Thursday, July 15, 2010

British Museum, British Library, and the Phantom of the Opera!

I went with Ashley and Janelle to the British Museum and Library yesterday. I am not really an artsy person, but I was amazed by the number of statues that the Greeks, Romans, and Middle-Eastern people were able to preserve. As I walked around the exhibits, I sort of wondered what it would be like to be walking around Greece in the country side and stumble upon a statue or two. It reminds me of a scene in the Little Princess when she climbs on top of this massive stone head while listening to an Indian story. To find these sculptures naturally where they were left is a privilege that I hope archaeologists remember as they go searching in mounds of dirt for these things.
One of the coolest parts of the museum was seeing the Rosetta Stone. I truly think it was inspired by God to be there for man to use for translation. It has truly changed my life and probably the lives of many others. The Rosette Stone has been used to translated Egyptian hieroglyphics and by doing so, has helped us obtain an small understanding of what ancient Egypt was like. The translations are also supplements to the scriptures. As we understand the history of these people, we will be able to understand the Bible and the Book of Mormon better.
In the museum, there was also a clock room. On the hour, the clocks were all supposed to go off at once. This did not happen, but I did not care too much. I just enjoy looking at clocks. I like them.
Oh yeah, and I totally saw Cleopatra except as a mummy. The kind that is wrapped up in strips, not the kind pushing a stroller.

We only visited one exhibit in the British Library - I think it may be the only one - and it was absolutely, fantastically wonderful. I am just going to make a list of what I saw and if it is on the list, then you know it must be important to me:

  • Beowulf
  • Jane Austen's writing
  • Oscar Wilde writing
  • Wordsworth's poetry
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Shakespearean tragedies and poetry
  • A prayer roll from Henry VIII
  • Music from Handel (I SAW THE "MESSIAH"!)
  • Mozart
  • Beethoven
  • Schubert
  • and the Beatles
  • the Gutenberg Bible. I think this may actually be the first printed Bible. I think Janelle and I stared at it with our mouths open for quite some time.
  • Early Qu'arns (sp)
  • Magna Carta
  • a very wrong map of Long Island. I wish I could have taken a picture for my dad
And then later that evening, we went to the theater and watched The Phantom of the Opera. That was truly an amazing experience. It was sooo cool! I loved the set and the lighting and the singing and whoo! 


Spiritually speaking, our professor related something cool to us. When the Catholics were kind of in power in Great Britain, the pope told his people to not tear down the pagan buildings/places that the Celts had made. He said to instead douse it with Holy Water and dedicate it to the Lord. 

This is what was essentially done with the idea of Christmas. Christ is believed to have been born in April and even people back in the early days believed that. However, we instead celebrate his birthday during a pagan holiday. We have replaced this pagan holiday with Christianity. Now before Christmas was Christian, it was a festival for the pagan's in which they celebrated light. By turning the holiday Christian through celebrating Christ's birthday on that day, they were not only able to change certain pagan traditions (we still have some probably), but they were able to relate Christ to being the Light. As LDS members, we often refer to Christ as the light and the life of the world. Easter was also originally a pagan holiday about fertility. Now when many of us think of Easter, we think of Christ. We have replaced another pagan holiday with Christianity and we can associate Christ with life, if you take fertility to mean the giving of life. So from this replacing of pagan traditions with Christianity, we have shown Christ to be the light and the life. 

This may seem very confusing. If you are really interested, I will try to explain it clearer later.

Well, off to bed with me!

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