Saturday, November 6, 2010

The more I learn the less I know

I have done so much thinking lately about the great plan of salvation.  I feel like the saying "the more that I learn, the less I know".  Jodi and I spent some time yesterday at the cemetery.  As always we talk about Preslee at her grave, reminisce about how much joy she brought to our family during her short stay in mortality.  Then we kind of wander around and look at other graves.  Preslee is buried in Archer where I grew up.  I know many of the people buried there or at least their families.  Most of the Archer frogs (our nickname for the ward choir when I was a boy) are buried there now.  They were great people who taught by example and put up with my friends and I, when we were growing up.  We were anything but perfect, but they had patience with us and loved us anyway.  That is what Wards do.  I always liked the Ward members when I was a youth.  Their teachings and examples to me helped shape my life.  It is like going back to memory lane whenever I go out there.  It is very comforting to me to know that Preslee will resurrect someday among such great people. 
     Something that is becoming clearer to me is how much life here on earth is tied into the pre-mortal life, as well as the spirit world following this life.  I don't think that I understood before, how much these three worlds are intertwined.  I also did not understand how much pre-ordination has affected our lives here.  The experiences and trials that we go through here, are chosen for us to help us progress to our ultimate goal. (to become as our Father in Heaven)  The experiences that we face here, were chosen because of our strengths and weakness in the pre-existence.  We understood then, that we needed to progress, and we chose to come here in order to accomplish that.  Hence our challenges and trials were chosen specifically for us.  They are all to teach us.  No more no less. 
     We understood when we came here that we would make mistakes.  Our hope was that we would use the Savior's atonement to help us repent, and stay on course.  We all knew that we would face challenges designed to help us progress.  Even little Preslee has her challenges.  It can't be easy for her to watch as we mourn her loss.  She is very aware of our grief and comforts us the best she can.  I am sure at times that she feels helpless as we work our way through the grieving process. 
     The experiences that we face here will also be a great strength to us in the next life.  Remember we all looked at our Father in the pre-existence and said, I want to be like you.  We were subsequently taught that in order to be Godlike we had to develop Godlike traits and gain and master a body.  That is why we are here.  Anything that we don't learn or master here will have to be learned in the next life.  Repentance is more difficult in the next life.  We have no body in the next life.  So we are able to progress here in ways that will be difficult or impossible in the next life.  That is why we cannot squander our time in mortality. 
     Preslee's death has certainly awakened our family to the fact that these worlds are all tied together.  The Temple seems to me where these worlds meet.  I have felt very close to those that I have done ordinance work for in the Temple since Preslee's accident.  It has been a tender mercy for me to feel the love from those that I have done work for.  I know that Preslee is with them.  The prophet Malachi taught us that if we do not keep the promises made to our fathers, the Earth would be wasted at his coming.  JS history 1:39  I think that the promises are to do their Temple work for them.  Remember they can't progress in their current state unless we unlock the chains that bound them in spirit prison.  At this moment in history, temple work needs to be done like no other time.  That is our generation's assignment.  It is up to us.  I testify to all who would read this that vicarious work for the dead is a means for us to help our ancestors, as well as a means for us to become closer to our final goal.  To return to live in God's presence and to become like him. 
     I have been very touched by the outpouring of love towards our family these last four months.  We truely have many friends here.  Thank you all who have stepped up and helped our family.  I love you all and am grateful for our friendship.  I am grateful for the learning curve that I have experienced throughout this trial.  I would still like to have Preslee back with us, but that is not going to happen.  So I take the teachings that have been given me from this experience and give thanks to Heavenly Father.  I know that Preslee is close by.  It is frustrating at times that I can't reach out and hive her a big hug, but knowing Preslee she is anxiously engaged doing God's work where she is.  She also is working to perfect herself.  She will have to do the "body thing" in the millennium.  Then I will give her lots of grandpa hugs.  Thanks again to all of you for your kindness to us.              Trent Siddoway