Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Things I Hold Dear

Today my thoughts have been full of the things I hold dear. How do we hold onto them?  The things most dear to us...

One of my dearest friends passed away this morning at five.  I have told you about her before on this day and on this day...

Oh, how I love that woman.

I could fill a book with what I have learned from her.

We met eight years ago by assignment.  I walked over to Verda's home to introduce myself because she had just been called as my visiting teacher.  She was planting 100 tulips in her front yard.

We have been dear friends ever since that afternoon.

I am so grateful she did not hold that assignment as a light thing.

That she was so devoted to her responsibility.

In the beginning, she would visit at my home every month.  She knew how to lift my heart.  Especially when the storms came...

After a few years went by it became to hard for her to come out in the winter.  She was 100 years old.  So her companion and the other lady she visited and I went to her home instead.

The four of us became inseparable friends.

When assignments changed, the friendships didn't.

What used to be visiting teaching turned into lunch on Monday afternoons.

I hold those memories precious.

Especially now.

They will never be considered a light thing.

Last week the three of us went over to Verda's house for a visit.  It was one of the last times we were all together.  We gathered around her bed, just as we used to gather around her table.

There, in her room, the four of us.

Only barely alert she whispered three things to us...

Thank you...

I love you...

Come back...

We sat there together in that moment, our hands clasped together, and I realized the power of humble gratitude, of unconditional love, of cherished friendships.

I want to hold onto those gifts.  I don't ever want them to be accounted as a light thing in my life.

 

...I want to hold onto those friends.

In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn the importance of holding onto precious things, specifically the oracles, or the revelations from the Lord.

"And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house."

(D&C 90:5)

 I was reminded that visiting teaching came as a revelation from the Lord.  As an oracle.   And because one woman held that oracle dear, and did not count it as a light thing, it became a tremendous blessing in my life.

Because when the storms descended, and the winds blew, and rains fell and beat upon my house I did not stumble or fall.

Such is the power of a true friend who acts on assignment from God.

A woman who gives her whole heart in her offering...

"Nevertheless, let it be read this once to her ears, that I, the Lord, have accepted of her offering... And I will bless her with blessings, and multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon her, and upon her generations forever and ever."

(D&C 97:27-28)

 

 

 

Emily Freeman