Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Instead, remember, remember the times you hugged sweet Jessica, and said, "I love you... I am proud of you....you are wonderful... nice job... it is so good to see you... hang in there...." Remember the notes and cards filled with words of hope and encouragement. Remember her beautiful smile that warmed your heart, and made you feed good to be her friend.
Miss no opportunitiy to hug those who are still with you. Tell them, "I love you.... thank you... you are are so important to me."
Jessica was preparing to receive her patriarchal blessing. I am sorry that I missed the opportunity to pronounce that blessing. I know it would have been filled with an assurance of how much her Heavenly Father loves her,a nd of her unlimited potential and abilities, and the admiration that others have for her. I testify that no blessing essential to her eternal life will be denied her, including temple ordinances, an eternal companion and an eternal family.
Before any of us knew Jessica her on her she lived as an "Unembodied Spirit" in a heavenly realm, with her loving Heavenly Parents, and with numberless people who loved her as we do.
Seventeen years ago, she made an "Informed Choice" to leave and to experience mortality, even knowing beforehand that she would face difficulties and challenges, but would have opportunity to obtain a physical body, and secure eternal blessings and endless association with all whom she loved.
After her departure, I am sure there was a gathting similar there to this, where a multitude share pleasant and tender memories, of times spent together, how they would miss her, and of their love for her. They sorrowed at her leaving, and looked forward to the time when they would again be reunited again.
At that same time here upon earth, loving parents, family, neighbors, and others gathered to welcome, to admire and to love that beautiful new baby, Jessica, now an "Embodied Spirit," and to provide tender and loving care for her.
Last Saturday, Jessica made an "Uniformed Choice" to leave. She still lives, now as a "Dis-Embodied Spirit." Now, we are the ones gathered to sorrow, to share loving memories, and to celebrate her life and the countless ways she blessed our lives. At this time, she is filled with joy as she is welcomed, with great rejoicing, be her beloved grandmother, Nelda, and countless others who love her, and will assist her in the glorious environment she will dwell, until her resurrection as a "Re-Embodied Spirit".
I testify that I Know, I Know, that we will again meet our beautiful Jessica, in a sweet and everlasting reunion, made possible by the tender mercies of our loving Father in Heaven and the infinite atoning sacrifice by His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in His Holy name. Amen
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
- Come where we are - - AND
- When you saw us, you had compassion on us.
- You have come unto us, binding up our wounds
- Pouring in the soothing, and healing oil and wine
- Setting our family upon your shoulders
- And taking care of us, offering to make us whole
- Adam, where art thou? (Gen 3:9) and
- Adam, where goest thou? (Mose 4:15)
Our Father in Heaven is more concerned about where you are now and where you are going. Don’t dwell on the past. Focus on where you are today and what direction you are headed. The greater measure of peace and understanding did not come to me until Wednesday while sitting in the Celestial Room with Elizabeth, and was reminded of this Anchor of Truth. “Dad, please remember where I am now, and where I am going.”
Anchor of Truth #2 Our Father in Heaven See’s Us as our Best Self:
- Peter called as an Apostle, he fell down at Jesus’ knees and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” But the Lord saw the leader in the fisherman, and called him to be a fisher of men.
- Thomas, the Apostle will be forever labeled as a doubter and one who questioned the reality of the resurrection, but when Jesus decided to return to Judea after his friend Lazarus died, his apostles warned him that he would be stoned, it was Thomas who stepped forward with faith and said, “Let us go, that we may die with him.”
- The Lord appeared to Anianias in a vision, and asked him to seek out a man named Saul. But Anianias said, “Lord I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem. But the Lord said unto him: Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me.”
- Zaccheus was a rich, short man, ex-communicated member of the church and a despised, hated chief tax collector, but he while traveling through Jericho (again the lowest city on earth, and the "low life" zaccheus), the multitude was too large for Zaccheus to see Jesus, so he climbs a sycamore tree. Jesus see’s this rich, short man, with great faith, purity and filled with philanthropy in a tree and invites him to come down, and that he must dine at Zaccheus’ home. Jesus then proclaims to Zaccheus, that “This Day Salvation has come unto thy house.”
How do we view ourselves? How do we view others? How does our Father in Heaven view us, and how does he view those around us?
Anchor of Truth #3.· Our Savior Weeps with Us, There is a Resurrection and the “If Onlys” questions do not matter…
Many of us have asked ourselves, “What could I have done differently for Jessica?” or we question ourselves and ask “If Only…” questions. Each of us must not get stuck in the what ifs, the if onlys, the could’ve, would’ve, and should’ves. Nor should any of us judge Jessica. If she were allowed to speak at her funeral, I am certain the first thing she would say is I made an awful mistake, and I know my Savior not only atoned for this mistake but he will make it alright for everyone affected by this choice.
Mary and Martha experienced an “If Only” moment in their lives, in a similar setting. In the 11th Chapter of John we learn that Jesus’ Friend, Lazarus is sick, and his sisters, Martha and Mary are desperate for the Savior to return and be with them.
When his disciples heard this news they said, “Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Jesus, we are told, loved Martha, and her Sister Mary and Lazarus, but Jesus stayed two additional days in the neighboring town, just less than two miles aways, before coming unto these dear friends he loved. During this time, the Jews comforted Martha and Mary concerning their brother.
As soon as Martha and Mary met the Savior they both asked, “If thou hast been here, my brother had not died.”Jesus saith unto Martha: “Thy brother shall rise again.” I picture the Savior saying to us today: “Jessica, thy sister, thy daughter, thy friend, thy grand-daughter, shall rise again.”
He then said unto Martha: ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live….”
Then in a very intimate and tender moment, with two grieving yet hopeful sisters, Jesus joins in mourning with these dear women, and groaned in the Spirit and was troubled, and the scriptures record, “Jesus Wept,” and the Jews, said, “Behold how he loved him.”So today, I picture our Savior groaning in spirit with us, being troubled with us, and weeping with us. I picture our Savior saying: “Behold how I loved Jessica.”
Thank you for reaching out to rescue us during this Jericho moment in our lives. I pray that we may all anchor our lives in the truth that Father in Heaven is concerned about where we are today and where we are going. I testify that he sees the very best in us and desires that we see ourselves and others as he sees us.
I testify that because of our Savior, there will be a glorious resurrection, he weeps with us, and we can be assured of His eternal love for Jessica, and his love for each and every one of us. I know through the promises of the sealing that Jessica will always be my daughter and I will always be her daddy, and that mine is the obligation to keep the sealing covenant I made, so that I am worthy of all the Father has, including his precious and cherished daughter, Jessica Laren Harris.