Friday, April 6, 2012

The Savior's Gift to Us

I'm pretty much living and breathing Easter this week, and that feels good. We are preparing and practicing for what promises to be a wonderful program Sunday in the young single adult congregation that my husband has the good fortune of leading. This carefully orchestrated blend of words and music will be presented to themselves, by themselves (or by a big number of them, anyway), and that's why it's going to be lovely. Simply because they are.

Last night, I had the narrators over for a practice and was so touched by the way they interpreted my poetry about Christ, His atonement, and the resurrection that I couldn't stop thinking about them after they went home. These are talented, remarkable women, and I am glad to know them. After rehearsing, the two of them joined a dozen or so of their peers around our kitchen table to discuss ways to minister to the 125 active members they serve in their capacity as ward leaders. What an amazing group of people they all are. We love them.

How grateful I am for the atonement of Christ, whose love for us is beyond imagining. Because of His sacrifice...His willingness to bear our griefs and carry our brother-in-law (who lost his father Monday morning and will eulogize him tomorrow) can know for a surety that death is but a temporary separation before that joyful day of reunion arrives.

Surely there can be no greater gift than this, and resurrection is only a culminating event of the Savior's offering. When we open our hearts, His saving grace reaches out to every one of every extremity we suffer...for there is nothing we can experience on this earth, no matter how painful, that He has not already experienced in our suffering so personal that He cannot extend the healing comfort of His perfect love and understanding.

Having completed Stephanie Nielson's book (Heaven is Here) yesterday, I decided to read a few reviews and see if others enjoyed it as much as I did. My interest captured, I wound up pouring over considerably more than a few, and nearly every one of them expressed in one form or another the belief that Stephanie's faith is what pulled her through one of the worst trials imaginable. I agree wholeheartedly with that conclusion, and I would suggest that her remarkable faith and healing is powered by the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I would also suggest that much of His work must be carried forward by us, for we are His hands here on earth, as I'm sure Stephanie can attest. She has felt God's sustaining hand through the hands of those who know and love her...and those who do not know, but love her.

May we all embrace the Savior's incomparable gift, and may we use it to fulfill His desires for us:

"For behold, this my work and my glory––to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Moses 1:39

The Savior's Art

©1999 by Susan Noyes Anderson, Awaken Your Spiritual Power, Karisma Press

If I accept His sacrifice divine,

Returning love for love as He has done;

If I forget myself and touch the one

Whose sorrows weigh as heavily as mine;

Then will I weave my thread in His design,

That great design the Master's hand has spun;

Wherein salvation through His blood is won,

And all are fed and nurtured on His vine.

If I reach out and calm a troubled heart,

Or let another heal the rift in me;

If, in distress, I take another's part,

As Jesus took mine at Gethsemane;

Then I embrace the Savior's loving art,

And honor Him throughout eternity.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me, ye can do nothing."
John 15:4

And isn't it wonderful?



anitamombanita said...

It is incomparable, isn't it? I'm sorry for your BIL's loss, but so grateful that we know what we do and that we have this incredible gift from our Savior. I know that your Easter program will be amazing! Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Ames said...

One thing that shines through the sorrow of the death of a loved one is the knowledge of being with that person again someday soon.

Your poem was lovely words and the music was perfect Sue! Have a blessed Easter.~Ames

yaya said...

Such a beautiful post. I love the poem and I love our Savior and all he has done for me. I went to a graveside service today and was reminded again that this life is so short and we will be together again because of our Savior's love. I would love to be in your ward this Sunday. I'm sure it will be very uplifting!

Stef said...

You are a blessing to them. And when it is about the Saviour, the Spirit can't stay away. I hope it turns out better than you can imagine!

momto8 said...

Beautiful. Thank you Jesus!
Happy Easter!

Darlene said...

I am still wishing that I could be there Sunday to listen to all the beautiful music and writing planned and worked out by you, my precious Sue. I know how much you have been working on this and I just know that it is going to be so very successful and everyone there will love it. That will make all the effort you put into it worthwhile.

I loved the poem too. This is such a beautiful time of the year when we can truly reflect on all that our Savior hss done for us. I have been uplifted many times this past week, just thinking about all of my blessings and knowing how very fortunate I am to reallly KNOW that I am a child of God. Easter is such a lovely time and I'm so sorry that Van had to leave us when we had to idea that his time here was ending so quickly. It wasn't terribly depressing though because we know it is all a part of the living and dying process. I can only say that when it is my time, I hope and pray that it will be quick so that I won't have to linger, suffer and be a big burden to anyone.
going quickly would be such a true blessing.

I love you so muvh, Sue. Your talent continues to amaze me. I can hardly wait until next month when you will be coming to stay for a few days. Time goes so fast, it surely will not be long.

Thanks for this beautiful post. It really put me in the right mood and I'm grateful for it.

Pondside said...

What an Easter celebration your congregation will have!
Your line "I would also suggest that much of His work must be carried forward by us, for we are His hands here on earth" is one I repeat and believe, in the words of Ste Theresa of Avila that are such a wonderful prayer.

Sue said...

Pondside: I have a post with a poem on that very subject. This is the url:


Lisalulu said...

thank you, that was a beautiful start to an Easter Weekend. I appreciate you sharing this!

Stacy Crawford said...

I love this!

Brian Miller said...

smiles...missed this one earlier this week...a poem perfect for today...I hope that you had a nice easter with your family...hope all went well today as well...

Grandma Honey said...

I read an excerpt from her book today and now I am so anxious to read it.

Caroline said...

Amen, Sue. These were wonderful reflections. I hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family.

Your friendship, in Christ, has been a blessing to me and I always enjoy your insight.

I have yet to read Stephanie's book, but I agree with you that her healing was powered by her faith in Christ and the prayers of those who love her.

Judi Kucera said...

Gosh, your blog is so awesome! I can't believe all the inspirational poems, and narrative... I am ashamed to even go back to mine!!
I so enjoy the beautiful music and all your very interesting photos and, well, just EVERYTHING! Very organized and professional... I can only dream of becoming a fraction of a blogger such as you. Thank you.

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