Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Covenants in Action

Sometime last week, my sweet sister in law and I were walking into Joann's Fabrics to look for Christmas fabric for stockings. We literally stepped through the door, less than 60 seconds in, and a sweet older woman stops her to talk to her adorable 4 month old. Does the normal baby talk and asks a few questions about him. When she asked his name and my sister in law said Chuck, she was taken aback and said oh like Charles? And she said yes, and then the woman proceeded to tell us about her husband, Charles, who died of cancer 4 years previous, and the 18 months to live they were given turned into 3 weeks, and holidays are very rough and she still has a hard time understanding why her sweet husband was taken when all these horrible people walk the earth. Man, talk about a heavy passerby conversation. BUT, my incredible sister in law, Madison, asked this woman, Bonnie, if she was religious. I cringed, way to be forward. //I have also never served a mission and never had to be forward, Madison has, and she rocks it// Bonnie says yes, she believes in God, etc. And Madison says ok good. And then bears her testimony and belief that there was work for this woman's husband in the next life, and that is why God took him from here and left her. And Bonnie still has work to do here and thats why she's still around. But, Madison said, I KNOW you will see your husband again someday and you will work with him side by side in the next life. I was choked up then, and again now typing this. This woman was crying and said do you really believe that? Madison proceeded to invite her to Thanksgiving dinner since Bonnie was alone, who insisted she couldn't possibly intrude, but she told me she was so touched by our kindness, and invitation and she would be able to get through.

Sorry for the detail. I hadn't planned on typing all that. Jump to this past Sunday.

I'm laying around since church doesn't start until noon and my father in law is getting breakfast ready and gets a call. One of the sweetest old men in our Ward [congregation] was found dead that morning and his wife found him, and an ambulance was on the way, and FYI, etc etc. And I watched him jump in to Bishop mode //He recently got called as the Bishop of the Ward here; think like a pastor over a congregation// He started making calls to find someone to go over to the house to sit with this poor widow and help her with whatever she needs. Then he has a meeting prior to church so he's got to get someone to jump in on that so he can also run over to the house and check on things. And between calls, he stops for a second over his breakfast and his eyes well up with tears. He took a deep breath and dials the next number and goes back into work mode. As the news spread, it was amazing to hear in the prayers, pretty much every prayer, asking for blessings and love and comfort for this family.

These two things happened within days of each other and it got me thinking of a scripture in the Book of Mormon. This will also take a little set up. If you've gotten this far, you can do it. I promise I have a point.

In the Book of Mormon there is a prophet preaching to an evil king and his wicked priests. But one of the priests [Alma] isn't so wicked and believes the prophet. He professes this and the other guys try to kill him so he runs off and takes a lot of people from the "kingdom" that also believe to a safe place in the wilderness. So they're hiding out in the wilderness and he's teaching them the words of this [amazing] prophet, Abinidi. And he starts talking about being baptized, and what being baptized means. More than a one time thing, professing Christ is your Savior, and you're saved, but the things you're agreeing to do and be when you are baptized. And that's what I'm getting to. Here are the words.

Mosiah 18:8-10

8. And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for this were they called) and now, as ye are desirers to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
9. Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God [...]
10. Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

Lots of words. But some super awesome good ones full of goodness. Gosh, I love the Book of Mormon. Anyways, the part that jumped into my mind as I sat through church on Sunday and all these things were on my mind, was the bear one another's burdens, willing to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those in need of comfort, and stand as a witness at all times and in all things, even in the aisle of Joann's.

I LOVED seeing these incredible examples in my life this week, of the baptismal covenants in action. Sometimes we forget what we have promised when we were baptized. But this was a lovely reminder to me, that we need to reach out to those around us, whether complete strangers who are having a hard time, you *never* know. I will never forget sweet Bonnie Cobb of Barboursville, WV and her story we were a part of for a few minutes. And I will never forget the look on my father in law's face as he felt and mourned with this new widow and called on many others to go and comfort, and bear burdens and mourn. It was absolutely beautiful and it makes me so proud to call myself a Mormon and a part of this amazing community of Saints in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

#LightTheWorld #ShareGoodness #ImAMormon

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