Sunday, April 20, 2014

EASTER 1986 Revisted today, 2014

Just went out to the mailbox and found an envelop from Paul Kriz.  In it stapled together were large note cards, typed in caps on an IBM Selectric typewriter
....a talk written by my mom, Gladys Thomas Czekala Center Osborne.  Just as she always did...typed but added some corrections or notes in her own distinctive hand.  I thought I'd add it to my blog.  In memory of her, of Easter, of all the talks I've heard her give.  On Friday, April 25th she will have been dead 10 years and altho some days it seems like yesterday there are other days that seem like it's been forever since I heard her voice.  This way I can hear it again.

EASTER 1986
THE BISHOP & I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SHARE A FEW OF OUR THOUGHTS & FEELINGS THAT WE EXPERIENCED AS WE WERE PRIVILEGED TO WALK WHERE JESUS WALKED SO MANY CENTURIES AGO.  AS I PONDERED THE TWO WEEKS WE SPNT IN THE HOLY LANDS OF EGYPT & ISRAEL, I TRIED TO RECAPTURE FOR MYSELF THE FEELINGS WE EXPERIENCED & IT WASN'T EASY.  I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP THOSE MEMORIES OF THAT SPECIAL TIME ALIVE & ACTIVE IN MY LIFE & SO THIS PAST WEEK HAS HELPED ME SORT OUT THE TRUE MEANING OF EASTER ONCE AGAIN.

WHAT DOES EASTER MEAN TO YOU?  IT IS AN INTRIGUING SEASON.  YOU FEEL, SENSE & THRILL TO IT.  BUT THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN BUNNY RABBITS, BASKETS, NEW CLOTHES, EVEN MORE THAN JUST AN INTERESTING, TOUCHING STORY.  IT MUST BECOME FOR EACH OF US A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE & THAT SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE CAN BE FELT BY EACH OF US WHETHER AT HOME OR IN THE HOLY LAND.

FIRST OF ALL THE RESURRECTION CREATED A NEW DAY--THE LORD'S DAY.  EVERY WEEK THAT SUNDAY ROLLS AROUND IS PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION.  BEFORE THE RESURRECTION THERE WAS THE JEWISH SABBATH.  THIS WAS THE MOST ANCIENT AND REVERED OF ALL JEWISH INSTITUTIONS THAT SOON CAME TO BE SUPPLANTED BY THE FOLLOWING DAY, THE LORD'S DAY.  THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IN THE WORSHIP OF THE CHRISTIANS OF THE EARLY CHURCH.  EXPRESSLY SO, BECAUSE ON THAT DAY, THEIR MASTER AROSE FROM THE DEAD.  EVERY SUNDAY THEN IS EASTER BECAUSE IT IS IN CELEBRATION OF JESUS RISING FROM THE DEAD.  CONNECTED WITH EASTER IS THE MEMORIAL OF THE LAST SUPPER.  THE INSTITUTION OF THE SACRAMENT.

THE ROOM OF THE LAST SUPPER WAS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR ME.  IT IS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK:  NO GUIDEPOSTS TO POINT THE WAY.  THE ROOM IS ABOVE A HEBREW SCHOOL FOR RABBIS & ALSO ABOVE KING DAVID'S TOMB.  MUCH ADO IS MADE OVER THE TOMB--BUT NOTHING FOR THE "ROOM OF THE LAST SUPPER." iT IS A VERY LARGE, HIGH CEILINGED, AIRY ROOM WITH A VAULTED GOTHIC CEILING  THE BUILDING ITSELF IS 1ST CENTURY.  THE ROOM AT ONE TIME WAS AN ARAB MOSQUE.  BUT ABOUT 800 YEARS AGO IT WAS RESTORED.  NOW IT IS A SHRINE (FOR THOSE WHO CAN FIND IT) IN MEMORY OF THE LAST SUPPER  & ALSO WHERE TRADITION SAYS THAT CHRIST APPEARED TO HIS DISCIPLES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.  oUR GROUP HELD A SHORT SWEET SERVICE THERE & THE MUSICAL NUMBER "MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU" WAS RENDERED.  A FEW DAYS LATER, THE BISHOP & I MADE OUR OWN PRIVATE PILGRAMAGE TO FIND THIS ROOM THAT WE MIGHT DRINK OF ITS SPIRIT AGAIN.  AS WE BEGAN OUR SEARCH, ALL THE QUESTIONING OF GUIDES & RABBIS FAILED TO ELICIT DIRECTIONS.  I FELT I COULD NOT LEAVE JERUSALEM WITHOUT ONCE AGAIN VISITING THAT ROOM.  RELYING ON THE POWER OF INSPIRATION, I, WHO CANNOT FIND MY WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG, OR TO MY HOUSE IF I TOOK THE WRONG TURN, UNERRINGLY LED US THRU THE MAZE OF STREET & TURNS TO THE VERY SPOT.  FROM THE MT OF OLIVES, THRU THE JAFFA GATE, THRU OLD TOWN, PAST THE WAILING WALL, ALONG THE VIA DOLOROSA THRU THE DAMASCUS GATE TO NABLUS RD & A MAZE OF WINDING NAMELESS ALLEYS TO THE ROOM.  THERE IN THE AIRY SILENT ROOM WE COMMUNED WITH OUR SAVIOR.  WITH A QUIET VOICE, WE COULD ALMOST HEAR HIM SPEAK:
"WITH DESIRE, I HAVE DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER WITH YOU BEFORE I SUFFER" AND THEN HE TOOK A LOAF OF BREAD-GAVE THANKS FOR IT-BROKE & TEN "THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU.  THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."  LUKE 22:15

