Sunday, June 26, 2011

I See... Children of God from Beginning to End

A child of God. I saw him race through the hallways of the chapel on a sunny, beautiful Saturday morning, bursting with playful promise. I knew him from birth and his parents a lot longer than that. This was his baptism; he and his parents had been waiting eight years for this moment. His future of accountability and stewardship before God started today, and I was honored to be invited to be a part of it. After his father confirmed him, I instinctively rubbed his blond little head and heartily shook his new member hand to offer congratulations, then returned to my seat near the back. As we sang the closing song, “I am a Child of God,” I thought long to myself, “Yes, he is. There goes a child of God with a bright future.”

Another child of God. Later that same Saturday afternoon, storm clouds had rolled in, casting a cool pale over the church parking lot. The comforting grey skies enveloped a small cadre of family and friends anxious to mourn her loss. I had only known her in twilight times as her priesthood leader years ago. She looked peaceful and content resting in the casket gracefully and appropriately placed for viewing in the Relief Society room- the same room in the same chapel on the same day of the baptismal service. She had lived a full and fancy life for decades as a proper schoolteacher, a Daughter of the American Revolution, and a mother of three. I learned from our bishop's tender remarks in the chapel service on the plan of salvation and the gift of the resurrection that funerals such as this are for the living, not the dead. This service gave her family and other loved ones an opportunity to deeply mourn her loss, and her bishop the chance to offer hope from the pulpit that she is now free from earthly cares and sorrows in the Spirit World. As we sang the closing song again, “I am a Child of God,” I thought long to myself, “Yes, she is. There goes a child of God with a bright future,”

Two children of God could be found today at different points on the same path home to our Heavenly Father; a bold beginning and an earthly ending. God is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Both of these children started passage today on the path to eternal life. Where do we stand?

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