Snapshots of Life

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Recently I was explaining to someone a very serious dilemma I was experiencing and the anxiety and frustration that accompanied it. I shared all the details, which were far from trivial or superficial. My friend paused for a moment and responded, "Silent Thunder, have you ever tried laughing at it?" I replied, "NO, it isn't funny!" My good friend then taught me a great lesson. There are people and circumstances in life that want us to fear. Though dilemmas and feelings may be anything but humorous, laughter is a weapon that disarms the enemy. Besides, laughing feels so good! I have always laughed at little problems, but I've never felt like or tried laughing at the monster ones that are super serious. Why not give it a try?! Afterall, we all know I could stand to be a tad bit, okay a huge bit, less serious.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to President Gordon B. Hinckley! He was born 95 years ago today. I was reminded of how much I love Pres. Hinckley when he was interviewed by all of the local media a couple of days ago in anticipation of his birthday celebration. What a great example he is to all of us of faith and optimism. I couldn't believe - well, actually I could believe but thought it was amazing - that in a couple of months he will be taking a worldwide trip to visit Alaska, Asia, Africa, and Europe! While in Europe he will make a stop in Rome, which I am particularly excited about. The love we all feel for Pres. Hinckley was evident to me from an experience I had on Saturday. Tickets for his birthday celebration, to be held July 22 in the Conference Center, went online last Saturday at 10:00. I figured they would go fast so I logged on at 10:55, and guess what?? They were already completely gone! That is 21,000 tickets gone in less than an hour. Well, he truly is a prophet of God and I am grateful to be one of his "associates" as he so often refers to us. Indeed, "we thank thee, O God, for a prophet"!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Crossing the Bar

It has been far too long since I have posted! Today was somewhat of a somber day. The father of one of my good friends from high school passed away on Thursday due to renal cancer at the age of 58. Today his funeral services were held and he was laid to rest. As I talked to my friend, who was there when his father finally slipped through the veil, he expressed mixed emotions. The cancer had been taking its ugly toll for the past 2 years, the past 6 months allowing no normal function or mobility. With death came the end of considerable pain and suffering, but also the life and personality of a husband, father, and friend.

As I sat through the service today, which was presided over by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I contemplated this phenomenon we call death. To be honest I am fascinated by it all; not in a weird, morbid, psycho way, just in the process and what it all means. I looked over at my friends little baby girl who arrived just under two months ago and thought about what it must be like to come into the world and what it must be like to leave it. I was grateful for the knowledge we have through the gospel that life continues beyond death and that the resurrection is a reality! In some ways I view death with anticipation - I mean who can wait till there's no more temptation, pain, sickness, etc? Who can wait to meet those who have gone before and be reunited with those we've lost? In other ways I fear separation from my family and loved ones, and being taken before I am prepared.

That thought led me into contemplating the question. Am I prepared? Well, I will spare you the internal dialogue, but I think it is a good question to ask every once in awhile. I was touched as Elder Scott spoke to the family of this very good man. He promised them that their husband and father would be near to give guidance, support, and comfort when it was needed. He taught that he is closer and more aware than we would tend to recognize. I think about times, sacred times, when I have felt that closeness to those I love who are on the other side. I know that what Elder Scott taught is true! As a missionary I taught that "death is an essential part of the plan of happiness", and so it is. I hope when the time comes for me, preferably in my sleep when I am like 90 something, I will be as prepared as the man we honored today.