THE LAST SUPPER WAS TO INSTITUTE A MEMORIAL:  THE LOVING DESIRE TO BE REMEMBERED.  WE ARE TO REMEMBER HIS DEATH,, HIS GREATEST WORK.  HE NEVER ASKED US TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTH NOR DID HE ASK US THAT WE REMEMBER HIS DEEDS. ONLY THIS DID HE ASK, THAT WE REMEMBER HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION.  THIS WAS TO BE HIS MEMORIAL, A CROSS TO REMIND US THAT HEAVENLY FATHER & HIS SON LOVED US - UNLOVELY MEN & WOMEN - WEAK, SELFISH, PETULANT, ARGUMENTATIVE HUMANS - & THAT HE LOVED US TO THE END.

TODAY, AS WE DO EVERY SUNDAY, WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT - THE MEMORIAL TO REMEMBER HIM. D O WE PARTAKE KNOWINGLY & WITH A COMMITMENT TO FASHION OUR LIVES AFTER HIS  DO WE PONDER THE MEANING OF HIS SACRIFICE & HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US?

THERE TOO JESUS INSTITUTED THE WASHING OF THE FEET.  AS I STOOD IN THAT UPPER ROOM, MY MIND TOOK ME BACK MANY YEARS TO A TINY COUNTRY CHURCH DEEP IN THE HILLS OF KENTUCKY WHERE I OBSERVED THE WASHING OF THE FEET FOR THE FIRST TIME.  I CAN STILL REMEMBER TODAY, THE GREAT RUSH OF FEELING AS I WATCHED THESE TALL, LITHE, SUNBURNED & ROUGH WORKENED MOUNTAIN MEN, KNEEL & WASH THE FEET OF THEIR BRETHREN. HOW LIKE THE FEELING IT WAS THAT I EXPERIENCED IN THE UPPER ROOM AS THIS FORMER EXPERIENCE RETURNED TO ME THAT DAY IN JERUSALEM.  SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES HAVE NO TIME OR PLACE - WE JUST HAVE TO BE IN TUNE.  JOHN 13:1-17, 20

ANOTHER SPECIAL PLACE WAS THE FIELD OF THE SHEPHERDS.  IT APPEARS UNTOUCHED BY TIME.  A ROCKY SLOPE WITH THE DUNG OF TODAY'S SHEEP DOTTING THE AREA. SMALL SHEPHERDS APPEARED AS IF BY MAGIC FROM HIDDEN AREAS.  THE LIGHT OF DAY WAS FAST DISAPPEARING AS WERE TRANSMITTED BACK IN TIME TO THE NIGHT THE SHEPHERDS HEARD THE ANGELS & SAW THE STAR. T HE QUET & STILLNESS OF THE FIELD ENTERED OUR SOULS & AFTER A SHORT TESTIMONY MEETING & MUSIC THERE, OTHER SMALL SHEPHERDS COULD BE SEEN DRIVING THE SHEEP & GOATS HOME--WHEREVER HOME WAS IN THAT BARREN AREA.

