Happy Monday everyone, I hope you are having a great day today! Last Friday and Saturday were both exciting days here in Germany; I had the opportunity to visit some volcanoes along with the capital of Rheinland-Pfalz and a friend of mine named Maddie.
On Friday we visited some of the dormant volcanic sites in the Mayen-Koblenz area and learned some interesting history about the location! After the volcanoes had been dormant for some time, the Romans mined the basalt columns to make them into mill stones to process wheat and they also extracted a special stone called tuff stone which was a mixture of different stones, and it was useful in many different building applications. They had a special way of taking the stone out in blocks which involved striking in iron wedges at an angle to pry the stone from where it was attached to a larger chunk. It is amazing how there are still traces of ancient people in the ruins of the mining areas in these volcanic sites. We also visited an exhibition where they had some booths set up to represent different aspects of life during Roman times and machines and processes developed at that time. It is inspiring to see how our Heavenly Father inspired those people to invent new tools and be able to build all of the things they built!
On Saturday we went to Mainz which was a first time experience for me as well as for the Geary family! Mainz is a beautiful city and the architecture there is stunning! We visited some of the churches there and saw the work of Marc Chagall and his student Charles Marq. This was the last work done by Chagall and it is beautiful! My pictures do not do it justice, but the story that accompanies this work is even more beautiful. Chagall was Jewish and at first he was apprehensive about doing this work for a German church after the experiences he had during World War 2, but he decided to do it because he hoped this would help heal the hurt caused by the war and bring the Christian and Jewish communities together, and it did!
Gory, J. (2022, April 9). Marc Chagall stained glass windows around the world. iTravelWithArt. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from https://www.itravelwithart.com/marc-chagall-stained-glass-windows-around-the-world/
After that wonderful adventure, we went to visit my friend Maddie from school at BYU. Her family lives in Darmstadt and it was a sweet experience to be able to see her and meet some of her family! It is amazing how today’s technology can help us connect with people all around the world both in person and online!
Some of my scripture study these past two days has been in the end of the Book of Mormon and I had the opportunity to read one of my favorite chapters, Moroni chapter 7! I love the question Mormon poses, “How can we lay hold on every good thing?” Or in other words, how can we live in a way that we are honoring God? I want to be able to live my life in a way that the choices I make are each leading me to become more like my Savior Jesus Christ. Mormon teaches us the answer to this question that is also the answer to how we can have everlasting peace and joy in this life and in the next. What is the answer you might ask, the answer is here:
19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.
20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?
21 And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.
22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.
23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come.
24 And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.
25 Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.
We can lay hold of every good thing by exercising faith in Jesus Christ and repenting daily as we strive to do our Heavenly Father’s will! It takes humility and charity towards ourself and others, but we each have the potential to exercise enough faith to follow Christ! Another thought I had as I was reading these verses and the chapter was that one of the ways we can exercise faith in Jesus Christ is by working towards becoming like these angels it mentions in the chapter. The Holy Ghost will also help us as we strive to be worthy of His presence and make space to hear His voice.