Monday, December 21, 2009

Angels Among Us

Thank you for your enthusiasm and congratulations for my good news! But some of you forgot to share your own good news, so please do it this week! It's always fun to share and I loved reading the different bits of good news from those who left it.

As I was thinking about what I would post this morning, I was reminded of a post I did on my personal blog a few years ago and felt that I should share it here today.

It comes from a quote by Elder Merrill J. Bateman in the December Ensign from 2007. Elder Bateman was the president of BYU when I was there and is a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been inspired by him so many times and just love him. The Ensign is a magazine printed by our church.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from that post:

"What is the lesson for us today as we enter a new Christmas season? Who will minister to those in need? Who are the angels that will prepare the way for His return? I have noticed that during the early stages of a dispensation, angelic ministers come from the other side of the veil, but as time elapses and the number of faithful members increases, more is expected of those in mortality. For example, when a new country is opened to the gospel, missionaries learn that many have been prepared in miraculous ways to receive the gospel, and miracles occur with some frequency to advance the work. Once a core of members is established, however, the Lord’s assistance changes as He provides opportunities for the members to become the miracle workers.

"Consequently, miracles during this Christmas season require our faith and works. As we sing the hymns of Christmas and speak of angels sent to earth to witness the Savior’s birth in the meridian of time, may we rise to the occasion and minister to those in need in our day. May we be reminded of our promises to “bear one another’s burdens, … to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places … and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [we] may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:8–9).

"I bear witness that Christmas is a season for angels. As they ministered to the Savior and others in the “meridian of time,” may we, as angels of mercy, minister to other families and to those in need in the “fulness of times” so that the Lord’s work may move forward."

I read this while working out at the gym this morning and it just really appealed to me. I don't know that it's necessarily a totally new concept, I just like the way he put it all together. And it got me thinking about all of the people who have acted as angels in my life. There are too many to count, from the countless times that friends and family have called or dropped by or sent a note when I needed some extra love, to strangers who have smiled at me on the street or held a door when I've got my arms full, to my beautiful children who are so amazing at making me feel special. I have been blessed with the most amazing family and the most amazing friends. And of course, I get to keep my most amazing angel for eternity. My incredible husband who has saved me from everything from unbearably dark days to a really really bad haircut that I got last weekend. Not very many husbands could look at a really miserable haircut and determine how to style it so it actually looks cute. And that's only one of his many amazing skills. He is such an amazing blessing that I don't always deserve. But I'm trying to.

Anyway, after realizing just how blessed I've been by all of these angels (i.e. all of you) in my life, I decided to add another resolution to my list for 2008. I resolve to live so that I can be attentive enough and flexible enough to be someone else's angel whenever the Lord needs my help.

Back to 2009. I still remember writing this post. The reason it hit me so poignantly that day is because of my little nephew who just turned 2. He was born several weeks early and my brother and his family had to deal with all the trials and difficulties and fears that sort of thing brings. It was so hard living across the country from them and feeling helpless.

Then I heard them share the stories of all the wonderful people who did live close enough to help and were doing a great job of it. And I was so thankful to all these people that I didn't even know. They were like angels to me as well as my brother's family, because they provided me with peace of mind.

And the thought occurred to me that maybe that's a part of God's plan. We can't always be close enough to bring soup to a sick friend or relative, but there is someone nearby that we can help. We can be angels for someone else.

Kind of like Karma, or something? I don't know. It's one of those concepts that made more sense in my head than it is here. But when I help someone here that I don't know very well, I feel like that's my way of making a deposit in the Bank of Good Works. And then hopefully, when someone I love needs help, someone else near them can make that withdrawal for me. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, just something to think about during the last few days of Christmas season and as we head into the new year. I'm so thankful to my Savior Jesus Christ for being the supreme Example of serving others. I know that by following Him in that way, we will become closer to Him. And that is the pathway to eternal happiness.

Have a Very Merry Christmas!


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