Sunday, August 27, 2017

Eclipsing the SON

NOTE: Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke about this very thing in General Conference this October! Click Spiritual Eclipse to read his more eloquent and much better thoughts on being eclipsed spiritually. 

Were any of you able to view the Solar Eclipse on Monday? My little town was right in the path of totality, so we were among the lucky ones to view the total eclipse right from our backyard. It was phenomenal! I don't think I have words adequate enough to describe how unbelievable it was. Whoever invented the word "astronomical" probably did so right after seeing a total solar eclipse.

Don't mind my sub-par phone eclipse photos. I did the best I could. :)

My mom, who was also here for the eclipse, kept saying "I can't believe how dark and cold it got when the moon covered the sun!"

While I was watching during totality, I was immediately struck by a spiritual parallel, that started with the question, "do I ever let something come between myself and the Savior?"

It made me realize that even little things (as the moon is minuscule in comparison to the size of the sun) can "eclipse" our view of the Savior. They can cause the light we see by and the warmth we feel to be changed. Our very perceptions can be changed (in my neighborhood, a few dogs started going crazy when the sun was fully eclipsed).

I've been thinking a lot about those things that we allow to "eclipse the Son" in our lives. Maybe things like fear, anger, procrastination, holding a grudge, getting our priorities mixed up are all things that can "eclipse the Son" in our lives. What do you think can cause you to eclipse your relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father?

I know that when we keep ourselves in proper alignment with the Savior and remember to look to Him, we will always be able to see things clearly and feel the power that comes from His Atonement. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Learning to Become a Father

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, our ward choir sang, "Teacher, Do You Love Me?" from the Primary Children's Songbook. We changed the word "Teacher" in the song to "Father," in honor of Father's Day. As the choir director, I had invited some children of the ward to join with us, and they along with some teen members of our choir, sang the first two verses of the song.

Father, do you love me?
Father, will you care for me?
Even if I turn away, or disobey, or go astray,
Then will you love me still?
Father, will you teach me?
Father, help me choose the right.
When I do not understand the Lord's command, please take my hand
And lead me safely with his light.

The women in our choir then joined in for the bridge.

I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior's love will light the path
To lead me safely home.

Finally, the men sang the next two verses, with the entire singing for the final bridge.

Oh yes, my child, I love you.
My child, I'll always care for you.
And with the Savior as our guide, I'll share the light I feel inside,
And you will feel his love for you.
Oh, yes, my child, I'll teach you.
My child, I'll help you choose the right.
And when you do not understand The Lord's command, I'll take your hand,
And he will lead us with his light.

I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior's love will light the path
To lead us safely home.

We hadn't had very many men attend our practices, and I was feeling a little nervous that the desired effect would be lost if we didn't get more men to sing for the musical number. We had a couple choir members do some "recruiting" and the entire Young Men's group ended up joining us for the musical number. As they hadn't practiced with us, they didn't know there were different "teen" and "men's" parts and they sang when their leader sang. But what those young men did touched a spiritual chord within me and I was tearing up all through the song.

It struck me as significant that these young men, who are not yet fathers, were filling the "father" role in our song, almost as if they are recognizing that they have a divine heritage to be fathers and that they are preparing now to fill that divine role.

As these young men learn to fulfill their various priesthood responsibilities, they are preparing to fulfill their divine mission to become fathers with nobility and righteousness. Even if they didn't mean to, I am grateful that they taught me how important it is to begin young to prepare these young men for their eternal role of fatherhood.