The Most Splendid, Wondrous Gift of Agency

The Greatest Christmas Gift

The definition of agency is simply, the ability to do good. It is a fruit of the Lord’s atonement. There is nothing negative about it. Everyone has choice, even the adversary, for he chooses how to carry out his purposes. He wanted no agency, therefore he denied himself that privilege. He has placed himself in a position were he cannot, and will not do anything good. We all get what we want. Let us be better agents with our agency, to act, and not be acted upon.

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Shane

Jesus Second coming

Conversion in Christ

Let Us Follow the Carpenter’s Son

This post is about conversion in Jesus Christ. Not just about believing in, or even believing Him, but actually in coming to know Him, and then accepting Him as our Savior. Then we can proceed to begin the process of becoming one in Him, or as the scriptures state, atonement, or, at one with him.

I would also emphasize being like Him, as a cucumber becomes a pickle while being fully immersed in the juice formulation, even so, to be like Jesus, we to must be fully in the formulation of His character and traits, with His Spirit to always be with us, around and penetrating within us.

It’s about being like Him, doing as He does, thinking and feeling as He does, being truly converted into his likeness, image and glory. For to be like Him, we must take upon us our true selves, even becoming the best version of who we are, reflecting Him and His goodness in our very countenance and nature. For we truly are His as we become like Him. We come unto Him, to truly be who we really are meant to be.

We are not perfect yet, but can truly be perfect in Christ now, by taking upon us his name, by which we take upon us His yoke. In this we can move forward, equally yoked with him, sharing the load, and pulling side by side together with our Master. A true master is equal as a partner in living. For the pulling is balanced, pulling through the “Oxen’s yoke.” In this partnered relationship of love, both His and ours, we then have the perfect opposition made possible through His perfect balance, omniscience and grace.

As we give our very best efforts, Christ bears and affects His enabling grace and strength into us, which gives us power to pull forward, and the rest of the needed effort is given by Him in this yoked [sealed] relationship. This is what it means to be perfect in Christ here and now, and to have His yoke and cross to bear. For with Him we are perfect, until we are made perfect by and through and in him. For it is by God’s grace that we can do anything good in the first place;even by Him we move forward.

Because of this enabling partnership, we are never given more than we can handle, and we can always receive optimal growth, through our struggle of the challenges He gives us for our growth. We can be grateful for these hardships. As we do so together in Christ, we can truly learn to be Closer in Him, and at one. For He is our example and literal life source.

Yes, we indeed need our Jesus! He is OUR Savior. Not some other God’s Son and people’s Savior, but our own! We NEED to trust in our brother Jesus Christ, the Holy an Anointed One, for our survival, perpetuation, joy, happiness and peace! We depend on it! We must follow the lead and directions of the Carpenter’s Son. He is ours, Let’s be His!

In Him our lives are played out, for He took our lives into His body during the atonement, wherein we can deny ourselves, take up His (our) cross, and follow Him down our true road, to eventually become even as He is. This path is where we all must go. Like the Father, like the Son, like unto us.

Closer In Thee

Even as the Son is in Thee,
I want to be, growing from seed,
Giving glory in holy sanctity,
Closer in Thee.

As the earth is to tree,
I want to be rooted in peace,
Founded in holy increase,
Bound up, never to leave.

My soul’s richness,
Deepens in living waters,
Ever flowing pure and evenly,
In the time we spend in beauty.

My life enlivens with childlike excitement,
Jubilant in divine, holy love,
In unity and celestial thrill,
As we approach time on our sacred hill.

Our love is one of truth,
A tender bond of loyalty.
Giving our whole souls as proof,
Sealed in the bosom of eternity.

I cry out to all the families,
Throughout all unending space,
Time and all the eternities,
Remember your Godly place!

Secure your family line and home on high,
With relationships divine, husbands and wives,
Children, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters,
All entwined throughout eternal lives.

Shane

The Highest Law – The Celestial Law

Glory to God in the Highest!

There is a law higher than The Law of Consecration. The Law of Consecration is to fill up its measure in the fullness of times, or while there is still time on the earth. After such a time, when entropy and decay are no more, and eternal life begins, then, on the glorified, celestialized earth we now call home, we will live The Celestial Law. This is the highest law, and is such that when we interact one with another, we will treat each other as the glorified Gods we are and have become.

Shane

We are all like Judas

Never Point Your Finger

We as covenant followers of Jesus Christ, who at anytime listen to, and “allow Satan to enter in” by committing sin, are betraying Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. For because we have taken upon us His name, we are doing all things in His name.

Shane

Missionary Work: Part Two

The Good News of the Gospel

One day we were solicited by a salesman. We liked the product and let him in to share more. During the presentation we also discussed the Latter-Day Saints, and how we are members of this church. He asked some questions, and with the short time we had I bore my testimony of the first vision and The Book of Mormon. He felt the Holy Spirit.

