s any going out when
I get back! You think I’ll trust you now that I
know you had a secret boyfriend?! How do
I know you won’t sneak off with him again?
i came here to be with davey, didn’t
i? the only way you’ll trust me is if
you try it and it works out.
I don’t know honey. I’m not sure it’s worth it.
it’s 1 day mom. davey’s already in the
hospital, so i can’t mess him up worse.
Yeah. Ok, my session’s almost
over. I’ll call you and we’ll work it out, ok?
Friday 5:17 PM
You done babying your brother yet or
is he still too hurt for you to apologize
for ditching me?
Friday 7:48 PM
Friday 8:05 PM
Hey how is Dave doing now? Sorry I
freaked I was just worried for you.
he’s good. it’s cool, you
should’ve seen my mom’s texts ;)
Haha so what happened with Jace?
oh haha I’ll tell you tomorrow during lunch
You’re having lunch with me?
Ok, see you then!!
Friday 10:47 PM
How did the rest of the day go?
fine. dave and i have been drawing on his
cast. there won’t be room for you to sign
:) I’m glad you two are having fun
you should go to bed, you’ll need to have
your A game for that presentation
Just about to turn in. Give Davey my love.
I love you, sweetheart. I’ll see you tomorrow.
i love you too
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday 3:15 PM
Don’t forget about Davey’s
soccer practice today! 4 pm at West
Bay Park. He needs to wear blue.
You’re still ok driving him and Tanner?
Thursday 3:22 PM
Becky, did you get my text about Davey’s
practice? Can you do that for me?
Sorry, I just didn’t know if you saw it since
you didn’t respond. :) Thanks, sweetheart.
And remember if you start feeling manic or
depressive, just call me ok? I know you
don’t want me to have to come home early
again, but I will. You’re more important to
me than any of this.
mom, i’ve been stable for 3 months. we
talked about this. i’m 17, i can handle it.
I know, Becks. I’m just so far away from
you guys. If anything happened, I don’t
know what I would do.
we’ll be fine
I know. :) Just please call if you need
Thursday 6:49 PM
Hey did you figure out 16 on the worksheet?
no! is it cosine or secant?
idk. We’ll just have to ask Durham
tomorrow before class.
I saw you and Jace going at it today during
haha yeah ;)
You guys are adorable!! So have you told
your mom yet?
nah she would FREAK. she thinks I
can’t handle life anyways.
Thursday 9:53 PM
How did today go? Did you get everything
done? How about you and Dave’s homework?
yeah, it’s all good.
Even your Precalculus? Didn’t you say you had
a test tomorrow?
yeah. we’re fine mom.
I know. :) Will you remind Davey not to take
his skateboard to school? I don’t want him to
get hurt on those crazy ramps he loves,
especially not while I’m gone.
yeah, i’ll tell him.
Alright. Well goodnight sweetheart. I love
you very much. :)
Thursday 10:35 PM
hey I’m here
Thursday 11:27 PM
becky, where are you?
what’s wrong dave?
mom said you’re not supposed to leave
are you hurt or something?
mom said you can only leave me alone
for school and work. she said if you’re
not doing what you said you would,
I should call her.
dave just go back to bed. do you really
want mom to have to come home early
again just because her 11 year old was
afraid of the dark?
I’M NOT AFRAID! I’M CALLING MOM!
Mom Missed call
Thursday 11:50 PM
Thursday 11:51 PM
Becky, where are you? Dave says you’re not
home. What’s going on sweetheart? Are
you alright? Is something wrong?
You took your medication right?
i’m fine. i’m heading home now.
What’s going on? I thought you said you would
call if anything went wrong!
mom, seriously, everything’s fine. i’m not
manic. i’m home now. i’ll talk to you tomorrow
Ok. What time will you call me tomorrow?
Friday 12:21 AM
i can still taste you, you were so sweet
tonight. ;) let’s cut 3rd period tomorrow,
pick up where we left off when your mom