Holy Week in the Philippines includes Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
It is also a time of get-togethers with great numbers of people flocking to the beaches. In keeping with tradition, the Single Adults went to Hermit’s Cove and some of the Toledo District officers went to Maolbaol. The activities there included a boat trip to nearby islands.
Elder Hall, are you going to go swimming?
I think I will try.
The District President showed him how to put on the goggles and demonstrated how to lie face down on the water.
I never could float.
It is okay. The salt water is buoyant. You can do it.
My legs keep floating up!
I told you it was buoyant! Now take a breath and put your face in the water.
Elder Hall came back to the deck of the boat.
Sister Hall, you need to try this!
The first surprise was the pleasant warmth of the brilliant variegated blue Philippine ocean with its sea currents and waves. The next surprise was the peace and quiet of lying face down in the water watching tropical fish and coral formations. It was a bit like watching “The Little Mermaid,” but no movie can let viewers really feel what it is like being in the tropical ocean.
John A. Widstoe explained:
In the universe are recognized spirit, intelligence, and matter. Matter may act upon spirit and spirit may act upon matter, but spirit acts most effectively upon spirit, and matter upon matter. The original man, in whom intelligence and other forces acted purely through a spiritual body, could impress matter and be impressed by it only in part. The man was imperfect because he did not touch directly the world of matter, and could know only in part the phenomena of the material world, which forms an integral part of the universe.
For man’s perfection, it then became necessary that his spiritual body should be clothed with a material one, and that he should become as familiar with the world of matter, as he had become with the world of spirit.[i]
We are so thankful for the Great Plan of the Almighty God, for the opportunity to be clothed with a material body, and for the experiences of the wonderful “phenomena of the material world.”
Seeing a picture of the beautiful Philippine ocean is nothing compared to the sensory joy of being drenched in its sights and sensations.
Salamat kaayo sa Dios!
[i] John A. Widtsoe, Joseph Smith as a Scientist, Chapter XV