Monday, April 19, 2010

Oh, That I Were an Angel: A Spirit-Soaring Sunday



I had one of those exquisitely beautiful experiences yesterday, the kind no post could possibly describe. (Being a literary masochist of the first order, I have decided to try anyway.)

It was the missionary farewell of two young women who belong to a good friend of mine. They are twins, and I can't help remembering what a lively pair they were as young children, running harum scarum through their mother's world and requiring a great deal of extra effort and patience on her part. Frankly, we were all in awe of my friend's stamina in those early years, along with her loving determination.

As the girls matured, eventually entering the Young Women program of our church, it became evident that all of her hard work (and theirs) had paid off in spades. The two of them were lovely in every way. What's more, they were good examples. Active and involved at school and in the community, the popular pair influenced more people than they probably knew...individuals of all ages who admired them not only for their beliefs but for their willingness to share and live by them.

Standing at the podium yesterday, bearing testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they were as lovely as ever. In fact, they were beyond lovely. Glowing with the spirit, expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to serve as His emissaries in Scotland and England respectively, these two beautiful young women were nothing short of glorious. They literally shone with love and enthusiasm, and it was a joy to be in the room and hear them bear witness of Jesus Christ and their call to serve Him.

There may have been a dry eye somewhere in the house, but I wouldn't want to bet my life on it. What a gratifying (and unifying) experience it is for a ward to send out missionaries who are so well prepared to preach the gospel. And our ward was privileged to welcome one home yesterday as well, a handsome young man who had grown and matured so much it was hard to stop smiling as he spoke (with a slight but easily discernible accent) of his experiences in Argentina. What a trio they made!

Looking at all three of them up there, the thought entered my mind that anyone visiting our church for the first time would have the impression that all of our children must be drop-dead gorgeous. For a moment, I chided myself for being so superficial as to notice their outward appearance, but then I realized that (despite their very real good looks) it was not the outward appearance I was seeing. The beauty that emanated from them was of an entirely spiritual nature; they had received Christ's image in their countenances.

The girls' dearest friend played a piano solo of "Be Still My Soul," their favorite hymn. It moved first one and then the other to tears, and I cried with them. We all did...our newly softened hearts conjoined in love and faith.

I had one of those exquisitely beautiful experiences yesterday, the kind no post could possibly describe...

17 comments:

jen said...

I laughed out loud and startled Eve when I read "literary masochist."
That being said, I loved this post. Since Tucker's only weeks away from graduation, missions loom ever closer (still a year away, thank goodness. I've had enough lately, don't you think?), and these dear missionaries touch my heart in a new and startlingly tender way.

Cherie said...

Those are the best Sundays!
This sounds so neat...Twin girls off on their mission.
You sound like you have been in your ward a long time - we have too and I think it is an extra blessing when you CAN remember kids being born, being young, watching them grow up and then reaching this point - ready to go off and preach the Gospel in another country with confidence.
I also like seeing the "kids" come home. It always amazed me how much they mature!
Oh how grateful I am for the Missionary Program in our church!

karen said...

I love Sunday meetings that have a spirit like the one you're describing, and it is hard to explain the feeling - possibly because its so individual to each person. I love missionaries - ones going, ones coming home, the ones I see out in the field where I live or work. I was always so grateful at the kindness shown to my boys, and I try to do the same for someone else's boy.

Together We Save said...

Wonderful picture!

Momza said...

My favorite kind of meetings...wish I had been there!

Mumsy said...

Thank you, for the kind words about me you posted on Maggie's Blogazine. I am just a plain, ordinary woman with gifts and abilities God has given me to do what I have done. I am his hands and feet is all I am or ever will be.

I have just become one of blog followers and I am looking forward to getting to know you.

Hugs!

VK said...

Those two are going to be amazing missionaries, and grow in ways (separate from each other) that they never imagined.
I just know them from girls camp and have also witnesses a good friend (boy) of my daughters being influenced by them in a positive example they set.
Thanks for sharing.

honeysuckle said...

It sounds like a wonderful Sunday. Were those Cary's daughters by qny chance? It is so fun to connect with you again. Thanks for coming by my little part of the world!

Michelle said...

I love Sundays like that! And I think you did a pretty good job describing it.

Katie Blacker said...

some Sundays are just amazing. leaves my cup overflowing. Sounds amazing.

Roy Avondet said...

I remember the girls - so sweet, young and lively. Wonderful to hear they are heading out to serve and are still sweet and true. Also, Cody! Amazing to think he is back home. Time flies by so swiftly, especially when we are detached from the day to day activity. Thanks for sharing that Sunday. My soul is smiling.

Karen said...

We had the same experience with a handsome young man headed to the Phillipines...such a wonderful talk and great Spirit, I felt bad for the high council man who followed him.

Yeah for missionaries!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

It sounds like a lovely Sunday. I agree with you about beauty coming from a heart that belongs to Christ. It's amazing how you can see the light of the Holy Spirit shine in people.

KC Mom said...

I just love our missionaries throughout the world. They inspire me.
What a wonderful experience!!

Darlene said...

I love missionary farewells and homecomings. We just had one of each just weeks apart and I watched both of those wonderful boys growing up. Tears flowed at both of them.

Joy For Your Journey said...

I am so glad you took the time to put your experience into words! What a wonderful meeting you must have had. And I have to admit I am a bit jealous of your friend sending off two missionaries. I have one son who served but four daughters who have not been interested--despite all my proddings. :-)

Amy said...

What a sweet experience. Missions are life changing, I wish I could have been there. More so, I think I will be very happy when my children are old enough to pay attention during Sacrament Meeting so I can actually get something out of it again. That being said, I am not wishing for that day to come quickly as I don't want my children to grow up at all.

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