Because he was a supervising salesman, he was able to lower the price for us without getting special permission. He asked us to make a reasonable offer of what we could afford for a down payment and a monthly payment, which would have been on a three year payment plan, unless we were to pay more into the monthly payments.

He accepted our offer, and then gave us another option which would have been better for him. It was for one-third more a month, and a higher down payment. At that time I had offered him a Book of Mormon, and told him that to me this was worth more than any money could be, and that if he would read from it, I would accept his second offer. He honestly gave his reluctance to do so, and I reassured him that it was up to him, and that to help him we would take the higher price.

He had been impressed with us, and we with him. What he didn’t know, was that this higher price would make it more difficult for us financially, especially it being an obligation for the next 3 years, unless we used our next season’s tax refund to finish paying it off, which would be a while away.

It’s in my prayers, that because we were sacrificing at such a price financially to help him, that he take the opportunity to read The Book of Mormon, and learn the truth for himself.

In my mind came the urgency from Christ and His ministry, “If I have paid such a high price for you to save your soul, ought not ye with the same such urgency, share the gospel with all these My brethren, of whom I have paid so high a price for?”

Please, please, I urge you – share the gospel! Live it, love it, and rejoice in it with all your heart, mind and fellow Saints! Be open minded for the Lord’s desperate pleadings for you to follow His holy will, and share his loving, saving gospel, atoning sacrifice and care for all! Desperate is the need, urgent is the call!

Shane

The Brimstone and Burning Defined: Part Two

Our God is a Perfect, Loving and Fair Father

The atonement and its coverage is infinite and eternal, and covers everyone with certainty through spiritual underpinnings. Yet for one to take the highest kingdom and glory, namely the Celestial Kingdom, or highest Heaven, the gospel must be learned, accepted and lived, including faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and becoming a member of Christ’s covenants and Church upon receiving the confirmation of The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then truly living thereby. In this there is true joy and peace.

There is forgiveness in the life hereafter, for those who have as yet not been taught by the servants of the Lord about their Redeemer, and His gospel plan of happiness. For there is much preaching and teaching taking place in the spirit world, where those who have passed, are awaiting their resurrection. But for those who have had ample understanding and have been pricked in their hearts to know the truth, but have not lived it, and have knowingly rebelled, these are they whom are sent to outer darkness, where there shall be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

All of these, who have not partaken of repentance, will spend some time in this place of cleansing, known in The Book of Mormon as, Outer Darkness. This is where one will truly be purified, although not in an easy way. It will be through the fire and brimstone burning process, wherein their Spirits will be cleansed. Then they will be sent to the kingdom of glory most suited for them. This is according to how they lived their life, with what they had, understood and felt. They will also be judged according to the desires of their hearts, so Jesus’ atonement will always have good effect.

Once those who have suffered in Outer Darkness have been fully cleansed, they are free to leave and receive either the second or third resurrection, according to which ever Kingdom of Glory they will be restored unto. Either the second resurrection unto the Terrestrial Kingdom or the third resurrection unto the Telestial Kingdom.

All who enter into this place of Outer Darkness shall leave, except for the sons of Perdition, and Lucifer and his devils, or fallen angels. The sons of Perdition are those who fully knew the Lord in this life, and His love and grace completely, and then knowingly and purposely chose Lucifer over Jesus Christ (this will be very few in number), of which it is said, it were better for them to have not been born. These, along with Satan and his devils will remain in the burning of outer darkness, until we are all called up unto the next eternal life again, of a first, second and third estate. Or, pre-earth, earth and post earth life.

Shane

The Atonement and Fall: Part Two

Providing Agency For Man

For a message about the atonement and the fall, the atonement is the rectification of the breaking of a universal law, in which the outcome is known in general terms as, “the fall.” This atonement is also the blessing of the entire human family throughout all the eternities. So much of how we allow the atonement’s reach to be for us in the eternities, depends on our faithfulness according to the light and knowledge we have and receive here. In other words, we are to do the very best we can, with what we have and are given.

This fall, which started in the garden of Eden, made possible the birth of sin into this world through disobedience, and introduced an unhealthy substance to the bodies of Adam and Eve, namely, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This unhealthy fruit, coupled with their disobedience of the given commandment, introduced them to a body no longer spiritually Intune to their spirits with purity, and caused them to have a fallen body, and a separated spiritual affect as well. Because of sin however, in this state, Adam and Eve could now understand the difference between good and evil, and could be fully accountable. Christ’s atonement would no longer be automatically applied to them because they ‘knew’ no sin, in their previous pure and innocent state. They would now have to actively supplicate and seek out the Lord and His forgiveness. 

