This morning I attended the funeral service for my sister-in-law’s sweet mother. Karen passed away suddenly and her family deeply mourns her loss. But, through their tears is also an amazing strength of spirit and a “peace that surpasses all understanding”. Each of the siblings stood at the pulpit today and shared different tender and funny memories of their mother, but there was one repeated message that each shared; a solid assurance that this separation is only temporary and that they KNOW they WILL meet and be with their mother again.
These testimonies of Jesus Christ combined with the hope and assurance that He brings is a tremendous comfort.My sister-in-law stated, “I know that we will just resume our conversation right where we left off.” As I traveled to the funeral service my heart was heavy thinking about how this good family had to lose their beloved wife / mother / grandma right before Christmas. It seemed particularly sad and tragic. But, after the funeral as I traveled home, my heart felt light – joyful even – reflecting on what a unique blessing it actually can be to lose a loved one at this time of year. Christmas takes on an even deeper, more sacred meaning for this family now. It is precisely because of the birth of that Babe in Bethlehem – His subsequent life, sacrifice, death and resurrection – that the death of those we love is overcome. All is not lost! Doubt is cast out. Despair is softened. Death is only temporary. This is not the end, but only just another beginning.
All of us will rise again.
“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; …Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame” (Alma 11:42–44).
The “lively hope” we are given by the resurrection is our conviction that death is not the conclusion of our identity but merely a necessary step in the destined transition from mortality to immortality.
– Dallin H. Oaks, Resurrection, April 2000
The message of hope I felt at Karen’s funeral was emphasized in a beautifully powerful way later this very evening when Mr. Mo and I attended the annual Messiah Sing-In at Abravanel Hall in downtown Salt Lake City. This event has become a beloved tradition for us to start off the Christmas season singing Handel’s Messiah together.
Every song in Handel’s inspired oratorio bears witness of the incomparable Gift of Jesus Christ to all mankind. No matter how broken we become, he can repair us. No matter how much pain we suffer, He has suffered it. Despite the bitter cup of death we each must drink, He has provided the cure.
Since By Man Came Death, Even So, Shall All Be Made Alive!
Today Grandma Karen’s flesh was placed into a grave, but her spirit lives on. And, thanks to heaven’s grace – the Atonement of Jesus Christ – she WILL be made alive again in the flesh! What a profound, awesome, hopeful and joy filled message that is for the world! It makes me want to rejoice, sing praises and shout Hallelujah! – MoSop
DON’T MISS watching the stunning new docu-drama Handel’s Messiah produced by BYUTV, which is available to watch free online, filmed on-location inEurope. This film combines beautiful re-enactments of the story of the Messiah, with commentary by expert scholars and leading religious leaders, and performances by Choirs from around the world. This film is truly inspiring!