Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Family and Tami

I wanted to put in a couple of pictures of my children, parents and siblings as I have been thinking about them, and especially Tami at this time of the year. We teach that families are forever and that the greatest joys are being with family, children, grandchildren and friends in the worlds to come. AND we believe it because it is true.



Here is Pat, David all dressed up, Jeff, Tom, Tami and I when we were younger.


I wanted to include my talk at Tami's funeral to remember it and to keep it.
TALK
Man is most afraid of death and public speaking. I get to combine both fears today as I humbly represent the family as we try to make some sense out of the death of a younger sister.

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT CONTEXT or THE BIGGER PICTURE

It is said by Apostle Maxwell: “So much of life’s curriculum consists of efforts by the Lord to get and keep our attention. Ironically, the stimuli He uses are often that which is seen by us as something to endure.”

There is no immunity from these stimuli that we call AFFLICTIONS. There cannot be. There cannot be immunity from all afflictions. Whether the afflictions come from our own acts and deeds or whether they are of the divine Tutorial type, it matters not.

To understand afflictions, WE MUST PLACE THEM IN A LARGER CONTEXT.

The Larger Context begins in the pre earth life

To that end, I will tell you that we have come from the presence of our heavenly parents, where we lived, learned, had faith, thrived, experienced and exercised free will and choice. We developed talents, developed likes and dislikes, and we grew grace by grace.

BABIES EXAMPLE

(the evidence of this is found in each child that has come to you. They are not blank slates as PLATO said that can be molded into exactly what you desire to do with them)
Even at birth they are complex little bundles of likes, dispositions, attitudes, aptitudes and spirit.) We lived with our Heavenly Parents for eons of time before we came to this earth and we accomplished our First Estate. As it says in Abraham 3:24-26
24…We will go down, …and we will take of these materials and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell.

25. And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do

all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command

them.

26. And they who keep their first estate (which we all have

already accomplished) shall be added upon…

That ADDING OCCURS HERE IN THIS TEST WE CALL LIFE

COME TO EARTH and SHOUTED FOR JOY

At some point in that FIRST ESTATE, the prospects of an earth life were presented to us and WE SHOUTED FOR JOY. “Granted there may be days here and now when we might wonder what all the shouting was about there and then.” Back to the Story.

SECOND ESTATE

So we have come to EARTH, our SECOND ESTATE, to experience life’s common circumstances, plus those thrust upon us by a loving and tutoring Father in Heaven. As the phrase in the scriptures say (Peter and Mosiah) who “seeth fit to inflict certain things upon us because he loves us.”
We call this the REFINING FIRE.

What are the tools of REFINEMENT?

1. By the sweat of thy brow shall be earn your bread all the days of your life. WORK

2. The search for light and truth. JESUS CHRIST is the light of this world. D & C 50:24 says:

That which is of God is light; and he that received light

And continueth in God, receiveth more light; and

That light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day

3. Our physical bodies refine us.

4. Our Spouses and our CHILDREN. Someone jokingly said: “the greatest trials and tribulations we have in life we either marry or give birth to.”

5. Wealth/Poverty, Sickness, Natural Disasters, Place of birth

THE TRIALS OF JOB—a list of all the things that REFINE.

TO WHAT END DO WE ENDURE?

1. We have come to earth to know god, to seek truth, to do good deeds and to find our way back to his presence.

And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man

To repent, yea a probationary time, a time to repent and

Serve god. Alma 42:4

2. Tami is too young to die?

Life is not LINEAR. It is experiential. It is not chronological, though we use clocks and calendars to define it. IT is experiential. What do I mean by that?

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;

In feelings, not in figures on a dial.

We should count time by heart-throbs.

(Philip James Bailey)

TAMI COUNTED TIME BY the heart

FRIENDS, LETTERS, BIRTHDAYS, TRIPS, CALLS, TALKS

3. Enduring: James l:12 “Blessed is the man that

endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall

receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath

promised to them that love him."

COMMON ENDURING PITFALLS

1. Patience:

Shakespeare wrote:

For there was never yet a philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.

It is one thing to preach a sermon, but when it is done you must walk the walk. A toothache is still a toothache. LIFE HAS PAIN

SOME DAYS IT IS GOING TO HURT A LOT.

2. Perspective: Emerson had something to say about this:

Some of your hurts you have cured,

And the sharpest you still have survived

But what torments of grief you endured

From evils which never arrived

EXAMPLES:

1. Zachary potty trained 2. Tami retirement

Remember what I said before: “So much of life’s curriculum consists of efforts by the Lord to get and keep our attention. Ironically, the stimuli He uses are often that which is seen by us as something to endure.”

3. The Fairness Issue:

We often hear IT ISN’T FAIR. My children after a while never said that in our home because I would routinely go off on a rant about how it was in PERU and other third world places.

Another way to look at it is expressed in this statement: “If it’s fair, it isn’t a trial.” Christ suffered unfairness.

4. Timing of death: Paul said in Cor. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

When would you choose to die?

a. On the path

b. With a Testimony

c. Able to go to the temple

d. After you have had your children close to you

e. After you have taken care and known your grandchildren

Staying on the path—“if you are on the path when you die, you shall never fall off of it. McConkie

HOW DO YOU FEEL? You have to COME TO KNOW DEATH

FINAL CONTEXT

1. We die

2. We are resurrected. No weight problems

3. We live again with a body and spirit

4. We are together. We continue what we started in our pre-earth life. There is life after death, Jesus was resurrected and lives today. Because of him, we all will be resurrected too.

WE JUST HAVE TO SEE THINGS IN THE LARGER CONTEXT and NOT JUST THINK ABOUT the HERE and NOW.

TAMI will be missed. Carson you have to tell the grandchildren about your grandmother. That is your job. We will help you as we all loved her too.

8 comments:

Cali said...

Thanks dad...this is really timely information for me. I am so sorry you lost your sister.

angie said...

I loved your talk then, just as I love it now. Thank you.

Earl Family said...

What a great reminder of what is really important. Thank you.

I really needed to hear that. I love you.

Mama Tales said...

Loved this talk. Thanks for reminding us again.

Jason Earl said...

Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and it is a GREAT plan.

Tom Earl said...

I think about her everyday. I am blessed with a wonderful family!

Sage said...

Sorry about losing your sister.

This talk reminded me of the lesson on the plan of salvation you taught in Peru when I was a missionary. You taught it so clearly, it made a great impact on me. I still think of it on occasion

Thank you.

Patrick said...

I just had a chance to re-read this talk and re-live it. I am sitting here in my office at home crying like a baby. Tami! Tami! I love you and hope that I am making you proud. I love you family, all of you.