Having deliberately disobeyed the Father, and partaking of this unhealthy food, their bodies were then subject to death, and because they were fallen, they became able to have seed, or children. For even as every seed must die before it can bring forth life, so too their bodies needed to die to produce seed. It is because of the atonement that their lives were prolonged, in the which space they were granted a time to repent and learn from their mistakes. This change allowed them to fully and actively exercise the gift of agency, which is the ability to do good in this fallen world, choosing the right.

Before the fall, Jesus’ forthcoming atonement covered them in any wrong choices they may have made unknowingly, because they were innocent, not comprehending the difference between right and wrong. Their choice to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a transgression, because they had been specifically told by God not to do it, even though they didn’t fully understand why. Therefore, partaking is called a transgression, rather than a sin, because they didn’t understand the difference between good and evil.

Such was their predicament in being innocent, without wisdom or knowledge. Therefore, Eve needed to partake of the fruit, and Adam also, to learn for themselves, and progress from grace to grace, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was once they understood the opposites of right and wrong, that they could then learn from their mistakes, and repent of them.

As is stated in LDS doctrine, partaking of the fruit gave their bodies the ability to have children, through the effect the fall had on them. God, who is without sin, and who cannot create anything in sin, had to create them in this state of innocence, to then try them with the commandments to not partake of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, which would bring about sin, and a knowledge of sin for Adam and Eve, but also the ability to multiply and replenish the earth.

Even as the atonement was already part of God’s plan before sending us to this earth, so too was the fall. God knew they had to have children, and so He commanded them to do so, but He could not create Adam and Eve into a fallen state, with the opportunity to have children, so it was up to their choice to transgress, to be able to have children, and to then carry out His purposes for His children, which purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Truly this fall, which not only changed Adam and Eve by introducing death to their bodies, and the ability to have seed, or children, it also changed the earth into a corruptible state, bringing about entropy and decay.

Christ is the rectification of this fall, using it to further the growth and potential of mankind, through turning something hard and sorrowful, into something good and meaningful, even glorious, by learning from our mistakes and repenting. So is this life.

Indeed, the Tree of Life planted in the garden of Eden was God’s pinnacle creation in the garden, in terms of plant life, and man, the pinnacle of his creation, even after the image and likeness of Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was originally planted there by God as a fig tree, but through the evil influence of Satan and his devils, who were purposely cast down to earth, they wrought upon it, and it became unclean, thus unfit for Adam and Eve’s bodies to partake of.

There is always a little bit of bad to everything good, and a little bit of good to everything bad, so we know in the Garden of Eden, this had to be, for there is always opposition in all things. With a bit of bad to a greatness of good, or a lot of bad to a little of good, we know that all things must be a compound in one, for if not, it must needs be as dead or as naught. Our task is to choose the better part, or good.

Satan and his followers were cast down to earth by God, with the tree there, and helped start the process of earth life for God’s children, that they could suffer, have joy, learn, grow, have children, progress and die, all toward the purpose of becoming more like Him.

The Atonement takes something which would by itself be the destruction of mankind (the fall), and raises mankind’s course upward into the celestial realms, where attainment to godhood is made possible. For as a child can become like their parents, so too can we, as literal children of our Father in Heaven, become like Him.

As was God’s plan in the beginning, He wanted us to be like Him, and to do this, we had to pass through mortality as He once had, walk in the path wrought out by our Savior through His holy atonement, and come unto Him, repent and keep His commandments.

With such a glorious gift as this, is it any wonder that those who understand this atonement and live by it, truly rejoice in their love and relationship with our Savior? Our Savior lives! He is the course of true joy and happiness! He understands all of us and our needs and concerns, and cares perfectly. How? Through the atonement. Because He experienced it. He also carries us, and lessens the burdens we carry, only to the degree we can bear, that we too can experience growth from trial. This is essential. We need to go to Him, and not try doing things by ourselves, for this truly is, the great plan of happiness!

Shane

What is Poetry?

My Interpretation of True Poetry

Originally written on PoetrySoup.com
Suplimented by Shane Brown
See end of post for reference

Poetry can be said to be a careful, inventive and creative consideration of words, written in order to convey thoughts and meaning as a literary arrangement, but it is so much more. Usually, but not always, poems are written and designed to evoke powerful emotion, and spiritual upliftment. In essence, poetry can manifest itself as a two-word phrase, in the spoken word, or a one-thousand-page book, like the scriptures, poetry can be inspired and relevant wisdom for our day and journey home.

The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek, Poieo. Translated it means, “I create.” True poetry, when it is well written, goes much deeper than words on a page. For God uses His words to create, as He did the earth and universe. Poetry then is the language of creation. It comes from the inspiration and gift of the Holy Spirit, through the experience and expertise of the artist’s life, and obedience to the truths they already know. The ability to use the written word to create, change, and impress upon the heart and mind enlightenment, such is the powerful reach of words. Poetry’s use of language to open the righteous imaginations of one’s heart of hearts, and mind of minds is unique and unprecedented.

