There are oodles of topics I could choose from to write about today, but I’m going to narrow it down to some great instruction I received from church yesterday, some of it from my son and his sweet wife Amanda. My daughters and I came straggling in a tad late (imagine that) with three little children in tow. Being tardy, we had to sit near the front, but that had its advantages since we could get a better look at Paul and Amanda.
I knew that the two of them would be speaking in Sacrament service, and I had asked Amanda about her topic a couple of days before. She said the bishop had asked her to make a few remarks about something she considered to be important advice. Immediately, I thought of the most important advice I could think of, love one another, but I refrained from saying anything. Amanda’s a smart cookie, and I knew that whatever she said would be sage advice.
I wasn’t disappointed, for her talk was on charity, specifically on the phrase, “Charity never faileth.” Defining charity as the “pure love of Christ,” Amanda then went on to give numerous examples of what that actually meant, and she also instructed her listeners on how to develop that Christ-like quality (II Peter 1: 5-7). Her remarks hit home. Just the day before, one of my daughters and I had been talking about how uncharitable gossiping about others is, and this is one of the points that Amanda made. “If you have it (charity), you’re not going to put yourself down, and you’re going to put others down either.” She also pointed out the importance of patience, temperance, and virtue.
Paul’s talk was also about advice to others, and while he had chosen to focus primarily on the youth, there were many lessons there for oldsters as well. He reminded his listeners of the importance of friends and of their influence on you. He also encouraged them (us) to take an active role in the church rather than be what he described as passively active, coming but not really being involved. The choices we make now, including friends and activities, can have eternal consequences.
As the young couple sat together on the stand at the completion of their remarks, I looked at them and felt their strength. Both of them had grown up in that very ward, and although college and missions had taken them away for a while, there they were again, home for one last Sunday.
As Paul said, it was a bittersweet day, a day commemorating an ending and a new beginning. Yesterday was the last Sunday this young couple will be in their “home ward” because this week they’re moving to GA and graduate school. It’s an adventure that will provide them with the opportunity to establish their own home away from family and friends and familiarity.
It’s bittersweet for me too. I watched them wheel out of the parking lot, young adults who were once babies being brought by their parents to that exact same building. I can only hope that the roar of the ocean will lure them back to SC one day.