Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mark 1:12-13

Mark, in his gospel, provides a very brief description of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. It is found in the first chapter verses 12 and 13. It reads as follows (KJV):

"12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

 "13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."

There are a couple elements of note in these verses. One is the mention of the wild beasts. Margaret Barker in Temple Mysticism says the following:

"Jesus ... spent 40 days in the wilderness 'with the wild beasts and the angels served him' (Mark 1:13, my translation). He was alone and so must have reported these experiences to others, and presumably not in Greek. This is important because in Hebrew the 'wild beasts' would have been the same as the 'living creatures' of the chariot throne, hayyot (Ezek. 1:5; Rev. 4:6), and the serving angels would have been the working hosts in the throne vision since 'serve' 'abad,' also means worship in Hebrew (Rev. 5:11). Jesus' mystical experience in the desert is described more fully in the opening scene of Revelation" (24-25).

The important point about Barker's argument is that the inclusion of wild beasts in Mark's account is an allusion to the cherubim of the Holy of Holies in the temple. The inner sanctuary of the temple represented the Garden of Eden and so Mark is presenting Jesus as a new Adam. Paul also presents Jesus as a new Adam in 1 Cor. 15:45 & Romans 5:19.

An interesting note in the Yale Anchor Bible Commentary (YABC) for Mark mentions that:

"The reference to animals, which may be an allusion to Isa 11:6-8, 65:25, and Hos 2:18. suggests (according to Jeremias) the restoration of paradise. H.-G. Leder ... finds in this account a christological motif: the eschatological warfare with Satan has been joined, and Jesus in his ministry is proleptically the triumphant Son of Man. He denies that there is any Adam-Christ typology, deriving from Genesis 3 here, pleading that there is no clear example in Jewish literature of angels ministering to Adam" (203-4, emphasis added).

Although, as the YABC commentary points out, there is no mention of angels ministering to Adam in Jewish sources, there is in LDS sources. Moses chapter 5 mentions the visitation of an angel to Adam as he is performing an animal sacrifice:

"6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

 "7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth."

Therefore, with the added insight provided by latter-day scripture it seems safe to see Mark's inclusion of the wild animals as a prefigurement of the restoration of paradise, through Jesus, which was lost due to Adam's transgression.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Baptism of Jesus

Stained glass window by Gian Lorenzo Bernini of the
Holy Spirit as a dove in the apse of St. Peter's
Basilica in Rome.
Recently I've been studying the book of Mark and when I came to the account of Jesus' baptism I was reminded of an interesting idea that I don't believe I have shared here.

In the well known story Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and as Jesus comes up out of the water the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove (see Mark 1:10). From this account in Mark and the other gospels Latter-Day Saints recognize the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit but generally do not attach any meaning to it beyond that.

The dove is a fascinating symbol that modern readers often fail to appreciate fully. The Israelites utilized the dove as a cultic symbol at least several hundred years prior to the advent of Christianity.

In Iron Age Israel (ca. 1200 - 539 BC) the dove was a well known symbol of the Canaanite/Israelite deity Asherah as noted by Dorothy Willette on BAR's website:
Judahite pillar figurine c. 8th century
B.C. Lachish. Associates the dove with

"In the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, the dove became an iconic symbol of the mother goddess. . . . The doves represented feminine fertility and procreation, and came to be well-recognized symbols of the Canaanite goddess Asherah and her counterpart Astarte . . . There is strong evidence in the Hebrew Bible, as well as the archaeological record, that many ancient Israelites believed the goddess Asherah was the consort of their god Yahweh (aka Jehovah)."

Additionally, as Willette notes:

"Perhaps it is not so surprising, then, that the heirs of this Israelite religion incorporated the 'feminine' symbol of the dove to represent the spirit of God (the word for 'spirit,' ruach, is a feminine word in Hebrew). The Babylonian Talmud likens the hovering of God’s spirit in Genesis 1:2 to the hovering of a dove."

At least some early Christians identified Jesus with Jehovah and had begun to see the Holy Spirit, not as his consort, but as his mother. This is reflected in the writings of Jerome who quoted from the now lost Gospel of the Hebrews as noted by Margaret Barker in her book entitled The Mother of the Lord:

"Jerome quoted the Gospel of the Hebrews in his commentary on Isaiah 11.2.

'In the [Gospel of the Hebrews] I find this written: "And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said unto him: My son in all the prophets I was waiting for thee that thou shouldst come, and that I might rest in thee. For thou art my rest thou art my first begotten son that reignest forever."'

