Perspective……..

Do you ever have those weeks despite them being no fuller in terms of appointments or travel or things to do you get the end of it and take a deep breath and think “ok that one is over” I’ve had a couple of those types of weeks just recently.  My schedule has been no busier than normal, but perhaps the nature of some of those appointments has been a little different.
In this last two weeks I personally have known of five individuals who have left this mortal realm leaving behind family and friends to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives, some very much shorter than others. 

Of those five who have passed away in the last few days, I sadly only had the opportunity to meet personally with two of the three dear gentlemen and brothers in the Church whilst they were ill.  I was struck by how they both dealt with the impending certainty of death with such dignity and peace. I saw how their faith and the faith of their wonderful wifes in a higher power and an eternal perspective provided great comfort and peace to them in their last few days on the earth.
The knowledge that there is something beyond this life and that there is a purpose to being here, brings me great comfort and helps make sense of a great deal of things that would otherwise not make sense, particularly when death comes to one so young, such as a child or a new born baby.  It is a sign of a loving and kind Heavenly Father, God if you will, that he would make sure that such a child is not lost or damned or that the tender feelings of a mother and father mourning can be comforted in the knowledge that they will once again have the opportunity in the eternities to raise that child and be a parent to that child who now is lost to them through death.   (For further reading on this topic please visit www.mormon.org or teachings on bereavement )

I can only comment for myself but I would find it difficult to reconcile such experiences with death without this faith and knowledge.  In fact it can be difficult enough with that knowledge and faith to cope with those close to us who pass away. My heart reaches out to those who must experience the pain of losing a loved one without this insight or surety of faith that death is not the end but mearly a parting for a season until the time comes when body and spirit are reunited and the opportunity to live together again but this time for ever in the eternities is given.

If you are reading this now and are feeling that way I hope that you will accept the invitation to learn more about this teaching of the “great plan of happiness”.  Throughout the world the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have representatives who can come and teach more about this plan, they can reached from the website of the Church, www.mormon.org or you can come along to the nearest Church building using the online building locater

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A faith promoting experience on the side of the road…

This afternoon, as I was driving back from Sunday church services in Winchester, I passed as I have done many, many times the roadside memorial of two friends that were killed in a car accident driving between Hursley and Ampfield two years ago.  As I came up on the spot where the memorial now stands, a plaque and messages attached to a tree, a car pulled up and a couple got out with fresh flowers to place there.  I drove past but felt the urge and complusion to turn around and go back and just say hello and pass on my best wishes. 

I am so glad I did, as I reached Ampfield I turned around and went back the couple of miles to the spot where I met with the couple who are the parents of one of the two friends who was killed on that day two years ago.  We chatted together for a few moments and shared a smile and some thoughts together on the importance of family.  I was impressed by the faith they both displayed in those few moments we spent together. 

We spoke about how I as a regular commuter along that stretch of road, remembered when the flowers appeared and how they have continued to be there.  The hope is that the flowers act as a reminder that life is precious and to take care. 

What impressed me the most about this couple as we spoke on the side of the road is how even after such a tragedy in their life, they were able to express thanks and gratitude for their son and their other children to God.   Today their faith strengthened mine, I have not had to endure that trial of losing a loved one in such circumstances and there are many who have.  I don’t know if I could be as strong as that, if I didn’t have the knowledge that I have, of a plan of happiness that God, our Heavenly Father has for us all, that means that the family unit can be eternal, in fact is designed to be so.  This knowledge through the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by his Church on earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has brought me great comfort in my life, which I hope can be a comfort to many others.