Friday, December 30, 2016

Time goes on - Ambure's Story


Yesterday, the 29th, was the 2 month mark since Tenzin died.   2 months.  We miss him, and it still hurts.  It hurts to see our kids hurt.



Today, marks the 38 YEARS since our Ambure died.  It doesn't hurt as bad, hardly at all.
I think we'll go up to the cemetery today.

I've never posted this before  - but here is Ambure's Life History.  I wrote it many years ago, not long after she died, and I added on to it at some point after Landon was born.  I scanned in some pics from her "book", and added them.  You will need to click on some of the pics to enlarge.  It was a special time of remembrance for me today.  The memories fade, and I'm so glad I wrote down what I did then.  I know that when I see her again, AND I WILL, I know that everything will come flooding back, and it will be a glorious reunion.


November 1978 - 8 months old
This is my favorite picture of her.  We were visiting my Grandma Tonks.
It perfectly captures her dark dark eyes, and her curly mop of curls :)

Ambure Rich’s Life History
By Gwen D. Rich, her mother

            I was due with Ambure on February 23, 1978, but she was two weeks late.  She was footling breech, which means feet first, and had to be delivered by caesarean section.  I went into labor 1 1/2 days before I was scheduled to be C-sectioned.  Back in 1978, the dad's weren't allowed to come in the operating room when the baby was born by C-section.  I was really scared.  At 11:43 a.m. on the morning of March 8, 1978, we had a  beautiful baby girl.  Ambure didn't have a mark on her little body or face.  She was very beautiful, with her dark black eyes and brown hair. 

Ambure's doctor was Dr. Jerry Gardner.  He and Dr. Merrill Godfrey delivered her.  She weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces, and was 20 1/2 inches long.  She was sure a big baby, probably because she was two weeks overdue! 

            We sure loved little Ambure because she was our first baby, and she was very special.  We decided to name her Ambure because we thought it was pretty.  Lowell and Christine Murdock had a baby girl about a year earlier, and this is where we had heard it.  We wanted to spell it AMBURE instead of AMBER, because we wanted it to be different. Looking back now, I’m sure she would have gotten tired of always correcting people when they pronounced it wrong.  It seems people always say it with the BURE part, sounding like the word PURE.  I tried to breast feed Ambure, but was too nervous, and after six miserable days, we switched to formula.  After that, things got MUCH better.  Ambure was a very good baby right from the start.  She was sleeping completely through the night when she was only a week old (the same day/night we put her on the bottle).  She was smiling and following movement with her eyes by 2 weeks old. 

            On Friday, March 31st, when Ambure was 3 weeks and 2 days old she had a doctor’s appointment.  She weighed 9 pounds 14 ounces, and was 21 inches long.  It was at this appointment that the doctor discovered she had a dislocated left hip.  We felt so bad about this, because we didn't want her to have to go through any hard times or pain.  They sent us to another doctor (Dr. Franklin Stuart), and he arranged for her to get a cast put on the following Tuesday. (April 4, 1978)  They would be putting her under anesthesia in the operating room at McKay Dee Hospital and would be “setting” her hip into the socket, and then casting her in a body cast to keep it in place. 



            We wanted to get her blessed before this happened, so two day later on Sunday, April 2, 1978, Ambure was given a name and a blessing in the Morgan 2nd ward by her grandfather, Wilden Lee Dickson.  She was given a special blessing that she would grow up healthy without any hip problems, and that her parents would someday take her to the temple and be sealed together as a family for all eternity.  Those who participated in the blessing were her dad, Roger Rich, her other grandfather, DeLore (Ben) Rich, a great grandfather, Reed Dickson, and Wallace Green.



On April 4th, when she was almost 1 month old, she got her first cast on.  It was a full body cast that fit her just like a starched pair of pants with the crotch cut out.  She really adapted to it quite well, and was still as good natured as ever.  She had this first cast on for four weeks, and then it was changed for a bigger one because she was growing.  Ambure was laughing out loud at 6 weeks, and recognizing her mom and dad.  It was about this time she discovered her hands.  She got her 2nd cast on May 2nd, using the same procedure as before.   She wore this cast for 6 weeks. 


