Sunday, November 02, 2008

"The Ministry of Angels"

It seemed to me that this General Conference had a lot of references to angels. Elder Holland's entire talk was about angels.

Elder Holland's talks are powerful and emotional. Reading them is good and well, but to listen to him deliver it really carries the Spirit into one's heart.

This talk has become more meaningful to me since I broke my finger last week. As I've grown older, I've noticed and acknowledged that I am easily prone to bouts of depression. I feel isolated and alone. So when Elder Holland mentioned Lehi describing himself in "a dark and dreary waste" I somewhat understood how he might have felt. Elder Holland goes on to say "In the course of life all of us spend time in 'dark and dreary' places, wildernesses, circumstances of sorrow or fear or discouragement." After breaking my finger, the air from my sails and drive to move forward have faded and I feel that loneliness. Such distress over such a small digit.

But I testify that over these last few days and in anticipation of my surgery, angels have ministered to me too. After a troublesome, sleepless night followed by an early alarm clock to remind me to get up to go to work, I arrived at the office and later checked my email to find an angelic note from my wife. On another day, I stopped to chat with our security guard. He is an older man and is always kind enough to chat with me. After talking with him, I felt less focused on my pinkie. At home there are four little angels (five if you consider dogs to be angels) who have showed sympathy and love and who have given kisses and hugs. Those have done more to heal than anything the doctor has done or will do. As chance would have it, my mother-in-law is visiting us for the week. She has been so cheerful and upbeat after I've come home from a 12-hour shift. Her positive attitude and cheerfulness has helped me be less grumbly.

I am such a selfish lug. All that has happened this last week and listening to Elder Holland's talk, has made me realize that there are many others suffering far worse than I. What am I doing to be an angel to them?

Additional reading:
"The Ministry of Angels" Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Coming Home" Clyn D. Barrus, “Coming Home,” Friend, Apr 1995, 2