Much like sculptors who carve in stone, and painters who bring a canvas “to life,” a poet’s medium for expressive art as a form is unending through the written word. Poetry is an art of the heart, mind and Spirit, using both the purity of any given language, to create, and bring together light and power, truth and purity. Poetry is also a state of being, known as having and living with The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is a gift higher than just having the presence of the Holy Ghost. This gift is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the which people are given the opportunity to have this gift, upon exercising faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by one holding the proper priesthood authority and keys, and being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, upon receiving this, The Gift of the Holy Ghost.

When people think of poetry, they think of rhythm and flow. While this is a widely known and accepted form, there are many types of poems that don’t rhyme or follow any direct rules. In fact, some of the greatest and well-loved poets in history pushed the limits and broke the mold of what was considered acceptable prose.

Something meaningful should not be restrained by trying to express it in a certain casted art form. Instead, think of it in this way, an apple is an apple, and a melon is a melon, and shouldn’t be attempted to be forced into a mold of any other fruit. In other words, one should not try to grow an apricot tree, by planting a peach seed, but recognize that true unity is found in uniqueness.

As a means of example, Think of doing this poetic metaphorical exercise as a test: What does it mean to try to fit a fragrant rose into a teardrop? Then try to limit this metaphor into a rigid grid, or oddly shaped box, which has no complimentary form other than conformity, to rules which don’t apply to the subject at hand. Such is the limiting methods of many formal structures. Art and creation is an individual, and unique experience, and cannot be expected to fit into all the rigid rules of the early past, wherein prose were to be structured into very specific boundaries.

While there is great talent required to do so, and skilled craftsmen can do this, still, where then can be the discovery of new truths and ideas, wherein the ever changing and evolving world we live in can stretch, grow and reach out for another era of thinking and improvement.

Now consider the abilities of words to speak to us, make us feel good, hopeful, loving and faithful. Also, when something from any art medium stirs feelings and emotions, giving our imaginations the freedom to roam and discover new possibilities, uplifting ideas and truths, it is considered poetic. For example, a wholesome dance performance can also be called poetical, for showing good rhythm and worthy movement, portraying a story and creating good feelings by using the art form of expressive dance, scenery, props and music. The artists, or dancers, can help positively influence another’s thoughts and emotions.

Poetry is a form of art which uses words to express, whose expression is used to reveal, interpret, and express things which would otherwise be difficult to understand. As an example, consider these inspired writings, all the holy scriptures were written under the inspiration of revelation, the spirit of prophecy and The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is true poetry in the written Word.

Poetry moves, speaks and creates. The Word of God brings about change in the forming of something new and wondrous in every living soul, in every eternal moment. Whether it is in sustaining life, love, nature, humor or spirituality, poetry has been, and will continue to be used to interpret these blessings.

What life cannot easily express, poetry can. What love cannot articulate, poetry will. What nature cannot say, poetry does, in a way that does not duplicate, but compliments. Under the heavens, poetry is the great interpreter of life.

Misc. Poetry Pages

Shane

Original Source: Poetry Soup Article (What is Poetry)

Missionary Work, Service and Ministering

Being a Good Neighbor


A talk given by Shane R. Brown
During a Sacrament Meeting 6/09/2019

Let’s start off with the basics. I am a child of God. You are a child of God. We are all His beloved sons and daughters. God, our true and perfect Father, has sent us away, to school us on how to work, serve others, and be missionaries, bringing the gospel covenants and blessings to all His children. This is why we are here.

To love, serve, teach, associate and bless each other. To laugh and have joy and peace together. All through the righteous teachings of the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, through His gifts of the atonement, administered through the Holy Ghost, and further through the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Consider this quote from Elder Uchtdorf from his April 2019 talk, entitled, Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart. He says:

Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them.

What a great opportunity for all of God’s children, to reconnect on why we are here. To rekindle in our souls, the sacred work of lovingly gathering safe, all of God’s children into His fold and kingdom, that we also may return to His glory.

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

These are our true brothers and sisters, whom we already know, love, honor, and respect, and they need us more than anything, and we them! What we offer them in Christ, are the most important, significant and incomprehensible blessings they could ever possibly receive, and without it, the unthinkable.

So how do we love and give this gift to others? Through missionary work, teaching and service. It is also in this service that our spirits grow and mature. Jesus Christ spoke very emphatically about loving service when He talked about true religion, as is found in Matthew 25:37-40, that we obtain charity, the highest saving virtue, and grace, to obtain the Kingdom of God.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In pure missionary work is service. As missionaries, young men and women receive a letter of calling, in which they are called to serve in such and such a mission.