In early June of 1978 we went for a vacation with Grandpa and Grandma Rich and Joni and Kelly, and Linda and Bruce Frost and their family.  We went to Lava Hot Springs. Ambure couldn't get in the water because of her cast, but she sure was a good baby, and sleeping with her mom and dad in the trailer didn't bother her one little bit. 



            Right after we got home from Lava, Ambure's 2nd cast was removed on June 12th.   It was so good to see her little legs again!   Within 4 days she was rolling over !!  What a SMART baby !! Dr. Stuart, her hip doctor, was concerned because her hip was still dislocated and hadn’t stayed in place like it should have.  He wanted to operate on her, but we decided to take Ambure to Dr. Sherman Coleman, an orthopedic specialist in Salt Lake City.   Dr. Coleman fixed Erika Dickson's (Ambure's aunt) hip when she was a baby (15 years before).  Dr. Coleman prescribed a Pavlic harness for little Ambure's hip.  She got this on June 19th.  At first she hated it, but she soon got used to it and was a happy baby once more. This Pavlic harness held Ambure's legs in a frog like position, and as she would kick against the harness, it would naturally push her hip back into the socket where it was supposed to be.  Ambure wore this harness for 6 ½ months, but at every check-up her hip was still not back in the socket far enough. 



           
Ambure was very smart baby.  She learned very quickly. Even with her harness, she was sitting at 5 ½ months, and crawling at 6 months.   She was always quick to smile and slow to cry.  Ambure was a good eater, and would eat most anything we gave her.  




She was waving bye-bye  at 7 months, and loved to patty cake, bounce to music (Happy Days), and play peek-a-boo.   Ambure got all 4 of her front teeth (top and bottom) when she was 7 months old.  She sure had a cute smile.  Ambure loved to visit her Great Grandpa and Grandma Dickson, and loved their dog Sally.  Grandpa and Grandma watched her for a couple of hours in the mornings while I attended school to finish up my senior year.  At 9 months, Ambure was 32 inches long, and weighed 21 pounds.  She had the darkest eyes, and you could hardly see the pupils in them.  Ambure’s hair was dark brown, and was a curly cap all over her little head.  We had a wonderful Christmas that year, and it was so fun to have a little one to buy toys for.




Three days after Christmas, on December 28, 1978, Ambure’s Great Grandma Thelma White died of a heart attack.  Two days after that, on December 30th – our sweet little angel Ambure was killed in a car accident. 

I was working for my Uncle Ray Whitaker at his meat shop wrapping meat that day.  Roger must have been working too, and Ambure was at my mom and dad's being baby-sat.  After I got off work I picked her up and we went up to LuAnn and Ben's.  Kelly and I drove LuAnn's car down to Morgan to the car wash to wash it.  It was really really cold.  Ambure had been laid down for a nap at LuAnn's.  When I got back there, I got Ambure up, got things loaded up in our 1972 Ford truck, and headed down to Morgan.  I was supposed to meet Roger at a service station in Morgan, before going home to Milton. Ambure was sitting in an old black vinyl and metal car seat, (unsafe by today's standards) but she was not buckled into the car seat, and the car seat was not buckled to the seat of the truck.  She had on a little white polyester jumper, that my Grandma Dickson had made for her, and a little lavender onesie, and her blue and white furry coat she had just gotten for Christmas.  She was kind of fussing and crying, and I put the pacifier in her mouth and told her I loved her.  I'm glad I can say that that was the last thing I ever said to her. 

            As we were coming around the hill (on Kilbourn's hill) heading towards Morgan, I got too far over in my lane (because a car was coming the other direction, I moved over more than I should have).  My front right truck tire hit a big rock which had rolled off the mountain, it was a little larger than a bowling ball I think, and it blew the tire.  It basically twisted the tire, which twisted the steering wheel and I drove right up the hill (to my right).  The truck flipped over onto it's top, skidded along the road, and finally stopped in a shallow gully between the road and the mountain.  As we were sliding along the road, I can still remember the terrible sound of the asphalt against the roof of the truck, and just praying that we wouldn't go over the other side (left) which was a drop off. 