"In his commentary on Isaiah 11.9 he also noted that in the Gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus spoke of 'My mother the holy Spirit.' . . . The Spirit was his Mother, and the imagery is from the royal cult."

During the October 23, 2013 Lady of the Temple Conference sponsored by the Academy for Temple Studies at Utah State University Alyson Von Feldt made an intriguing suggestion of how Latter-Day Saints could understand this idea. Here is her talk:

Therefore, there is much more than meets the eye in the story of Jesus' baptism that we often fail to fully appreciate. The symbol of the dove would have been pregnant with meaning to the Jews of the first century AD and studying it can help modern readers understand what the gospel authors and perhaps what God himself was trying to convey by utilizing this symbol.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mark 1:1 - The Calendar Inscription of Priene

Calendar Inscription of Priene
The first verse in the KJV of Mark's gospel reads:

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;"

I was reading from Mike Parker's class notes regarding this verse and came across something that I thought was interesting. He mentions that the author of Mark may have been alluding to an inscription called the Calendar Inscription of Priene (not to be confused with the Priene Inscription) that dates to 9 B.C. The purpose of the inscription was to celebrate the birth of Octavian (aka Caesar Augustus) who was born in 63 B.C. and to announce that the Roman calendar would from then on be reckoned from the day of his birth. 

One of the lines of the inscriptions states the following:

"The birthday of the god Augustus was the beginning of the good tidings [εύαγγελίων/euaggelios, 'gospel'] for the world that came by reason of him."

Roman emperors were seen as divine, as were other rulers of the ancient Mediterranean. The author of Mark's gospel may have phrased his first verse in such a way as to challenge Roman notions of divine kingship. It appears as though the author of Mark was declaring that the true divine king and son of God was Jesus and not the Roman emperor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jesus of Nazareth

It's been a while since I have posted anything because I am back in school and haven't had much time to do so. This morning, however, I read something that I thought would be worthwhile to make a note of here.

The following is a passage from a paper on Margaret Baker's website that provides some insight into a pericope from John's gospel. Here is the link to the paper, and here is the section that made an impression on me:

"The Jewish religious leaders have him arrested and
killed, but according to John, the notice on his cross did not say simply ‘The King of the Jews’. It said ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’ (John 19.19). That is how the words are usually translated. But ‘of Nazareth’ here is not the usual word Nazarēnos; it is Nazōraios, and Jesus’ followers were called Nazōreans (Acts 24.5). This suggests that the Greek word did not mean ‘of Nazareth’ but came from the Hebrew nāṣar, which meant to guard, preserve or keep. In the Talmud, Jesus was called the nôṣrî. The Nazōreans would then be the preserved or guarded people, neṣûrîm, and with different vowels, they would be the guardians or preservers, nōṣrîm, which became the Hebrew name for the Christians.

"It was also the name for those people whom the Servant of the LORD would restore.
My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I give you as a light to the nations... (Isa.49.6)"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I was reading Isaiah 2 this afternoon and came across a passage which describes the wicked Israelites of his day but which also applies to ours. Here is what it says (Gileadi's translation):

Their land is full of silver and gold
      and there is no end to their wealth;
Their land is full of horses
      and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols:
      they adore the works of their hands,
      things their own fingers have made.
Mankind is brought low
      when men thus debase themselves.
Forbear them not!

These are some of the distinguishing characteristics of both (i.e. ancient Israel and modern civilization) wicked societies:
  1. Their land is full of silver and gold: Incomparable and unequal wealth.
  2. Their land is full of horses and chariots: Horses and chariots are implements of war. Both societies are obsessed with building armies and navies and amassing guns and other instruments of death and destruction.
  3. They worship (adore) the work of their hands: Materialism is rampant and acquiring wealth and objects are obsessions. 
  4. Mankind is brought low when men thus debase themselves: Wickedness is so widespread that mankind as a whole is debased by it.
Our challenge is rise above this trend to wholesale and all encompassing wickedness. This description reminds me of Enoch's vision of the wickedness of Noah's day (and by extension our day) in Moses 7:

26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

 28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

 29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
 32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

 33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

 37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?