I believe that as members of our Savior’s church, the word for service and missionary work combined, is ministering. These two things together really are our call from the Lord as our stewardship, for our ministering efforts needed in the field of service, are not limited by anything earthly, nor by any geographical location. I am a missionary. You are a missionary. We are all called to serve.

I’m going to read Doctrine and Covenants 4, in the which I will add commentary for applicable context.

Now behold (or, at this very time, look into a vision of what I’m saying, and remember, Jesus Christ is speaking to and calling us), a marvelous work (or a work the whole world will greatly marvel at and be aware of), is about to come forth among the children of men (or among us, with the children of men, through God’s help).

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God (or you, as you set a course of service for our fellow beings), see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day (this means that we must serve with all our capacities combined, to be readily equipped for the salvation of souls, for we cannot be saved without being member ministers. We must also remember, that as children of the covenant of Abraham, we already have the blood stewardship of everyone upon us so as to answer the call, we must. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; (There it is, your official letter of calling from the Lord).

For behold (or look upon your life openly, and see the lambs in your life, which you can minister to, feed and love), the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; (we cannot be saved unless we share, prepare and help others accept and live the gospel. Then we must continually feed His sheep once they have entered His fold. This works best when all of us feed one another through ministering and gathering together to partake of the sacrament).

And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God (or in other words, in every endeavor, our eyes being fixed upon the Lord, in that we do things for Him, and with Him), qualify him (or her) for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence (and I would add, obtaining these things through feasting upon the words of Christ, for this shall help us develop these virtues).

Ask, and ye shall receive; (asking the Father to help us have these ministering experiences, and help us magnify them), knock, and it shall be opened unto you (this is the success factor! It doesn’t mean they will join the church right away or in this life, but you have successfully helped plant a seed, or a desire to do so, as in Alma 32). Amen.

We hear this theme of ministering repeated in the mission statement of the church, in the perfecting of the saints through serving and living the gospel. Redeeming the dead, and ourselves through family history and temple work, which when aided through missionary work on the other side of the veil, makes this efficacious. Proclaiming the gospel throughout all the earth, sounding the gospel in every ear, helping people know of the love and goodness of Christ through our efforts, and taking care of the sick and needy through service and ministering.

This brings to light again, this very important truth. Missionary work and service together, truly are the embodiment of, and true form of ministering. We are bringing together everything the Lord has blessed us with to give, and ministering in the Lord’s way.

For example, if we bring a need to the attention of the Bishop, Elder’s Quorum President or Relief Society President, then administering and ministering can take place. In such a circumstance, a quorum or relief society can engage in bringing assistance to these needs, and filling them will be a manifestation to others of the Lord’s true church, functioning after the order of the Son of God. To truly be His disciples.

We are not to bury our talents, but to bring them forth, opening the door of opportunity and salvation to the rest of the world. Why else are we here!? Doing these things will in turn open the door of our salvation. For in no other way can we be saved, but by bringing others with us, through doing as Jesus would do. Our mandate will not be complete, unless we are true member ministers, through being active missionaries, loving and serving, and standing in for the Lord. In essence, becoming other’s true friends, and developing meaningful, lasting relationships with them.

When I look at the world around me, and all the people I meet and observe, one thing always comes to mind. None of us really have it all together in and of ourselves. No one is a professional at anything. We take ourselves way to seriously. We are all fallen, and a far cry from who we need to be. But, as we lay down our pride, put aside our self inflicted agenda, and forget ourselves, mercifully following the will and Spirit of the Lord, by steadfastly living the gospel with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we will grow in the purposes of the Lord, and His use and care, and His privileges and blessings will sanctify and purify us, making us justified and confident in the presence of God our loving Father. He will, as in the parable of the talents, use us to do great things. Together we can do more.

Let me emphasize that we really do need each other. I believe that we shouldn’t wait to participate in redemptive acts of service and ministering, until we are of a certain personal stature. Greatness comes not from individual effort alone, but because we are willing to expose our weaknesses, and allow our burdens to be borne. This goes for everyone.

None of us are complete without each other. We need one another! My plea, is that we acknowledge our imperfections, and begin to fill in the gaps we all have, by standing in them for each other. What do we have to lose? Not a thing. What do we have to gain? Everything. In this there is true greatness, happiness, peace and reward. Let us be one, serve the Lord, learn to see the world as a world of opportunities, and, as it states in the Old Testament, esteem others as greater than ourselves, that we may do as He did, and live as He lived. I know we can bring about this change, and prepare the world for our Lord’s triumphant return. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Enchantment of Rowan

The Enchantment of Rowan

An Ancient, Artisan, Knightly Tale

Shane R. Brown

Preface:

A brief history of the origin of the

Twin Bell Towers of

The Kingdom of Rowan:

These historic Twin Bell Towers of Rowan, have most profound meaning for almost every citizen in the Kingdom of Rowan. They who deeply appreciate their heritage from the forefathers, have long since revered this innovative landmark of great renown, for its origin and prestigious design, as well as its magnificent usefulness in keeping and governing the time of this prosperous land. Its bells have consistently rung on every given hour from 7am to 7pm, since its day of dedication and inauguration. That is, until one frightful event in the kingdom, which took place exactly 40 years ago.

