My question for God when I see Him again, what was the deal with the tears? Were they really necessary? Third week in a row of crying at the library. I told Sister Rudy this would be the last time. After hearing about Grandma McNeece's funeral service all I could think of was the good she has done and the good each of us leave undone. Often we do sell ourselves short. We have a greater influence--a brighter light--than we realize. I think of the words to hymn #335:
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
I think of the many poor seamen, fainting, seamen, struggling seamen and sea-women Grandma did help to save. They weren't all lined up waiting for her help. The Lord placed them throughout her life--each day, each placed she visited, each church meeting she attended, customers at the store. It was her privilege--and she made it a priority--to see to the needs of each of these sons and daughters of God.
We are what the Lord has to work with and we may have great impact. But we must seize the opportunities. Over time Grandma developed a sure character, one that would be fit for serving here and in the life to come. I read the following this morning from the Teachings of President Lorenzo Snow, and I see no one who exemplified this more (aside from my own parents):
"I am under the strongest impression, that the most valuable consideration, and that which will be of the most service when we return to the spirit world, will be that of having established a proper and well defined character as faithful and consistent Latter-day Saints in this state of probation.
"Such traits of character as we find evinced in the ancient worthies are not the products of accident or chance, neither are they acquired in a day, a week, a month, or a year, but are gradual developments, the results of continued faithfulness to God and to truth, independent of either the plaudits or criticisms of men."
Saturday two of the elders' investigators were baptized. A southern Mormon baptism, to be sure. Where else would Amazing Grace be the opening song? What touched me the most was not what happened then, but on Sunday. Richard, who was baptized, bore his testimony on how the Lord never gives up on us, and how we should never give up on another. He had clearly turned down "Mormonism" two other times. But the Lord knew this is where he needed to be and gave him another chance. It wasn't easy. He had his obstacles and stumbling blocks, but he worked through them, and made it to the gate. May we be the ones to give more chances. The Lord knows the hearts of the people. He wants to bless them and the Lord wants you to taste of the joy of blessing others by sharing the Gospel with them and by serving them. There truly is no greater joy!
As most missionaries will tell you, it really isn't a sacrifice. You get so much more out of it than you ever put in. My gratitude for growing up with the fullness of the Gospel has been magnified with each experience I have, with every person I meet, with every day that goes by. We have a loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of us every moment. He is there alongside us in the good, the bad, the ugly, and the strange. I'm grateful for the understanding of a loving Heavenly Father. This bring so much peace. What does that knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father mean to you? How does it affect the way you live day to day? (I would love to hear your thoughts and testimonies, they help to strengthen my own).
Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers,
P.S. Sister Rudy quote of the week (referring to Easter candy): "Oh, no! These are really good!"