February 2010 some family friends lost their son. He had been serving a mission in Romania and he and his companion died in their sleep from a gas leak. It was devastating news for our small valley, for this family who have a young daughter with cancer and another with a mystery illness. But at the funeral there was a feeling of celebration of life and service!
The boys grandfather was described by a general authority as a spiritual giant, and after listening to him give the eulogy I have to agree. He talked about his grandson, his life, his growth as a missionary, his friends and goals. then he taught us about what this young man will be doing now as he continues to serve as a missionary in the next life. He taught us about the plan of salvation and the peace that should give should give us, the eternal nature of families if we live up to our covenants. He did a beautiful job and we were spiritually fed.
We had the privilege of listening to Elder Quentin L Cook, and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He told us that he knew of the suffering of our valley this last year, the loss of 2 young women in a car accident on the road to girls camp, the burning of our chapel and the loss of our place of worship. He talked also about the plant of salvation and taught us about the work of young elders who pass from this life. I had always been taught that when a missionary dies he will work as a missionary for eternity, that is his calling, but Elder Cook told us that this missionary as with all of us cannot be denied any blessing of God including marriage and family if we live worthy and are obedient. I found great comfort in that. I know that being a missionary is a fulfilling wonderful way of life but I also know how much having a companion and family mean to me, I couldn’t give that up. So to know that everyone who lives worthy will have those opportunities gives me a sense of relief and confirms to me that our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to be happy.
Elder Cook at the end of his talk bestowed upon our community an apostolic blessing. He blessed us with peace, with a rebirth, with the necessities of life, with the righteous desires of our hearts. I have never and probably will never again receive an apostolic blessing and took it selfishly to my own heart and situation. The words Elder Cook used were so similar to the words in my own prayers, the feelings of the spirit were so strong that I did feel peace and had many fewer tears in the days after as I prayed.
I hope for the best for this family, for our valley, but the blessings we all felt, the spirit we all felt at this funeral was such a comfort in the end. I hadn’t planned to attend, I hate funerals! But my daughters are friends with the other children of the family and wanted to be there and I needed to be there for my girls. After we returned home I considered what a blessing it is to have children who make you do things you don’t want to do! Think of all that I would have missed.