Thursday, October 15, 2009
Between, or after a Conference session, last week I watched a little presentation about the miraculous recovery of a young man who had been at death's door. Some of the commentary made me shudder. The interviewer seemed almost boastful at the miracle that had come to him. I thought of dear sweet friends of mine, whose outcomes were nothing to boast about. Friends who loved their spouse or child every bit as much as this man's family loved him. The interviewer sounded as if this fine young man was just too special to be taken and I thought of broken hearts who felt the same way about loved ones who were just as special, but didn't survive.
Years ago, Elder Marvin J. Ashton was here for Stake Conference. A Sister, spoke. At the conclusion of her talk, she told of the number of her children who had gone on missions, married in the temple, graduated from college; and while, thankful, was also boastful. When she finished Elder Ashton stood, out of turn, approached the pulpit and admonished the Sister to go home, kneel in her closet and thank the Lord for her many blessings and then ask for His forgiveness for all the hearts she had broken there that day, including his own. It is so important that we are careful about the manner in which we receive God's blessings.
On another occasion I heard a sweet Sister bear her testimony in Church. She'd just had a baby. She thanked everyone for the out pouring of love manifest in the delivery of more food to their home, during the days which followed the birth, than they could consume. Another Sister was in attendance that day. She too had just had a baby. I later, became aware, that in her case, no one dropped by with or without food. No one even noticed. She was no less deserving, no less in need. I don't know if there is an adequate explanation when we mortals overlook someone. But I know that no one is overlooked by God. The fact that Marshel must go, while another stays is neither a condemnation of Marshel or something to brag about for the other.
I said that the interviewer seemed boastful, as did the theme of the whole program, but the young man, who had been permitted to tarry a while, was far from boastful. When asked about what he'd learned in his ordeal he humbly said, (paraphrasing) that he'd gone, "from hope, to faith, to submission." He knew, what we all must learn, that we each, in the end, must submit to whatever the Lord sees fit, in His wisdom, to inflict upon us. I probably wouldn't be so brash as to mention this principle at such a tender time as this, except that this is the central theme taught to me over the years by MarShel's dear father. Darwin, and I'm sure Carolee, have learned that true joy and peace in this life can only be had when we submit our will to God's.
MarShel was too precious to lose, but we lost her. There is no explaining it. It isn't a punishment. It isn't a deserved outcome. It just is. And though we must wonder in sorrow - why - perhaps for the rest of our lives; we may rest assured that she was not, nor is she, overlooked by a neglectful God. Her loving Father in Heaven has taken her home to his loving embrace, where I'm sure she is happy and full of joy.
by Myke Weber at 10/15/2009 05:42:00 AM