ARRIVING IN JERUSALEM, THE QUEEN CITY, WE FELT IMPRESSED TO REMEMBER & A DESIRE TO UTTER THE PRAYER THAT EVERY JEW UTTERS--ESPECIALLY THE 1ST TIME EACH YEAR HE GOES "UP TO JERUSALEM":
"BLESS THE TOW, OH LORD, KING OF THE UNIVERSE, THAT KEPT US ALIVE, SUSTAINED US & MADE US REACH THIS MOMENT."

OUR FIRST STOP WAS THE TOMB OF LAZARUS IN BETHANY ON OUR WAY TO JERUSALEM. AT ONE TIME THE TOMB OF LAZARUS WAS AT STREET LEVEL, BUT THE CUSTOM OF BUILDING CITY AFTER CITY OVER HOLY PLACES MAKES THE TOMB VERY DEEP (24 STEPS TO ENTER) & ONE MUST BACK INTO THE DEPTHS & THEN BE ASSISTED OUT. AGAIN TIME STOOD STILL AS WE RECALLED THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT.  THE ENRANCE TO THE TOMB WAS MADE DURING THE TIME OF THE CRUSADES BUT THE TOMB OF COURSE WAS THERE SINCE THE TIME OF JESUS.  CARVED OUT OF ROCK, THERE IS FIRST A WAILING OR WEEPING CHAMBER y THEN THE ACTUAL BURIAL CHAMBER.  AS THE ACCOUNT UNFOLDS IN JOHN WE KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST KNEW THAT LAZARUS WAS INDEED DEAD & YET HE TARRIED WHEN THE WORD CAME TO HIM OF LAZARUS' ILLNESS. FINALLY HE ARRIVES IN BETHANY AFTER LAZARUS HAD BEEN IN THE TOM 4 DAYS.  THE JEWISH BELIEF IS THAT THE SPIRIT HOVERS AROUND THE BODY FOR THREE DAYS & THEN DEPARTS.  JESUS HAD RAISED THE DAUGHTER OF THE SYNAGOGUE LEADER JAIRUS AND THE SON OF THE WIDOW OF NAIN (MATT 9, MARK 5, LUKE 9) BUT IN EACH CASE ONLY A SHORT TIME HAD ELAPSED SINCE DEATH. IN THIS CASE CHRIST WAS 25 MINUTES FROM BETHANY AND THERE HAD PRAYED TO HIS FATHER THAT LAZARUS MIGHT BE RESTORED.  JESUS' STATEMENT TO HIS DISCIPLES  "LAZARUS IS DEAD: AND I AM GLAD FOR YOUR SAKES THAT I WAS NOT THERE, TO THE INTENT YE MAY BELIEVE." JOHN 11:14-15. "NEVERTHELESS LET US GO TO HIM"  HE HAD TESTED MARY & MARTHA'S FAITH TO THE UTMOST. THEY HAD BEEN WEIGHED INT HE BALANCES & NOT FOUND WANTING.  JUST PRIOR TO THE RAISING OF LAZARUS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS GREAT MISSION WAS REVEALED WHEN HE SAID

"I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE:  HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME THOUGH HE WERE DEA, YET SHALL HE LIVE AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE." JOHN 11

WE DECIDED TO WALK FROM THE TOMB OF LAZARUS TO JERUSALEM. WE TRULY WENT UP TO JERUSALEM BECAUSE OUR HOTEL WAS SITUATED ON THE TOP OF THE MT OF OLIVES.  I HAVE CLIMBED STEEP PLACES BUT NEVER ONE SOLID HOUR OF A STRAIGHT CLIMB OVER RICK, STONE, DUST, ETC.  IT WAS AN ARDOROUS WALK BUT WE WERE SUSTAINED AS WE THOUGHT THE SAVIOR HAD SURELY WALKED MANY TIMES OVER THE SAME ROUTE-A ROUTE THAT HAS NOT BEEN DEVELOPED TO ANY GREAT EXTENT.  ARABS ALONG THE WAY GREETED US WITH THE WORDS "MORMONS" - EVIDENTLY ONLY MORMONS MAKE THIS HOT, DUSTY STEEP CLIMB ON FOOT IN THE HOT BLAZING WHITE HEAT.

