I have a remarkable story to share with you today. I hope that it inspires you as much as it inspired me. Since Joey’s death on Monday I’ve been particularly reflective about both the transitory and eternal nature of life. I’ve spent some extra time pondering heavenly things. You could say my heart has been turned a little more “outward and upward.”
Death has a way of putting things into fresh perspective. I miss my Joe! I’m doing pretty good until some little thing will catch me off guard emotionally. For example, this morning I found a clump of his hair in the hall corner. I picked it up and thought about all the thousands of times over the past 14 years I’ve grumbled and ranted about “all that hair everywhere” – how annoying it was to constantly vacuum the house, how much I hated finding hair all over my carpet and clothes. And now, here I was clasping that little wad of hair to my heart and sobbing because he’s gone to the crematory and that’s the “last bit of his hair left on earth I’ll ever touch again”.
Other than a few random emotional outbursts, I’ve really been OK. I’ve felt an overwhelming peace. I’ve been very moved by all of the amazing comments and messages I’ve received on the blog, social media accounts and even little notes on my doorstep. Thank you. I’m always going to miss that sweet furry boy, and so many people understand and have felt that loss. It’s going to take time to adjust to how empty and quiet my house feels. But, I know he’s happy and pain-free. And I wouldn’t trade my sorrow for never having known the joy.
“We can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.”
– Russell M. Nelson, The Doors of Death, April 1992
The scriptures and revelation – both ancient and modern – teach us that all things were created spiritually before they were created physically. Death is a separation of the spirit from the body. The body dies, but the spirit is eternal and cannot die – it continues to live. In our future, thanks to the great cleansing, healing and restoring power of Christ’s Atonement, the spirit will be reunited with its body as a perfect, glorified soul. Whether a soul be human or animal, the gospel applies.
Death is only a temporary condition. Life is eternal.
Since being featured on LDS Living, this post has enjoyed heavy traffic. To learn more about what the gospel teaches us regarding animals on earth and in the afterlife, here are some of my favorite resources:
- The Gospel and Animals – Ensign, Aug. 1972
- Man’s Dominion – Hugh W. Nibley, New Era, Jan. 1981
- Resurrection of Animals – A BYUI pdf document compiling lds quotes & doctrine
- Where Do Animals Fit In The Eternal Plan of Things? – Liahona, March 1979
- Do Animals Have Spirits? What Happens To Them After They Die? – Liahona March 2012
Don’t you LOVE that quote? Isn’t that the most beautiful thing to ponder? We are “the dust of eternity”. This is the full quote by LDS Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin:
We are sons and daughters of an immortal, loving, and all-powerful Father in Heaven. We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine.
No matter our age, circumstances, or abilities, each one of us can create something remarkable of his life.
– Joseph B. Wirthlin, The Abundant Life, April 2006 General Conference
With that in mind, here is the amazing and inspiring story I promised to share with you that illustrates, literally, the power and potential of each child of God to “create something remarkable” of our life.
Meet Sargy Mann
What will you create? – MoSop