Thursday, June 12, 2008

God Lives and is in His Heavens

There is comfort in the words of the prophets...

“We have a commitment to serve our Lord. We have an assurance that the cause is just and worthy. But, above all, we have a knowledge that God lives and is in His Heavens and that His Son Jesus Christ has laid out a plan for us which will bring us and our loved ones eternal life if we are faithful. That life will be a busy, purposeful life with accomplishments and joys and development.”
President Spencer W. Kimball
“The Cause Is Just and Worthy,” Ensign, 1974

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shaun Lunt

"Nothing you love is lost, not really. Things, people, they always go away sooner or later. You can't hold them, but if they've touched you, if they're inside you, then they're still yours. The only things you ever have are the ones you hold inside your heart."

Our beautiful daughter Heidi has been blessed to know and love a man of goodness and light. He left this world for a better one on Friday, June 6, 2008.

We were never privileged to meet Shaun. We know him from our daughters heart. Through her we know of his kindness, spirituality, desires to make the world a better place, and of his love. And although we do not understand his tragic and untimely passing, we have faith that the Father of us all does, and that he did not leave so soon by mere chance.
"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3

A wise man once said, "in the grammar of the Gospel...death is a mere comma, not an exclamation point" (Neal A. Maxwell, Moving in His Majesty and Power). We know that Shauns forever has moved to a different realm and that through the principles and ordinances of the Gospel, families and loved ones will be together again, forever. What a blessed thing to know and understand that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected, we will all live again. Shaun lives. The Savior of us all made that possible.
We know that Heidi's world will never be quite the same. She no longer has in her life the one who made her whole. But we're grateful for the beautiful impact he has made, and will continue to make on her and all who knew him. The world truly is a better place because Shaun was in it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Willingness to Wait

A young woman decided to plant a flower bed, determined to make it lush and overflowing. She planted numerous seedlings side by side until the bed was full. But instead of thriving, her garden died. If she had given her seedlings room to grow at their own rate, eventually they would have filled her garden with glorious flowers. But because she was not willing to wait for her plants, she lost their potential.

How often we try to rush our own growth—and the growth of those around us—instead of letting time bring the desired results. Too quickly we get discouraged, forgetting to take the long view, forgetting that all of us are works in progress. As our own worst critics, we sometimes give up on ourselves just as we reach the brink of progress.

Patience is essential if we are to enjoy the best life has to offer: happy marriages, fulfilling careers, developed talents, peace and contentment. Without patience, we rip open the bud, forever robbed of a blooming flower. Without patience, we fail to forgive and deny ourselves loving relationships. Without patience, we cannot conquer our own weaknesses and wind up avoiding anything we can’t do easily or quickly.

Patience is the loving restraint with which we watch a child try a new task—and try again. Patience with others is a form of charity, a loving willingness to wait. When we show faith that improvement will come, children and loved ones blossom with hope. Patience is giving power to others, letting them grow at their own pace.

When we choose to hold back a hasty judgment or pause before reacting, we step into a calmer sphere of peace and contentment. Our stress levels drop; our joy levels rise. And everyone around us feels the warmth of acceptance that allows growth to occur.

All beautiful gardens began as patches of soil. They became glorious only because someone was willing to wait.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Music and the Spoken Word
"Willingness to Wait" June 1, 2008 Broadcast

One of the things we miss are the weekly broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word. We love the Tabernacle Choir, and though we just read the messages online now and listen to their cd's, this message shared at the most recent broadcast seemed especially applicable. It seems we have been impatient most of our lives. Wanting life to be more what we think it should be, right now. So, these words of wisdom struck home. Perhaps when things aren't working out the way we wish they would, right now, we can have a little more patience and "willingness to wait".

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Understanding Sacred Things

We recently read this thought, and it is a too accurate description of so many. It's a heartbreaking truth that is difficult to get across to someone who is not seeking for "holy things".

"The importance of having a sense of the sacred is simply this--if one does not appreciate holy things, he will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, he will grow increasingly casual in attitude and lax in conduct. He will drift from the moorings that his covenants with God could provide. His feeling of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, he will care only about his own comfort and satisfying his uncontrolled appetites. Finally, he will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then he will despise himself.

"On the other hand, with a sense of the sacred, one grows in understanding and truth. The Holy Spirit becomes his frequent and then constant companion. More and more he will stand in holy places and be entrusted with holy things. Just the opposite of cynicism and despair, his end is eternal life."
D. Todd Christofferson, "A Sense of the Sacred," CES fireside for young adults, Nov. 7, 2004