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    


JeNnA and NaThAn said...

(Ashley led her readers to your blog :)) Thank you for your words. Something that I Have tried to understand more and more because of pressless passing is the plan of salvation. Her accident has affected me in qutie a few ways... like it has hundreds of poeple. It has opened my eyes to a lot of gospel principles and truths that I want to know more about! I appreciate what I have learned. What you had to say helped! Thank you!
Jenna Castagno Saunders

Brianne said...

Amazing! THANK YOU for sharing your testimony with so many who have never met Preslee in this life but have been touched by her sweet spirit! Thank you for raising such a great daughter who has also taught me so much about being a better mom & enjoying ever small & big moment with your children. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.

Lindsay said...

I am so touched by your words. I have followed Preslee's story and my heart aches daily for your sweet family. What a sweet Spirit that little one is! I am so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the things you shared here.

Kassie said...

You have such a great family and you two are awesome parents & grandparents. I, too have learned so much about the plan of salvation through my own trials and experiences as well as following Preslee's story. I am so thankful for your influence. Thank you for the nice post :) Take care.
Kassie Crapo

Jenibelle said...

Bro. Siddoway,
My daughter has been in some classes with Ashley, she is the one who told me about Preslee. I have followed the blogs ever since. My heart broke for all of you, but rejoiced at your great faith. I would like to use part of your blog in my seminary class. (the 2nd-4th paragraphs). I teach the senior class this year in early morning seminary. I have taught for 10 years and have never had a bunch of kids that have been so "naughty". Many of them just seem to make so many poor choices. Your perspective is understandable and simple, this is the time we have to prove ourselves. I would like to share how really life for all of us is just borrowed time, we need to do our best every day. I love the message you wrote, so humble and so true.
Just to let you know, a whole lot of strangers here in Cali were/are praying for your kids. Preslee is fine, it's her parents who need the comfort.

Rach said...

Thank you for your words. What a true blessing it is to have the gospel and to have a knowledge of the plan of salvation. Prayers are always coming your way!
Bryant and Rachel Hansen

Rose said...

While my heart breaks for you and your family my testimony has been strengthened tremendously through your AMAZING daughter's example and your son-in-law's strength.

While passing through Rexburg in September, we were given the opportunity to visit sweet Preslee in Archer.

We had emailed a friend of Ashley and Pat's by chance, not even knowing if we would even hear a response, and Pat emailed me right away with directions. It was just as you described, beautiful and calm. We didn't stay long, but felt the tremendous peace that you speak of in that cemetery.

Thank you for describing the amazing people that rest there! On our next trip through (we go to Jackson Hole every year) we will take more time and pay our respects to the others that helped shaped you, so you in turn could shape the amazing daughter you have.

She has touched my life more than she will ever know and more than I could ever thank her for!

So I thank you, for your faith, your testimony, your strength, your love and your ability to share it.

Preslee might be doing the missionary work in Heaven but your family is certainly doing a GREAT job here on earth! Thank you sir!

Our Family said...

Thank you Bishop for your words! We look up to your family in so many ways. Thanks for your outlook and helping me dedicate myself more to attending the temple and making the time to do so! We pray for your sweet family so much and love each of you....THANK YOU for all you do for all of us in our ward! I know we don't even comprehend all the time and prayers you offer in our behalf! Love, Katie Sommer and family

Heidi said...

I wanted to say thank you. This is exactly what I've been needing to hear. Your family is amazing. I always knew Preslee was a special girl. She just had something about her. And now, look at all she has done. She is a humble servant and I'm grateful for the chance of knowing her here on this earth. Thank you again for sharing your testimony!

Landon and Alaina said...

Thank you for you words. We are so lucky to have a temple here in Rexburg and I often smile knowing your family can sit in that beautiful celestial room and be so close to little Pres. I heard some wonderful words about the Rexburg temple I would like to share. My RS president was speaking with someone in the temple presidency and he shared with her that he knows that Christ visits our temple often, He loves to be where he feels loved and the Rexburg temple is one of his favorite places to be. It is so amazing that there is such a thin veil between this life and the next and that Christ and Pres can be so close to us. I love your family dearly even though we have never met. Thank you for your words.

Jennifer said...

Perfectly said. I have lost a sister and last year my brother. Life is hard, but I hope to learn what I need to learn while on this earth. I am also coming to understand how connected our lives are with the spirit world and hope to learn more and love what you said.

Thank you!

Cheri Litchfield said...

I found your blog through your daughter - who posted on my daughter's blog. Our young daughter and her husband were killed in a car accident in mid-August leaving behind their 7 week old daughter as a survivor of the accident. The entire experience has been more painful but also more enlightening than I could have imagined. We too, are so grateful for Heavenly Father's Great Plan of Happiness. Grateful for the love, prayers and support of others. I know that you have had the same experience. Thank you for your thoughts and the expression of your testimony.

And please accept my sincere sorrow for your loss. Although we will see our loved ones again, the pain of losing them for this life is very real.

We CAN do hard things.

carolyne b said...

You are so right, we sometimes think we have all the answers and realize that what we truly know is a drop in the bucket. As parents we never expect that we will bury our children and at such an early age either. And word like, you can have more, your a eternal family, Preslee's mission on earth was completed. Well its nice, but still leaves a hole in your heart.
Thank you for reminding me the importance of attending the temple, having families sealed to us, and most important the Gospel of Jesus Christ, can and will pull us through. My prayers for your family.

Anonymous said...

I don't know your family, but I have read Preslee's story on your daughter Ashley's blog. I am thankful for people who share their experiences and testimonies with the world. I am so sorry for your family's loss. I pray that you all feel Heavenly Father's love, comfort & peace. Thank you sir, for this great post and being so willing to share and so honest.