            After the truck stopped, I was kind of shaken up.  I was trying to get my bearings, and was looking for Ambure.  All I could see of her was her little legs.  I tried pulling them to get her out, but she wouldn't budge.  I couldn't see anything but her legs, and I couldn't move her.  A man had come running back from the corner (he had been parked there looking at something), and screamed for him to get my baby out.  Just then,  Paul and Vanna Carter and their family stopped (they had been coming from Morgan). They had their daughter run down over the side of the mountain to a house to call the ambulance, and Paul ran around to the other side of the truck to help the man get Ambure out.  I didn't want to look on the other side of the truck because I didn't know what horrible sight I might see.  Leon and Donna Carter pulled up by this time, and it was so cold that I got in their car and sat with Donna.  I was upset,  and was just sure that Ambure was dead.  I remember saying that she would be buried with her Great Grandma White.  I was rambling really bad. 

            Somehow, someone had gotten word to Ben and LuAnn, and they had driven down from their house.  LuAnn was sitting with me in the car, and  Ben had gone around to the other side of the truck to see about getting Ambure out.  When he came back over to the car he was bawling like a baby.  He was so upset he couldn't talk, and all he could do was cry and shake his head back and forth.   I remember LuAnn was really upset to see Ben bawling.  I have never seen him that upset since. 


After the ambulance got there, they still couldn't get her out.  The fire engine had to come, and they had to use the “jaws of life”.  By this time I was in the ambulance, and also someone had gotten Roger from Morgan and he was there with me in the front of the
ambulance.  Roger Wangsgard was driving and JoAnne and Glen Allgood were the ambulance attendants.  When the fire department finally got Ambure out of the truck  after about 30 minutes, they carried her to the ambulance, holding her underneath her arms, and there wasn't any blood or anything.  Me and Roger stayed in the front of the ambulance, and it headed to Morgan.  We did not go to the hospital though, but over to Dr. Martineau's office.  I guess they knew that Ambure was dead for sure, and that going to the hospital was not going to help. 

            Ben and LuAnn had to go back home to get Kelly, and someone had told my mom and dad too, and somehow there was a mix-up and they all ended up heading to Ogden to McKay-Dee Hospital because that is where they thought we would be.  At the doctor's office, they took Ambure back into a room, and me and Roger sat in the waiting room. My Grandpa and Grandma Dickson and Aunt Maisie were there too.  I remember the doctor came out and told us that the baby was dead.  I asked him “What did she die of ?”, and he said, “You were in a car accident.” As if I didn't know!  I had meant WHAT had she died of, did she suffer, etc.  Roger was crying, and everything was a blur. My Grandpa Dickson was crying and kept asking why an old man like him couldn’t have died, and not my sweet baby.  I remember the doctor wanted to check me over, but I was too upset, and only wanted to see my baby.  We went back into the room where Ambure was.  She was laying on the table.  She had a goose-egg on her forehead, and on her stomach was a bruise also.  She had some petekial hemorrhage marks on her neck too.  They asked me if I wanted to hold her, and so I did – but not long enough.  We were so young and DUMB !  Knowing what I know now, I would have told the doctor and nurse and ambulance attendants, and mortician to leave the room, and just let us sit there and hold our baby.  But before I was really ready, Kraig Walker was taking her and wrapping her in a sheet, and putting her in the back of the mortuary station wagon. 

            Aunt Maisie, and Grandpa and Grandma Dickson took Rog and I over to mom and dad’s to wait for them to get back from Ogden.  It was so sad.  When my parents got back, my dad came over to us and told us over and over that this was NOT the end, and we could have Ambure again someday.  That made us feel a little better.  We stayed at mom and dad’s that night, and I remember we thought we wouldn’t get much sleep, but amazingly we did.  That night for the first time in our married life, Roger wanted to kneel and say a prayer together.  He asked Heavenly Father to take care of our little girl.  The next morning when I first woke up, in that first instant I didn’t remember what had happened, but then it all comes back, and all you can think is, “ I wish I could just make time turn back, so that it had never happened”. 





Malan Johnson (friend), Bruce Frost, Layne Rich, Randy Hartman
Roger, Gwen and LuAnn in rear
           
It was so bitter cold that year.


Grandma White had died on Thursday, Ambure on Saturday, and Grandma White’s viewing was on Sunday night, her funeral on Monday, and Ambure’s viewing on Monday night, and funeral on Tuesday.  It was an unreal week.  The day after Ambure’s funeral I went for a job interview at Browning, and two weeks later I was at work full-time.  Just like that, our lives had changed.  

