Monday, March 7, 2016

Te Papa Museum

One of our favorite things in Wellington was visiting the Te Papa Museum.  It was a remarkable experience!

We enjoyed the displays throughout the museum - the giant squid, the Maori history, and so much more.   But one of the most powerful exhibits was the Gallipoli Scale of War exhibit. that has been created by Sir Peter Jackson and his team.

"This ground-breaking exhibition tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.   Each is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size. The large-scale sculptures took a staggering 24,000 hours to create, and countless hours were spent researching their rich histories.  Cutting-edge technology was used to create 3-D maps, projections, miniatures, models, dioramas, and interactive experiences to bring this story to life.  In total, 2,779 Kiwis lost their lives on Gallipoli, and many others were scarred for ever.
 Gallipoli: The scale of our war takes you to the core of this defining event."

The larger-than-life statues of the eight different people were remarkable in detail.  But it was the other parts of the exhibit - the letters, quotes, and every-day artifacts such as dental tools that were used to treat soldiers who had teeth break off when biting into the hard tack crackers they were given to eat....all the minutia that was a part of the lives of the people involved in that war that really touched my heart.

I am so grateful that neither my husband nor my sons ever had to be in a combat situation.   Larry was born in 1945 so he was in the prime age group to go to Viet Nam.  However, since he was married and had a family and also a college student, he was never drafted.    Both of my sons served in the Marine Corps, one in active duty for 9 years and the other as a reservist.  For them, Desert Storm could have taken them into some very ugly situations.  There were two or three times that  our younger son had orders to go, but each time something was changed at the last minute to keep him stateside.  I am convinced it was influenced at least in part by the fasting and prayers in his behalf to keep him safe.

We live in troubled times when indeed there are "wars and rumours of war" in many places throughout the world.   We know from prophecies in both the Bible and Book of Mormon that the last days will be filled with much conflict and strife.   But war is nothing new.  As we read of all the battles between the Nephites and the Lamanites or the terrible destruction caused by the Gadianton Robbers from Book of Mormon days our hearts are grieved for what those people had to go through.
As we hear more and more about conflicts throughout the world it is easy to feel frightened or overwhelmed.  At those times I cling to scriptures such as “Fear not, little flock. … Look [to Christ] in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:34, 36).
In 2004, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a wonderful talk for a church educational system fireside that was later printed in Ensign magazine titled "This, the Greatest of All Dispensations."  Having made these remarks not that long after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the USA, Elder Holland addressed the fear that many people experienced about living in troubled times..   He said:
"So, in a world of tribulation, let’s remember our faith. Let’s recall the other promises and prophecies that have been given, all the reassuring ones, and let’s live life more fully, with more boldness and courage than at any other time.
Christ has overcome the world and made a path for us. He has said to us in our day: “Gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome” (D&C 38:9).

Seeing the museum exhibits about the Gallipoli battles was a grim reminder of the ugly reality of war that seems to spreading throughout the corners of our world today.   It was humbling to think of all the millions of men and women - both soldiers and civilians - who have either lost their lives or come home maimed in fights to maintain freedom.  However, through our testimonies in the Gospel of Christ, we really can hold on to hope and remain confident, even though we live in troubled times.  
This mission experience has taught me more than ever before that I truly can trust in a loving Heavenly Father to give us strength to face whatever adversity may come our way.  

No comments:

Post a Comment