Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, What Songs of the Heart

"The spirit world is not far away. From the Lord’s point of view, it is all one great program on both sides of the veil. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. This I know! Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us." ~ Ezra Taft Benson

Sandy’s granddaughter, who lives in North Carolina, is visiting for three weeks. Today in the car Savannah, who is eleven years old, asked Sandy about an event that happened several years ago when Savannah was four. She can’t remember it, but her dad has shared the story with her.

Our mother passed away in May of 2001 (We've posted two pictures of Mom - the first one was taken when she was in her early twenties. The second one was taken a few months before she died). Shortly after her death, Savannah told her daddy (Sandy’s son, Bill) that she wanted to visit with “my daddy’s grandma,” as Savannah called her. At first Bill would try to change the subject or divert her attention to something else, because how do you explain death to a four-year old? Savannah was persistent, however, in her request to see her daddy’s grandma; so Bill sat her down and asked her if she remembered when our family gathered together to say goodbye to his grandma (at her funeral). He explained that we wouldn't see his grandma for a long time, because she now lives very far away. Savannah had never gone to church up to this point in her life, so the next words out of her mouth stopped Bill in his tracks. She said, “No sir, Daddy. Your grandma visits me in my “special” bed at night. She told me that families can be together forever and that she lives with Jesus now.” Mom visited Savannah several times. One evening Savannah came out of her room and her daddy asked her what she was doing. Savannah responded, “I’m playing with your grandma in my “special” bed.” Bill said at the time that there was a different, reverent feeling in his house during those days. We wondered if referring to her bed as “special” was the only way for a four-year-old to communicate the sacred aura in her bedroom during those visits.

Talking to Savannah about this today reminded us of how thin the veil is between our mortal lives and the spirit world. Sandy explained to Savannah that our deceased loved ones are just as concerned about us now, if not more so, as they were when they lived in mortality. Who better to be our guardian angels than our family members who have graduated to the other side? Savannah asked Sandy what she will do when she sees her mother again. The answer that came to mind is expressed in the hymn, Oh What Songs of the Heart:

Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing all the day,
When again we assemble at home,
When we meet ne'er to part
With the blest o'er the way,
There no more from our loved ones to roam!
When we meet ne'er to part,
Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing in our beautiful home.
Tho our rapture and bliss
There's no song can express,
We will shout, we will sing o'er and o'er,
As we greet with a kiss,
And with joy we caress
All our loved ones that passed on before;
As we greet with a kiss,
In our rapture and bliss,
All our love ones that passed on before.
Oh, the visions we'll see
In that home of the blest,
There's no word, there's no thought can impart,
But our rapture will be
All the soul can attest,
In the heavenly songs of the heart;
But our rapture will be
In the vision we'll see
Best expressed in the songs of the heart.
Oh, what songs we'll employ!
Oh, what welcome we'll hear!
While our transports of love are complete.
And the heart swells with joy
In embraces most dear
When our heavenly parents we meet!
As the heart swells with joy,
Oh, what songs we'll employ
When our heavenly parents we meet!

How thankful we are for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for our knowledge of the spirit world! We know that it is every bit as real as the mortal world we live in today. Although we don’t wish our lives away and do not want to hasten the time when we leave this mortal world, we look forward to the day when we greet our family members who are now on the other side of the veil.

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