Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Strange Intersection of Anniversaries



by Bradly Baird:

Last week contained a strange intersection of personal anniversaries (arrivals, departures and memorials) and a strange intermixing of the sacred and the secular. Each event marked a unique circumstance from my life, with the earliest reaching back to the formations of my world-views. Consequently, the week was one of varying emotions and thoughts, sometimes reaching to extremes. Fortunately, this imbalanced week was capped off by a weekend filled with wonderful spiritual moments, the opportunity to be taught by the Lord's representatives and a wonderful walk around the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

Monday - November 18, 2013
My former boss and her fiancé joined me for breakfast at the Bambara in downtown Salt Lake City, where we celebrated her last day in the city. She lived in Salt Lake for two years to help improve the operations of our business office here and returned this past weekend to move her belongings back to California now that her work here is complete. I owe her quite a bit because she pulled me out of a period of unemployment and launched a new career for me in human capital management.

Tuesday - November 19, 2013
A good man whom I have known for about six years passed away this week. He was not a close friend, nor was he a relative. In fact, I only knew him because I was his family's home teacher more than four years ago. But, his passing marks a special spiritual experience for me, and while I won't give specific details, I will say that Christ's atonement is real and it plays a tremendous role in the lives of those who access its power.

Friday - November 22, 2013
Of course, everyone is aware that this past Friday was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. I was not alive when the assassination took place, but this President holds a special place in the consciousness of my youth. My mother loved this man and was particularly devastated when his life ended. I remember that each year on this date, she would retrieve all of the newspaper clippings that she saved from the coverage and we would sit together and read them. I also remember our family pilgrimage to the eternal flame at JFK's grave in Arlington National Cemetery.

Saturday - November 23, 2013
Interestingly, the first television show broadcast on BBC after twenty-four hours of JFK assassination coverage was the premiere of a new television show: Doctor Who. On that evening, the world was granted its first opportunity to learn about a Time Lord and a Tardis. The first episode was called An Unearthly Child and it set off a science fiction phenomenon that is now 50 years old. What is it about this man we call the Doctor, his travelling companions and his fascination with creating a moral universe that keeps me watching? In honor of that moment, I settled down and watched Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright discover that something could be larger on the inside than on the outside.

Saturday - November 23, 2013
I sat with a pair of missionaries who will shortly enter the mission field in Arizona. They listened to the spirit, understood its message and then taught me with power and authority in such a way that deeply touched my heart. How grateful I am for their message of prayer and communion with Heavenly Father.

Sunday - November 24, 2013
It is 35 degrees at 7 p.m. and I am walking the large oval pathway that surrounds the exterior fencing of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. The lights of the valley dance about and I am filled with gratitude at the unusual happenings of the past week, and the knowledge that the I am loved by my Father in Heaven.
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Bradly Allen Baird is the father of two amazing children and has been married for almost twenty years. He served a mission in Finland, though he was really supposed to serve in Uruguay. His professional meanderings include everything from education to economic development, to human capital management in the IT industry (hopefully this one sticks); and spends his Saturdays hanging out with the missionaries in Provo, or racing back and forth between his children's activities in tae kwon do and elite cheerleading. Bradly also survived an MBA program; developed a somewhat limited interest in music, theater, film, urban planning, judaica, liberation theology, politics, israel, and latin american history; studies the influence of graphic imagery on public space; wrote a thesis about Leonard Bernstein, is obsessed with the American Symphonists, and reads publications like The Tablet and the Jewish Daily Forward.
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