Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Secret of Life

In the movie, City Slickers, with Jack Palance and Billy Crystal riding the trail there’s a now famous scene, one for the ages. Come on now, if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m looking for. I need to thank Laura Lallone for her post, The Secret to Happiness? It’s Your One Thing, where I was able to borrow a portion of the script. I couldn’t find a large clear version of the picture I wanted so this will have to do, scanned from the back jacket sleeve of my laser disk copy of the movie.

Along the trail Jack Palance asks Billy Crystal, “Do you know what the secret of life is?”

Crystal responds, “No, what?”

Palance holds up his gloved index finger and says “This”.

Crystal jokes, “Your finger?”

Palance says, “One thing; just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean (bleep)!”

Crystal asks, “That's great, but what’s the one thing?”

Then Palance says in a knowing way, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out”.

I enjoyed that movie and in particular that scene with the index finger held high in the air begging for a respectable answer. So, what’s your one thing? Isn’t that a question that sounds strange coming from a cowboy riding heard? What’s the secret to life? The answer is pretty much like Curly says, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out”.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon the other day, the part where the Brother of Jared sought the Lord’s help to illuminate the insides of barges which would be used to transport his family across the ocean. The account is found in the third chapter of Ether.
Knowing the Lord can do remarkable things, the Brother of Jared made sixteen balls from molten silica which were clear as glass. He then asked the Lord to touch them to provide light for inside the sealed barges.

“Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.”

Think about that for a few moments and imagine yourself standing there before the Lord making the request and having full faith that it would come to pass. Then consider the eye opening realization that the Lord’s finger looks just like your own, flesh and blood. Would that fall into the Secret of Life category?

I find a certain peace knowing that we are indeed created in His image, that we are His children. That, along with the many blessings which are promised us, provided we learn to live after the manner of happiness by following the commandments and striving to become even as the Lord would have us; that is the secret of life.

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