We were given a LOT of books to read when Link died. Honestly, most of them, I haven't gotten to yet. A lot of them I want to read with Jason, so that slows reading progress a bit since we actually have to find time for us both to be in the same place at the same time. And that time has to be quiet and uninterrupted. And we both had to be awake. Amazingly, or maybe not-so-amazingly, times like that are scarce for us.
We started reading Gaze Into Heaven, by Marlene Bateman Sullivan. It is a book my grandma gave me & has near-death experiences from the early members of our church. It is very neat. We are about 3/4 the way through that book. The peace and love and beauty of heaven that was described in that book was so amazing - and also comforting to know that Link is partaking of all those wonderful things. However, there came a point in reading that I really felt strongly that we needed to pick up the book The Message, by Lance Richardson.
The Message was given to us by four separate people. I felt like I was getting the message to read The Message. So I listened. I'm thankful that I did. The Message is the story of a man's journey across the veil - who he met, what he learned, and how it applies to us today. We just finished it yesterday.
We were driving up north a month or so ago & I was reading to Jason when I came across the paragraph below (bolded), I had to stop reading for the emotion that welled up inside of me:
"Oh, Grandpa, it is so good to see you."
"It's great to see you, Lance. We've been anxiously awaiting your visit." He stepped back and took a long look at me. "You look good! I can see your Dad's characteristics in you. I've enjoyed helping you and your family so much over the past years."
I appreciated his assessment. But his final sentence caught my interest. "What do you mean by that, Grandpa? How have you helped us?"
"Oh Lance, you'd be surprised how involved many of us are in your lives," he responded. "it's really quite exciting. We'll show you more about how it works in a while."
Randy looked at me with a smile. "In most cases, Lance, when you pray to God for help, it is your dead relatives and loved ones who are sent by God to help you in answer to your prayers. Thus we weld links and bonds of love within the family forever. The family is the central and eternal unity of our society...And so, those relatives of yours who have lived righteous lives can be used as ministering servants, by God, to assist His children who are still in mortality. We serve you, and you serve us. It is the mode of heaven." (underlines added)
I think I choked up right at the moment I read the word "links." The symbolism gets me every time. I love my son's name.
The spirit bore witness at that time the truthfulness of that statement. And that was the moment my mind started thinking about Link and realizing that his mission while he was here - and continuing on the other side - is strengthening those "links" in our family chain - as well as forming new ones. My heart was full, knowing how many loved ones from the other side have helped us and continue to help us every day. I also started really having a desire to serve them as well and have been pondering how to do this. I have come up with some exciting ideas and we plan to implement them on his angelversary. I will definitely be doing a blog post about that, but I wanted to share the initial idea and share my testimony that I do know that God has an eternal plan for each one of us - and it is always connected with FAMILY. That word - FAMILY - is so very sacred to me. It was always important to me. Now, it is truly sacred. I am so thankful for a knowledge of forever families. I am SO thankful for the knowledge that my sweet son, my grandpas, my grandmas, aunts, and other relatives and friends are not only WATCHING OVER us, but actually HELPING us in a very real way.
We will definitely be sharing copies of this book. It was awesome!