I had a dear temple associate that was my trainer when I first began serving in the Bountiful Temple. He passed away a week ago, but even while suffering from terminal cancer and in hospice care, he asked not to be released as a temple worker so he could possibly continue his service. He wanted to be in the Lord’s House, even in this difficult personal trial. He was always like that, skipping breaks so he would be available to offer up even a little more support.
Recently, two older brothers I have served with came and talked to me separately. One, after 20+ years of service in the temple, realized he was no longer able to accurately administer the sacred words needed for the men and women coming there. He decided that coming to the temple to be administered to was just as important, and that was how he would continue contributing to the redemption of the Lord’s children. He was giving everything, but the way he gave had to change.
The other brother had become increasingly immobile and he informed me that he had made the difficult decision to discontinue his service as well. I could see it troubled him. He didn’t want to give up just because it was hard. I assured him that the Lord knew his situation and had inspired him to make this transition. I will miss seeing him there, but for all three of these men, along with the heartbreak, there was also a heart-warming peace because each of them was giving all they had. For each of them, they were primarily concerned that they were doing the Lord’s will.
As I have given a full measure to Him, I have seen that everything changes. A consecrated life is not one of fanatic over-reach. Indeed, going beyond what the Spirit prompts us can be just as damaging as being paralyzed by fear and lack of faith. Giving everything means living our lives by the words of the Lord’s prophets, and bringing our lives in perfect alignment with the spiritual promptings that will surely come as we are faithful. This is our lifelong challenge.
Giving a Full Measure: Sister Longbotham:
There was a special sister named Janet Longbotham that was an example of this faithfulness. I met her just one day while she was serving her 4th mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had a life plagued with Grand Maul seizures and had never married, but the Lord, ever compensatory for challenges, had given her an extraordinary portion of his Spirit and had given her visions and blessings and discernment as a mortal reward for her living a life that was dedicated to the Lord. That one conversation changed my life and clarified my life’s mission. I was on a general mailing list she used to share insights with, and there I learned that she passed away in October of 2021, leaving her testimony which was read at her funeral.
For those of you who think I am dead, I am alive in Christ and shall be for eternity, as all of you will be. I close my remarks with the inspired words of Hugh B. Brown who said, “Death is not extinguishing the light, but is turning out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Goodbye. We will all see each other in the millennium.Janet Longbotham, Sept 18, 2021
Oh, the beauty and strength we draw from those who no longer pursue the trivialities of our day because they are fully devoted to the Lord. May we each live to give a full measure, so that when we pass the veil, we will savor that glorious dawn with the Lord and our loved ones.