I attended Skyline High School in Salt Lake City Utah
Located in the mouth of Millcreek Canyon in the Wasatch Mountain Range on the east side of Salt Lake City
To my class of 75
Since the time we shared the halls and courtyards of Skyline High School, in Salt Lake City, (there is a Skyline in southeast Idaho as well, and a Highland…) my steps have led me to many countries and continents. Trip Advisor tells me that I have travelled nearly 30% of the globe. What amazes me is that there is 70% I have yet to see.
Here is a ponderation about the most important things I have learned since graduating high school:
Marry a wonderful, intelligent young lady who is spontaneous and loyal, faithful to me, faithful to God, and faithful in bringing much light into the world, personified in six wonderful children, six equally brilliant spouses, and now 24 grandchildren.
Keep things as simple as possible, simple rules, simple plans, and simple obedience.
Stay true to good principles, and to each other.
Work hard, in something creative that is enjoyable.
Educate by example, being willing to roll up shirt sleeves and work side by side, and always keep learning.
Learn from those around you, both for good and bad, then follow the good examples, and avoid the traps the bad examples have stepped in.
Travel whenever you can, meeting people, learning, as I have, that things don’t make people very happy for very long, that there are simple joys all over the world, and some of the most deprived people find it much easier to embrace happiness and truth than those clouded by riches.
Observe, ponder, visualize the power of creation; Kaye and I live on 8 acres of earth that has been a sandpile of fun, and an outlet for loads of creativity, providing our family with memories that could not be purchased. I have learned a great deal from watching roots form on willow cuttings, seeing seeds germinate, creating beauty in the remains of the Teton Dam flood—our house was one of very few that survived that disaster, and has witnessed many lives within its walls for more than a century. (Check it out on Google Maps®; search for 4328 N 740 W Rexburg ID in satellite view)
The spirit of place has taught me a great deal about this life. Whether it is pondering Wordsworth’s grave with a lovely piece of fresh ginger bread, or standing atop Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, or Uxbenka, eating begonia stems, and wondering what became of the Maya, or peering over the cliff into the Irish Sea 300 feet below, at Dún Aengus on Innishmore, wondering about a signal fire and ancient rituals performed there, or sleuthing the ruins of Buzludsha in Bulgaria, where all the communist leaders of the world met secretly during the cold war—I have never felt such darkness in a place—or a personal favorite of watching the joy in the face of a grandchild floating down the canal on a hot summer day, there are things that have happened, things that need to be felt, and remembered. It is up to us to guard those things, to keep them precious.
I have learned not to make eternal decisions based on principles of the world, or based on money. Peace, contentment, and lasting worth are more intrinsic, and are easily devalued by dimes, dollars, or dinars. Emerson said, “The soul does not age with the body. On the borders of the grave, the wise man looks forward with equal elasticity of mind, or hope; and why not, after millions of years, on the verge of still newer existence?—for it is the nature of intelligent beings to be forever new to life…” (Vol. VIII Letters and Social Aims XI. Immortality)
The trajectory of my life has led me to people and places I value dearly. I feel gratitude for the memories and experiences of youth. I have learned to endure, and enjoy, and endear. I truly have come to know that what little I can do with my life, our savior Jesus Christ can magnify, and multiply, and exponentially increase, above any imagination, and forever beyond this brief mortal experience.