Dead Sea Scrolls and Moab

Classes are now over for the semester, and I’m supposed to be getting ready for finals. Yet it (unsurprisingly) wasn’t hard to convince myself that writing a blog post is almost as important as studying. Reading days are for relaxing after all—right?

So how did I decide to spend the last weekend before the end of classes? A legitimate question indeed. Well I received an email last week asking for someone willing to help out at the Dead Sea Scrolls Conference at the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City over the weekend. I was already hoping to make it up for the conference, so helping out with it was an unanticipated perk. Along with that opportunity I was also asked to take Dr. Emanuel Tov—former Editor-in-Chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project—up from Provo. The car ride up with Dr. Tov and my friend Justin was great. Probably the best part of it all was trying out my modern Hebrew and understanding everything he said!

Manning the front table at the DSS Conference!

The conference was a blast to be involved with, and I got the chance to meet some of the most influential Dead Sea Scrolls scholars in the world. What a privilege!

Various students, faculty, and special guests mingling.

While at the conference I received a call from a friend asking if I wanted to go down to Moab that night and spend the weekend there. As Moab is one of those places I have always dreamt of visiting—and which for whatever reason I’m never able to make it to—my response in the affirmative burst from my mouth without hesitation. On my way home after the conference I stopped at Best Buy to purchase my much anticipated Nikon D3200. I was already planning on buying it (after much research, of course) and figured the Moab trip would be a perfect opportunity to get familiar with it before taking it around the world this summer. How right I was!

Monticello LDS Temple

Moab was absolutely mesmerizing. We began our trip Saturday morning at 1:00am, made it to Price where we decided to sleep in the car for a couple of hours, attended the temple in Monticello, went through part of Canyonlands, and then entered Arches National Park. I couldn’t help but take pictures all throughout the trip.

Our hike up to Delicate Arch was the highlight of the trip. The weather was a perfect balance of sunlight and cool breeze. The scenery was everything I’d imagined, and the arch was quite the sight to behold. At times it felt somewhat like a spiritual journey—connecting with nature, enjoying the beauty of God’s creations. These pictures can’t possibly do it justice. Pictures are never the same as the real thing.

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