I teach the 16 yr. olds in Sunday School. They are a fun group of kids, and I have grown to really love them. In my class, I like to have lots of discussion and interaction. When these kids moved up to my class in January, they were a very quiet bunch, and to say the least, class was BORING!! Gradually, the kids have opened up, and we have had some really great discussions. Sunday, our lesson was on the Plan of Happiness, and knowing that this age group has heard the basics many times, I wanted to get deeper into it, and find a way to make it real and personal for them.
Just briefly, we believe that we lived with God as spirit children before coming to this earth, and that we are here to learn and progress, and prepare for the next life; during which we will continue to grow, with the potential to eventually become like God, and create worlds of our own. Initially I had planned to show a movie to add to our discussion, but the Spirit led me to sit and just talk with the kids.
As we worked through the different facets of the plan, the discussion turned to the possibility of "life out there". I shared with them things I had seen on a special about the Hubble telescope, and the Spirit filled the room. It seems that the scientists who drive the Hubble decided to point it at an "empty spot'. They told it to take consecutive pictures of the same spot for 10 days. When the pictures came back to earth, there were BILLIONS of galaxies out there!
I am not one to cry...except when I am really mad,or when someone has died. Sunday I had to choke back tears as the spirit testified of eternal progress, and the fact that there IS life "out there". What a great gift!!
That evening, we were out at my Mom's, and all but one of my siblings was there. We got to sit around and visit. We discussed everything from childhood/teenage memories to work experience to child rearing tips. It was so enjoyable to get to talk on a friendship level as well as that of siblings. I treasure these moments of closeness with my bro's and sis's. It hasn't always been this way.
Tuesday we headed to Portland to attend the funeral of one of Paul's aunts. He spent several summers with this particular aunt and uncle, and they have continued to support him and the rest of his siblings. Dolly and Chuck made a point of attending weddings, graduations, reunions, etc. Chuck took our wedding pictures 21 yrs ago! Now the time has come to say a temporary goodbye to Dolly. We look forward to the day when we will associate again, only with perfect bodies not troubled with illness or pain. Once again, gratitude for the plan of salvation fills our hearts. What a blessing to have this knowledge to soften the pain of separation!
The service was beautiful and uplifting. Dolly would have loved it. At the graveside all of her 7 children and her grandchildren held colorful balloons and sang the Rainbow Song- you know the one-"red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue...!" At the end of the song, they released their balloons, and told everyone to clap because "Mom would want us to!!"