“Being grateful for
God's hand in
a world I understand
through science.”


Note: One of my favorite parts of my current calling is the opportunity to sculpt the spiritual aesthetics of sacrament meeting. Deciding on topics, choosing the best speakers (those two items vary in order), making sure the meeting remains Christ-centered, introducing the topic in a few words before passing the mike to the speakers---it's a challenge I relish. In part because it affects so many people immediately and directly, and in part because the effect is inherently---or should be---spiritual.

August was my first time doing this and it didn't occur to me until the month was over that my little intros could make for nice little svithes as well. Starting this month, I will post versions of my intros, bringing quarterly life back to svithery. I'm not pretending this is exactly what I said, but it's based on the same notes.



Not just a time for writing nonce novels and growing nonce beards, but---and more importantly, I think---a time to bend our souls towards gratitude. Thanksgiving.

In my case, I twice had pneumonia when I was a kid. I likely would have died had I been born two hundred years ago.

After my mission I came down with a nasty case of mono. Full-body rash from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head, nasty fever, dehydration. My liver shut down; my eyes and skin turned yellow. If I'd been born two hundred years ago, I likely would have died.

And before my mission I got the mumps! This was before they were recommending an MMR booster for adolescents. And if I'd been born two hundred years ago, I likely wouldn't have died, but infertility would've been pretty likely.

So, the recap, if I'd been born two hundred years ago, not only would I be dead, but the Big O, Large S, and Little Lord Steed wouldn't even exist.

As I've been talking, I'm sure you've all thought about how you would be dead. When I first had it suggested to me, I scoffed at the notion, but no. The more I thought about it the more I realized it's true. I could well be kaput. (Leave in the comments what illnesses or injuries would have done you in.)

Of course, science is not just saving-lives practical. It also provides a sense of wonder. The cosmos! The microcosmos! The intricate microscopic miracles of life, growing and changing and developing and becoming!

I imagine the closer one looks at Creation, the more sublime the experience. The more thanks we know to give.

Today we'll hear from three who look close . . . .

previous svithe


  1. .

    Speaking were a geneticist, a particle physicist, and a plasma physicist.

    Among those quoted were James E. Talmage and Richard Feynman.

    Jesus got his share of the attention.

  2. Can't we be in the same ward?

  3. .

    We have room for you. Don't know if we have any houses for sale like the one down the street from you though.

  4. Birth defect in my urinary tract could've prevented me from seeing adulthood. Salmonella certainly would have cut my adulthood short had I happened to reach it.

  5. .

    When did you have salmonella?

  6. 2008:


  7. .

    Incidentally, one of the talks was later republished in Exponent II (attributed to the wrong ward, but, you know, whatever): http://www.exponentii.org.....pdf