Sunday, February 22, 2009
Have you ever wanted to photograh something, but never been at the right place or the right time to do it? I have always been intrigued with Canadian geese - the way they fly in formation, The "honking" sound as they fly above, their wings so beautiful. I have always wanted to photograph them, and my results of earlier attempts were pitiful. Yesterday I was at the right time at the right place. I decided to get some exercise and sun (after about 6 weeks of fog) by taking a walk on the Centennial Trail, which parallels the Spokane River. I walked about a half hour from the trailhead, and then heard that familiar honking sound, very loud. I left the trail and walked down to the river in the direction of the noise, and found many geese, probably hundreds. I watched them for a little while and was intrigued. They were in groups and each would loudly announce their departure by honking, and then took off in flight. After all this time, finally, to witness this was very special and I got a few good images. And all I wanted on this walk, was just a little something to brighten my day. My prayer was heard, and I got a whole lot more.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Having some experience with death when our son Matthew passed on in June 2006, I just wanted to share my favorite quotes on death. These quotes were of great comfort to me then, and continue to be today.
Ezra Taft Benson, “Life Is Eternal,” Ensign, Aug 1991, 2
"Life is eternal. We are eternal beings. We lived as intelligent spirits before this mortal life. We are now living part of eternity. Our mortal birth was not the beginning. Death, which faces all of us, is not the end.
As we travel through this topsy-turvy, sinful world filled with temptations and problems, we are humbled by the expectancy of death, the uncertainty of life, and the power and love of God. Sadness comes to all of us in the loss of loved ones. But there is gratitude also—gratitude for the assurance we have that life is eternal; gratitude for the great gospel plan given freely to all of us; gratitude for the life, teachings, and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank God for the life and ministry of the Master, Jesus the Christ, who broke the bonds of death, who is the light and life of the world, who set the pattern, who established the guidelines for all of us, and who proclaimed: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26.)
There is the ever-present expectancy of death, but in reality there is no death—no permanent parting. The resurrection is a reality. The scriptures are replete with evidence. Almost immediately after the glorious resurrection of the Lord, Matthew records: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27:52–53.)
The spirit world is not far away. 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.
The prophet Brigham Young asked, “Where is the spirit world?” and then answered his own question:
“It is right here. … Do [spirits] go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:369.)
“When the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things . … If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:368.)
“Chapter 37: Understanding Death and Resurrection,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 273
"At the funeral services of Elder Thomas Williams on 13 July 1874, President Brigham Young spoke on the subject of death: “What a dark valley and a shadow it is that we call death! To pass from this state of existence as far as the mortal body is concerned, into a state of inanition [emptiness], how strange it is! How dark this valley is! How mysterious is this road, and we have got to travel it alone. I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn round and look about upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence, where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my heavenly Father, by the power of his Spirit. I want to say to my friends, if you will live your religion, live so as to be full of the faith of God, that the light of eternity will shine upon you, you can see and understand these things for yourselves” (DNSW, 28 July 1874, 1).
I am filled with gratitude to know that our Heavenly Father loves us SO much, that he has placed prophets here on earth to give us knowledge and guidance. He also blesses us with the Holy Ghost which can teach us things of the spirit. "REJOICE!" That is what the spirit has taught me. We should not fear death, but look forward to it with gladness.