Sunday, January 17, 2010
Last Saturday afternoon mom and I went to the temple with another couple in the ward to do some sealings for their family names. You may remember when we had you sealed to us in the temple. There were two other couples there we knew from when we were in the Lone Tree ward and it was like how I picture the Celestial Kingdom; families will meet up with old friends and celebrate a lifetime of struggle but ultimate success in the important things. I got to knee across the alter with mom and hold hands look into the “eternity” mirrors and hear the divine words that pronounce us man and wife for time and all eternity. Mom looked so beautiful with her green eyes and large smile. It made for a very special afternoon with her in the temple in that scared sealing room.
On Tues night I was scheduled to go with the missionaries to visit an investigator lady, but she cancelled because of a family emergency. She was in the hospital with her 15 year old daughter who had tried to commit suicide that afternoon by slitting her wrists. We offered to visit them in the hospital and the mom agreed. It was quite a scene at the emergency room. The daughter was a beautiful girl with these large bandages across her wrists and a crushingly sad look in her eyes. She pronounced that there was no God but she and her friends knew there was a Satan because her friend worshiped the devil. I was stunned and my mind went blank and I couldn’t think of anything to say (that doesn’t happen very often). What to say to this young daughter of God who earlier that day had wanted to take her own life and leave this world. The weight of confusion and probably guilt and a dulled conscious had brought her to the edge of a horrible horrible tragedy. She had been flirting with the most serious of sin – the taking of a life but as I watched her face I saw something remarkable.
The young Elder Naylor squatted down at the foot of that girl’s hospital bed and began to teach the gospel of love and repentance and hope and the atonement. His thoughtful act of getting eye level with this girl was so powerful. It directed all her attention to what he was saying and the policeman in the corner and the nurses coming in and out of the room weren’t distractions. Even when the mom interrupted the elder, the daughter said, “Quiet mom, I want to hear what the missionary is saying!” Only hours before she was willing to lose her place on this earth. Now at that moment her shrinking and starving spirit was trying to drink in hope of a loving Heavenly Father and the presence of good in this world. It was a remarkable thing to witness. Then his companion Elder Boyer read a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon that expressed hope and joy and you could see the profound and positive effect of this spiritual food on a famished soul. I talked a little of the power of the Atonement and it’s promise, that He has paid for our sins and that He will never leave us alone. No matter how stained or troubled our lives have become. The Elders gave her a blessing, and we headed out.
It was so funny, I entered and left that hospital with two young 20 year old goofballs, but while we were in that hospital room, when the Savior needed to be there to buoy up a lost soul, they became valiant representatives of Jesus Christ and spoke with the voices of angels. It was an honor to be there with them.
On Wed night it was crazy at the temple. I knew it was going to be something special when I couldn’t find a parking space which is usually so easy to find. The patrons just kept coming and we ended up setting a new record for the number of endowment done, over 240. We had to add on not one but two sessions to accommodate everyone. The sealing rooms were all filled, initiatory was overflowing and there were folding chairs up and down the hallways for people to sit waiting to start a session. We had to press any warm body we could find into service to get the veils done. I kept wondering if this group knew something about the second coming that we all should have known. I finally left the temple an hour later than usual with very sore feet but a great big smile.