Having had a lovely spiritual Sunday, It seemed appropriate that I share my impressions with those of you dear family and friends who read this blog (thanks for keeping me in business). 

First, we had some genuinely lovely, clear singing from a sister whose family we are, thankfully, getting to know better. Her father accompanied der Meister on the backpacking trip with the scouts, her brother is one of the scouts, and her mother bore testimony of her daughter’s continuously strong faith in a life of trial, which is really where this tale begins. She explained how her daughter recently auditioned for a certain popular singing show while said show made their stop here. This particular sister figured she didn’t have anything to lose, so why not go have fun. There are apparently a few “people” to go through before you actually get to the Big Three Judges. During this sister’s first round, the person hearing her didn’t want her to go on to the judges, but instead wanted her to sing for one of their music producers to get their input. (In other words, not “show” material, but good enough in her particular style to make someone take notice.) The mother explained that the producer took one look and, without even hearing a note, said bluntly, “No.” And left. This sister, unfortunately used to people judging on appearances, took it all in stride and left knowing she did her best. Her mom explained how her daughter’s continual optimism and faith continues to help build her own. While hearing this story, I thought, “Wow, I didn’t know she could sing.” Now I wanted to know more. So, imagine my joy and excitement when I saw her name on the program this Sunday to sing “This is the Christ.” The meeting went a bit long and I kept hoping they wouldn’t cut this musical number. Joy of joys, they were “inspired by the Spirit” to have her sing the closing hymn. She introduced her song then glorious high soft tones sang out. Wow, how wonderful to have the amateur who is truly good and trained. It was very spiritual and touching as she sang her testimony to us, not because she (or others) wanted to show off, but because she wanted to share her love of Christ with us. And I could hear what had impressed the one at the audition. 

Then came Relief Society where we studied the word of our prophet Joseph Smith. I very well understand why the lesson was titled “Word of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death.” That was the spirit with which his words came across on the page. He was not about sorrow. He was offering us joy and hope, helping us see the joy the gospel gives us and to remember the joy we have in the Lord. He gave us truly consoling words that you could grab hold of and do something with. He didn’t pat you on the head with a grin. He smiled, bear-hugged you, and unreservedly told you how it is. Wonderful prophet! I love his phrasing: 

“they now exist in a place where they converse together the same as we do on the earth.” 

“We have reason to have the greatest hope and consolation for our dead of any people on the earth; for we have seen them walk worthily in our midst.” 

“[he] is gone to wait until the resurrection of the dead—until the perfection of the remainder . . .” 

“I am authorized to say, by the authority of the Holy Ghost, that you have no occasion to fear.”

“The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life.” (all quotes from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith)

I share the Prophet Joseph Smith’s feelings on that last quote. It does cheer the soul to know that we will be together with our dear friends and family forever with Christ. We love them. And the Lord loves us and wants us to be happy.

During this lesson, a few loved ones came to mind. I thought of my great-aunt and how, on hearing of her death, my first impulse was to grin and think how happy and relieved she was to be with her family—her husband, parents and siblings—who had gone long before, and she no longer had to be concerned with her health. And could enjoy her flowers again. I thought of the inspiration of One Wise Guy who started his talk at his grandmother’s funeral with, “I wonder what Grandma and Grandpa are doing tonight,” and how he thought of them rejoicing at being together again after years apart. And made us smile. I thought of der Meister’s grandfather who I have learned of through the vivid descriptions of his character from the many people he touched throughout his life so that I want to make him proud of me as his fine grandson’s wife. I thought of Carrie Nation playing her violin to her grandfather’s smiling photo. And of Aunt Madam’s father who comforted a boy with the Spirit of God and taught him—and a future granddaughter-in-law long after he was gone—that “You are never alone.”

What glorious joy and knowledge we have. What a loving and gracious Heavenly Father. How thankful we are for that.

Thanks for letting me share.