My family and I enjoyed a privilege yesterday that we haven’t received in over 7 months, almost to the day . . . going to church, in person, with a church congregation.
Virginia has finally allowed its citizens to safely meet together. It was a real treat to attend church as a community, gathered together in prayer and worship for God. 💕
My heart was deeply touched by our church service. I came home and immediately spoke to my children about taking time to see the opportunity we had today as a privilege, instead of an expectation. To remember how they felt to be gathered with other faithful believers of Jesus Christ, for their testimonies were tangible. My heart is so full. 💕
Later in the afternoon, I received an email from a leader of our congregation that shared his feelings on the importance of genealogical study used for Family History work. I particularly loved this quote he shared, by one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.
“Speaking of the magnitude of genealogical and other records stored by the Church, someone asked, “Why do you do this?”. Elder Haight replied, “Because we love them, because they are entitled to the same blessings that we enjoy. We identify our ancestors so that we may perform for them the saving ordinances of the gospel in holy temples dedicated for that purpose.”Elder David B. Haight, “Linking the Family of Man” April 1991
I love Elder David B. Haight and having these feelings rekindled in me, I immediately felt drawn to learn more about him. I learned that he came from a large family that didn’t have the blessing of each member knowing one another, for 4 of the 8 children died, as well as the father, at young ages. My heart immediately turned to the mother and how she must have fought to stay alive, and the fight she had to give in order to raise her family, despite the heartache and loss.
I learned that David B. Haight lived to be the oldest living Apostle to date. He passed away at 97 years of age and his dearly beloved passed shortly after him. 💕 Oh how his story touched me! I then wondered if I could possibly be related to this man, because I normally only feel this drawn to learn about people when I am related to them. So I opened my FamilySearch account and I found out that I was!!!! So is Paul! Paul is also directly related to David’s wife.
Then our kiddos got involved and the next thing we knew, we were all on the website Relative Finder, searching to see whom else we were related to. Our children helped me find out that we are related to several signers of the Declaration of Independence, passengers of the Mayflower, as well as several Presidents of the USA. But one name stood out above the rest because he is related to me through a family line that I ADORE!!! The Hair family from Scotland!!!! This world truly is a small, small place. 🌎
We all had so much fun, the time sped by lightning fast. It was a treasured moment and one that has lifted my spirits and given me deep encouragement to trust that this connection was as real for me, as it was for the young man in this story . . .
“I love the Old Testament story of a young man who served the prophet Elisha. Early one morning the young man woke up, went outside, and found the city surrounded by a great army intent on destroying them. He ran to Elisha: “Alas, my master! how shall we do?”
Elisha answered, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
Elisha knew the young man needed more than calming reassurance; he needed vision. And so “Elisha prayed, … Lord, … open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
There may be times when you, like the servant, find yourself struggling to see how God is working in your life—times when you feel under siege—when the trials of mortality bring you to your knees. Wait and trust in God and in His timing, because you can trust His heart with all of yours. But there is a second lesson here. My dear sisters and brothers, you too can pray for the Lord to open your eyes to see things you would not normally see.”Michelle D. Craig, “Eyes to See,” October 2020
I felt truly blessed last night, as I realized that I prayed this very week for help to understand what I have not been able to, as well as the courage to keep trusting in this process we are experiencing. Our Bishop’s (the leader of our congregation) spoke words that deeply taught me how two brothers, Nephi and Laman, both experienced the same trials that eventually brought them both to the promised land, but only one of them allowed the experience to lift them, raise them higher, and grow them even more than they probably imagined ever becoming. . . All because he practiced not doubting, complaining, or criticizing. 🧐 So true!
I want to allow the experiences we are having to help me become more like Nephi, instead of Laman. I’m thankful that researching about a man that I respect and admire, helped inspire me to see myself differently, that this experience we are having is a new, exciting chapter of our lives. But to most importantly trust in the Lord, His timing, and His grace!
I hope that you too are seeking and finding your own sources of light and truth, to buoy you up to face the challenges you are facing. I love you!
I leave my testimony of God’s divine love for you, humbly, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.