On the North face of the West Bell Tower of Rowan, inscribed in metal on a granite memorial placard, is written a brief yet compelling history of how these twin towers came to be. The inscription reads as follows:

These Twin Bell Towers of Rowan, having been constructed as a gift from the great King Rama of the Kingdom of Rahue of the Western region, for King Gordan and his people of the Kingdom of Rowan of the Central region, signify that these two kingdoms are friends, kindred and peaceful allies. This because of the glorious deeds performed by the King, Prince and people of Rowan, for King Rama, his son Prince Gilbert, and their people of the Kingdom of Rahue.

For when King Rama’s Kingdom in the West, were surrounded under the perils of attack, by the hands of a numerous clan of ferocious neighboring bandits, he sent out his son Prince Gilbert, with command of their superior knights, to thwart off the attack, and help restore peace and unity to his kingdom. Prince Gilbert did so, and having succeeded, he drove them out, and pushed them far away into the East, near the borders of Rowan.

To Prince Gilbert’s awful surprise however, as he was in the very pursuit of total victory, his forces were unmercifully ambushed by another organized group, the Mandricks, who were a deadly barbaric tribal entity, which festered and brooded in the wilderness, ever planning and plotting new ways to gain more power unto themselves.

Furthering his fear, and to Prince Gilbert’s utter dismay, these two dangerous forces, the bandits and the Mandricks, joined forces. Then Prince Gilbert’s weary residue of survivors, having suffered much from their long march and grueling battles, bravely geared up to face their newest enemy. To their credit, however bold they may have been, nothing could have prepared them for what happened next.

In utter shock, horror, and astonishment, they beheld yet another adversary, in the form of the largest tyrannous group on the Monocratic continent, the Shizors! The Mandricks had secretly and subserviently joined allegiance with these Shizors, who were known abroad for their laying siege and conquering status, continually rampaging to expand their powers of unrighteous dominion.

Together, under the design of the Shizors, the Mandricks and unquenched bandits, all planned to combine their powers, and seize the entire Kingdom of Rahue. This to lay waste to their goodly lands, reap the spoils, and confidently gain a stronghold, fit for a bloodthirsty brotherhood.

To Prince Gilbert’s glorious surprise and utter relief and amazement, the citizens of Rowan who were on the outskirts in the farmlands of the kingdom, had boldly made themselves aware of the Mandricks’, Shizors’ and bandit clan’s divergent plans through intrigue, to conquer the Kingdom of Rahue. Thus they interceded by posing as neutral and naïve friends, hoping to keep the peace, and offered a peace drink offering to all the tyrant leaders.

Not wanting to pass up such a proposition, but with no intention of honoring their part of the promise, the combined tyrant leaders partook. These drinks were prepared in their strength, to achieve the desired taste, and administered to with a portion of plant herb known as hamactin. This herb, used by many homestead physicians to remove infectious fungus on feet, not fit for consumption, incapacitated the leader’s speech, making it slurred unrecognizably, and created a measure of lethargy, which made it easier to destroy them through their ranks.

Having thus wrought upon the enemy’s leaders, resulting in a lack of battle commands and confusion, as well as fatigue, the Mandricks, Shizors and deadly bandit clan slowly began to fall back from before the valiant forces of Prince Gilbert, and with the aid from Prince Germain of Rowan, and all his knights and warriors they made some real headway.

Finally, the bandits and the Mandricks were all slain, and the Shizors outfought, for they had sent the largest portion of their army onward, to continue with their planned invasion on the Kingdom of Rahue, thinking they could still take it. They left the rest of their forces behind, to end the planned conflict.

While the forces of Prince Gilbert of Rahue and Prince Germain of Rowan were still conquering, King Gordan of Rowan, while on the watch tower, saw the Shizors’ plans and movement of departure, and hurriedly sent his son Prince Germain onward to head them off, to thwart them in their planned attack. He also sent a hurried embassy ahead, to forewarn King Rama by way of messenger scouts, that the Shizors’ were on their way forth to attack.

Making things even worse for the Shizors, King Rama of Rahue had also just received new recruits to his army, which when met by the tyrants on Rahue’s own soil, King Rama and his son Prince Gilbert, along with the added aid from the warriors of Prince Germain of Rowan, dominated victoriously, gaining the first victory ever over the Shizors!

