Monday, December 26, 2011

The Life and the Light of the World

On the day that marked a week from Josh's passing, we drove down to do temple sealings in Provo with Enos' extended family. In the Celestial room, Enos took my hand to escort me to a couch where we could sit down together. As we passed a small table, I felt prompted to pick up the Book of Mormon. After sitting, I looked up at the life size picture of Christ framed and mounted high on the wall facing us. That's when I thought to open the scriptures.

My son, Cody took this picture at the cemetery capturing the star trails in the night sky.

My eyes first rested on the word, "Behold." I continued to read what is found in D&C 11:28-30. It begins, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world." I raised my eyes back up to the Savior. His words repeated again in my mind. They reminded me of another conversation that took place after Martha's brother had passed away and had been laid to rest.

Martha said, "Lord, if thou had been here, my brother would not have died, yet I know even now thou hast the power to raise him up in the resurrection."

Jesus responded, "I am the resurrection and the life and he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Believest thou this?"

"Yea, Lord, I believe thou art the Christ, the Son of God."

I knew this conversation by heart as I had written an Easter Duet using them as lyrics. Martha's final declaration rang in my mind as a reflection of my own testimony. Tears filled my eyes.

After a moment I felt the need to find another jewel from this treasure of scriptures held in my hands. I was reminded that I was specifically told to pick up the Book of Mormon, so I flipped back a section of pages. I did not skim the verses looking for something appropriate to my needs. The first verse I came upon was Alma 7:12.

"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

In a thousand pages of scripture, there was not a better verse for me to read than that one. His love overcame me and I sobbed.

Later in the evening, as the rest of the family and extended family conversed downstairs at Beth's house, I went upstairs to be alone. It had been too long since I had a release of my sorrow and on my knees, I cried so hard, I could hardly breath. The pain seemed to be consuming me, both in body and spirit. That is when the scripture in Alma was rehearsed in my mind. He took upon him my infirmities according to the flesh so he would know how to help me. The Holy Spirit did not convey to him my pain ~ he felt my pain in body and spirit. Somehow just knowing that, a calm filled the room. My tears immediately dried up and I felt at peace.

"I stand all amazed
at the love
Jesus offers me..."

After you click on the link below, the audio will appear in a new window, but you may return to this window to follow along with the lyrics:

Words and Music by Charles H. Gabriel

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
   Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
   Enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me.

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. (chorus)

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet. (chorus)

Click here to listen to my arrangement of "I Stand All Amazed."

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