One of my very best friends is being laid to rest today in Utah. I am in California. My heart is sad not to be there to support my friend, his wife and his family. My boys are there, for which I am eternally grateful. If we can’t be there, at least our children can represent us. I think the difficult part of today will be trying to manage the things I am suppose to be doing here while my heart and head are longing to be somewhere else.
|copyright: Karen Larsen photography
I cried and cried on Monday and Tuesday, managed my emotions and my affairs on Wednesday and Thursday. Cried some more last night and am pretty weepy today. I have pictured my friend in his casket, laid out in his temple clothing, pictured their chapel filled to capacity with his family and ward members, and my boys. In my mind, I have caressed his face, told him that I love him and that I will miss him, hugged his wife and family and prayed for my own peace and healing.
When we lived across the street from them, and before either of us had any children, (but I was pregnant), I would always fall asleep on their floor at 10 p.m. on the dot and sleep until my husband was ready to take me home. D thought it was always funny to say, “Wake up, Carin. It’s Christmas.” It was anywhere from April through August. It was never Christmas. But that is always what he said when it was time to go home and I needed to wake up. He knew that was my favorite holiday.
My scripture study has consisted in trying to read the rest of the Doctrine and Covenants from the first semester, since I wasn’t teaching then. In many of the revelations I have been reading, I have come across scripture like these:
Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;
D&C 59:2 and 23
For those that live shall inherit the earth, and those that die shall rest from all their labors, and their works shall follow them; and they shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father, which I have prepared for them.
But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.
And D&C 63: 1-5
1 Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you.
2 Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious;
Who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve;
4 Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell.
5 Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be obeyed.
These scriptures were in my normal scripture reading this week. This week while I am mourning the loss of my friend, my Father in Heaven is mindful of me and my sorrow. Reminding me in section 58 that I cannot behold the plan of God, I do not know what He is orchestrating our lives or the lives of my friends. But I can know that He is in charge, He has a plan, and He knows what He is doing. I can have faith in that, put it into my heart and prepare to receive the blessings He has waiting for me. Reminding me that my dear friend is alive. He is resting from his labors and the pains of mortality. He has performed the works of righteousness and will receive his reward in eternity. And reminding me that He willeth to take them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve. God is in charge. I need never doubt that. He decides who is appointed unto death and who will be preserved unto life. My dear friend lived and died great! He is brave and strong and sweet and righteous and fought his mortal fight. For all appearances, he came off conqueror against sin.
|copyright: Karen Larsen photography
My heart may hurt and grieve today. But I know in some future day, I will hold my friend again. And his giant frame will engulf mine as he hugs me, and then he’ll say, “Wake up, Carin. It’s Christmas!”