Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sacrifices . . .

Recently Sister Cathy Larsen from our home Relief Society Presidency, wrote and asked me to write something for the RS monthly newsletter on Sacrifice.  Since this IS my journal, I am going to include my thoughts here as well.  I am also elaborating on my thoughts . . . . . . .

In the scriptures we read about the many sacrifices made by many of the old prophets.  The story of Abraham always comes to my mind.  For a father to take a young son, gather the wood and then travel 3 days to make a sacrifice of his son showed me a great sacrifice made becasue the Lord told him to do this.  We all have heard the story and an angel came to Abraham to stop him from the ultimate sacrifice.  Recently after we had discussed this in a conference, one of the other senior missionaries pointed out one similarity in Abraham's sacrifice and the Lord's sacrifice of his own son, Jesus Christ.  Both carried the wood (cross) to the place where they were to be sacrificed.     

We read and hear stories of the sacrifices made by those who came to American to enjoy a free life.  Those who became sick as they crossed the ocean in ships.  those who fought the British in the Revolutionary War so that we could enjoy our freedom in America.  We read about the sacrifices made by the pioneers who left almost everything to go to Zion, many losing their lives along the way. One of those stories is about the Willie Handcart Company. The sacrifice of many was so great  so that they could come to Zion.  Those who have fought for our freedom in other nations to preserve our rights and freedoms in America as well as helping those in other countries to have freedoms as well.  We also see many who are in the military who have made the ultimate sacrifice, of giving up their own life for our freedoms.

Going on a mission was somewhat of a sacrifice for me.  It meant leaving my nice home and furnishings.  It meant leaving my grand kids for 18 months and not being able to attend those special programs at their school.  It meant leaving my kids – even though they are scattered around the United States now.  It meant leaving my mother and Wade’s mother who are both in their mid 80s.  It meant leaving friends and family, some who have passed to the other side. It meant not being there to give support to those who lost those loved ones.  It meant leaving foods that we enjoyed.  But those sacrifices seem so minimal compared to some of the sacrifices we have seen here in the Philippines. 

Many of you have seen the movie “Only a Stonecutter”.  It tells of John Moyle who would travel 22 miles from Alpine Utah, on Monday morning, to go to the Salt Lake Temple to work on the temple during the week and then return back to Alpine after work on Friday evening.  After several years, he lost one of his legs.  He made himself a wooden leg to walk on.  When he could get along on the leg, he went back to the work on the temple.  He sacrificed to fulfill his church calling as a stonecutter on the temple.

We recently traveled with the other senior couples to visit some less active members who live in more remote places, who have a difficult time getting to church.  Many of these people just can not afford to go to church and walking would take them several hours.  Some of these members are returned missionaries.  Many would be strong active members if they could get to church more often. 

One man we visited was Rudy Grospee.  He lives in Bugnan which is across the river from the main town and roads of Gabaldon.  He pedals his bike to the river, puts his bike on his shoulder and carries it across the river and then pedals four miles to church.   He takes his church clothes with him and changes at the church.   During the typhoon season, the river is just too high to cross and many times the saints will hold sacrament meeting there in the village. He makes this sacrifice each week to attend his meetings.

Many of the Filipino missionaries sacrifice to earn the money needed to go on a mission.  Many of these missionaries are the only one in their family who are members.  One special young man, Elder Alcibor, is the youngest of 11 children.  He is the only member in his family.  He never received letters from home for 24 months.  I believe he talked to his mother once and she said it made her cry to write to him.  He sacrificed to spend the 24 months on his mission.  He now works at the MTC in Manila.

Our Heavenly Father loves each of us and through the trials we have and the sacrifices we make, He blesses us!  He won’t give us more than we can handle.  Recently a close friend of my family contracted cancer.  She had been in remission, but this awful evil came back.  This time after a round of chemo, she was told that her cancer was terminal.  They told her she could live possibly 3 months or maybe a little longer. She cried and then told her daughter that she would soon be with her mother and younger sister.  She spent the next few weeks spending time with her family and friends who went to visit her. She fought a good fight!  Her fight ended on March 19, 2012.  She lived a good life, but had many trials that she over came.  She made many sacrifices so that she could sty a little longer with her family.

I see many others in my home ward who make daily sacrifices for others . . . There are some many examples of sacrifice all around us.  I look at Vicki Dahn and all that she sacrifices for her family.  I think of the Newbold and the Fullmer families and the sacrifices they have made for the health of their children.  I think of the bishops, leaders of the organizations, and teachers we have had in our ward and the unselfish sacrifices that they make for each of us.  President Greg Dahl sacrificed to take care of the Stake when he was injured . . . the members of the stake were not far from his mind I'm sure.

Going on a mission is sacrifice, but what a wonderful way to sacrifice our time, talents and all that we have to serve the lord.  He has given us so much!  I know that this is where I am supposed to be and that it is part of the plan that my Heavenly Father has for me at this time in my life.  He has blessed our family and our mothers while we have been away.  I know that this is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a living prophet today ~ Thomas S. Monson.  We can have the Holy Ghost to guide us and help us.  Our Heavenly Father loves each of us.

I feel truly blessed to be able to make a small sacrifice for him.  His son made the ultimate sacrifice for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment