This was a very unusual week for me. During a four generation family reunion (our family is small, so that meant only 10 people) we had a wonderful time seeing a musical, having a party to welcome, Micah, our newest grandchild, having a family portrait taken in the Provo temple gardens, and hiking up the canyon to Bridal Veil falls.
However, the week was also punctuated by three happenings of eternal importance: a baby blessing, a temple wedding, and a funeral marking the passing of a wonderful daughter of our heavenly parents.
A friend of mine has sketched for me a picture which I keep next to that of my oldest grandson. It depicts the scarred hand of our Savior holding out one finger which is held in the fist of a newborn. I call it “good-bye.” Our new grandson, Micah, recently left the Savior and our Heavenly Father to sojourn on the earth as Micah Welling Bailey. He has taken that necessary leap of faith in the Plan of Salvation. We hope to love him, teach him, catch him when he falls, and eventually prepare him to go on without us.
One of my best friends invited me to the sealing of her eldest daughter in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. It was my friend’s first child to be married. As I sat in that beautiful sealing room, I thought of all the generations of people that had created children through their love, resulting in a new couple: Cassi and David. They looked across at each other over that holy altar, making promises that would enable them to reach the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom if they prove worthy through the tests and trials ahead. Our temple covenants and marriage are the greatest stepping stones of all in this portion of our eternal progression.
Another of my best friends arranged a celebration of the departure of her mother into the next world to be met by the Savior. This woman had had a terribly difficult life, and my friend felt a peace and joy she had never known that at last her parent would be free of all the trials and challenges that had marked her path in this mortal realm.
My mother-in-law is an 87 year old staunch Methodist preacher. After our photographic outing at the temple, I sensed her unspoken desire to know what went on inside. Taking a piece of paper, I drew a rough diagram of the Plan of Salvation, explaining it as carefully as I could. She understood and believed every step. Her response was one I never expected. She said indignantly, “I have been a Methodist all my life, and no one has ever taught me this! Why don’t the Methodists teach us this? Why do you know it and I never have?”
I explained about the Book of Mormon being a perfect translation, one that recorded many things left out of the Bible she knows so well. That she understood as well.
As all of these happenings have been occurring in the midst of a baby’s cries and smiles, a great grandmother’s loving embraces, a four year old’s reinactment of the great galactic battles of Star Wars, and the preparation of many meals, we have been taught about life by the living of it. There were no trumpets marking these special events. But there was a calm and beautiful spirit that reassured us we were on the right track.
How grateful I am for the milestones achieved this week and for all of those still to come that will lead us back to our Savior’s loving embrace. And as my husband and I tackled the long-range plan of going on a mission tonight at family council, how grateful I am for the work I can do to bring more people into the light of the Gospel and the overarching doctrine of the Atonement of Christ.