Monday, January 30, 2012


finish this sentence: only at byu do you... i'll give it a shot. only at byu do you get the chance to casually run into an Apostle of God. i was on break at lunch at the broadcasting building studying in my scriptures for a quiz when Elder Bednar walked into the room. we talked for a while and i told him that i had just finished my mission papers and am planning on submitting them in march. he then continued to testify to me that every single mission call is delivered by a member of the Twelve by revelation. i will always remember his words.

in class we were asked to read a talk given by Elder Bednar in which he shares his thoughts on "things as they really are". the following is a video of the talk he gave.

our world is one that we can touch and feel, manufacture and manipulate. it exists in reality and we experience it through our senses. but in the past half century, we as a human race have embarked on a crusade to create a digital copy or, a representation rather, that we have more control of and control over. this digital representation of the world we live in and the lives we lead is so accurate and convincing that some minds have been tricked to believe that they are an actual reality. as we improve and become more advanced in the replication process, more and more minds will fall victim to the idea of an alternate reality replacing the actual reality-- the higher the fidelity, the more convincing.
satan has been busy replicating reality since the beginning of the world. he isn't taking satellite images to create and stitch together a digital globe, no, he is instead imitating the purest forms of happiness. his technique and process have been revised and refined and the result is devastating. the greatest joys Heavenly Father intends for us to experience are romance, love, marriage, and parenthood. satan has created high fidelity imitations of these feelings and experiences that lead away men and women at an alarming rate.
i find this idea very interesting because i spend a lot of time studying how to create these experiences that mimic real life interactions. there is an increasing trend to create software that looks and behaves like their real world counterparts. take these two applications, Address Book and iCal on the Mac.

they have been designed to look and behave just like a real book or calendar would. there is a benefit in software to building user interfaces like this: users instantly know how to use your application because they can draw on the experiences they've already had with the objects. by doing this, the designers can help users overcome steep learning curves. these experiences are high fidelity, but does iCal actually provide you with an experience comparable to a real calendar? i argue that it will never will. you can flip through the months all you want, but you'll never actually use your body to physically interact and manipulate the pages. it might be similar and convincing enough to get the user to think it's real, but it will never be real. this is exactly how satan works. he creates experiences that imitate and mimic the real thing, but he will never be able to actually achieve the perfection and pure form of joy that Heavenly Father provides for us. he tricks people into believing that they are feeling the real thing.
by listening to the counsel of the leaders of our church we can avoid deception and live our lives and experience those joys. by seeing things as they really are we live our lives in a way that aligns us on the straight and narrow. follow this prophetic advice from Jacob 6 and you'll never be led astray.
12. o be wise; what can i say more?

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