Their numbers having drastically reduced through embattlement, the Shizors were considered conquered. This was such a huge feat in the land, that because it had been accomplished, it gave way to hope for many other righteous kingdoms in the land to spread forth their righteous reign and dominion, without the fear of tyranny.

To ever after give an appreciation to the King and people of Rowan, for their heroism and bravery, I, King Rama, anointed under the hand of my father King Royel, do now signify on this fine granite and silver plated memorial placard, that these two great kingdoms, symbolized by these two towers, Rahue in the West, and Rowan to the East, are seminal, kindred, and honorable friends. I hereby dedicate these magnificent twin bell towers, built and hallowed by the craftsmanship and gentlemen of Rahue, for the kingdom and people of Rowan, and establish our union of beloved fellowship and trade.

To further the appreciation of King Gordan and Rowan’s people, a clock has been built and established in the Eastern tower, facing East, to live as a legacy, and help govern the affairs of the people in this part of the land. Also to ever remind its people of the kinship shared between these two kingdoms.

KING RONALD RAMA
Of the Kingdom of Rahue
Upon the 1st year
Of freedom from
The fear of Tyranny
(In the year 965 yF)

Chapter I
The Twin Bell Towers

The people of the Kingdom of Rowan were all amazed! Their twin bell towers had been ringing constantly all morning! From 7am until the current time, it being 10:10am. At the time of this new excitement, Shrad, the town’s Bell Towers’ trustee, had enlisted the help of his youngest son Heroum, a lad of fifteen, to help examine the cause of this tumult.

“Heroum, we must do something to try and stop this constant ringing!” he shouted stoutly among the noise, “It’s upsetting all the town’s people! Let’s go and put a stop to this!”

Shrad had been at the towers all last evening, finishing the installation of some new equipment, and realigning the gears and timers, working to function without losing any of the clockwork’s timing in between. As the privileged and respected trustee of the towers, and father of four, Shrad feared that the new equipment had either been incorrectly installed, or was faultily crafted.

Because the tower’s trusteeship ran through family line, Shrad, along with his sons, were the only ones given the responsibilities for maintaining the functionality and cleanliness of these bells and towers. Shrad, due to the ethics code he had been brought up under, had the obligation to then teach, and train his sons in all the ways of the towers, the same way he was taught by his father and grandfather. This was so that when they were of age, one of them could take the mantle.

As Shrad and Heroum embarked to discover the cause of the ringing, the two knew this was not going to be an easy fix. After having been taught many things about the towers from previous trustees, including discovered hidden secrets, they felt certain they could work things out.

“Father, this ringing is so loud! It’s hurting my ears!” Shouted Heroum above the piercing powerful echoing noise.

“Yes, and it will make it difficult for us to thoroughly inspect the gear work.” Shrad replied, “but we must do our best. The people of Rowan are depending on us.”

The twin bell towers of Rowan were built to last, made of brick and stone, cemented and fortified in the structure in which each brick had been laid, making them exceedingly sturdy.

Each tower was identical in formation, but not in design, for the inner workings, as well as some of the outside appearance, had special markings of significance. While only the East tower bore a clock, known across the land for its grand and meticulous design, both towers were laden with bells. Their acoustic design, as well as the surrounding landscape, caused a resonation, which could be heard by much of the outreaching lands.

Shrad and Heroum confidently climbed the steep stairs of the towers’ lower edifice, carefully inspecting all the gear work along the way. Higher and higher they each climbed, insuring that every little gear and mechanism was properly in sync. When they reached the upper most platforms within the towers, having no success, they half crazily came storming down the stairwells, desperate to find relief from the intense noise.

“The bells are making it too unbearable to continue,” said Shrad, “but something has to be done!”

The people of Rowan were looking to Shrad and his son for help. Some were highly troubled, even staring accusingly at Shrad and Heroum, as if asking why the problem had not yet been fixed. Others were already trying to go on, as if accustomed to the loud sounding bells, but strangely and honestly, somewhere deep inside each citizen, they mysteriously felt that something more than these bells was awry.

“Son, do you know what this means?” asked Shrad, above the blaring of the towers’ bells.

“Yes Dad, the switch.”

“That’s right Heroum! We must pull the secret lever switch.”

The lever switch was first discovered by Shrad’s father Naham, who upon examination, was able to deduce its ability to reset the clock gears, which would manually realign them, and thus in this case, they hoped, stop the ringing of the bells. Shrad had no other alternative. With this disruption of the town’s people’s lives, he knew he must pull the towers’ secret lever, which by Shrad’s knowledge, had never been pulled.

