Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 Red Roses and 1 White Rose

That's what my dad gets for my mom pretty much every Valentine's Day.  She loves it.  It represents her children.  The six red roses are for those of us still living.  The one white rose is for Katie who died about 39 years ago.  That has become her symbol in all of dad's floral arrangements.  The white rose is Katie.  Last night when we were over there for piano lessons I was looking at the beautiful flowers on her table.  They were more beautiful because I knew the meaning of them.  Then I started looking at the single white rose.  It was so white and pure.  Katie died when she was 2 years old.  In our church, we believe that we were sent to the earth for two reasons.  One was to get a physical body so we could be like our Father in Heaven.  The other was to be tested and tried.  We needed to show Heavenly Father that we were willing to be obedient and follow Him even when it was hard.  In our church we are baptized at the age of eight years old.  We believe that is when a child is old enough to really know right from wrong and be accountable for their actions.  If a child dies before the age of eight we believe that they were perfect and needed no testing.  They were pure, righteous spirits from our Heavenly Father and only needed to come and get a body or help some one else.  We also believe this about the special people here on this earth who have mental handicaps and things like that.  We all know these special spirits who, through their disabilities and illnesses are able to touch those around them and change lives for the good.  Katie was one of those special spirits.  She came to earth for a short time, but the affects of her little life are still changing people.  As I stared at that pure, white rose and thought of Katie, my heart was touched.  How blessed we are to have her as part of our family.  How blessed we are to have, through her, been brought to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  How blessed we were as I and three of my brothers served missions in Ireland, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras and spread that gospel to all those who would listen.  How blessed we are to know that even though right now we are a red rose, filled with shortcomings and mistakes, we can someday through the blood of Christ become a white rose too.  That we can be pure and clean and ready to enter in to the presence of our Heavenly Father.  Yesterday was a day to express love and appreciation to those we love.  What greater love have we been shown than the life that our Brother, Jesus Christ, gave for us?  There is no greater love.  There is no greater gift.  As I looked at Katie's white rose, it gave me more determination to give thanks to my Savior and my Heavenly Father by becoming more obedient, more submissive, meek and humble.  To stay on my knees when I stumble while at the same time standing up and being a light to those around me.  I hope that at the end of all this, when my time comes to stand before God and be judged, that I, along with the rest of my family, will be able to stand next to Katie and be made pure and clean and become a white rose too.

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