OUR VISIT TO THE WAILING WALL WAS VERY SPECIAL.  THE JEWS BELIEVE THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS HERE MORE THAN IN AN OTHER PLACE BECAUSE THIS IS THE SITE OF THE TEMPLE & THE ONLY EVIDENCE OF THAT TEMPLE AFTER IT WAS DESTROYED BY THE ROMANS.  WE PRAYED AS DO THE JEWS WITH OUT HANDS FLAT AGAINST THE WALL. I WATCHED IN FASCINATION AS AN ORTHODOX JEW TRAINED HIS SON IN THE PRAYERS AT THE WALL. HOW LIKE ALL PARENTS THE WORLD OVER AS HE INSTRUCTED & GUIDED HIS CHILD IN THE ANCIENT RITUAL.  AREN'T WE THE SAME AS WE WATCH OUR CHILDREN MATURE & BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR THE PRIESTHOOD, PASSING THE SACRAMENT, ETC.

WE WALKED THE NARROW WINDING PATH OF THE CROSS, THROUGH THE OLD CITY -THE VIA DOLOROSO OR WAY OF SORROWS.  THE WAY IS NOISY, NARROW, DARK OVERCROWDED WITH A MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE, ANIMALS, CARTS, ETC THAT TRAVERSE THEM.  IT WAS NOT HARD TO IMAGINE CHRIST CARRYING HIS CROSS ON THESE COBBLESTONES & THE DIFFICULTY HE EXPERIENCED IN CARRYING IT. ITWAS DIFFICULT BOING IN MODERN DRESS & SHOES - BUT HOW ARDOROUS IT MUST BEEN BEEN AWAKE ALL NIGHT, SCOURGED, TAUNTED, HAVING WALKED BETWEEN THE FORTRESS  THE PALACE SEVERAL TIMES AS HE WAS SHUNTED BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN CAIAPHUS, HEROD & PILATE:  EVEN HIS THOUGHTS MUST HAVE BEEN BURDENSOME AS HE REMEMBERED PETER'S DENIAL.

WE VISITED THEM ALL - HAD SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES IN SOME  & JUST INTEREST IN OTHERS.  WE PARTICULARLY FELT THE SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH OF ST. PETER OF GALLICANTU--sT PETER'S CHURCH OF THE CROWING COCK.  THE LOWER LEVEL WAS THE ACTUAL PLACE WHERE PETER DENIED HIM THRICE.  THIS WAS CAIAPHUS' PALACE.

JUST OUTSIDE THIS PALACE/CHRIST IS THE STEEP ROAD CHRIST WALKED AS HE WAS SENT BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE PALACE & THE FORTRESS.  WE VISITED THE PRISON WHERE CHRIST WAS KEPT DURING THAT TERRIBLE NIGHT.  THERE WERE TWO DUNGEONS  ONE ABOVE THE OTHER IN THE PALACE. CHRIST WOULD HAVE BEEN KEPT IN THE LOWER, DEEPER ONE BECAUSE OF HIS IMPORTANCE AS A PRISONER.  IT WAS SO DEEP, 30 FEET, CARVED OUT OF THE ROCK, SO DEEP THAT HE HAD TO BE LOWERED  IN & BROUGHT OUT BY MEANS OF A ROPE UNDER HIS ARMPITS.  THIS WAS THE DUNGEON PIT OF THE HIGH PRIEST. HERE TOO WAS THE PLACE OF SCOURGING FOR THE PRISONERS.  JEWISH LAW WAS MERCIFUL IN THAT ONLY 39 SCOURGES WERE PERMITTED:  WHEREAS ROMAN LAW UNDER WHICH CHRIST WAS SCOURGED DID NOT HAVE A MAXIMUM NUMBER.  HERE TOO COULD BE SEEN 2 SMALL DISH-LIKE PLACES IN THE ROCK THAT CONTAINED VINEGAR TO REVIVE THE PRISONERS & SALT WATER TO CLEANSE THE WOUNDS.

IN THE FLOOR OF THE FORTRESS, STILL TO BE SEEN WAS THE GAMEBOARD ENGRAVED IN THE STONE OF THE TILES THAT WAS USED IN PLAYING WITH THE CHRIST.  I REALIZED BY BIBLICAL DESCRIPTION THAT THE SOLDIERS GAMBLED FOR HIS CLOTHES BUT I DON'T THINK I REALLY REALIZED THE SCOPE OF THE GAME:  THAT HE WAS USED AS A LIVING GAME PIECE & WAS A GAME THAT WAS PLAYED AT EVERY PASSOVER SEASON WITH THE PRISONERS AS THE PIECES OF THE GAME.  I DID NOT REALIZE THAT HE WAS AN ACTUAL LIVING PLAYING PIECE IN THEIR GAME CALLED "THE GAME OF THE KING".