 40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands. (emphasis added)

 The result of this gross wickedness is misery - nothing more. The reason why God hates wickedness so forcefully is that it brings so much misery to the human family and he is likewise pained by witnessing this suffering.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"In the Cool of the Day"

In the Biblical account of the fall of Adam and Eve a curious detail is included in the narrative that seems somewhat out of place. After eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil Adam and Eve hear God's voice as they are walking "in the cool of the day" (see Genesis 3:8). Why does it matter what time of the day it was that the voice was heard? It may be that the phrase has not been rendered into English in the manner in which the author of Genesis intended.

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw comments on this phrase in volume one of his commentary on the book of Moses entitled In God's Image and Likeness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives On the Book of Moses. This is what he has to say:

"The phrase can be translated as 'in the wind, breeze, spirit, or direction' of the day--in other words, the voice is coming from the west, the place where the sun sinks." (259)

The word from which the word "cool" is translated is ruach (רוח) which is generally translated as "spirit", "wind" or "breath" but indeed can be translated as "cool" (as wind has a cooling effect) or as "quarter (of wind), side" (Strong's H7307), hence "direction". It seems to make the most sense that the author of the Genesis account intended "direction" for ruach as that interpretation places the account squarely in the context of the temple. Earlier in the garden of Eden story the narrator mentions that God planted a garden "eastward" in Eden (Genesis 2:8). The question that every reader should ask is: eastward from where?

It is well known that the temple was thought of as a microcosm of creation. The Holy of Holies represented God's abode and represented day one of the creation. The creation of the earth commenced in the Holy of Holies and was directed from it and thus is seen from its perspective. Just outside the Holy of Holies (to the east) was the Holy Place which represented the Garden of Eden. Therefore, when the scriptural account states that the garden was planted "eastward" it means that it was planted eastward from the Holy of Holies where God was located.

In like manner, then, when Genesis 3:8 states that Adam and Eve heard God's voice from the west it has reference to the fact that the Holy of Holies was west of the Holy Place and was the place from which God's voice would be heard since it was his abode. Understanding that the stories of the creation of the earth and the fall of mankind are set in the temple is crucial to understanding these accounts.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

A trailer for the upcoming film on the exodus has been released. The costumes and sets look impressive, now if they would only stop casting actors of European descent in these films - there must be some good North African and Eastern Mediterranean actors out there.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Laman and Lemuel

Laman and Lemuel
In 1 Nephi 2:12-13 Nephi mentions that both Laman and Lemuel did not believe the teachings of their father Lehi regarding the impending fate of the city of Jerusalem. That attitudes seems strange based on the fact that cities were destroyed on a routine basis anciently and that Jerusalem was not unusually large or well fortified. What, then, was the source of their misplaced confidence?

The answer may lie in the recent history of Jerusalem and in the prevailing attitudes of its people at the time. Approximately one hundred years before the time of Laman and Lemuel, Hezekiah, king of Judah, defied the Assyrian king, Sennacherib and stopped paying tribute. In retribution, Sennacherib invaded Judah and nearly wiped out the entire kingdom. When he laid siege to Jerusalem the city was saved by either (depending on which source you accept) a plague of some kind that swept through the Assyrian camp (2 Kings 19:35) or by a large payment made to Sennacherib when Hezekiah stripped the temple of all its precious metals (2 Kings 18:13-16) or a combination of the two. (A few years ago I put together a short video depicting this event. You can watch it here.)

Margaret Barker in The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem explained what the result of the city's preservation was on its inhabitants: "The people of Jerusalem were content to believe that the presence of the temple had saved them and would continue to do so" (6, emphasis added). In all probability Lehi's progenitors were refugees from the northern kingdom of Israel who had fled to Jerusalem when Assyria decimated it (the northern kingdom) only twenty years before. They had probably witnessed first hand the immense power of the Assyrian war machine as their homeland was destroyed. It must have seemed all the more miraculous, therefore, when their lives were preserved in Jerusalem and this may have contributed to their confidence that Jerusalem could not be destroyed. This attitude was inherited by Laman and Lemuel and their contemporaries. It turned out, however, that their confidence was tragically misplaced.

In 586 BC, fourteen years, or thereabouts, after Lehi's departure from Jerusalem the Babylonian empire laid siege to the city, slaughtered its inhabitants and razed the temple to the vindication of Lehi and Jeremiah. It would not be until several decades later that the Jews would be allowed to rebuild their sacred edifice following the decree of Cyrus, the Persian king. Unfortunately, the Israelites of that era learned the hard lesson that the Lord would not protect his people unconditionally. His promises could only be secured by obedience to his laws and commandments.