At the time we thought we would never be happy again, but as the saying goes, “time heals all things”, and sure enough it does.  One year and four months after Ambure died, Amanda was born, and 17 months after that, along came Zac, and in 1988 our caboose – Landon Lee.  

On December 12, 1987, nine years after we lost our little one, our family was sealed together for time and all eternity in the Ogden Temple
See in the clouds?  Ambure and Landon
I was pregnant with Landon at the time of our sealing.  He was BIC (Born in the Covenant)
I know without a single doubt, that Ambure lives on with our Heavenly Father.  I believe that she was too pure and too perfect to live on this earth.  One day, if we live worthy enough, we will be able to raise her again to adulthood.  We will be able to hold her in our arms once more, and her little hip will be made whole, and she won’t have to worry about being crippled, or any of the other worries that we experience here in this earth life.  We look forward to that day.

** I want to add this note now.  After many years, I've come to this.  We don't know why our babies and loved ones die at certain times.  We don't know, but God knows, and one day we will know also.  I do know this.  If they needed to stay on earth longer, they would have been saved, or healed.  They didn't, it's a simple as that.  One day we will be able to see the whole picture.  One day we will all be together again. 

Here are some poems that different people wrote and gave to us:  Click on images to make larger







Here are my Dad's and Calvin Stephen's talks that were given at Ambure's funeral.  I don't think our kids have ever read or heard these talks, or even Ambure's life story.  I hope they will read it here.  


Ambure Rich’s Funeral Service – January 3, 1979



Talk given by W. Lee Dickson (Ambure’s grandfather)


Brother’s and sisters, on behalf of Gwen and Roger, and the Rich and the Dickson family, we express unto you our gratitude for your presence here.  For the kindnesses that you’ve shown us since this tragic accident took place. You don’t know how much it strengthens us as a family to know that you care and that you are there to help us when we need it.  We thank the Morgan 2nd Ward and the Milton 2nd Ward Relief Societies for their help with the flowers and for the preparation of a luncheon which will be served to the family following the burial at the South Morgan Cemetery. This luncheon will be served in the cultural hall of the old Stake Center, and we’d invite all members of the family to attend that luncheon.  The family prayer was offered prior to these services by Wayne White, a great-uncle.  Pall bearers are Layne Rich, Bruce Frost and Randy Hartman; uncles, and Malan Johnson a close family friend.  The prelude has been furnished by Sister Eileen Johnson, and the invocation by Norris Dickson, a great-uncle.  Following my remarks we will be favored by a vocal solo by Sister Doreen Rowser, accompanied by Sister Johnson.  She will sing I Am a Child of God.  Following Sister Rowser, Bishop Calvin Stephens will speak to us,  after which Sister Rowser will again sing for us, “When He Comes Again”.  The benediction will then be pronounced by Marvin G. Mortensen, a great-uncle.   After which we will proceed to the South Morgan Cemetery for the burial.  The grave will be dedicated there by Bishop Lorin Tonks, a cousin, and a very close friend of the family.

Brother’s and sisters the task I face now is a difficult one.  My Father in Heaven has born me up yesterday and today beyond anything I could imagine.  I’ve written down everything that I want to say to you today, because I feared that I wouldn’t be able to express myself to you.  With the help of my Father in Heaven, perhaps I won’t need to read the things that I have written down.  I appreciate my daughter and her husband, and the confidence they show in me, in asking me to occupy this very special position.  It’s my prayer that I can say something to them and to my family, that will comfort them and give them hope of what this life is really for.   If I were asked, what is it that you want for yourself and your family, and by my family I mean everyone that is associated with my family, the answer without any hesitation would be eternal life.  Why is it, when we understand and know that that’s what Ambure has attained, that it is so hard to let her go, to say good-bye to her. 

