Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Which Team's Jersey

2 Nephi 9:45 - 2 Nephi 14:3

This is his favorite hat.

He's had it for over a decade.

On his best days and on his worst days, it's what he grabs before he leaves his room.

He's loyal to the team written there across the brim.  Anyone who knows Josh can tell you that.  But he's also loyal to the friend who gave him this hat many, many years ago.  It's a friendship that goes down deep because this friend paved the way before, carried him through some rough times, taught him everything he needed to know.

That hat has been everywhere with us.

It's moved from home to home, from home to apartment, from apartment back to home.

I've even begged to stop a houseboat in the middle of Lake Powell so that someone could untie the ski boat and go racing back to retrieve the hat, which had blown off, before it sank.  (My heart still fills with gratitude for that driver, and his willingness to go back for that worn out cap.)

Because some things are irreplaceable.

Every time I saw Josh in that hat I was reminded of his loyalty...to a team, to a friend, to what he loved.

Now that hat sits high up on a shelf for safekeeping.

It's been replaced for a time.

Because now Josh grabs something else every time he leaves his room.

On the good days, and on the bad days.

He's loyal to the team written there across the front.  Anyone who knows Josh can tell you that.  But he's also loyal to his Friend whose name is written right there on the third line down.

A Friend who paved the way before.

A Friend who has carried him through some rough times.

A Friend who daily teaches him everything he needs to know.

Right now he's making memories that will be irreplaceable.  He's sharing what's most important to him.

His dedication at this time in his life reminds me of his loyalty to his beliefs...to his Friend.

To what matters most.

There is a verse in 2 Nephi 10:16 that talks about loyalty, "for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God."

Every day we have the opportunity to choose where our loyalties lie, which hat we will wear, which badge we will bear.

Elder Holland spoke of this decision, "The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known.  There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard.  The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team's jersey we want to wear."  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

In the moments when I am trying to decide which jersey I want to wear I am reminded of Josh.  Of the badge he places over his heart every single morning, of the jersey he wears every day.

Of the Friend he has chosen to represent.

To whom he is loyal.

“In the end it will not matter what we have chosen first if we have not chosen to serve Him.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

 

Emily Freeman