Saturday, December 26, 2015

To This End

I stand all amazed
at the love Jesus offers me.
Confused at the grace

That so fully he proffers me.

I tremble to know that for me he was crucified.
That for me, a sinner,
 He suffered, he bled, and died.
Oh, it is wonderful
that he should care for me, 
enough to die for me.
Oh, it is wonderful,
Wonderful to me.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


The construction fences are down.
I did not hesitate to make myself at home.
I walked right up to the new statue.
It was nice to admire details without using my zoom lens.
I had my boots on.
Also my gloves.  My heaviest coat.
I was still cold.
The fountain had a little ice.
I was surprised, honestly.
I needed my zoom lens, because while the construction fence is gone, the tall wrought iron gates weren't open this morning.
In all fairness, it was 18 degrees.
Believe it or not, I was recently asked about this possibility.
Mark Marshall gave me this picture his grandfather, Fred Taylor took in January 1917.  This fountain was in front of the Hotel Roberts, which used to be at Second South.
I walked all around the temple, leaving footprints in the snow.
I soon warmed up.
The sun shone through the windows of the northeast tower.
This was a beautiful sight, I assure you.
The temple windows are stunning.
I looked for the falcon.
If there is such a thing as a majestic seagull, this guy fit the bill.
Tents cover much of the south grounds.
Preparations for the open house are underway.
Tents might prevent a lot of wet people from dripping through the temple.
Frozen people don't drip, but as they get inside and warm up, well, this is probably a good idea.
A crew of three shovelers cleared the walks inside the fence.
They didn't have to remove the snow from the walk around the pavilion.
It has its own snow-removal system.
When I took these pictures, I didn't know what I was seeing, but a blog reader pointed it out to me.
Snow-removal zones are under high traffic exterior walks.
The driveway has its own snow removal system.  I saw it from a new perspective this morning.
This was my view for a long time.
A new perspective is always good.
Add snow, and it's perfect.
By the time I got back around, the snow had melted from the family, a good sign.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Families Can Be Together Forever

On Tuesday, Robert Jaramillo spied these two men preparing the base for the statue.  The next day, they drilled big holes.  And then. . . the wait was on.
This morning, the statue arrived!  On the left is the artist, Dennis Smith of Alpine, and his wife Veloy.  They are talking with John Emory, the project manager for Jacobsen.
The statue is bronze and was finished only in the last week or so.
My first thought when I saw the family was that they were bundled up for the cold weather.
But no, these were straps to lift and move the statue.
I had my gloves on, so I didn't mind waiting.
In no time, the statue was in the air.
Posts were affixed to the base.
These men, cooperating with the lift operator, moved the statue to the base.
Brother Smith is on the right, photographing their efforts.
They were being extremely careful.
No one wanted to make a mistake at this point.
Easy does it.
This part took a few minutes, but finally it was in place!
And then the lift operator raised it.  Uh oh, I thought.
Our friend Rob Jaramillo was with me at this point.  We wondered what was happening.
We saw people at the east gate, so we walked over there while the statue just hung in the air.
Only then did we see these men mixing expandable concrete.  Typically, concrete shrinks when it hardens.  This concrete is special and does just the opposite.
At the gate, I was introduced to Dennis Smith, who I hadn't met before this moment.
I was very pleased to meet him and his wife Veloy.
Their granddaughter's family members were the models for the statue.  Meet Kinley, Ellie and Conrad Beckstrand. Kinley was a toddler when her great-grandfather began the sculpture.
Somewhere in that timeline, Gunnar joined their family.
The Smith's daughter Rachel LaComb was also at the site this morning.  Granddaughter Aly was inside the fence.  Granddaughter Anna missed a little school for this wonderful event.
In the 1970s, Brother Smith was the artist for this and other statues in Nauvoo.  Copies are also at the Spain and Seattle Temples.  Our Provo City Center Temple statue is a newer version.
The placing of the statue was the last thing on my unofficial punch list.
It's perfect.