Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Departing Words.

I attended the funeral of a fire-fighter last Saturday. It was dignified and very impressive. It started with a processional ceremony of fifty plus fire-fighters walking from the Overton fire station to the chapel. Two huge fire trucks with ladders fully extended formed an arch in the sky while the fire gear and uniform of the deceased laid on top of the fire truck that he had operated. Uniformed firefighters stood at attention beside the casket at the viewing. Honor guards posted the colors in a touching ceremony to begin the funeral services. To end the services, six uniformed firefighters ceremonially folded the American flag that had been draped over the casket and presented it to the widow. There was the "Final Salute" as the pall bearers placed the casket into the vehicle. And then finally at the graveside the firefighters participated in one last ceremony: "The Final Alarm: The Ringing of The Bell" while the bag pipes mournfully played in the background.

Needless to say, it was an emotional day. I was grateful to have witnessed this brotherhood of honor,love and devotion in action.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on that brotherhood and the tribute they paid. It was impressive and it was deserved. He was a devoted fireman and I was grateful for the comfort it surely had to be for his wife and children.

I have since spent a lot of time reflecting on what kind of funeral would be fitting of your dad. He would not be honored with uniforms, ceremonies, and emotional displays. He isn't a firefighter,a military veteran,or an officer of the law. But he is a good husband, a loving father, and a righteous bearer of the priesthood. The greatest tribute that could be paid to your dad and me for that fact, is to have each of our eight children live in such a way as to be able to stand and bear powerful, heart-felt testimony that you believe in Jesus Christ; that you follow a living prophet and strive to live the teachings of the gospel.

No fanfare needed, just children who live the gospel and love the Lord.
I write...that my children may keep this in mind for when the time comes.

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