Two new items went up earlier today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:
This post is a summary of the article “There Is No Beauty That We Should Desire Him” by Loren Spendlove in Volume 53 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. An introduction to the Interpreting Interpreter series is available at https://interpreterfoundation.org/interpreting-interpreter-on-abstracting-thought/.
The Takeaway: Spendlove uses Hebrew word usage in Isaiah 52 and 53 to suggest that Christ may have suffered from debilitating and disfiguring illness, fulfilling the prophecy that his appearance would be marred (mishchat, also meaning deformed or impaired), in contrast with the noted beauty of Israel’s other savior-like figures.
We put in today at Cobh (pronounced like the English word cove), in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland. Known from 1849 until 1920 as Queenstown, Cobh was the last European port of call for RMS Titanic before it set out on its tragic maiden voyage across the North Atlantic to New York, and a monument and a visitor center there commemorate the connection. We spent very little time in Cobh itself, although we did get a very nice view of St. Colman’s Cathedral from our ship as we came into port and from the dock. From Cobh, we drove out to the really lovely seaside town of Kinsale, where we took in some beautiful views in the countryside and spent some time looking about its literally colorful “downtown” area. Several in our group spontaneously indicated their interest in somehow inheriting a home in Kinsale. I was one of them.
But Kinsale, too, has its stories of shipwreck and tragedy: Most notable among them is that of RMS Lusitania, which sank about eleven miles offshore roughly eighteen minutes after being torpedoed by a German U-Boat on 7 May 1915. Out of 1962 passengers and crew aboard the vessel, 1198 died. Among them was a prominent member of the wealthy American Vanderbilt family, as well as an American writer by the name of Elbert Hubbard — of whom, for some reason, I’m vaguely aware. (He and his wife are said to have died quite stoically and heroically.) Many of the survivors and many of the bodies of victims were brought to Kinsale, whose fishermen are said to have played a notably heroic role in both rescue and retrieval. The Lusitania was nearing the end of a voyage from New York City to Liverpool, and it carried 139 citizens of the United States among its passengers. Nearly all of them — 128 — died. Although the United States would not enter the First World War for nearly another two years, the sinking of the Lusitania powerfully helped to turn the tide of American public opinion against Germany. Coincidentally, when my father came over to serve in Europe during the Second World War, he sailed on the RMS Aquitania, one of Lusitania‘s two sister ships, which had been converted into a military troop transport vessel. As I intended to mention a couple of days ago but didn’t, he landed somewhere on the Firth of Clyde near Glasgow.
After spending time in Kinsale, we drove about in the city of Cork itself, which is the third largest city on the Island of Ireland after Dublin (which is much larger) and Belfast, and the second largest city in the independent Republic of Ireland proper. Then we spent the rest of our time in and about the Castle of Blarney. Some of our number climbed to the top of the castle tower and kissed the famous Blarney Stone there. My wife and I were already here about ten years ago — my brother and my sister in law were planning to come with us on that tour, which I was also accompanying, but he died shortly before it — so we opted to forego the line and the kiss and instead spent our time in the beautiful gardens that surround the castle. Anyhow, I have certain reservations about kissing anything that has previously been kissed by millions of people.
Back to Elbert Hubbard for a minute or two: I have never sat down to read anything by Elbert Hubbard, but I very frequently see quotations from him. Here are just a few of them that seem to circulate fairly widely:
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.”
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.”
“Never explain―your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”
“If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.”
“Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
“I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.”
“I do not read a book; I hold a conversation with the author.”
“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”
“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.”
Such sayings — and there are many, many more like them — may seem like aphorisms from a greeting card company. And, indeed, I’ve pretty much encountered Elbert Hubbard only in such contexts or in similar ones. But there’s actually a fair amount of practical wisdom in what he has to say.
Posted from near St. George’s Channel