Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heaven Visited Stansbury Park Today

We just arrived home from the funeral service of John Edward Jones and wanted to express the feelings in our hearts. John’s parents live down the street from us. You may have heard John’s name in the news lately – both local and national – as he is the young 26 yr. old man who died in Nutty Putty Caves. John’s body cannot be recovered and the caves will be permanently sealed as his tomb, with a memorial marker placed at the opening of the cave.

The tragedy of his being stuck upside down and the hundreds of rescuers who sacrificed to try and save him has been widely published in newspapers, across the Internet, and in local and national TV news broadcasts.

What I want to address is the incredible witness I received when reading the Jones’ Family Statement that was published, and then again, that same witness today during the funeral service today.

Here's our comment to the Newspaper yesterday as a prelude to our thoughts today:
bevanmission  Comment 11:46am - Fri Nov 27th, 2009

Thank-you for publishing the family's statement! We are praying that the Lord will comfort the Jones family at this time and in the days ahead. And in reading of their great faith in the plan of salvation for forever families, we find that the Lord is using them as an example to the rest of us in feeling His great Peace while enduring life's struggles. Their expressions of love and gratitude and concern for others emulate the reality of being encircled in the arms of His love.

God bless the Jones family for their grace and loving example of faith as they live through this heart-break!

Today, while many see his death as a tragic accident, it is clear that this young father was called home by our Heavenly Father! We will never know why some have short times on earth and others a lengthy, drawn out life. The Spirit was overwhelmingly clear that his time on earth was completed. It was clearly evident that John was given the gift from the Lord to be able to use his death as a missionary opportunity to help bring souls unto Christ, in the same manner that John lived his life while on this side of the veil.

If the Lord had called him home in his sleep, or in a car accident, would other’s have been drawn to his cause? Probably only a few outside of his family and close friends. But now, because of the story of his entrapment with the heroic efforts by his rescuers, his story – his unfailing testimony of the Savior and his desire to always be a missionary, has now been sent abroad to touch hearts, invite the Spirit, and share Gospel truths!

What a miracle! Such a miracle! What a blessing to know by the Spirit of the Lord’s ways! What a privilege to have been in attendance at this young father’s memorial service, to feel the touch of heaven and the sweet tender Spirit that attends when being encircled in the arms of His love! What a wonder to have heard and known that the Chapel was full of those from both sides of the veil!

Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY focus today come from
 Pres. Thomas S. Monson quoting Pres. Ezra Taft Benson: 
Thomas S. Monson. Photo by Brian Tibbets (tibb...Image via Wikipedia

Photo of Ezra Taft BensonImage via Wikipedia

 "Temples really are the gateways to heaven.” He said: “May we remember always, as we [visit and work in these glorious temples], that the veil may become very thin between this world and the spirit world. I know this is true.” He declared, “It is well also that we keep in mind that it is all one great program on both sides of the veil and it is not too important whether we serve here or over there, as long as we serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.”

Today, we had a glimpse into Heaven and the Lord's work that is, indeed, carried out on both sides of the veil!
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1 comment:

bevanmission said...

It seems sad to say that we've been influenced by John Edward Jones more in death than in life. We certainly don't mean to imply any insensitivity of thoughtlessness on our part. We knew John's parents, but did not know John before this week and we will forever remember his legacy and influence. Our hearts were touched - deeply. We felt the love of the Lord. Our testimonies have been strengthened and fortified. We continue to pray for his family, that they will be comforted. Nobody would choose to go through such suffering and anguish as we have witnessed this past week. But, because of the death of John Edward Jones, we have been thinking even more of our Savior and of our gratitude for His Atoning Sacrifice!

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