Having been taught many secrets of the towers by his own father and grandfather, Shrad now had the opportunity to teach these things to his sons. The mystery and secrets of these towers is clearly known by the Griffin family trustee line, but what Shrad and his forbearers did not know, was what it was that caused these different unexplained phenomena which took place. So strange had been the actions and certain outcomes of the towers and their inner-workings, that Shrad had a belief that they almost had a life of their own.

Shrad and his sons were the only ones who knew of the lever’s existence, and with the towers’ secret lever pulled, in minutes the bells finally did stop ringing, and they discovered that once this was done, and the lever then repositioned back into its functional place, the clock and gears worked fine, and were back on track.

This was such a huge relief for the kingdom, especially since the day’s events all centered on the people, gathering together to participate and celebrate in the King’s Fair.

Shrad said to his son Heroum, “I hope now we won’t have to worry about these towers ringing this way anymore.”

“Yes, but at least we know what to do if they do.” said Heroum.

“Indeed, but I still want to investigate to see if I can find out what might have been the cause of all of this havoc in the first place.”

Shrad and his family, along with the entire Kingdom of Rowan were highly relieved at the silencing of the bells, yet to their uneasiness, it still seemed as though an eerie echo of warning remained. Although things had resumed to routine, the citizens could only sense that the end of this mystery was far from over, and as they would soon find out, there was something more precious to these towers than they could have ever possibly imagined. For in it, they would discover a secret that would transform their whole understanding of life and the world in which they lived.

Chapter II
The King’s Fair

This very day was to be the towers’ one-hundredth anniversary, and was to be celebrated with a fair in the kingdom, with festivities, food, and the appearance of the Queen’s court. All of this excitement was to begin promptly at 10:00am, and go until dark.

With this unusual start to their day, the people of Rowan were grateful, and excited with anticipation to begin their celebration. On this wondrous day of their tower’s anniversary, which happened every five years, Heroum had long since made a deal with himself, that he was going to enter into the gauntlet contest, which if won, he would have the opportunity to dance with Princess Lorena at the royal ball, and have his name written in the King’s Book of Times.

This achievement was the highest honor one could receive as a lad in Rowan. Each person who won this competition, was also granted the opportunity to improve his classmen-ship through education, opportunity and training, personally provided by the king’s court.

Because Heroum had risen so early to the sound of the ringing bells, which began their noise at 6:00am, he had extra time before the festivities, to do his chores and then practice once again for the gauntlet contest, as he had done so many times before. In preparation for this great opportunity, Heroum had used a large portion of his young free time, to run the rigors of the course, and utilize his opportunities to win in the off seasons, until he became of age.

His great excitement in celebrating the kingdom’s grand fair came from the prospect, that now that he was old enough to participate in the gauntlet contest, he might also win it.

As he had practiced all year ‘round, and prepared with growing confidence, he truly felt ready and able to win. He also desired to have the dance with Princess Lorena, and besides this, if he could win this honor, he could guarantee himself that the assignment of the tower’s trustee would go on to one of his brothers.

Once things got back into gear, the kingdom resumed preparations and readiness for the fair, and everyone was in a spirit of joy, ablaze with excitement and mutual appreciation for each other. This was the electric atmosphere and kinship among the people of Rowan at this most wonderful time!

Chapter III
A Distant Cry

Forty years ago, a young merchant had once been attracted to Rowan, because of reputable mention among buyers there. Upon arrival, he had begun to deal treacherously with the community, and had stolen some of the town’s people’s trust, as well as their commodities.

At this point, the citizens rallied to bring him to justice, and he was exacted of his crimes, and sentenced to be held captive, until sent away on the first new moon of the year, upon which day was the 60th year anniversary of the Twin Bell Towers of Rowan. When the day of his liberty came, he left the kingdom, never to return, and as he did so, the West bell tower bells rang once, and then did not ring again on its appointed times, until finally newer equipment was put in, and the gears realigned.

Now, every five years, on the day of each new succeeding fifth year anniversary, the towers’ trustee replaces and installs newer essential equipment, realigns the gears, mechanisms and timers as needed, and does a thorough cleaning, to ensure that the bells and clock never break down, as they did that year, forty years ago. The towers were to be kept ever functional and bright by each succeeding trustee. Because the kingdom truly respected the Griffin family line, they were chosen for this stewardship.

It had originally been assigned to them because of Heroum’s great grandfather, who had fought in the original war against the Shizors, in that great war against them by the kingdoms of Rahue and Rowan. His great grandfather was both a brick mason, and a clock maker, and was noted for his epic original designs. So it was he, who had also been involved in much of the consultation for the making of the original plans for the towers.
It was because of this, that he was readily chosen by the people to be the Trustee, and was anointed under the hands of King Gordan.

These famous twin bell towers were not without reputation however, and even legends about this glorious landmark had begun to be attached.

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