Now I’m going to do something which for me is going to be very hard.  I’m going to try and explain to you why it is so hard to let that little soul go. About 9 ½ months ago, a new spirit came into this world, and I know I’m a prejudiced grandfather, but I’ve had children of my own and they were beautiful, but when this little soul came into this world, she was the most beautiful baby that I have ever seen. She was born by Caesarean section and she bypassed the rigors and the trauma that go along with a normal childbirth, and she came into this world absolutely perfect.  Her head was perfectly round, and there was not a mark on her face or her body. She was just absolutely perfect!  And I’ve never seen anything in my life as beautiful as she was. 
            All babies eyes are dark, but hers were seemingly coal black, and even to the day she died, her eyes were so dark that you could barely see the pupils in them.  Dark hair, dark eyes, these physical attributes made her the pride and joy of those to whom she came home, her mom and dad, and Veloy and I as grandparents, and Ben and LuAnn as grandparents.   She was blessed with three complete sets of great-grandparents, kind of an unusual thing.  My mother and dad, and Veloy’s mom and dad, and LuAnn’s mom and dad, and we express to LuAnn our deepest sympathy because as you know Sister White just recently passed away and just yesterday was buried, so this has been extra extra and doubly hard for her. These relatives and friends and children, the uncles and aunts,  and everyone concerned, welcomed this little baby home, where she soon occupied a very special place in our hearts. 

Now it became evident, from the beginning she was special because she was absolutely perfect,  that little girl had not been home but 3 or 4 days, when she was sleeping completely through the night.  She was a joy to be around.  She was only 3 weeks old, when it was discovered that she had a dislocated hip.  And that turned out to be a special kind of thing because it gave us the opportunity to give her probably closer attention than a child would have had, if they didn’t have this problem. She spent from between 2-3 months in a full body cast, and in a very uncomplaining way endured this hardship only to find out that no progress had been made in resolving the problem with her hip.  Another doctor prescribed a little harness that the little girl had to wear.  And she wore that little harness that kept her legs tucked kind of up underneath her throughout the remainder of her life. Our children have always been very precocious and walked very young, but because of this harness that she had to wear, this little soul never learned to walk. But she crawled her way into the hearts of everyone that she had contact with.

There are many things about this little girl that make it very very hard to say good-bye. Her quick smile, her dark curly hair, it was a disappointment to us that, she was curly headed on the back and the sides, and we couldn’t see that as we viewed her in the casket.   But she had a beautiful head of curly hair.  She had what we called a little false cry, where when she wanted something she cried, but it really wasn’t a cry, and we recognized it wasn’t, it was just her way of getting attention.  That and her patty-cake, and the things that she learned to do, like wave good-bye to us, make it extra extra hard to let this little soul go. I know that were experiences that this little girl had in Ben and Luann’s home that I’m not close to but that little girl lit up my home.  It wasn’t a matter of who should tend Ambure, but whose turn was it to tend Ambure.  For a number of reasons, she spent a good deal of time in our home, and she was as close to us as one of our own children.  She spent a good deal of time in her great-grandmother and great-grandfather Dickson’s home.   I guess Norris is the youngest of their children, and they’ve had grandchildren, but because Gwen was trying to finish her education, this little girl spend 2-3 hours a day, every day of the week for quite some time in the home of my mom and dad.  It was just like having a new child in their home. I pray that our Father in Heaven will bear them up, because it has been extremely hard for them to lose this little child.  My children spent a great deal of time playing with her, and those things we’ll miss, the sleigh rides in cardboard box around the kitchen floor with Mark pulling her,  the times that she spent with a drawer full of grinders and graters, and cookie-cutters, playing with them. The fun of dropping her on the bed and having her be frightened, but as Mark said it always came out with a happy ending because she smiled after she stopped bouncing. 

This little girl spent most of the last day of her life in my home.  That day for the first time she crawled completely from the bottom to the top of our basement steps.  She did many of the usual things that she did, curiosity about the fish in the aquarium, just so many things that we will remember, that make it so difficult to say good-bye.  Although she had a cold and a runny-nose and was very uncomfortable that day, she didn’t cry and she was as pleasant as ever to be around.  An hour or so after leaving our home, and having a short visit with her Grandpa and Grandma Rich.  Our little Ambure and her life on this earth came to an abrupt end.  It’s easy to see isn’t it brothers and sisters, why it’s so hard to say good-bye to a little special spirit like this.  Why did she have to go?

The prophet Joseph Smith once said, “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evil of this present world. They were too pure, too lovely to live on earth.” It is for this reason, because she was so special, that our little sweetheart was taken back to live with her Father in Heaven.

