Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Testimony of Mortality

Throughout my life I've wondered what was so special about mortality. What was it that we could accomplish here that we were unable to accomplish in the premortal realms with our Heavenly Father?

I think I am finally starting to understand. Recent events in my life are teaching me.

Dealing with death, in the vaccum without perfect knowledge of the eternities, is a challenge of seperation we didn't deal with in premortality. Keryn's dad died on Memorial Day of this year. We miss him dearly and long for his advice as we face our more recent challenges.

Dealing with physical bodies that break down is the other challenge unique to our earth life. We don't have any evidence that our spirit bodies before birth had to endure illness and decay. It seems those things all started with the Fall of Adam. You don't need to look far to find people battling various forms of illness. In our own family in the past two weeks (including in-laws) we've had a diagnosis of spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, pneumonia (as a follow on from a possible West Nile Virus infection), and a severely infected appendix that had to be removed. Four major illnesses across just three households. When lightning strikes...

It is fair to say that our family has been reeling a bit over the past couple of weeks. We seem to be experiencing the full buffetings of mortality available outside a war zone. And yet, in spite of all the tears we've shed, I must admit that I feel stronger now than I've ever been. I believe that God is lifting us and strengthing us. I believe that my trials, as small as they've been over the last decade, have made me into a much better person than I was before. I have faith that the trials that lie directly ahead will make me even stronger.

So it is that I'm gaining a testimony of the unique place of mortality in the eternities. I'm seeing the growing I've been able to do in such a short time and I'm grateful for it.

I rarely feel compelled to stand and bear my testimony during a fast meeting, but this month I did. The testimony that I bore consisted of the things I've just written. I had many people come up to me afterwards and tell me that those words had been very meaningful to them. One sister said that she, too, was grateful for her earthly trials, though she wasn't yet to the point where she prayed for them. I think I can concur with that sentiment!

I thank God for the glorious plan of salvation, that includes the resurrection and perfection of our bodies. And in the meantime, I praise Him for the priviledge to learn in the "space granted" where we might "prepare to meet God."


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  • Thank you for sharing this. I can relate to some of this struggle of coming to grips with mortality. Elder Bateman gave a great talk that touched on some of this, too. Maybe I will pass along the link if I can find it.

    By Blogger m_and_m, at 9/05/2006 10:08 PM  

  • I thought you might be interested in this from Elder Bateman's talk.

    "The strength of the physical body peaks near 30 years of age. It is well documented that muscular strength in both males and females begins a long descent after 30 as the body slowly deteriorates until death occurs....

    "Why the long, slow decline? Are there lessons to be learned? The answer is yes! The mind and spirit are taught many lessons. One of the first, as you start down the hill, is that you learn that you are mortal!...As one experiences the downhill portion of later life, the inevitable aches and pains serve an important purpose. They help one put off King Benjamin’s “natural man [or woman]” as we learn to yield to the “enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19). The aches and pains of later life teach humility, the meaning of long-suffering, the importance of patience, and an appreciation for the qualities of kindness and love, and they help one learn moderation in all things. It’s interesting. These are the divine attributes. For the faithful, the slow deterioration of the body serves as a refining instrument for the spirit."

    By Blogger m_and_m, at 9/05/2006 10:43 PM  

  • I hope everything works out for you. I also hope we can learn in ways other than trials.

    Thanks for your testimony

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 9/06/2006 5:50 AM  

  • Thanks for this post.

    By Blogger Scott Hinrichs, at 9/07/2006 7:15 AM  

  • Thank you for the lovely post. I'm so very sorry for the pain you and your family are going through, and will include you in my prayers tonight...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/07/2006 11:10 PM  

  • Sorry if what I posted wasn't really relevant. I hadn't read your others posts to get the big picture of what is going on in your life. Blessings to you.

    By Blogger m_and_m, at 9/10/2006 12:17 AM  

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