We had chapel clean-up this morning. It was a life changing experience.
The first person I saw was a young father of three boys and soon to be daughter. As I greeted him and looked into his kind eyes, I was reminded of his circumstances. His story is truly one of agony and uncertainty. He is literally fighting for his freedom and there is a possibility that he may loose that fight. He has been falsely accused of horrific charges and is emotionally and physically exhausted in the continuing efforts of trying to clear his good name. Certainly the Lord would understand if he were to have stayed home this morning to rest and spend the day with his wife and children. His overwhelming circumstances surely has earned him a pass in chapel clean-up.
The second person I saw was Dola Davis. Sister Davis had gotten up early so that she could walk the several blocks to the church. The 85 degree weather wasn't a deterrent for her. In fact she undoubtedly had been up earlier than that pulling pesky weeds in her yard (a daily routine for her). I found her scurrying about in the Relief Society room, cleaning chalk boards and straightening chairs. She was one of the first members to come and one of the last members to leave. Sister Davis will turn ninety-one in August. Certainly the Lord would understand if she were to have stayed home. Ninety years of age surely has earned her a pass in chapel clean-up.
The third person I saw was Ken Herron. His body is tired and worn out from years of hard work. He strapped on the portable vacuum and went to labor in the chapel. I talked with him for a few minutes after he was done. Here is his story. His wife is ill. She suffers from severe seizures and progressive dementia. His eyes welled up as he told me how Sister Herron's sweet, loving personality has become hostile and combative due to the drugs she is taking and her frustration of not remembering literally from minute to minute. He told me of his concern for his son who is dying from alcoholism and how he is caring from him as well. Bro. Herron fought back the tears as he briefly expressed the toll that these situations are taking on him. His burden was so heavy this morning. My heart ached for him. He then left and hurried back to his home, not daring to be away from his sweetheart and son any longer. Certainly the Lord would understand if he were to have stayed home this morning. His plight surely has earned him a pass in chapel clean-up.
So why did they come? I once heard a thought provoking definition of sacrifice and consecration from Sister Bednar. Sacrifice is what we "give up" for the Lord. Consecration is what we "give to" the Lord. They did not make on offering of sacrifice as they chose to come to chapel clean-up this morning. Their lives were already lives of sacrifice on so many different levels. These three individuals live a higher law. Theirs was a consecrated offering this morning. They were "giving" what they had to Him, who they love and exercise faith in.
I write that my children may know........keeping our .covenants of sacrifice and consecration qualify us as true disciples of the Savior. I am so grateful to have witnessed what I witnessed this morning; humble, pure discipleship.