Saturday, August 8, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - The Knowledge BBQ

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I normally don't have dreams that leave an impression on me. But, the other day I had one. It wasn't one of those," Why am I standing in front of the class with a fishbowl on my head?" or maybe "Why are there dancing dogs on a stage in my kitchen?" kind of dreams. It really made me think. There are several websites that offer guidance when a person wants help interpreting a dream that doesn't make any sense...where is Daniel or Joseph of Egypt when you need 'em? So, here was the dream: 

 My family was in Germany in a large guest house with several kitchens and entry/exit doors. I was looking around at toys left by someone who had been there before. President Uchtdorf (probably because we hang out with him on vacation all the time :) ) was talking to someone in one of the side kitchens. The host was showing me the laundry line where we could hang our clothes. My 2nd son (who is 13) came running in and said, "They are burning books! They want them all." I began to panic because I had brought with me one of my kids' baby books. I was trying to find some way that I could hide it because this was so important to me. 

So when I woke up I thought, "What books are most important to me?"  The books that are most important to me are my herb books, history books, family history books, my kids' baby books and most importantly the scriptures.

I am reminded of a novel (not a true story, but some parts are true) I once read that talked about St. Luke as a doctor. He wanted to study at the Library of Alexandria - but because it had been burned down almost 100 years before Luke was born, centuries of knowledge went with the smoke. Health discoveries of the time (in truth including information about a healing glowing stone) were all lost. This is so incredibly sad to me. 

When I was listening to the scriptures with one of my kids and it was talking about how Joseph had not listened to the Lord after asking for the 116 pages to be shared with Martin Harris. I explained to my son the tight spot Martin might have been in, as well as Joseph but because in a time of weakness Joseph feared man more than God. The pages were lost and his ability to translate were taken away. During this revelation (Doctrine and Covenants section 10), the Lord tells Joseph that he knew even back to the time of Nephi that this would happen and that is why he had Nephi repeat a lot of what Lehi had said. 

I think a lot about having a "second plates of Nephi" for all of my digital things especially...especially family history. I have information on my portable hard drive that I have in a Faraday cage - an EMP is a different kind of "burn" - but is just as effective as real fire. 

While attending the temple recently, my husband enlightened my understanding of Mother Eve. Her choice was about whether she would have knowledge or not. They could stay in the Garden and not progress, or, they could have knowledge (which sorrow would be a part of their experience). Books are knowledge, and it is very important to protect that knowledge. Part of protecting that knowledge in my opinion is to teach and encourage our children to read...even outside of school time. How incredible would it be to have a book written by Eve about her experiences? What would it be like to live for nearly 1000 years? 

I love the story shared about Ben Carson given in last October's General Conference by Tad Callister . It is called "Parents the Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children." Ben's mother cleaned homes for wealthy people. She realized successful people had lots of books and read them. 

"After work she went home and turned off the television that Ben and his brother were watching. She said in essence: You boys are watching too much television. From now on you can watch three programs a week. In your free time you will go to the library—read two books a week and give me a report."

Then Ben reflected, “She laid down the law. I didn’t like the rule, but her determination to see us improve changed the course of my life.”  Here is the whole talk:

This is a gospel principle.

While I don't believe there will be a mandatory book burning anytime soon like happened all across Germany prior to WWII. It has happened on a large scale as recently as last year though in Bosnia by rioters. Large amounts of historical documents were destroyed at the Presidential Palace. I do believe it is important to gather books of value for future generations. Let us have the books our kids are reading be of value and not just for mindless entertainment. Here is an excellent list of classics for young readers: and here is a list for adults:

 Lastly, we should do all in our power to prevent any future B-B-Q of Knowledge. 

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