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Thursday, August 1, 2013

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT -- Help from the Other Side

Several days ago I found a book, compiled by my brother years ago.  My brother is the king of family history and this book was a compilation of articles and life stories of several of my ancestors.  For a few years now, I have had the spirit of Elijah and have become increasingly interested in the lives of those who have gone ahead.  It started with my introduction to indexing, which I quickly found to be an addictive and productive hobby.  Then, when Tyler lost his job and our period of trials began almost four years ago, I began to feel more and more that there were loved ones on the other side of the veil who cared deeply for me and who wanted to be there for me.

When Bryan (my brother) first gave me the book, I showed little interest in it and unceremoniously shelfed it for later.  The past week or so, I have been reading each story, totally engrossed.  I am so impressed with my ancestors:  their faith, their character, their work ethic, their dedication to the gospel!  In fact, as I read story after story, I got to the point where I was beginning to feel overwhelmed at the goodness and fortitude coming from the pages.  I begin to feel frustrated that I fall so short:  why can't I be more faithful?  Why can't I be more self-reliant?  Why can't I be a harder worker?

Quickly though, the spirit calmed my heart and testified that I can benefit from the strengths of my ancestors.  Where I fall short, they can communicate specific ideas to me, which can help me to overcome.  And I also was reassured by the spirit that these highly revered loved ones were not perfect.  They had personal vices.  They had bad days.  They had sins.  They were absolutely human!  Knowing these truths has helped me to feel more connected with these wonderful individuals.  I hope and pray that each of them will feel invited to be active participants in my life as I struggle, rejoice, search for answers, and strive to overcome.  I can't wait to meet them oneday on the other side and thank them for the hope their valiant lives offer, and for the assistance that I know I have received in the past and will receive from beyond throughout my life.