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Looking Up


Okrahomer

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7 hours ago, Okrahomer said:

I heard recently from a childhood friend back in Oklahoma.  He contacted me because he had heard about "the imp"—aka cancer—and he wanted me to know that he loved me and was praying for me.  I had just had an experience during the Sacrament that reminded me of his mother—one of my favorite gospel teachers.  So I shared it with him:

The deacons in our ward here were passing the Sacrament, and I was watching them.  I like to watch the Deacons, because it reminds me of being me and you back home in Oklahoma—trying to figure out how things (like passing the Sacrament) are supposed to work.  At a certain point, I found myself smiling because there was some sort of mix-up:  two new deacons were passing and one went one way and the other went another; and a third (the Quorum President) gave them the “evil eye”, meaning that they had gone in the wrong directions!  YIKES!!!

Well, they got things straightened out of course, but somehow it was such a pleasant experience for me.  I found myself gazing upward.  And then a memory of your mother came to me:  I must have been about 12 years old—a new deacon myself.  I had noticed how so many folks tended to look down during the Sacrament; but your Mom always looked up.  Did you ever notice that?  When I had a chance, I asked your Mom about it.  The conversation went something like this:

“Sister…, why do you look up during the Sacrament?  Most people seem to look down.”

“When we take the Sacrament, we humble ourselves and seek forgiveness for the sins and shortcoming of the past week—looking down probably reflects how people are feeling humble.”

“But you look up?”

“Yes.  I find I just can’t look in any other direction.”

Now flash forward a few years, when you and I were on our missions.  I was in Kiel (Germany) and I had a brand new companion.  His name was Elder Carl Cook, from Roy, Utah (near Ogden.)  We were companions for only about 2 months, but I found him to be an exceptional guy.  It was no surprise to me then, when many years later I heard his name called during General Conference as a new member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  Maybe you remember his General Conference talk when he told the story about stepping onto the elevator of the Church Office Building and “staring blankly at the floor.”  He said the elevator stopped on another floor so someone could get on, while he continued to stare down at the floor.  And then he heard a voice say:  “What are you looking at down there?  It is better to look up!”  It was President Monson.

A memory of this dear gospel teacher who explained to me why she looked up during the Sacrament; and a former missionary companion teaching the very same thing during General Conference.  I have gotten the distinct impression that Someone has been trying to tell me something.

Even so, I too am looking up--to Him--steadfastly.

There's nothing more beautiful than a sincere and humble soul who looks up to the God of love with living faith.

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