Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whatsoever Things Are Lovely...


I mentioned last week that our good friend passed away, and though I didn't take any photos of his funeral, my mind took some beautiful pictures and my ears heard several stories that will always be with me. I'd like to share one of them with you this morning.

I know I am not unusual in having a ward family that looks after one another, yet the level of caring and compassion never fails to amaze me. On the last Sunday of a great man's life, the high priests in our congregation were just beginning their quorum lesson when the teacher was inspired that the entire group should leave the church building, drive over to our friend's house, and give him the sacrament. They did so, and about fifteen men arrived at the door to provide that service. They were ushered into the room where their fellow quorum member lay in a weakened state, and they gently assisted him in partaking of the sacrament a final time before leaving this earth. Afterward, they stood around the bed and spontaneously sang his favorite hymn, "O My Father." I am told that our friend was clearly moved, but no more so than his wife, who says she will never forget the spirit of love that filled the room. Needless to say, my husband will regret forever that his attendance at the singles ward precluded his being there for such a beautiful moment. An interesting aside is that a neighbor who is not a member of our church heard the music through an open window and was deeply moved by the sound of male voices singing so tenderly to their brother in the gospel. She felt the spirit of that loving encounter in her own heart and could not believe how many men had come to offer gentle comfort in such a way.

Music is one of the most powerful, uplifting forces in the world. Used in its purest form, this divine medium can ennoble, move, comfort, delight, embrace, energize, and heal us. I spent most of yesterday writing an Easter program for our singles ward, and my internet search for those sacred strains that might bring my words to life was good medicine for a grieving soul. Listening to mp3's of hymns devoted to the Savior and His ministry of service and sacrifice filled every empty space in my heart with joy, reverence, and gratitude. A deepened awareness of the magnitude of Christ's suffering and the glory of His resurrection brought me that peace which passeth all understanding, and music was the conduit.

"...and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall be in your minds and hearts through Christ Jesus. Finally...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:7-8).

Today I am thinking about music, and dear friends, and eternity.
And somehow, all is well.

18 comments:

BEAR's Mom said...

Sue this is a moving post...
I will be visiting the LDS
church with a co-worker next
Sunday and I am truly looking
forward to it.
~victoria~

Sue said...

That's great to hear, Victoria. Hope you enjoy yourself!

=)

Brian Miller said...

i agree on music...and i know that it was a powerful moment there singing around the bed... abeautiful thing indeed....

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

A wonderful post. This was a special moment.
Dana

Stacy Crawford said...

I love the all is well feeling. I hope you keep it for awhile!

Joy For Your Journey said...

That was so beautiful and tender and sweet. I loved it. How wonderful for all those men that the teacher followed the Spirit and they all went over to visit their friend. What a great lesson that is for me. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Splendid Little Stars said...

such a lovely, beautiful, blessing-filled thing to do!

karen said...

This would have been a beautiful story to hear about the sisters performing some kind of service, but to hear that the men did something so sweet and tender just brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure your friend appreciated it more than you'll ever know.
I'm glad you're feeling that all is well. It certainly helps when you're grieving.

yaya said...

I'm always amazed at the inspiration we can receive. How great that they did that final service. I remember standing by my Mother-in-laws bedside in ICU and hearing a family singing hymns to their dying family member next door to her room. When my Father-in-law was in the hospital the overhead speakers always played hymns every night at 8pm. It was very moving to feel the Spirit through music in a place other than Church.

Julie said...

Moments like that are FOREVER remembered. I am SO grateful for those who have reached out to my loved ones in a similar manner before they passed away. Beautiful beautiful memories.

Dixie Mom said...

Oh Sue, that is the sweetest story. What a gift and a blessing those men brought to your friend...and in return, a memory they will never forget. I'm so grateful to be associated with men who are in tune and who faithfully carry their Priesthood. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

RobinfromCA said...

The verse you wrote for Dave's funeral was so beautiful. Ray couldn't be there so to tell him what the sentiment of every talk was I read him your words. You were truly inspired.

Darlene said...

I do so agree with you on music. I especially love men's voices so I can just imagine how their neighbor enjoyed hearing those voices from her window.

It is so neat that they went in force to see Dave on Sunday and I can just imagine how sad our Dave was to find out they went and that he couldn't be there. What inspiration that really was. I loved hearing that.

I thought the program you were writing for Easter was for your ward. We seriously considered coming until I read that it was for Dave's singles ward. That wouldn't be so right for us to go to that, so guess that trip is off. Dick just remarked that he guessed he'd have to stay around and sing with our ward choir.

anitamombanita said...

Not much I can say. That brought tears to my eyes. I am holding on to the wonderful feelings I had at the service. What a great man. What a great outpouring of love.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Wow. What a touching act of service. Small and simple things can mean so much.

Grandma Honey said...

I am thankful I waited until I had time to myself today to read this. Thank you so much for sharing it. I can imagine the sweetness that filled your friend's home because of the goodness of 15 men.

Anna M said...

music along with well-thought words can touch all souls. As I feel this post has done for me.

Mwah!

Fiauna said...

Sue, I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this experience to allow the rest of us to see the beauty in the pain. I agree, music, especially hymns, is a gift to help lift us and carry us through life's experiences good and bad. A song sung in celebration can also sustain one who is suffering through a trial. So many times in my life, during a time of struggle, a song simply sung in my mind has carried me.

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