Song 168 – Build the Gospel Onion

By June 23, 2018Songs

This song was used to provide the music for Psalm 62. The experiences of our lives can be compared to the process of geological sedimentation (see Song 109 – Sedimentation – Earth Memories). Business consultants often use the phrase “peal the onion,” to describe taking a business process apart to understand the basic components and the process flow in order to improve the business process. When we started HyperMedia Corporation on January 4th, 1991, we were inventing a new way to interact with data and with information. I was so convinced of the power of the hypertext model, I left 10 years of exciting work at Landmark Graphics to put effort into building this UNIX (operating system), X-Windows (human-computer interface), Client-Server (data could be distributed on legacy IBM mainframe computers and accessed by links, like we do with modern browsers), classification driven (class menus based on data classification), hypertext (the ability to link text, images, geological interpretation overlays on images, videos, database files, and files on legacy systems) engine. Landmark, in conjunction with professors and students at what is now The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, had started building this hypermedia system at Landmark in 1988 as a documentation system. By 1991 all of the people working on the project were fired, and the technology was going to die. So I negotiated to take the software out of the company and formed HyperMedia Corporation. The technical validity is shown by the release of NCSA Mosaic by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1993, and the formation of Netscape in 1995. Note Netscape stock traded from 1995 to 1999 and ultimately was worth $10 billion. I guaranteed loans to start HyperMedia with Landmark stock, which went from $24/share to $8/share. The bank called the loan, I lost my Landmark ownership, and almost went bankrupt in about 1995. When we were starting HyperMedia we hired a consultant from the church, Phillip Miller, who helped put presentations together and coined he phrase “build the onion,” to describe building a hypertext document. I always liked the phrase, and so when I was teaching Sunday School to 12 and 13 year old youth (shown in the image and extended image to the left), I used the phrase to describe how teaching the gospel starts small and grows: “Starting with a kernel, Adding layers, Principles eternal, Ignoring nay-sayers, We meet each Sunday, Away from the minions, To build our gospel onion.” The verses summarize lessons we had in our Sunday School class: free agency; repentance; Adam and Eve; the atonement; joy; experience; what happens after death; the three degrees of glory; the power of prayer; the first principles of the gospel: faith, repentance, baptism, and The Holy Ghost; holding the iron rod; being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Patriarchal Blessings; and obedience. The hyperlinks were not tied to the spoken word in class, and yet the topics are certainly connected, like the layers of an onion.

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