|Photo from LDS Media Library|
What is a Tender Mercy?
Elder David A. Bednar defined the tender mercies of the Lord as “the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Further, he taught that “the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.” (“Tender Mercies” - What is a Tender Mercy?)
I want to share the tender mercies I have discerned and acknowledged this past week.
1. Moses 1:39 - "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
On Tuesday as we were traveling to be with my mother and siblings I had this scripture pop into my head. And then the Holy Ghost taught me this: You cannot obtain immortality without leaving mortality and you cannot obtain eternal life without leaving earth life. And like the Savior, my father has "marked the path and led the way."
2. President Thomas S. Monson's Facebook post
Within a few hours of arriving to be with my family on Tuesday evening, my friend shared with me this message immediately upon being posted to President Monson's page:
|Thomas S. Monson Official Facebook Page|
The living prophet's personal message to me: "through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting."
3. President Russell M. Nelson's Facebook post
While we were holding my father's viewing on Thursday evening, this was posted to President Nelson's page:
|Russell M. Nelson Official Facebook Page|
4. Mormon Tabernacle Choir Facebook Post
On Wednesday morning we all (mom, children, grandchildren) walked a few miles to our neighbor's farm so that my mom could ask our neighbor to sing at my father's funeral. My brother and sister and I followed our neighbor to get his attention, as he drove his tractor into the hay stacks. He came out and visited with my family and my mother asked him to sing, "Be Still My Soul". He was honored. He mentioned that my mom should really listen to a special performance of this hymn that David Archuleta performed for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir a few years ago.
On Friday afternoon, after the funeral, this was posted to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Facebook page:
|Mormon Tabernacle Choir Official Facebook Page|
5. How Great the Wisdom and the Love
On Saturday morning we went to the horseshoe courts for the Junior Cup tournament. My father had encouraged all the youth participants via an email on Monday to come and participate. All the family came to support the youth at the tournament. Before the tournament, I had the words to a hymn going through my mind, "he marked the path and led the way". I had been thinking again about Moses 1:39 and wondered to myself what hymn was this line coming from. I went online and looked up the words and was overcome with emotion when I realized it was this hymn:
6. Jayson's Mission Call
My oldest nephew was expecting his mission call this past week. When the "traditional" day of Wednesday came and left and there wasn't a call, family members kept saying that perhaps it will come on Saturday. A nearby neighbor commented that his call arrived on a Saturday. Though not "traditional" maybe it really would come on Saturday. It would be better if it came on Saturday after the family had all arrived, the viewing, the funeral, and the horseshoe tournament were all over. Thursday came and went and no call. Friday came and went and no call. Saturday came and after the horseshoe tournament ended his call was received! With all the family present we learned that Jayson would be serving in the California Santa Rosa Mission.
7. Mom's Temple Calling
My mother and father were in the third year of their two year temple calling when my father passed away. All week my mother was trying to decide if she should continue serving and the logistics of early morning travel from Cedar City to St. George or if now was the time to be released. Family members and temple workers encouraged her and plead with her to return to serving. She pondered to herself what she should do and hadn't shared her thoughts yet with us. She asked my brother, the oldest son and now new family patriarch what he thought about her continuing her calling. He shared with her his thoughts; they were exactly what she had been pondering. He discerned her thoughts! She knew upon hearing his words that it was time for a release and to spend time serving as a patron. When the Cedar City Temple is complete in a few years she may once again serve as an ordinance worker.
8. Let It Go
My mother has been thinking a lot of "should have", "could have", "why didn't I" thoughts all week. She has been praying for forgiveness for all of the shortcomings in her relationship with my father. Then she heard my daughter as she was playing outside with her new music box that was just purchased the day before. As the tune of "Let It Go" rang throughout the yard and house she knew that it was an answer to her prayers to just let it go, to forgive, to move on, and to just love each other more. She pulled us all together Sunday evening and shared this powerful testimony with us.
I am so grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has blessed my family with this week. I want to ensure that I continue to discern and acknowledge the Lord's hand in my life daily. For this reason and many others I have chosen to share these precious moments here on this blog. I hope my experiences with the Spirit will touch others.
*Updated 8.19.15 at 9:40 pm
When we left to go be with my family our peach tree was starting to drop it's fruit. As we drove away from our home I knew that we would lose our entire peach crop while we were gone. I asked my friend Rebecca to give them away to others so they wouldn't go bad. We arrived home tonight and just a few minutes ago my cousin's son showed up at our door. He just lives around the corner from us. Unknown to me, my brother had asked him to help us. Chad had his scouts come to our home and take bags of peaches to another neighbor who canned them for us. Tonight I was presented with 12 quarts of my own peaches.