Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

I stand all amazed...

That is basically all I can say about my life at this moment. I don't know exactly how to express how incredible this past week was. On Saturday our loving Heavenly Father blessed me with the opportunity to look a prophet, seer, and revelator in the eyes and shake his hand. Elder Ronald Rasband came to our mission and we had the chance to hear him speak. We were together with two other missions from Guayaquil so there was quite a bit of power in the room. I have no doubt in my mind or in my heart that God is a God who loves us. That is exactly why He calls worthy men to represent Him and the Church of His Son. He is a God of love because if it were not for these elect men we would have no light. Never in my life have I seen or felt more light from a human being. He walks with Christ. That I know. How blessed we are to have servants of the Lord in our lives.

It was also Elder Johnson's birthday! So that was cool! Not that we could really celebrate...haha! We do have enough cake to last us all through the millennium though. But I think the true celebration was preaching what we love and representing who we want to become.

I just want to skip to the spiritual message...I think the stories and funny occurrences will have to be put on hold for now! Hah!

When I was a 9 year old boy I remember receiving devastating news that my father was to be deployed to Kuwait for military service. For as young as I was I do not recall much before his departure or even during his deployment but the little that I do remember has taught me so much about a father's love towards his children. The night before my father left we gathered in the living room as a family and, one by one, received blessings from the hands of my father. I remember two things only from this blessing: First, I felt his tears falling upon my head as he blessed me. And second, he expressed his unfailing love for each one of us in his blessing but finished by saying that his love, being so great and so unfailing, being powerful beyond comprehension, was nothing compared to the love that our Father in Heaven has for us. Later that night we decided as siblings that we wanted to spend our last night with dad in the basement and sleep together, since he was leaving very early the next morning and we were not going to see him again for a long time. I remember falling asleep scared...heartbroken...lost...unable to breathe...knowing that I would not wake up to having a dad for quite some time...but something happened that I do not recall telling anyone about ever in my life. I was awoken to something early that morning. When I opened my eyes it was still dark due to the hour, but I could see just enough that my father was no longer in between my little brother and sister on the ground where he had fallen asleep. I then looked to the stairs where I saw the silhouette of a figure dressed in military turnouts. My father, though I could not see the details of his face, looking over and at his children for the last time before he would be separated from them. That is the last memory of my father that I have before he left. I now ask myself...what was it that woke me up at such an hour? I do not know with certainty...nor have I asked my father before if these events truly took place...but I believe something with all of my heart and feel like I have come to a conclusion. I believe that my dad got himself up, went upstairs to get himself ready, and seconds before leaving with my mother to the airport, came down to the basement one last time. I believe he observed my older brother Ryan...and kissed him ever so gently on the head. I believe that he went to the side of my sister and looked upon the perfection of his little princess and kissed her every so gently on her cheek. I believe that he beheld his youngest baby, who was almost two and kissed him ever so tenderly on his little head. Then I believe he made it to me...and woke me up from the touch of his unfailing and forever loving kiss to my forehead...causing me to wake up just in time to see him that one last time at the staircase. How grateful I am for an earthly father who bathed me in his tears that last night. How humbled I am to have a loving father who kissed me ever so softly and loved me so gently to leave me and to fight for me. How grateful I am for a father who comforts me and loves me...who provides for me and who teaches me...who saves me and gives me life...and who teaches me that I have an Eternal Father...whose love, tears, kisses, teachings, and comfort is much better. Much deeper. Much more compassionate. Much more perfect. What a sacred calling being a father is. Being a father, I am sure, is nothing easy. But it is something that perfects us as sons of God. God the Father is perfect and wants us to be like Him...and we will come to be like Him by doing what He does. The call of a father is the call to be more like our Father. I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day. And a Happy Father's day to all!!! 

I would like to give the most special of Father's Day wishes to my Eternal Father. To Him that loves me perfectly. To my first Dad. I have no doubt, brothers and sisters, that we all have an Eternal Father who bathed our heads in His very tears as He blessed us the night before we were to come to earth. I have no doubt that our Father descends from His thrown ever so often to kiss us. His kiss awakens us...perhaps we will not see the details of His face just as I could not see those of my father's...but His kiss will let us know that He is there at our staircase...that He is present in our lives...that He is there...watching over us. His kisses are real...I have felt them through His mercy and His miracles. His kisses are possible through the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Look to your Father...pray to Him...remember the tears fell over your head that last night...tears that sealed you with the promise of eternal life. Feel and look for His kisses. Know of His love. Call Him Dad.
For He is your Father.
Elder Noll

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