ON A LOVELY SUNDAY MORNING, VERY EARLY, WE BOARDED A CATAMARAN TO SAIL & HAVE OUR SUNDAY SERVICE ON THE WATERS WHERE HE OFTEN SPOKE TO HIS DISCIPLES ON THE SEA OF GALILEE. ANOTHER RELIGIOUS GROUP, CATHOLIC OF THE EASTERN PERSUASION, I THINK, HAD RESERVED THIS BOAT ALSO.  WILFERD & AND RELIGIOUS LEADER AGREED TO CONDUCT THE SUNDAY SERVICES AS A COMBINED VENTURE.  THE YOUNG, BEARDED RELIGIOUS READ FROM MARK AND WILFERD & THE RELIGIOUS LEADER AGREED TO CONDUCT THE SUNDAY SERVICES AS A COMBINED VENTURE.  THE YOUNG, BEARDED RELIGIOUS READ FROM MARK AND WILFERD READ FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK IN LUKE.  BOTH GAVE SHORT SERMONS & WILFERD GAVE MUCH HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF LITTLE KNOWN FACTS.  KNOWING THAT WE WERE MORMONGS & KNOWING OF THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR, THE OTHER GROUP ASKED THAT WE PROVIDE THE MUSIC FOR THE SERVICE.  NATURALLY, WE WERE NOT THE TABERNACLE COIR; BUT LUCKILY HAVING SOME VERY GOOD SEMI-PROFESSIONAL VOICES IN OUR GROUP WE DID A CREDITABLE JOB OF PRESENTING "MASTER THE TEMPEST IS RAGING" MUCH TO THE DELIGHT OF THE OTHER GROUP.  WARM FEELINGS WERE FELT BY BOTH GROUPS & A COUPLE OF BOOKS OF MORMON WERE PLACED WHEN WE LEFT THE BOAT.  A SHORT TIME LATER WE VISITED THE DEAD SEA.  THE CONTRAST CAN BETTER BE DESCRIBED BY THIS AUTHOR:

"THERE ARE TWO SEAS IN PALESTINE--ONE IS FRESH & THE FISH ARE IN IT.  SPLASHES OF GREEN ADORN ITS BANKS.  TREES SPREAD THEIR BRANCHES OVER IT & STRETCH OUT THEIR THIRSTY ROOTS, TO SIP OF ITS HEALING WATER.  ALONG ITS SHORES THE CHILDREN PLAY AS CHILDREN PLAYED WHEN HE WAS THERE.  HE LOVED IT.  HE COULD LOOK ACROSS THE SILVER SURFACE WHEN HE SPOKE HIS PARABLES.  AND ON A ROLLING PLAIN NOT FAR AWAY, HE FED 5,000 PEOPLE. 

THE RIVER JORDAN MAKES THIS SEA WITH SPARKLING WATER FROM THE HILLS SO IT LAUGHS IN THE SUNSHINE.  AND MEN BUILD THEIR HOUSES NEAR TO IT & THE BIRDS BUILD THEIR NESTS.  & EVERY KIND OF LIFE IS HAPPIER BECAUSE IT IS THERE. 

THE RIVER JORDAN FLOWS ON SOUTH INTO ANOTHER SEA.  THERE IS NO SPLASH OF FISH, NO FLUTTERING LEAF, NO SONG OF BIRDS, NO CHILDREN'S LAUGHTER.  TRAVELERS CHOOSE ANOTHER ROUTE UNLESS ON URGENT BUSINESS. THE AIR HANGS HEAVY ABOVE ITS WATERS & NEITHER MAN NOR BEAST NOR FOWL WILL DRINK. 

WHAT MAKES THIS MIGHTY DIFFERENCE IN THESE NEIGHBOR SEAS?  NOT THE RIVER JORDAN.  IT EMPTIES THE SAME GOOD WATER INTO BOTH. NOT THE SOIL IN WHICH THEY LIE. NOT THE COUNTRY ROUNDABOUT. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE.  THE SEA OF GALILEE RECEIVES BUT DOES NOT KEEP THE JORDAN; FOR EVERY DROP THAT FLOWS INTO IT ANOTHER DROP FLOWS OUT?  THE GIVING & RECEIVING GOES ON IN EQUAL MEASURE.  THE OTHER SEA IS SHREWDER, HOARDING ITS INCOME JEALOUSLY.  IT WILL NOT BE TEMPTED INTO GENEROUS IMPULSE.  EVERY DROP IT KEEPS.  THE SEA OF GALILEE GIVES & LIVES.  THE OTHER SEA GIVES NOTHING:  IT IS NAMED 'THE DEAD SEA.'

