Two weeks ago we were able to tour the Meridian, Idaho, LDS temple. We made it just in time to take a tour before the temple was closed for cleaning prior to the dedication. We’d been busy running in ten different directions at once, then sick with the stomach flu, and barely made it through the nausea to come to the temple with our girls. At the end of the tour there was the opportunity to take pictures with the Christus and outside of the temple. Henley, of course, was out of sorts at being woken up so early and repeatedly told to “shush” that she absolutely refused to smile for our pictures.
At least she looked at the camera for the outside photos.
As I reflect on the experiences I’ve had in the temple, I am so touched by the gift of knowledge that God has given me. My brother lost his youngest son in a 4-wheeling accident last Friday. This tragedy has shaken me personally and my family as a whole. The death of a child is never easy to pass through. I spent much of last weekend running through what I thought I believed, over and over again in my head, just to make sure I really believed it. I do believe in life after death. I do believe that children who die before the age of 8 are taken directly back to our Heavenly Father. I do believe that families can be together after death, through the incredible blessing of temple sealings. To be sealed in the temple means a husband and wife and their children can continue on as that family unit, even after death. I believe people who pass on without accepting the gospel can be taught and given the chance to accept it after death. Their sealings can be completed here on earth in temples through proxy ordinance work. I do believe these things, and I can’t imagine my life without this faith and knowledge.
My nephew David was a sweet, remarkable boy. He gave hugs to anyone he met. He was very intense, he went full-speed in whatever direction he was headed. He showed love unconditionally and made friends everywhere he went. I believe he is doing these very same things now, just on the other side. I believe he is with my grandparents who passed away before him. I believe he is still here, helping to guide, encourage, and strengthen my family.
My brother and his wife and two other children have decided to choose joy every day and leave a legacy of light to honor their son and brother. I am trying to be more like David and take every opportunity to say the good things I am thinking, to tell people I love them, to give compliments, to stand up for truth, to give hugs, to really express my emotions rather than bury them.
I was honored and privileged to present David’s life sketch at his funeral. I wrote the sketch/obituary on Sunday afternoon and woke very early Monday morning to mull over what I’d written. As I was reading, I became a tad overwhelmed and decided to take a break and browse my pictures that needed to be uploaded to this blog. I came across these of my family at the temple and simply couldn’t get past them. This is what it’s all about. My family, at the temple, with the opportunity to be together forever, even through the pain and anguish of death.
I don’t know what you readers, the few of you besides my family, believe. I’m not telling you that I have all the truth or that I believe my church or my faith is the only one with truth. I am telling you what I believe to be true. I hope you will take a moment and ponder on what you believe the meaning of life is and on how well you are accomplishing your personal mission in life. If there are things you need to change, change them. If there are questions you need answered, seek out guidance. There are countless people who would be happy to help you on your quest to find God and help you discover the joy that comes from knowing Him and His plan. Again, I believe there are many religions or faiths that can help you answer these questions.
We’ll miss David. Every day there will be something that reminds us of him. I know my brother and his family have the hardest road to walk, much more so than I do. I am amazed at the strength, faith, and grace they have shown since David’s passing. My brother spoke at David’s funeral, about his choice to choose joy over despair and love over bitterness. My sister-in-law sang beautifully about the gift Christ has given all of us, because He loves us, and the amazement that the God of heaven and earth loves us all so much that He took upon himself all our sins, pains, and afflictions.
God really is merciful. Christ really does give us grace. The Holy Ghost really is the comforter. Family really is the most important thing.