Thursday, April 17, 2014

Love One Another

Yes, Brother Simmons read my post last night, and yes, we talked about it today. But I don't want to talk about that right now. Right now I want to talk about Jan. It turns out Jan had one last lesson to teach me.

This evening Lucy and I attended an informal memorial service for Jan at Kiwanis Park in Provo. It wasn't her funeral. That will be held tomorrow morning at her family's ward chapel in Alabama. Greg let me know that for his part I'm welcome but that their dad knows who I am and has made it clear that he doesn't want me within fifty miles of the funeral. I considered going anyway--from what I know of Jan's dad, he doesn't deserve to be at her funeral--but finally I decided I don't want to make a scene. No matter how much of a jerk her dad is, I'm sure he loves her and I can't even imagine how terrible he must be feeling now. I don't want to make it worse. I can pay my respects to Jan in my own way. So that's what I did tonight.

First, let me get the crappy stuff out of the way: As you may have seen on the news, there were protesters at the memorial service. Protesters. At a memorial service. I can't even begin to understand these people. They were standing around the edges of the park, holding signs that said things like "The Wages of Sin is Death" and "God Hates Freaks." Lucy squeezed my hand when she saw me fuming as we passed the protesters. "Just ignore them," she said softly. I did, but it still makes me sick to think about it.

Okay, with that out of the way, we can get to the good stuff: There were probably a thousand people there at the park, gathered to celebrate Jan's life (compared to at most fifty protesters). People had come from every corner of Utah, from St. George to Logan. Some came from Idaho and Nevada and Arizona. I talked to one guy who flew in from New York after he read about Jan in the news and was touched by her story. For about two hours, people stood on a stage and talked about how Jan has touched their lives. Most were people she had healed, but some hadn't even met her--they were mutants who were inspired by her to come out of the closet and use their powers for good. It seemed like most of the people had some connection with the LDS church, ranging from active believers to angry apostates. But every one of them agreed on one thing: The world needs more people like Jan.


The service ended with everyone there joining hands and singing a Mormon hymn, "Love One Another." As we sang the simple words, "As I have loved you / Love one another," our voices drowning out the noise of the protesters behind us, my chest trembled. I couldn't even finish the song before I broke down in sobs. Lucy put her arms around me, and then suddenly random strangers were joining in, wrapping me in a group hug. The outpouring of love from people I've never met was almost as overwhelming as my grief for Jan.

I've heard people say that God is love. If that's true, then I believe in God.

4 comments:

  1. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    I am afraid I have missed something on your blog- I do not understand why people would be protesting someone's death? That just does NOT even make any sense. Why did they do that?

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  2. I don't really understand it either, Duck. Just a bunch of Westboro-style anti-mutant types, I guess. The same kind of people who picketed the Kansas shooting victims' funeral the other day: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/westboro-baptist-kansas-shooting-funeral_n_5153373.html

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  3. Thank you for explaining further. I did a little research, especially about the Westboro people. And, if Jan's funeral was picketed by those "kind" of people, I think I now understand what you were trying to say. Thank you for helping me understand.

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  4. BEWARE OF DISTORTED SHEEP-TALK BY STEVE FINNELL

    Do dead sheep have eternal security? Can sheep ever be lost? The favorite proof text of advocates for the erroneous doctrine of "once saved always saved" is John 10:27-28.


    John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


    Jesus said His sheep hear His voice. Jesus told us all how to become a member of His flock. (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.....) If you have not believed and have not been baptized in water, then you have not listened to the voice of Jesus. There is only one way to become a sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep follow Him, He did not say that He would force them to become sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep will be given eternal life and no one will snatch them from His hand.


    No one can snatch you from the hand of Jesus, however, you can choose to leave His hand voluntarily.


    Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.


    Why would Jesus instruct His sheep to endure to the end, in order to be saved, if the sheep were once saved always saved?


    DO DEAD SHEEP HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY?


    Acts 5:1-11.....3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back some of the price of the land? 4 .....You have not lied to men but to God."5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last. (Did this dead sheep, who lied to God, have eternal security?)


    Acts 5:11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.(Why would the whole church be in fear because of two dead sheep if all the sheep were once saved always saved?)


    SHEEP HAVE FREE-WILL!


    1 Timothy 5:14-15 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.


    Satan did not snatch these widows from the hand of Jesus, these sheep made a choice to follow Satan.


    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


    The love of money can cause sheep to wander from the faith. Satan has no power to force people from the faith. Men have a choice.


    1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith.....


    The Holy Spirit says some sheep will fall from the faith.
    Who do you trust the Holy Spirit or John Calvin?


    DO UNREPENTANT SHEEP, WHO HAVE GONE ASTRAY, HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY? NO!

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