Yesterday, at Ramsey Junior High (where I've been observing an 8th grade English class) my host teacher was asked to substitute in a Science class. The class was in Day 2 of watching Contact. I've always really enjoyed this movie.
When watching yesterday, I got to see one of my favorite scenes:
[Ellie challenges Palmer to prove the existence of God]
Palmer Joss: Did you love your father?
Ellie Arroway: What?
Palmer Joss: Your dad. Did you love him?
Ellie Arroway: Yes, very much.
Palmer Joss: Prove it.
Science may not be able to prove that God exists, but it also cannot prove that love exists--yet no one ever challenges the existence of love.
This scene reminds me of an article I read a long time ago by Elder Boyd K Packer. It's called "The Candle of the Lord" and is taken from a talk he gave at a seminar for new mission presidents. It was published in the Dec 1998 issue of Ensign.
Here is a little excerpt:
What Does Salt Taste Like?
I felt perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then something came into my mind. I said to the man, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”
“Of course I do,” was his reply.
“When did you taste salt last?”
“When I just had dinner here on the airplane.”
“You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said.
He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.”
“If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?”
“Now you are getting silly,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience.”
“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”
After some thought, he said, “Well, I suppose you could say that it is not sweet and it is not sour.”
“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.” After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not explain, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to tell you in words how this knowledge has come to me than you are able to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”
I love this!
Love cannot be described with words.
Salt cannot be described with words.
God cannot be described with words.
Some things can only be described in how we feel.
Yesterday, on my morning walk from the train to work, I saw a man on Nicollet Mall with this sign. Usually in this spot, there is a man just sitting with a sign saying he was homeless and asking for help.
Oddly, it made me miss NYC.
Folks asking for money in NYC were mostly doing something--drumming, singing, stunts, etc. It was often fascinating to watch. I rarely gave anything, but I would be more inclined to do so since I was being entertained.
Of course those who weren't entertaining, were a lot more in-your-face about asking for money. I remember one couple, who could often be seen walking back and forth on one of the train lines that we frequented, sharing their story with anyone (or no one) who would listen. Although annoying, this was still mildly entertaining.
Someday we'll be back in NYC!