“Parting is such sweet sorrow”

“Parting is such sweet sorrow” February 21, 2024


The Ovation of the Seas in Sydney Harbour in 2017
(A Wikimedia Commons public domain photo by Maksym Kozlenko)

Well, our cruise ended this morning where it first began.  We disembarked from our ship, the Ovation of the Seas, and made our way to our hotel in Sydney.  Our group had said their goodbyes last night.  Most of them are over the Pacific Ocean by now.  The Australians who were among us are probably already home.  I always find the end of such tours rather sad: You get to know new people quite well (or strengthen relationships with people that you had already met).  You tour with them, you share meals with them, you meet with them for devotionals, you play games with them, you have long conversations with them, you’re together with them pretty much every waking hour for a week or two weeks or so, and then it’s suddenly over and they’re gone.  It is, frankly, a little bit like mortality . . . and death

I did ten lectures during the cruise, all of them on the ship’s “at-sea days,” each of which lasted between ninety minutes and two hours.  That, too, will probably remind some of death.  However, most of the members of our group appear to have survived the ordeal.  What may have helped them to do so is this:  We had a room reserved for our use (for the lectures and, at other times, for playing games or just gathering to talk) on deck thirteen at the very stern of the boat, with a ceiling to floor window that provided a wonderful view of the sea and our ship’s wake.

Australian wildlife
Unfortunately, I can’t recall where this image comes from or from whom it may have come. But, based on what my wife and I saw while we were traveling much further up the coast, considerably to the north of Brisbane, on our immediately previous visit to Australia, it certainly rings true.

I call your attention to two new items that were posted today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:

The Book of Mormon in Context Lesson 9: “His Name Shall Be Called … The Prince of Peace”: 2 Nephi 11-19

For the 4 February 2024 Come, Follow Me segment of the Interpreter Radio Show, Martin Tanner and Hales Swift and Brent Schmidt discussed Book of Mormon lesson 9, “His Name Shall Be Called … The Prince of Peace,” covering 2 Nephi 11-19.

That discussion was recorded, and has now been archived, shorn of commercial interruptions, and made available (at no cost to you) for your listening pleasure.  The other segments of the 4 February 2024 radio program can be accessed at https://interpreterfoundation.org/interpreter-radio-show-february-4-2024.

The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard weekly on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640.  Or, if that doesn’t float your boat, you can listen live on the Internet at ktalkmedia.com.

Come, Follow Me — Study and Teaching Helps (2024): Lesson 9, February 26-March 3: 2 Nephi 11-19
“His Name Shall Be Called . . . The Prince of Peace”

Editor’s Note: Four years ago, Jonn Claybaugh began writing the Study and Teaching Helps series of articles for Interpreter. We now have these wonderful and useful posts for all four years of Come, Follow Me lessons. Beginning this year we will be reposting these articles, with dates, lesson numbers, and titles updated for the current year’s lessons. Jonn has graciously agreed to write new study aids for those lessons that do not directly correspond to 2020 lessons.

A simple public domain political map of Australia from Wikimedia Commons

One of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law holds that “It’s impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.”  I thought of this today when I noticed a thread over at what I call the Peterson Obsession Board.

Several days ago, I posted an entry (“Of Sheep Shearing”) in the course of which, having just observed the expert shearing of a sheep near Picton, on the South Island of New Zealand, I briefly reflected on the complete submission of the Son to the will of the Father as reflected in the Christian application of the “suffering servant poem” in Isaiah 53:3-7 to the atoning life and death of Jesus Christ:

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

I am simultaneously astounded and unsurprised to see that, immediately thereafter, some of the folks on the Obsession Board apparently began to pretend — or do they really believe it? is that even remotely possible? — that, despite what I wrote, I wasn’t really pondering what Christians have regarded for the past two thousand years as a messianic prophecy.  Rather, as they affect to understand me,  I was advocating robotic, unthinking, slavish, and uninformed obedience to the leaders of my church and celebrating ignorant, unreasoning, and unquestioning acceptance of the teachings of my church.

Robin Goodfellow’s (aka “Puck’s”) observation at III.ii.115 of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is certainly applicable to such bizarre misreading.

Australian tidal pool
A tidal pool on the southern coast of New South Wales, Australia. Charles Darwin proposed that life on Earth may have begun in just such a place.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

In closing, here is a quartet of horrors that I’ve lately retrieved from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™:

“Church responds with service and aid after deadly Chile forest fires: Area presidency statement invites people to pray for firefighters and provide strength to affected families”

“Elder Stevenson Visits Humanitarian Project in Tanzania

“Elder Taniela B. Wakolo Prays for Peace, Love and Unity for French Polynesia”

“Service Benefits Children and Communities Around South America: Donations, service projects and efforts follows the teachings of Jesus Christ”

Posted from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia



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