|Christmas 2011 at the Lima Temple|
This blog site has reached a milestone in recent days in closing out the year having passed more than 10,000 visits since it was launched some 14 months ago. The topics have been, for the most part, narrowly focused on our travels, our life in Peru, and of course the food we enjoy. All of this being outside of the experiences of working in the Lima Temple. Properly so, the things that transpire that RuthAnn and I have shared in that special place remain there and are not to be published here. They remain private to us and are special. They are hidden away in the places of the heart and our souls.
The most widely searched and visited post on the blog is about food. It is clearly the single most searched after topic of anything we have written about or experienced. It is about cebiche, that unique uncooked but processed with a marinade fish I have come to enjoy so very much. Cebiche is also on our weekend schedule to share with our friends the Ramos on Monday. They too are nearing a milestone in their two years as missionaries in the Lima Temple. When the temple closes again for maintenance in February they will return to their home in Arequipa. We will miss these very good and wonderful friends.
Absent from this blog in 14 months has been any statement or expression on my part about my feelings and thoughts concerning faith and the religious experience that ultimately is the basis and reason we are here and not home enjoying our family and grandchildren among other pursuits. It is therefore appropriate and overdue that I should write several lines to close out this blog for 2011. Joseph Smith, as much as any man in American history, has been investigated, written about, praised by those who admire him, and maligned by those who oppose him for what he did and has come to represent. I believe he deserves a few lines here based on my personal respect and admiration. No, he was not perfect. In so many ways he has been found wanting in the court of critical opinion in political or social correctness. But he was perfect, and I am eternally appreciative for him, in his giving it his all -- all that he had and cherished, for his sacrifice to the cause of faith and laying the foundation of this great Latter Day Saint work. I make no apology for him, as he needs none, and I make no apology for my love and belief in him and all that he did and accomplished. Few people I have associated with, on a non professional historian level at least, over the decades have read more or studied about our history in critical ways than I. Family traditions and stories have been handed down creating a personal link to him through a grandmother in Nauvoo. Some have left the Church over related issues such as ours and lesser matters. My personal court of opinion has weighed all of the information, good and ill. Everything that I have read from and about our history, both within and without, at year's end I raise my voice in respect, love, and 'Praise for the Man.'
With love and affection too, for family and friends with whom we share these things -- We thank you for all that you mean to us, your support, and with anticipation look forward to renewing friendship and association once again.
And here's to you Brother Joseph: http://youtu.be/k5id63Twddk -- a link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing their "Praise to the Man."