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Brian Santiago|June 11, 2013 As a young boy (I still think of myself as young), I grew up on the east side of Provo. Surrounded by the mountains, Rock Canyon, the Provo River, and Utah Lake, I often heard stories about “the greatest lake ever”: Lake Powell. Friends, classmates, teachers, neighbors, and pretty much every person I knew would relate stories of water skiing, cliff jumping, houseboats, jet skis, sunshine, and good food. I wondered if I would ever have the chance to visit. The years passed by—junior high school, high school, a mission, college, graduate school—and still no opportunity came. In the summer of 2001 the stars began to align. A trip was planned, and I was included! To ensure my attendance, I volunteered to drive and bring a couple of people with me. With much anticipation, my wife, Kimberly, and I, along with a couple of others, headed south for the six-hour drive to Wahweap Marina—getting started an hour later than we had planned. As we drove the long, straight drive approaching Wahweap, the red-rock cliffs and their beauty were apparent, enhanced by a beautiful sunset. It was hard to contain my excitement. Arrangements had been made for Dave Rose, a colleague of mine on the basketball staff and a veteran boat operator, to pick us up at the dock and transport us to a houseboat located on the lake a few miles from the dock. As planned, he and his daughter Channell were waiting, and we loaded the boat. The sun had set, and the only light and sense of direction were from the brilliant moon in the sky. With some hesitation (veteran boat operators don’t often show all of their concerns and fears) the boat was launched, and we headed for paradise. Knowing the lake, Dave set a path toward the canyon where the houseboat was located, led only by the light of the moon. Within minutes of our departure it became apparent that a storm was upon us. Dark clouds covered the sky, the moonlight disappeared, and blinding rain and waves rocked the boat. I now understood Dave’s hesitancy prior to our departure from the dock. The thought kept coming to my mind, “This is what Lake Powell is all about?” In that moment I was not that impressed. Multiple prayers ensued as we pressed on, fighting the storm. Suddenly we slammed into a sandbar, seizing the engine! The waves pounded the boat, with each passing wave pressing us harder against the sand. Dave yelled for his daughter to jump out onto the sand to push us back into the raging waters. Her strength, to this day, is an inspiration and a miracle. She successfully pushed us against the waves and current back into the lake. The engine started, and we pressed on toward the houseboat. Fear stricken, we prayed for calm waters so we could arrive at our destination safely. Within minutes the storm blew on, the moon reappeared, and Dave was able to deliver us safely, albeit wet, freezing cold, scared, and wide eyed—and still wondering what the buzz of Lake Powell was all ab
Jeffery F. Ringer|May 25, 2010 Like many other parents, my wife, Amy, and I spent a good deal of time watching videos with our kids when they were young. Often those videos contained surprising lessons. For example, in the Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Damethere is a climactic moment when Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda from the flames and rushes into the Cathedral of Notre Dame, shouting for sanctuary. Whatever liberties the executives at Disney may have taken with Victor Hugo’s novel, they are at least drawing on an actual medieval practice that considered the church a place of refuge. During the conflicts between church and state in Europe during the Middle Ages, church land was considered to be beyond the reach of the law and thus a sanctuary, or place of refuge, for those wrongly, or in some cases rightly, accused of crimes. Although the practice of sanctuary was discontinued centuries ago, you can still find sanctuary stones dotting the English countryside, marking the ancient boundaries of refuge for sanctuary seekers. In a time when we are swept up in a tidal wave of bad news, when the gloomy march of economic misery seems to engulf us all, when natural and man-made disasters occur almost daily, when today’s students are told that they are entering a bleak job market and an uncertain economic future, when the screaming heads of an increasingly politicized 24-hour news cycle convince us that things have never been worse, and when each of us quietly—or not so quietly—muddles through a multitude of personal trials, let me suggest that we counter that tide by working to find our own personal sanctuaries in our faith, at our church meetings, in the temple, and in our relationships with family, friends, and the Lord. Faith Finding sanctuary begins with understanding who we are and what we believe. Soon after we were married, Amy and I moved to Boulder, where I began a PhD program in political science at the University of Colorado. There were about a dozen of us who entered the program that year, and one of them was a woman named Sandi Samuels. Sandi was a chain-smoking, self-described nonpracticing Jew, and she and I became good friends. One day when I was studying in the group office that PhD students shared in the basement of the building, Sandi walked in, sat on the corner of the desk, lit a cigarette (asking if I minded and not waiting for my response), took a long, theatrical drag, and asked, “You’re a Mormon, right?” You might have thought that a reasonably well-educated returned missionary would rise to the occasion, prepared to deliver a stirring recitation of our beliefs; but instead, I confess, I heard alarm bells in my head. Having been in this situation many times growing up, I knew that inevitably this question was followed by an examination based on some misunderstanding of our beliefs. So I was caught off guard when Sandi simply asked, “What is a Mormon?” I remember stumbling t
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