Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some thoughts

Some of these thoughts I have shared with you before. I was reading again one of your Mom's and my favorite authors, Elder Neil Maxwell.
A mortal life may need to be 'shortened' by twenty years as we might view it, but if so, it may be done for certain services to be rendered by that individual in the spirit world, services that will benefit thousands of new neighbors with whom that individual will live in all of eternity... Our omniloving and omniscient Heavenly Father will release us when it is time to be released. But each such release of a righteous person is also a call to new labors!
Often, I have glimpses of your Mom. First, she is happy and fulfilled. She loved to be anxiously engaged in something important. She had exceptional leadership and organizational skills. But I do remember every time she received an important call in the church, she would always express to me her concern whether or not she had the ability to perform it well. Of course, she always amazed everyone with her abilities and desire to serve Heavenly Father. Again, let me say I am certain that she is involved in something challenging and fulfilling and is very happy.
Marianne's favorite pasttime was research. You probably wouldn't know this, since she had to put this aside for her family. Her favorite place at BYU was the library. I loved our time sitting next to each other in that reverent quiet place studying. I have the feeling that her current responsibilities involve research in the most beautiful library we could possibly imagine.
Marianne prefers family over everything. A testament to this is that she often fretted over the fact that she was never able to finish her Phd at BYU, since we chose not to delay having children. She even asked Uncle Merlin once to give her a blessing so that she might have peace over this great disappointment. In the blessing Merlin told her that it would not matter. You see, your Mom wanted to use her talents and be involved in something really important after her children were raised. We never really guessed that opportunity would come on the other side of the veil.
I have glimpses of Marianne surrounded by her family. I am happy she is with her Mom and Dad, and her Uncles and Aunts. I have thoughts of her getting along well with my Grandma Kimball and her faithful mother Birthe Marie Hansen, who as a young girl in Denmark was disowned by her family for joining the Church and moved to Copenhagen on her own to work as a dressmaker for several years to earn her passage to Zion.
Regarding family in the spirit world, Jedediah M. Grant once shared a vision to Heber C. Kimball, his fellow counselor to the prophet Brigham Young and our great great great grandfather.
He said to me, brother Heber, I have been into the spirit world two nights in succession, and, of all the dreads that ever came across me, the worst was to have to again return to my body, though I had to do it. But O, says he, the order and government that were there! When in the spirit world, I saw the order of righteous men and women; beheld them organized in their several grades, and there appeared to be no obstruction to my vision; I could see every man and woman in their grade and order. I looked to see whether there was any disorder there, but there was none; neither could I see any death nor any darkness, disorder or confusion. He said that the people he there saw were organized in family capacities; and when he looked at them he saw grade after grade, and all were organized and in perfect harmony. He would mention one item after another and say, “Why, it is just as brother Brigham says it is; it is just as he has told us many a time.”(Heber C. Kimball, in Journal of Discourses, 4:135–36)
I think that the one glimpse I have of Marianne over everything else is her love and concern for you and I.
In a funeral sermon, Joseph Smith declared that the spirits of righteous people who have died “are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 326). Other latter-day prophets have made similar statements. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, p. 18; or Ensign, June 1971, p. 33). President Brigham Young said: “Where is the spirit world? It is right here” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376).
When Parley P. Pratt learned from the prophet Joseph of the doctrine of eternal marriage he soon realized that the wife of his youth who had passed away years before was now “...a kind ministering angel given to me as a comfort and a crown of glory forever and ever...”.
Whenever I pray I ask Heavenly Father to allow Marianne to be a part of each of our lives. I suggest that this is something you also ask your Heavenly Father.
We do not consciously realize the extent to which ministering angels affect our lives. President Joseph F. Smith said, “In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.” President James E. Faust
I know that Marianne is aware and even involved in each of your lives. I see her in each of you, and each of her grandchildren. As I am sitting here watching conference, Annie has been taking notes of each conference speaker. Which of course is 'totally Marianne.'
Less than two weeks before Marianne passed away, she made a comment to me that I thought came out of nowhere and have never mentioned to any of you. 'You know Cole, you could have learned more from me than you have.' I didn't really know what to say. But I knew what she meant.
With complete confidence I know that Marianne was called to a more important calling on the other side of the veil. I want to reaffirm to each of you that this is according to Heavenly Father's plan. I suggest that you learn to live as close to the Spirit as you can. As you do this, and continue to sanctify yourselves through the Sacrament every week, the aaronic priesthood keys of the ministering of angels will bless you with the love and influence of that one ministering angel that you miss so much and know would do anything to help and protect you and your family.
Like the Linford's good friend and Apostle, Elder Scott, who lost his own wife 16 years ago, I am grateful for the extraordinary motivation I have to live the Gospel so that I might be reunited with Marianne and my Heavenly Father. Even though I miss Marianne every hour of the day, I am thrilled for her and her current circumstances. I know that we will all be blessed as an eternal family as we strive to learn from our life with her and even her continuing presence through the Spirit of the Lord.
On our night stand I have displayed one of Marianne's notes.

No talk about success can stand without a testimony of the power of the Gospel and the joy that comes from obeying commandments and living the Gospel.
Joy Nephi felt from partaking of the fruit of the tree of life.

DC 76:51-70

These things are yours. This is your your promise as the Spirit Children of our Heavenly Father. All that he requires is our humble, faithful, honest attempt to live the Gospel every day, in response to the challenge that each day brings.

I love Marianne and all of you so much. May we always count our blessings and always be together.



Julia Holmes said...

I love you dad. That was so sweet. I am so grateful that I have such wonderful parents that have been such great examples to me in so many ways, and especially in the gospel. I am so proud to have you as my parents. Thanks for sharing that dad. I miss your blogs.

Carole said...

Cole, you have been blessed with such discernment. I love the way you write, and I marvel at the great knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ you have attained.

You are a blessing in the lives of many, including your family, extended family,friends, and those who have not yet discovered the Gospel. Dad and I are very proud of the man you have become.