Adam and Eve

I came across this quote from Hugh Nibley in Jeff Bradshaw's commentary on the book of Moses and thought it was very insightful:

"The perfect union of Adam and Eve excited the envy and jealousy of the Evil One, who made it his prime objective to break it up... His first step (or wedge) [was] to get one of them to make an important decision without consulting the other. He approached Adam in the absence of Eve with a proposition to make him wise, and being turned down he sought out the woman to find her alone and thus undermine her resistance more easily. It is important that he was able to fine them both alone."
(In God's Image and Likeness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses 1:249-50).

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Martyrdom

Today marks 170 years since the death of the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.

He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated! (D&C 135:3)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Law of Consecration ≠ The United Order

Ephraim United Order Cooperative Building
One of the least understood doctrines of the Church is the law of consecration. Most members equate the law of consecration with the United Order and use the terms interchangeably.  They assume that since we no longer live in communities governed by the United Order we therefore do not practice the law of consecration, however this is not the case. The law of consecration is currently binding on the Church and has been since its inception. Indeed, President Hinckley taught that "the law of sacrifice and the law of consecration were not done away with and are still in effect" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 639.) Many, perhaps most, active members of the Church practice the law today without even realizing it. To understand the distinction it's important to clearly define the terms so that difference between the two can be understood.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1972 until his death in 1985 gave a very clear and concise definition of the law of consecration in an address given during the April 1975 annual general conference. The title of his talk was Obedience, Consecration and Sacrifice, and this is what he had to say:

"The law of consecration is that we consecrate our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church: such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord’s interests on earth."

The United Order on the other hand operated under the principles of the law of consecration but was not synonymous with it. The United Order only existed for a short time in the early to mid 1830's. In March 1832 Joseph Smith and some of the other leaders of the Church had gathered in Kirtland for the purpose of discussing church business. During their meeting Joseph Smith received a revelation that became Doctrine and Covenants 78. In this revelation the Lord called for the creation of an organization that would oversee the Church's printing and business endeavors both in Kirtland and in Missouri. This organization became known as the United Order.

The revenue generated by the United Order would be utilized in operating the Church and caring for the poor. The principles by which the United Order would operate were established in another revelation the next month which became Doctrine and Covenants 82. In section 78 this organization is called the United Firm but it would later be referred to as the United Order. Ultimately, because of discord within the Church the Lord dissolved the United Order in April 1834. This was done through the revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants 104 wherein the Lord stated:

Therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour unto them, only on this wise, as I said, by loan as shall be agreed by this order in council, as your circumstances will admit and the voice of the council direct.

To summarize, the United Order was an organization, established by the Lord, which was guided by the principles of the law of consecration. It existed for a short time from April 1832 until April 1834.

Later, in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Church established numerous cooperative community organizations which those involved referred to as united orders, but they were not the same thing as the original United Order established in 1832.These united orders were operated in numerous different ways. Some were communal type organizations where property was held in common while others were more cooperative in nature and didn't require the consecration of property. These united orders pretty well died out by the end of the nineteenth century and there have not been any more official attempts to establish these types of communities since that time.  (cf)

Currently when members of the Church talk about the law of consecration they are typically referring to the system these communities operated under but when the terminology is utilized in this way it is not accurate. The reason for this, to reiterate, is that the law of consecration is a requirement that members of the Church be willing to sacrifice of their time, talents, possessions etc. to the building up the Church as is requested by the Lord or his agents and is not the system of united orders that operated in the intermountain west over a century ago.

Another common misperception is that when these united orders failed the Lord replaced them with tithing. It is seen by some as a lower law subordinate to the law of consecration/united orders as they understand them. This is simply untrue. The principle of tithing was first introduced in this dispensation in 1838 when the revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants 119 was given to Joseph Smith in Far West, Missouri. Contained in the revelation is a declaration by the Lord which makes it clear that the principle of tithing is not a substitution which will be done away with at some unspecified future time. In verse four the Lord states regarding the law of tithing: "and this (the law of tithing) shall be a standing law unto them forever." Clearly, if it was a lower law it would not be destined to be practiced forever.

Another common idea in the Church is that at some future period the Church will again establish a united order to govern the economic affairs of its members. It is conceivable that there is some truth to this idea but I am not aware of any authoritative source that confirms this to be the case and I suspect it is merely a folktale. 

