Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Some Day

I am kind of speechless. This is my grandma and grandpa. Aren't they beautiful? <3

My grandma took her life the year before I was born. She had a number of health complications, women problems, and in trying to help her get better the doctors only made things worse--much worse. Little do most of us know--our security even in health was paid for by my grandma and countless other 'experiments', if you will. The therapeutic remedies, however primitive, were given with the best of intentions, I believe, though they took their toll--not just on her but the entire family. My mom has a difficult time speaking about it, and why bring up something so painful? She loves her very much though. So does my grandpa.

As a young girl I remember always responding to the question "Who would you most like to meet from the past?" with the same answer: "My grandma". I mentioned her in my prayers on countless occasions. I like to believe that I spent the the year before my birth in heaven, with her--learning from her while preparing for my own journey on earth. How grateful I am for the person she was and is.

As a young girl in primary I sang a song about living in heaven with people I love before coming to earth. It goes like this:

"I lived in heaven a long time ago it is true; lived there and loved there with people I know. So did you. Then Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan, all about earth and eternal salvation for man.

"Jesus was chosen, and as the Messiah he came, conquering evil and death through his glorious name, giving us hope of a wonderful life yet to be--home in that heaven where Father is waiting for me.

"Father said he needed someone who had enough love to give his life so we all could return there above. There was another who sought for the honor divine. Jesus said, 'Father, send me, and the glory be thine.'"

I love the song. I love all of the Primary Children's songs, really. I loved singing time in Primary. I sang loud and clear in my best voice that choir training hadn't yet subdued to conformity. The choristers were wonderful. I love the peaceful feeling that comes when I sing and/or read the songs. I love it so much! If I could change one thing it would be the context. I would add the context to the songs. 

The "Book of Mormon Stories" song, for example, includes the scriptural context:

  1. 1. Book of Mormon stories that my teacher tells to me
    Are about the Lamanites in ancient history.
    Long ago their fathers came from far across the sea,
    Giv'n the land if they lived righteously.
  2. 2. Lamanites met others who were seeking liberty,
    And the land soon welcomed all who wanted to be free.
    Book of Mormon stories say that we must brothers be,
    Giv'n the land if we live righteously.
  3. Optional verses for "Book of Mormon Stories":
  4. 3. Alma was rebellious, and he fought against the right.
    Then one day an angel came to turn him to the light.
    Struck before his brethren, Alma learned humility.
    Then he taught in the land righteously.
  5. 4. Don't forget Abinadi, who stood before the king.
    All chained up from head to toe, the gospel he did bring.
    If he would deny it, then the king would set him free.
    He was true, and he died righteously.
  6. 5. Ammon was a missionary serving Lamanites,
    Tending King Lamoni's sheep for several days and nights.
    Robbers came; he saved the sheep by fighting fearlessly.
    He had learned he could live righteously.
  7. 6. Once two thousand sons of God were called to fight the foe.
    Marching as an army into battle they did go.
    They believed that Christ the Lord their guardian would be.
    They had learned they should live righteously.
  8. 7. Samuel the Lamanite, high on the city wall,
    Came to warn the people, and repentance was his call.
    Arrows could not hit him, for a man of God was he,
    And he taught in the land righteously.
  9. 8. After Christ was crucified and died for you and me,
    He came forth to teach the truth to all who would be free.
    Hands were laid upon each child. He blessed them tenderly,
    And they lived in the land righteously.
There are many ways to add the inherent context. That was just one example. I believe contextual songs and literature add so much more value to learning and growth because they lead one to ponder and to ask questions as opposed to assume. They lead to thinking about the scriptural accounts of prophets and others who have given testimony to God's promises to them and to others. That is where the real value lies, in pondering others' experiences and testimonies in context of one's own experience and testimony as opposed to one's 'assumed' experience and testimony. 

I suppose that's a bit of a tangent. I just wanted to say how much I love the songs though, and the feeling of peace, love, and joy that they give me, that they've always given me, and what I would change to make them even more meaningful and effectual in helping us to grow.

Tangent aside, I don't by any means consider my grandma's life a failure for having taken it. She gave so much to my mom. I hope not to disappoint her, or at least not permanently so, and I really look forward to meeting her some day <3

Have a great week everyone. Cherish those around you, and if you believe, don't forget those beyond the veil--whose presence cannot always be seen. I believe their lives yet have immeasurable value and purpose--those who've yet to come, and those who've already lived to love and fulfill their purpose in this life. How much we could learn from them if given the opportunity.