Over the years I have had many opportunities to spend many hours gazing, deep in thought, up into the night sky. The earliest of these experiences took place on special nights in the summer time when I was growing up on the farm in Lanark. Well do I remember the nights we slept out under the stars.
Sometimes a bed was even set up out next to the garage and we would go out there and sleep on the cool clear summer nights of the Bear Lake Valley. We would lie on our backs looking up at the stars, barely able to take in the beauty and wonder of it all. I feel saddened by the many youth of today whose signal to go to bed is to turn off the TV or their IPad or their dell phone. We would watch for falling stars or an occasional airplane crossing the night sky above us. On one occasion even a distant comet could be seen with its small tail streaming behind it. I remember wondering if people like us lived on any of that multitude of stars in the heavens. I remember wondering to myself just which of the stars was the home of our Father in Heaven. The beauty and wonder of it all was brought forcibly to my attention one time when I wrote a brief description of the night sky in the high mountain vallies of the Rockies. I described in some detail the wonders and beauties so familiar to me. I sent this description to an acquittance I'd made while serving a mission in Germany many years ago. She wrote me back and said that the night after she got my letter, she to had gone out in the great city where she lived and looked up at the night sky. Her report was, " I could see both of the stars." Those words caught me rather off guard, as I had forgotten to give adequate thanks for the privilege of living at a high altitude among the towering mountains, where the sky is often clear and unimpeded by the lights of the city. I thought of the feelings I'd had on those starry nights looking up at the stars at home and others when I went camping with my kids and how those feeling had shaped my thought throughout the years and had led me on a pursuit of divine knowledge which continues to this day. Contrary to the thinking of many, the older I get the clearer becomes my vision. Though the words of the famous poem by Robert Frost were in a different context, I too have come to know "whose woods these are..." as I look up in awe into the night sky.
I remember special occasions on camping trips into the mountains of Southeast Idaho and Western Wyoming when the nights were especially clear. It was and continues to be a great blessing in our lives. When Stephen and Ryan were teenagers we went on several camping trips to wilderness areas in Wyoming, especially to a place called Middle Piney Lake. One night Ryan and I sat on a large rock outside our tent looking up into the beautiful night sky. I remember a jet passenger plane flying above us and on that still night, high in the mountains, it seemed so close we could almost touch it. We talked about creation and the things of eternity. In the course of our discussion Ryan said something that has never left my memory. He said: "If every young man could have a discussion with his father like we had that night the world would be a totally different and a better place." I hope he and all of my children can still remember how we felt on those special nights alone sitting, gazing heavenward, and once in a while even speaking, uttering words far beyond our natural understanding.
The picture above offers much food for thought. When you get a minute (or a month or more) spend some time watching and thinking about the big movie in the heavens. You will not go away without
being rewarded. I promise!!!