My dear friends and family, I miss Grandma T. She holds a special place in my heart. I visited with her about six months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. She mistook me for my oldest sibling. Her memory was dimming a bit, and her friendliness was palpable and enjoyable. We conversed for a couple of hours about many topics. We spoke a little about Grandpa T. Because Grandpa T. died before I came on scene, I have been curious to learn about him. Grandma T. thought that the best way to describe him was as a teacher. In many ways Grandma was also a teacher in my life. I loved her frankness, her honesty, her concern for her family, and her life filled with love.
Love is gauged or measured by the degree to which you are willing to righteously sacrifice your time, talents, and means for good causes. I am aware that Grandma T. gave of her means to those in need in the best of ways; namely, anonymously. I think that we’ve all heard of the incident of the widow’s mite, and how that kind of giving; namely, with the heart, is more approved of by the Lord than being able to give some of what we own with a lackluster heart. Grandma T. gave to others in a way that is a good example to the rest of us; namely, with a heart filled with love.
Since we are talking about life and death, I think it’s appropriate to share a scripture, and I think that would be pleasing to Grandma T. since she did pass along a bright and beautiful faith in God to us, her posterity. I am aware that she did appreciate the word of God because she had expressed an interest in getting audio commentaries on the Holy Word.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [as an atoning sacrifice] for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (emphasis added; 1 John 4:7-11).
Another scripture that I think matches Grandma T. well: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-8). Grandma T. definitely was NOT timid but possessed and expressed gifts that she had received from God, such as love, meaning this willingness and ability to sacrifice for the good and blessing of others, and also a high degree of self-discipline, another manifestation of the Spirit of God.
One of the Savior’s beloved apostles wrote: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:14-21).
Grandma T. demonstrated her love of God by loving those that she did see and by helping those in whom she detected a need. I felt of her love and appreciated her friendship. I didn’t mistake her honesty and boldness for a lack of love, but many times as an evidence of her love. Grandpa T. used to say that only a true friend will risk your anger by telling you the truth. That being said, one who loves us will not seek to anger us either, but to enlighten and uplift us even when that requires some correction of us. A true friend edifies and has an up-building influence on those around her. Thank you for that, Grandma T. We miss you.
I was able to attend my Grandma I’s funeral, just over 11 years ago. I felt prompted by the Holy Ghost on that occasion to testify or bear witness of Charity, even the pure love of Christ, which binds families to each other and causes friendships to grow, flourish, expand, and blossom beautifully. At this my esteemed Grandma T.’s life celebration, I also feel directed to bear and repeat my witness and testimony of the majesty, mission, and glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives and loves all who are born again, among whom is Grandma T., whose life we celebrate this day. I thank God for her influence, her love, her friendship.
My dear friends and family, for those of you who are especially mournful and grieved at the passing of our dear friend, mother, and grandmother, try to remember that our Master, Jesus Christ, taught that blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Perhaps, being mournful is a blessed state because we have the opportunity to be comforted by our Father in heaven and to feel of His love, especially, when we allow ourselves to be open to his generous, loving, attentive, and comforting nature and influence. Please allow me to add in the context of Grandma T.’s passing beyond the veil of death, that we can be comforted in knowing that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes possible a glorious family reunion in the hereafter. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” The sting of death is swallowed up by the love and literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the immortality promised to all, and the eternal life promised to the obedient. My witness I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.