January 23, 2014

Companions

The word companion derives from two Latin words com + panis  or English with + bread.  English adopted this word from classical French compagnon which literally means bread fellow, messmate (see www.etymonline.com under companion).

I know Spanish at an intermediate level so I knew that the word must mean who you eat bread with. This had a powerful meaning on my mission because I had my mission companion with me at all times. I wrote this poem while I was in the Missionary Training Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This has spiritual meaning for me as illustrated in this poem:

Multitudes beg:
Break the bread.
Baskets are passed
Until 5,000 are fed.

Apostles sat down.
Christ blessed the bread
Tearing every morsel
Until Twelve were fed.

The Savior knelt down
Crushed to red.
The Savior was nailed up,
Scorned and shred.

The priests kneel down
To bless the bread.
The Holy Ghost fills
Until all are fed.

Missionaries kneel down
To bless their bread.
They sit to sup
Until both are fed.

The family sits down
Breaks the bread
Blessing every morsel
Until all are fed.


This is the Spanish translation at my intermediate level. It has definite faults. Those Spanish speakers may cringe. You may suggest grammatical changes.

Compañeros

Multitudes pidieron:
Rompa el pan.
Se pasaba las cestas
Hasta 5,000 estaban satisfechas.

Apostoles sentaron.
Cristo bendijo el pan,
Rompiendo cada pedazo
Hasta el Doce está satisfecho.

El Salvador se arrodilló
Molido en rojo.
El Salvador fue clavado,

Despreciado y roto.

Los presbiteros se arrodillan
Para bendecir el pan.
El Espíritu Santo llena
Hasta todos están satisfechos.

Misioneros se arrodillan
Para bendecir el pan.
Ellos sentan para cenar
Hasta ambos están satisfechos.

La familia senta
Rompe el pan
Bendeciendo cada pedazo
Hasta toda está satisfecha.

January 15, 2014

Do Not Fear What Man Can Do

Corrie ten Boom wrote the book The Hiding Place about her experience in the Resistance and in concentration camps during WW2. She feared for her life, but knew God was in charge. We all experience the real fear someone might embarrass or hurt us, but we can know God is in charge. The only real thing to fear is turning wicked and losing our souls, not physical pain or death. We suffer or thrive sometimes because of others' decisions. But we choose who to look to during trials. Jesus calls us to him to succor us.

Do not fear what man can do
For I am with you.

I am your Guard
When the times get hard.

I am your Hiding Place
When you can’t face.

I am your Rock
To whom you can knock.

I am your Friend
Beyond this life’s end.

I am the One who died
So death could be defied.

I am the One:
Only Begotten Son.


"fear not..." Doctrine and Covenants 122:9; Psalm 27:1; Timothy 2:7
Guard or shield- Psalm 3:3
Hiding Place or hid in Christ- Psalm 27:5; Colossians 3:3; D&C 86:9
Rock- Helaman 5:12; Matthew 7:24
Only Begotten- John 3:16


Word History of Bear

The Latin word for bear is ursus. You can recognize that root in the name of the star constellation Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The Sanskrit word is rkshas. (The Germanic languages, and Latin-based languages derive from Indo-European. Indo-European is a theoretical reconstruction of the language from languages we do have a written record of. Sanskrit is the closest written language to Indo-European we know.)

But the English word for bear is not related to the Latin or Sanskrit root at all. Fear influenced the shaping of of the word bear. Germanic tribes were afraid of bears. It was taboo to use the animal's actual name. They called the bear beron or brown one (Proto-Germanic).

I learned this during my college course on the history of the English language. That's when I wrote a poem about the word bear.


A child taunted the younger ones
Yelling, “Ursu! Ursu! Ursu!”
The younger ones scattered abroad
Shrieking aloud, “Curse you! Curse you!”

The brown one lurked in the forest,
Ready to pounce on the slow soon dead.
His eyes traveled from child to child
Then head to head of the most well-fed.

January 01, 2014

Pedophiles Can Repent

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..."       --Isaiah 1:18

Everyone can repent, even the vilest of sinners. Pedophilia is an addiction and a sin. As a sin, it causes guilt and sadness to compel you to repent. Pedophilia is not a mental illness as the world would say. At one time, you were most likely a victim. This doesn't excuse your sin, but the knowledge does help you understand that you need healing along your journey of repentance.

Repentance only comes through Jesus Christ. No one else can substitute His power. Repentance breaks down to two actions: confess and forsake (see Doctrine and Covenants 58: 43).

You need to confess to the proper authorities, your victims, and your church leader. Your church leader and God will help you know what is the best way to confess to victims. Understand others will react strongly. Confess every instance to the authorities and your church leader. This is like cleaning a wound--all of the infection must be gone before the wound can heal properly. Be willing to suffer the consequences and spiritual pain.

Forsake the sin for the rest of your life. This process is difficult, but worth it. This includes making restitution where possible. Just like an alcoholic should avoid a bar, you need to avoid tempting situations. Importantly, prevention is key. Here are some prevention tips I have thought of:

1. Be completely honest with yourself and others.

2. Avoid children and places children go. Never be alone with a child.

3. Keep a person as your "line of sight." This person should not be any person who will hide the truth from you or others.

4. Inform others so they can help you avoid being alone with a child.

5. Pray and study scriptures often.

6. Avoid pornography in all forms and other sexual sin.

7. Seek professional help from someone who will be honest with you.

8. Be aware if you notice yourself grooming a child (e.g. giving candy, attention, or toys)

9. If you sin again, repent immediately!

This will be a lifelong process. Call on others who are willing to help you along your journey. Rely on the Lord because He loves you. He is the only person who can redeem you.