In summary, the original United Order operated for a very brief time during the infancy of the Church and subsequent united orders which operated during the latter half of the nineteenth century were attempts to implement the principles contained in the law of consecration but were not synonymous with it. Also, the law of consecration is currently binding on members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and simply states that we will sacrifice whatever may be required to the building up of the Church. Finally, the law of tithing is not a substitution for the law of consecration and is to be practiced by the Church forever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Sea of Galilee and Bear Lake

I spent the fall semester of 1999 studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. As part of that experience I, along with my fellow students, spent about ten days living and studying on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Kibbutz Ein Gev. Upon returning to the United States I moved to Cache Valley to continue my education at Utah State University where I would occasionally make excursions to Bear Lake to go water skiing or swimming. Prior to moving to Cache Valley I had been to Bear Lake once or twice but it had been nearly a decade since I had been there and I had somewhat forgotten what the surroundings of Bear Lake looked like. The first time I traveled there after my return from Israel I was stunned by how similar it looked to the Sea of Galilee.

On the east side of the Sea of Galilee the land rises sharply up to the Golan Heights. Here is an image taken from Google Maps of what the east side of the Sea of Galilee looks like as viewed from the west:

 The land to the east of Bear Lake, in a very similar fashion, also rises sharply from the water's edge. Here is another image taken from Google Maps of what the east side of Bear Lake looks like as viewed from the west:

You'll noticed that both shorelines bear a striking resemblance to one another. The western shores of these bodies of water also look similar. Both rise gently away to low mountains and the largest communities along both shorelines lie on the west, namely, Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee and Garden City on Bear Lake.

Here is a photograph I took of Tiberias from the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee when I was a student there in 1999:

And here is another image taken from Google Maps of the view from the eastern shore of Bear Lake looking to the west. Garden City is difficult to make out but it is there:

There is one more noteworthy similarity and that is the size of each body of water. They are both very similar in size. The width of each is virtually identical with Bear Lake being slightly larger north to south. I created the image below using a website called The image superimposes a blue outline of the Sea of Galilee over a satellite image of Bear Lake:

Another interesting characteristic common to both bodies of water is that they both drain into endorheic lakes. The Sea of Galilee drains via the Jordan River into the Dead Sea and Bear Lake drains via the Bear River into the Great Salt Lake.

There are, of course several notable differences between the two bodies of water the most significant being the difference in altitude and climate.

Bear Lake lies at approximately 6,000 feet above sea level and the Sea of Galilee lies at nearly 700 feet below sea level which results in a drastically difference climate. I spent the week of Thanksgiving in Galilee in 1999 and the weather was warm and sunny. Snow is unheard of along the shores of the sea and temperatures in summer can get quite high. Additionally, palm trees are a common sight around the Sea of Galilee.

Bear Lake on the other hand commonly experiences snow accumulation along its shores by the end of November and routinely freezes over. Ice fishing during the winter months is a popular activity on the lake and the weather can become chilly even in the middle of the summer. The flora of Bear Lake is decidedly alpine and there isn't a naturally occurring palm tree for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

The Sea of Galilee and Bear Lake differ in another important aspect as well. The Sea of Galilee drains through its southern end while Bear Lake drains to the north.

Despite these differences ascetically the two bodies of water do bear a striking resemblance. Each time I visit Bear Lake I can't help but to remember my time in Galilee where I walked in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. One especially fond memory I have from my semester in the Holy Land occurred the evening before we went back to Jerusalem. I ambitiously decided to read all four gospels while sitting in a deck chair, wrapped in a blanket on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. I only ended up making it through the book of Matthew but it was a very memorable experience nonetheless. I'll never forget reading of the Savior stilling the sea or walking upon its waves only to lift my eyes and see where those events occurred.

As I read I glanced across that sacred body of water to the site of Capernaum where the Savior spent so much of his time and performed some of his mightiest miracles including healing Peter's mother-in-law and the paralytic who was lowered through the roof of Peter's home. A part of me still sits on that shore. Every time I think about my time there I can't help but to pine away a bit for the place and for the dear friends I shared that experience with. I hope someday to return when circumstances permit. In the meantime, however, Bear Lake is a fitting substitute.

Ever since the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in 1847 the similarities between the Holy Land and Utah have been noted. The Great Salt Lake has been compared to the Dead Sea and the pioneers even named the river between Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake the Jordan. In that scheme Utah Lake is analogous to the Sea of Galilee but I believe, based on the similarities between the two mentioned above, that Bear Lake corresponds more closely. Because of that and because of the memories it provokes Bear Lake will always be my Galilee in the west.