Song 369 – Live in the Present

By July 30, 2018Songs

This song consists of a series of quotes from President Ezra Taft Benson, one of the prophets of the Latter-Days. I recall telling Corwin Slack about my new city plans (see the descriptions to: Song_145__Change_The_World [where I quote the words used in this song from President Benson], Song 125 – Ode to Henry Thoreau, Song 114 – Barker Reservoir, Song 108 – Friendship, Song 100 – Zion, Song 90 – Deseret, and Song 50 – Tribes), and his quoting these words from President Benson. The words seemed to undercut decades of thinking and planning and scheming about ways to improve the way we build our cities. I did not know how to react. My first day as a missionary in England included being taken out by the Assistants to the President to tract a Council Housing Project called White City. It was a multistory cement jungle. As we knocked on doors and saw people in their hovels, I quickly came to the conclusion Dad’s cattle had better living conditions than these people had. So I wrote letters home to Ray Gardner, describing what I saw and how sad it was. Ray responded with images from Paolo Soleri’s “Archology, The City in the Image of Man” (see the image and the extended image at Song 145 – Change the World). I was/am totally enamored with the concept of three-dimensional cities. Especially when these building concepts are tied to the social concepts Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught regarding The Law of Consecration (see Song 90 – Deseret), which is what I was in England to teach people about. In 1990, I hired Ray Gardner and his partners at Gardner Partnership Architects to do a planning document, which they called “The Intelligent Habitat Project.” The image to the left and the expanded image are from this report. I have put so much time and effort into thinking through these ideas since that initial correspondence with Ray Gardner in 1970. Then to be told by Corwin these concepts are of “the world” and my plans were “working from the outside in,” I was flabbergasted. Over time I have come to appreciate the wisdom of President Benson’s words, and to see his message in a different way. After all “Christ changes men,” and he changed me (see Song 167 – Heart of Gold, Song 119 – Anticipation, Song 087 – The First Prayer, and Song 007 – Froggie Learns the Gospel), and changed men can change the world. I am not attempting to “mold men, by changing their environment.” Rather, as a changed man, I want to “change the world’s environment.” Because of the failure of HyperMedia Corporation (see Song 177 – Enduring ‘Till We Die, Song 168 – Build the Gospel Onion, Song 078 – Rain, Song 032 – Find The Seed, and Song 001 – Open My Eyes Please), and Continuum Resources International Corporation (see Song 360 – A Man with Values, Song 342 – Projects, Song 155 – Help Me Set Us Free, Song 143 – Dedication to John Doran, Song 108 – Friendship, Song 086a-b – Be Still Geologists / Geoscientists, Song 085 – Merging Mind & Matter A-K, Song 004 – Business, and Song 001 – Open My Eyes Please), it is easy for me to “live in the past,” and feel sorry for myself. I’m sure this wallowing and “lamenting about my losses” has limited my future. President Benson’s advice rings so true: “Let us not spend our time Worrying about decisions that have been, Let us live In the Present, And let us live, In the future.”

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