Why Father, did she have to go?
Our little Ambure that we love so
Such a short time, in our care
Why Father?  It isn’t fair

Be patient, son of mine
Behind this cloud the sun still shines
Your daughter lives! She’s here with me
And when you come that’s where she’ll be

To perfect for your world of sin
I called her home and took her in
She waits here, for all of you
Now live that you may come here too

I bear testimony that this is true. She does live! And the day will come Gwen and Roger, that you as parents, and that we as grandparents, and great-grandparents and relatives, through the sealing power of the blessings that come from the temple ordinances, and the miracle of the resurrection, will have a chance to hold this little one again, and see her grow to maturity during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ who made all these things possible.   In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen


During the song, “I Am a Child of God”, Todd Frost (Ambure’s cousin)
who was 4 years old, started to cry.  He was very upset, and couldn’t be consoled.


Talk given by Calvin Stephens at Ambure Rich’s funeral 1/3/79


Brothers and Sisters I approach very humbly this assignment this day.  I pray that I might by the spirit of our Heavenly Father say and teach those things only that are true. I also would like to thank you, Roger and Gwen for your confidence in me in giving me the opportunity to be here with you this day.  Bruce R. McKonkie said that before we ever came upon the earth.  We were allowed by our Heavenly Father as we lived in his presence, to watch a world created, to see it populated and to see it pass off into existence. Before the decision came to us as to whether or not we chose to endure such trials and challenges as mortality.  President Kimbal on one occasion had this to say in regards to that statement.  He said we know before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience, and that we would have joys and sorrows, pain and comforts, ease and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and the unfavorable. We were undoubtedly willing to have a mortal body, even if it were deformed.  We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward, even though it might be for a day, a year, or a century.  Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident as long as we came we were willing to come and take life as it came and as we might organize and control it.  And this without murmur, complaint or unreasonable demands.  We sometimes think we would like to know what was ahead.  But sober thought brings us back, to accepting life a day at a time, and magnifying and glorifying that day.  Sister Ida Eldridge, gave us a thought provoking verse when she said:  

I cannot know the future, nor the path I shall have trod
But by that inward vision, which points the way to God
I would not glimpse the beauty, or joy for me in store
Lest patience near restrain me, from thrusting wide the door
I would not part the curtains, or cast aside the veil 
Else sorrows that await me, might make my courage fail.
I’d rather live not knowing, just doing my small might.
I’d rather walk by faith with God, than try alone to light. 

Jesus Christ lives, and the reality of the resurrection shall come to pass on behalf of all men.  In the 1700’s there were two men who lived in the colonial states of America.  One was a blacksmith, and the other one was a merchant who owned a merchant store, and they were both very good friends, and they prized each other’s friendship greatly.  One, the merchant lost his mother, and in her passing she willed to him the most  priceless possession which she had on this earth, a beautiful silver cup.  And he highly prized it, and he always kept it on one of his shelves where all who came into the store could see it, and often he would speak of that as the most priceless possession that belonged to his mother and now it was his.  One day through carelessness, as he was upon a ladder cleaning the shelves, he accidentally bumped that cup and it fell off, and it landed into a barrel of water, at least he thought it was water.  When he finally climbed down from the ladder and went to retrieve the cup to his great disappointment he found it had fallen into a barrel of acid, and it was gone, gone forever destroyed through carelessness.  And as he mourned his loss his friend came in, and seeing the concern of the merchant, he asked him the problem and whereupon he told the story that he had lost the beautiful cup.  The blacksmith replied that he remembered the cup, and had seen it there often, but he wasn’t quite sure of all the details.  He wondered if the merchant could describe it to him again.  And so he did, and the blacksmith took out a pencil and paper and he began to sketch that beautiful cup, until he had it exactly as it had looked.  Then with the help of the merchant, they took the barrel of acid to his shop and he told his friend to go on about his business, and he would see if somehow he could restore that beautiful cup.  Then through a process which he had learned, he extracted the silver from the acid, and then by looking at the picture he made a mold, and he melted that mass of silver down into liquid, he poured it into that mold, and he let it cool, and he removed the mold, and he returned it’s owner that beautiful silver cup as priceless as it had ever been, if not more so, and that which had been lost was now restored.  I testify that it is the same with the resurrection. That what seems apparent to us to be lost because we do not have the power or cannot understand, can be easily and quickly restored by a divine creator. For He has the power, He has the knowledge, and He has the love, and He will restore that loss to you one day. 

