Sunday, January 4, 2009

The spirit of man & computers (an analogy) / Lloyd

"'The spirit and the body are the soul of man.’ Man is a dual being, a spirit within a mortal body.

"It is difficult to teach about the intangible, spiritual part. But there are ways to do it. For example, your students know about computers. A personal computer made of metal, plastic, glass, and a dozen other materials will hold an astonishing amount of information. All of the standard works can be stored there, and in addition, sets of encyclopedias, dictionaries, books on a whole library of subjects, even illustrations and mathematical formulas.

"With the press of a few keys, one can select any part of what is stored and see it instantly on a screen. One may, by pressing a few more keys, rearrange, add to, or subtract from what is stored in the computer. Press another key or two and you can print a copy of whatever you desire, even in full color. You then can hold in your hand tangible, absolute proof of what is inside there and how it is arranged.

"If, however, you should take the computer completely apart, you could not find one word of it, not one illustration, not one tangible evidence that there are volumes, verses, poems, and illustrations inside the computer.

"You could dissolve the computer with acids or burn it and you would not find one tangible word of evidence. You could no more find words in the ashes of a computer than you can find the spirit in the ashes of a cremated human body.

"No one doubts that this great base of information is actually stored in the computer. It should not be too difficult to teach each youngster that there is within the human body a spirit. Notwithstanding that it is invisible and intangible, it is the very essence of reality. You can, in context of the gospel plan, explain what that spirit is. Let me say that again. You can, in context of the gospel plan, explain what that spirit is, where it came from, and what the destiny of each of us is." Boyd K. Packer in Mine Errand from the Lord, Deseret Press, 2008.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: On 9 Dec 1998 my brother Paul and I gave my father a blessing of release. He passed away early the next morning before we had awakened. Later that afternoon dad's High Priest group leader assisted Paul and me in properly dressing dad's body for a Latter-day Saint burial.

I can tell you that the difference in dad from the night before when he was alive, as sick and physically debilitated as he was, and at the time of our dressing him was dramatically clear. Before, he was our father; after, we clothed his remains. But we also felt that dad's body was sacred and important to him. It was a most reverent experience. -- Lloyd

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