Blessings....January 18, 2015
Our baby daughter, Caitlin, turned 29 yesterday. Probably in honor of her older age, she was asked to talk in church today about the blessings of her mom and dad serving a mission. When she told me this bit of information, I couldn't help but think of what blessings have come our way. All week it was on my mind. But, on Wednesday of this week, if my elder would have turned that Toyota wheel a bit more to the west, I might have have told him to step on it and that we were burning daylight. It took a conversation with my brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Lorraine, to help me stay the course.
Lorraine has been fighting a valiant battle against cancer for several months now. It has humbled me to the core to watch them both go through the process. All she wants us to do is "pray for her". Anytime I hear her sweet voice, I hang up and cry; say a prayer and then, decide I can do what piddly things are asked of me.
We drove out to Far West this afternoon after church. It was so quiet and lonely there. All we could hear were birds and a dog howling down the road. Hard to believe that for a short time there were 5,000 people living there. There was no sign of a thriving community. It was named Far West because it was literally the farthest western settlement in the United States at that time. Those Saints were not the beneficiaries of any of the promised blessings made on that hallowed spot.
As for me, I climb in the truck each morning and go to work in the mission office. Blessings of serving you may ask? I can't begin to say. Too many. I feel a love for those early Saints who tried to make a go here under the direction of the Lord. I also feel a deeper love for my family and friends back home. Each day we pray that our family will feel the blessing of us serving. We are doing this for them. My friend, Brother Moss, is in our ward at home. He told me when we left that he was going to "still be there and even be better". He is taking his darling wife, Tracy, to the temple this coming Saturday. Those people are better missionaries than I will ever be out here in Missouri! Our ward would never know who would show up on Sunday on the Moss row. Brother Moss was baptised just a year ago. Isn't that something? Isn't that just wonderful?
So, I just feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful gospel plan and be a part of so many people's lives. I learn so much. Ted and Lorraine, I say, you will never know how much I have learned about strength, courage, and true love all rolled together. Moss' , you have shown and taught me how to make mighty changes. These early Saints have taught me to not give up. Ever.
Blessings of serving? Way too many to count.
My love tonight,
I am reading a training manual for missionaries serving in the Historic Liberty Jail. It is a fairly detailed description of the events that took place here and near here of the Church members and leaders and of how things happened to them. I have often wondered why many of the prophesies that were made in this place never came to pass and why the saints just seemed to fail so miserably.
One of the first questions I wondered about was why the local residents came to despise the saints. And why so quickly. From what I can gather, there were some serious problems in the leadership. They did not do the things the prophet ask them to do. If fact, they were outright disobedient in many things. Even to the point of of committing criminal acts. For their actions, they were excommunicated from the church. They then leveled false but very damaging and believable accusations at the saints and church which got the whole church eventually booted from Missouri. Even an extermination order was signed by the Governor. It boiled down to disobediance.
The second question I had was why the temples that had sites dedicated for them were never completed. After visiting Far West today I know why. When the Lord directed that temples be built, all hell broke lose. The enemies of the Church did all they could to keep those temples from completion. The Lord told the church leadership that when the enemies and persecution of the church were so great that the work could not continue, that the commandments to build the temples were withdrawn. Consequently, the Temple sites at Independence and Far West are dedicated sites but do not have temples on them. The persecution in Far West was so bad, that the town of 5000 people left at one time for Illinois. The buildings were almost imediately razed and the land returned to farm land, just as it is today.
So, after my wondering, I have concluded that disobedience gets you nowhere and progression stops. And that is collectively as a church and individually. The Lord cannot bless us when we are disobedient. The objective of our earthly experiences is to learn to bend our will to His. Those experiences are not necessarily fun and we better be paying attention.
|Selfie of Sister and Elder Seaman at Far West Temple Site.|
The guy in front always has a big nose.
|RLDS Church across the road from Far West Temple Site built |
in 1907. No other buildings here. Kind of lonesome.
|Sister Seaman's favorite shirt front and center.|