I remember in 1965 as I boarded a train in Salt Lake City. I remember seeing my mother and my sisters, and they cried because I was leaving, and because they would miss me.  And I was gone for two years, and that seemed I suppose like a long time at times.   And I remember as they came to the mission field and got me, that they cried again.  Only this time not from sadness at parting, but out of rejoicing from being together again.  And so it will be in the life to come as you hold your daughter in your arms, you will cry again, only you will cry for happiness. Joseph Smith said, “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world. They were too pure, too lovely to live on this earth. Therefore if rightly considered instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil and we shall have them again.  The only difference between the old and the young dying, is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable world.” 

May I explain Gwen and Roger, in all humility, your relationship to your departed daughter. Melvin J. Ballard was a man of promise and of destiny. A man who would sit in the quorum of the twelve apostles, a man of great faith who had been promised by a great patriarch that he would cross the veil and he would see heavenly people.  Melvin J. Ballard had a six year old boy whom he loved with all of his heart, that had a great deal of trouble with the little boy, he’d been ill so very often. Brother Ballard testifies how he had walked the floor with him, and how he had had prayed for him and loved him, and finally the little boy seemed to get well. Right soon after he turned six and they had a birthday party for him, he died, and Brother Ballard lost his son.  Melvin J. Ballard testified that through faith and prayer, that one day our Heavenly Father removed the veil and he saw his son in the world of spirits.  And he said, “I did not see a six year old boy, I saw an adult man, for he was an adult before he came.  I saw that he was happy, that he mingled with the sons and daughters of God.  I also saw that in due time every blessing that I had, would come to him, that he would have the opportunity to select a companion from among the daughters of God, and be sealed in the temple, and then he testified to all mothers and fathers in Israel,  “Do not mourn for them, they are all right, God loves them and is taking care of them.”

 I also testify to you this day Gwen and Roger, that the body of your child, it’s flesh, does not grow in the grave, it cannot be so, it is contrary to the laws of God, and even though she is now an adult in the world of spirits, receiving assignments from the priesthood, and being trained and schooled for that great day when she will pick up that body, her flesh cannot grow in the grave. And when she returns she will pick up the same body she laid down As Joseph Smith told a mother in Israel on day, who wept so very bitterly at the loss of her child, “Do not cry anymore, as God lives, I promise you that you will raise that child to manhood and to womanhood in the millennium, and so it shall be with you,  upon the condition of your obedience. You will have the opportunity to raise that child to perfection and to beauty in the millennium in a day and age in which there is no sin.  It’s only a matter of time, and if you’ll be patient that great day shall come to you.  Her death in part has sealed her destiny, for Joseph Smith taught, and so did David O. McKay in our own day in age, “That all little children who die before the age of eight are saved in the celestial kingdom of God.” (pause) That is one of the most powerful statements that I believe I ever read. James E. Talmadge who was a member of the twelve, and who died in 1933, said this, “No pain that is suffered by man or women upon the earth will be without its compensating effect, if it be met with patience.

May I now in closing, suggest to you Gwen and Roger, four reasons why you can be happy when it’s such a solemn occasion. First, you belong to the greatest organization in the world, the Church of Jesus Christ. Second, because of your membership in that church, you are entitled to a special gift, the Holy Ghost, who can act as a comforter to ease the pain that is in your heart.  No other people are entitled to such a great blessing.  In Section 59, verse 23 in the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith under the inspiration of the Lord said this, “For those who learn the ways of righteousness shall receive peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. Third, because of your membership in the church you have a knowledge that Jesus Christ, literally came to this earth, that he died, that he was resurrected, and because the resurrection becomes a reality, all of God’s sons and daughters shall live again, and you know that. Fourth, there are living prophets who testify that your daughter lives, and that she will be yours in the eternal worlds to come, upon the condition of your obedience.

And finally I share with you my testimony of the reality of Christ and his great work in our behalf.  By quoting to you a scripture which is found In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 9,  wherein the apostle Paul said, “For as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,  nor hath it ever entered into the heart of men, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.”  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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