22 April 2008

Eldur og ís (Fire and Ice)

As missionaries in Reykjavík we frequently found ourselves downtown on the Torg for a number of reasons. The woolen outlets were easy to find, each attempting to draw in as many tourists as possible. We'd browse on occasion to see what was being sold. Without fail there were the tourist books which frequently had titles like, "Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice" or something very similar. I guess it was what made Iceland unique in a lot of ways. You could find glaciers right on top of volcanos.

It isn't hard to imagine the cataclysm that must have occurred to make the rocks look as they do in this first picture. Broken lava flows are everywhere in Iceland, frequently with a freezing river running around each twisted mass of rocks.

It was sometime during my mission that I started to think about the earth, and land in particular, in a different way than I ever had before. The way each land on the earth looked was interesting and varied, to be sure. But the real reason that the earth has any land masses on it at all is so that man will have a place upon which to work out his salvation. Whether a person's "plot" of earth is in Iceland, Utah, Cypress, Banff Island, or anywhere else in the world, the Lord gave the land so that each person could have a place to work out his or her salvation. In Noah's day all of the land was taken away for a time so that those left would remember their God. "Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it." 1 Nephi 17:36.

Iceland provides a unique set of trials for those attempting to come to God. The trials are different there than for those who live, say, in Hawaii, or Australia. And yet, each land gives the same opportunities to know one's God. I found it easy to get to know God better in Iceland.


Rob said...

I returned from Iceland many years ago to become a soil scientist. Most people find it hard to believe that someone actually gets paid to study dirt! I have used Icelandic land forms many times in my teaching...good and bad examples of land stewardship. It sure is a beautiful country (especially when the weather is nice)

Darron said...

Rob, It is good to see a more recent picture of you. I have about five from when you were a missionary, plus one of your wedding announcement from long ago.