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. THERE ARE TWO SEAS IN PALESTINE.  I PRAY THAT AS MEMBERS OF HIS CHURCH, WE WILL FASHION OUR LIVES AFTER HIS SEA - THE SEA OF GALILEE - AND GIVE GENEROUSLY OF OUR TIME, TALENT AND INCREASE TO HIS CHURCH HERE UPON THE EARTH.  THAT AS WE DO OUR VISITING & HOME TEACHING, FULFILL OUR CALLINGS, PAY OUR TITHES & OFFERINGS, WE WILL DO SO IN SIMILITUDE OF WHAT HE GAVE FOR US  I PRAY THAT THIS EASTER WE WILL RE-COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE COVENANTS WE HAVE MADE IN THE WATERS OF BAPTISM & IN THE TEMPLE.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY I HAD TO VISIT THE HOLY LANDS OF EGYPT & jERUSALEM.  GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SHARE A SERVICE WITH ANOTHER GROUP OF HIS CHILDREN ON THE SEA - HIS SEA.  GRATEFUL TO HAVE WALKED WHERE HE WALKED.  IT IS SUCH A SMALL AREA, THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO HAVE WALKED IN HIS FOOTSTEPS.  GRATEFUL TO HAVE BATHED MY FEET IN THE RIVER JORDAN WHERE HE WAS BAPTIZED.  GRATEFUL TO ALSO HAVE HIKED TO SEE THE OTHER FACE OF THE JORDAN--"WHERE THE MIGHTY JORDAN ROLLS" AS IN THE HYMN.

I AM ALSO THANKFUL FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD & THE GOSPEL GRATEFUL FOR THE PROGRAMS INSTITUTED BY THE CHURCH TO HELP US SPIRITUALLY WALK IN HIS PATHS & TO BE A PART OF HIS FOLD.  GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES OT HAVE OBSERVED MANY RELIGIONS WHO CLAIM THE SAME HOLY SPOTS & WATCH THESE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE EXPRESS THEIR BELIEFS OPENING, HUMBLY & QUIETLY WHETHER IN CROWDED THOROUGHFARE OR IN A DUSTY DIRTY MOSQUE.  GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE AN ALTAR IN EGYPT THAT WAS SO LIKE THE ALTAR RAMEUMPTON IN THE BOOK OF MORMON.  GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FOLLOW THE THREAD OF THE TRUE RELIGION FROM JERUSALEM TO EGYPT  BACK AGAIN.  AND I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE BROTHERS & SISTERS IN THE GOSPEL THAT SUSTAIN ME, LOVE ME  HELP ME IN MY ETERNAL PROGRESSION AS i HOPE THAT i HELP YOU.

I GIVE YOU MY TESTIMONY THAT THE WORDS OF THE SCRIPTURES ARE TRUE & AS WE LIVE THEM, WE TOO, CAN ONE DAY RETURN TO HIM & LIVE WITH HIM.  i TESTIFY TO YOU THAT HE LIVES.  I KNOW THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD & MY ELDER BROTHER.  I KNOW THERE IS A PROPHET ON THE EARTH TODAY.

AS A MEMBER OF THE TRIBE OF EPHRAIM, I JOIN WITH MY BROTHERS & SISTERS OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH IN THE 137TH PSALM THAT IS ALWAYS REPEATED AS THEY LEAVE JERUSALEM "IF I SHOULD FORGET THEE, O JERUSALEM, LET MY RIGHT HAND FORGET ITS CUNNING."

IT IS MY PRAYER THAT ONE DAY I MAY AGAIN WALK THESE PATHS BUT UNTIL THAT DAY I PRAY THAT I MIGHT CARRY HIS SPIRIT WITH ME IN MY DAY LIFE.




2 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That was really wonderful. I wish I was older and able to ask Grandma about this stuff and hear her tell it while she was still alive. As a kid, you just don't ask the same sort of questions...But still she was and is a great example and witness of Christ to me.

Rebecca Holt Stay said...

So cool!
We moved in the NEXT year so we never heard this talk. It was wonderful to hear Gladys again.
Thanks

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