I am supposed to be completing a letter to send off to my mother. There is not really much tonight I want to write. There is a bit of a reflecting mood in the air and I thought I would write a few thoughts in relation to it.
This week has been one of particular interest to me. We have moved into a new apartment and have downsized when it comes to sleeping space. We emigrated from a queen to a full. My feet hang over the end by a full 4-6 inches and I find myself sleeping way too close to the uber-radiator that occupies the other spot in the bed. I naturally move like a rotisserie in the night. Somehow though with the feet hanging over the end of the bed it seems the blankets want to catch on the feet that spin. Inevitably, I wake up every 4 hours at least because I have quit turning. I have to remove my feet from the tangled mess in the end, flatten and smooth things out some, and then start over. The good change up is that instead of regularly having to tuck in the sheets, with queen sheets on a full bed they never come untucked!
I like to sleep in a cool room. The head stays cool but yet the bed warms up and prepares a sort of cocoon which is highly preferred by me. However, the cold cannot come into contact with the rest of my body. The leakage of cool air into my blissful state only can be tolerated for so long before I wake in a form of disgust that the elements could be so cruel. The leaks are usually caused by one of two situations. 1) I have slid down into the bed some and the overhang of my feet over the end require double sheet length to cover. Only a few more inches are given until the shortage quickly becomes apparent at the top of the bed. 2) Amanda and I both turn on our sides opening a tent-like edifice between us. Warm air must be trapped or it flees, which it always does in this situation.
The third situation is the most unfortunate. I can do much myself to prepare against the mentioned issues. The last is not easily resolved. Amanda due to some phenomenon unknown can close her eyes and her body temperature immediately jumps 14.4 degrees Celsius. Just like their counterpart in space, female solar flares fly through space and wreak havoc on all bodies they come in contact with. Unlike male energy fields which remain close to their source, sometimes with small hints of lunch floating, the female energy flares and seeks to travel elsewhere. Accordingly, I not only fight the blanket monster attacking my feet, the tentacles of frigidity, but I have to combat the forces of burning radiation. Only distance can tame this monster and that simply is not available in our lives at this moment. So after several hours of a valiant fight, I crawl out of bed early in the morning to find refuge elsewhere. I often find myself sitting in the living room thinking about things and watching the sunrise.
There is something about the early morning hours which seem to naturally draw a man to prayer. I remember being out in the field moving water lines and feeling the dew settle. The world goes suddenly silent and it is as if the world holds its breath. There is almost a switch that flips when you recognize it is no longer night but is now day. The nocturnal world seeks its rest to prepare for the day and the rest look with hope to the east. Invariably I found myself looking to the east as well and yearning for what the light would bring. Somehow I think it is much the same spiritually. I find myself looking to the Son and yearning for what light they day will bring.
Some mornings I read, others I ponder, others I just pray. Two or three mornings this week, particularly in prayer I received answers. One concerning an individual whom I had been asked to consider what calling should be given. Another answer came in relation to my own personal life. Answers so distinct that I can tell you the very moment they are whispered.
What a strange thing it is. At night I feel I just want to collapse and move into slumber. But in the morning as my body awakens I nearly always feel the urge to pray. There are times I don’t but when I do there is great power. The more often I do, the more I recognize the solace that comes in having communed with heaven.
I sat with the missionaries in a discussion this week. At a point in the conversation the Elder made a comment along the lines of, “Then you will come to know God exists.” The thought struck me so hard my bosom shuttered. Where would I be if I had to have someone try to convince me God exists? There is not any question in my mind of the existence of God. Did this Elder really have to condescend to such a state as to try and convince someone just that God may exist or may be interested in our lives? What does this say of this man? What does it say of his parents? What does it say of any religion he did have? What does it say of his community as a child and now?
Thank God there is no doubt or even discussion over the existence of God in our religion. The question is not if He exists. The question is not who is and who isn’t saved. The question is not which church is God’s. The question has nothing to do with doctrine. The question we find our lives centering around on a daily basis as Latter-day Saints is what would God have me do today? It is like the barking of dogs at us with these other religions. They don’t have anything to even entice us away. Our foundation and strength is so strong that those who are reared on that foundation are sure. That foundation is continuous revelation. That foundation is a daily walk with God. It is when our communications disappear or disabled that we find our distance growing. It is those who sever themselves enough that end up in forbidden paths or open rebellion.
Those who follow the path of prayer will find themselves full of the gifts of heaven. They find themselves full of love and character to give. They find their lives led and directed by heaven. They find their lives full of the greatest of blessings.
I wanted to share a couple of my dearest blessings. First my testimony of heaven and eternity. It is sweet and beautiful to me. There is no way I could ever designate what has been given to me anything other than a gift. It is a gift of heaven which has been given with little or no effort on my part. I know certain things I have done which have enabled or opened doors and literally there has not been room enough to receive it all. I have entertained my own deceased relatives, received ministrations from angels, and gazed upon the thrones of heaven. There have been entrances given into the past, comprehension of places, and experiences with unexplained. The Priesthood, the Gospel, the Plan, and the Atonement are all present in their fulness for our day. The question of the existence of eternal things isn’t even an option.
The next greatest blessing is my family. My wife is ever patient and full of that look in her eyes which is only love. Her hugs, her kisses, and her heart are dear to me and freely offered. The companionship and connection that is present is a gift and comes from no other source. Two hearts could not communicate the way ours does without the aid of beyond. It binds us and holds us together despite the fact we are mortals in a broken world. The same goes for the rest of family. Only the gift and love of above could allow individuals who are willing to heed to so freely communicate and connect despite the separation of time, distance, and death. What is even more remarkable is how people fall in and out of communication of heaven and in a sense fall in and out of their full family fellowship. I see how family members come back in spurts and full of hope and joy and then fall back out again. But while they are in fellowship with the spirit they find themselves relinking to the whole family while out of fellowship the shun and avoid, demean and destroy.
What other blessings there are I do not know. Life and health are only temporary concerns. All other aspects seem so small and insignificant. But the testimony and family we have are the only things I know which will continue with us for eternity.
That is some of what I have contemplated in those early hours this week. There is definitely more which pertains more to this earthly existence. Just as important as those gifts and blessings is how I walk in accordance with that which makes those available. Trying to figure out to help someone, coming to interpret my thoughts and feelings on subjects, and how to make a difference.
Particularly this week has been the poignant thought of President Hinckley. What is his life? What has he given it to? What is he doing now? What will I be doing at 97? What would he really want for his birthday? What is that which is important to him? I really don’t think a building at BYU named after him is what he really cares about. I don’t think his turning another year holds much significance. What is significant to him is serving and helping others. What holds importance to him is keeping in contact with the divine and acting upon it. What is important to him is his gifts. The gift of God, the gift of Heaven, the gift of Love, the gift of Spirit, the gift of Family are all his most prized gifts.
What really is it to say to someone ‘Happy Birthday’? It is to focus on another step of mortality. What really is important is to daily look to the east and say ‘Happy Day’ and get back to work, the required occupation of life. So President Hinckley, Happy Day!