Saturday, September 15, 2007

His Promises Are Sure

We went to the temple last night. It was for our ward’s regular monthly sealing assignment at the Jordan River Temple.

It was our first visit to the temple since Dawn Ann’s diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Perhaps our feelings and emotions were a little closer to the surface as a result.

During our sealing session, we were called to the altar first. Dawn Ann and I looked at each other across the altar, as we did for the first time nearly 16 years ago. As the ceremony, which binds a couple together for time, and for all eternity, was pronounced, tears came to Dawn Ann’s eyes. Just a few tears at first, then many more. The sealer handed us a box of Kleenexes so she could wipe her eyes.

As for me, I looked into those eyes, which I have loved for the last 16 years. She always looks so beautiful in white. I am so grateful for her. For the love she has brought to me. The children she has brought into this world. And all she does for us to provide a home for our family.

As I looked at the tears coming from her eyes, I thought I perceived what she might be feeling, and why the tears. Later, I confirmed with her that what I had perceived was correct. As Dawn Ann heard the blessings and promises of eternal marriage pronounced once again, she felt a peace and assurance from the Spirit of the Lord that no matter what happens in this life, the Lord's promises to us are sure. That she and I will be together eternally.

This was what brought tears to her eyes. The witness of the Spirit that despite the challenges we are currently facing, the diagnosis of breast cancer, that she can be assured that all will be well – no matter what happens.

My turn would come a few minutes later, as I was sitting next to the sealer, as one of the witnesses, Brother Leetham gave a few words of counsel between ordinances.

He counseled that the Lord wants each of us to return and enjoy eternal life with him. Brother Leetham counseled that the Lord will leave no stone unturned to make this happen. He paraphrased this scripture:
“ . . . For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D&C 84:88)
He then counseled that the blessings of eternal life will come through our faithfulness. Then he explained what that means.

Brother Leetham explained that our faithfulness doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect right here, and right now. What it does mean, however, is that we should continually try to become better people little by little. Not in huge spurts, not mile by mile, but inch by inch.

The goal should be to examine ourselves a few months from now, and to be able to see how we have become a little bit better than we were before. The comparison is always with ourselves over time, never comparing ourselves against others.

We should not be comparing ourselves with the bishop, stake president, or the Apostles. Besides, he said, we only see them when they are at their best. They are human too. We just don’t generally see them in their weak moments.

As brother Leetham spoke his words of counsel, I found tears coming to my own eyes this time. As he paraphrased the scripture, I felt that we do not have to face this breast cancer alone. That He will go before us, that He will be on our right side, and on our left, and that His angels will be round about us. He will be there for us. He will not desert us.

The words from the fourth verse of “I am a child of God” best describe my feelings:

I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.

All will be well. We have placed our trust in him, and I know we can pass through this trial – no matter what.

-- His Promises are sure.

No comments: