The past almost two years have been a whirlwind. In this time, I met Jaime, fell in love, proposed to her, married her in the Temple of the Lord, completed my Master’s in Library Science, started professional librarian work, moved to New York City (the greatest city in the world!), discovered I was going to be a father (!!!!!), searched for a job outside New York City, moved to Small Town, USA, watched my daughter take her first breath (amazing!), and finally (to this point) was called to serve as the Ward Executive Secretary, (for those who are not familiar with the LDS church, the Ward Executive Secretary makes the Bishop run, both figuratively and literally 😛 ).
I mention this because, we in the Bishopric just called and sustained my wife, Jaime, who has experienced a similar whirlwind these past two years, as the Relief Society President. For the longest time I had wanted this very situation, a consistent stable life in a strong loving marriage with children, callings in the church where we can provide service to our fellow brethren and sisters, working on just my salary. The only thing missing right now from the perfect picture is us owning a house of our own. That will come in due time.
What amazes me, from the vantage point I have right now, is just how much help everybody needs. We need each other greatly. We need to serve each other, show love one toward another, be the example one to another, because Satan tries very hard to take us down with all his distractions. The serving of others is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the giving of oneself for another. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says the following:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 for I was ahungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 for I was ahungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
And in Mosiah 2:17, King Benjamin adds:
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is no ordinary Christian church. We are building the Kingdom of God here on earth, and it must be built from the foundation up, brick by brick. This is hard work. It is not easy. But serving others, giving of ourselves, in sacrificing our will for God’s will, we discover that we find a better Self. I had always had a problem with what Jesus said in Matthew 16:25:
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I could never understand that concept until I had finally made that sacrifice. You don’t lose your identity, your Self, when you lose your life for His sake. Indeed, you discover that you like your new Self even more, find more confidence in who you are, like looking at yourself in the mirror more, and actually don’t really mind what others might think of you, because you now belong to the Lord.
What I am basically saying in this post (and forgive me if it sounds rather rambling and incoherent–I’m writing this as a means to fall asleep 😛 —- is that I am here for my wife as she now serves the sisters of our ward as their president.
Here’s a picture of us yesterday at church. 🙂