I've heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you....
The song finishes with these thoughts;
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better.
Because I knew you....
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD.
I have been listening to this song nearly every day for a year now and I have pondered all of the many people who have come into my life for one reason or another and have changed my life for good. I could never in a million years list all of the wonderful people who have blessed me but this week I had the opportunity to reminisce two people who have meant a great deal to me.
Jim and Paula Mortimer. Paula was my piano teacher so it goes without saying that she had a great impact on me but I learned so much more from her than just piano, I learned the truthfulness of the gospel from her through her testimony and example which she shared weekly with me. I learned patients and unconditional love. But what I gained the most from her and her husband was a feeling of self worth, for some reason I was special to them and they loved me and went out of their way to care for me. Whether is was attending recitals, wedding dinners, wedding ceremonies, bridal showers, or just a kind word on many occasions they loved me, and I was only one of MANY piano students and youth receiving a patriarchal blessing from Jim who was our stake Patriarch.
Jim passed away due to old age and many sickness last week on my birthday. His funeral was yesterday and I was so grateful to be able to attend. Jim worked for the Deseret News for nearly all of his life, they did a large article about him and his MANY accomplishments last week (I wish I knew how to post it here) and his obituary was the longest I have ever seen because of all he accomplished with his life. He was also a close friend with President Thomas S. Monson. Because of this friendship President Monson attended the funeral and spoke. I can't even convey the spirit that was felt there; when the entire congregation (which was very large) sang all seven verses of How Firm a Foundation I knew I was done for, then each of Jims seven children gave remarks about his life which kept emotions running high. Their testimony of the plan of salvation was so special. Then President Monson spoke and I was overwhelmed with the testimony that he IS a true prophet and man of God. Then the closing song was The Spirit of God I could not even sing due to the lump in my throat. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true!!!! I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and it is correct! I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and I know he restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, that we are His children and that we can be with Him again and there is life after death! I love and am grateful for this testimony!!! I am grateful for how it blesses my life.
When President Monson spoke he said (referring to Jim) "When the Lord provides a model, are we smart enough to follow it?" I hope that because Jim and Paula have blessed my life FOR GOOD that I will be able to follow their example of love and compassion to others, that I will be of service often, and that my hands will be used for good every time the opportunity arises. I love President Uchtdorfs General Conference talk titled "You Are My Hands" when he talks about the statue of Jesus Christ in a German town that was destroyed during WWII, the town was able to restore all but the hands of the statue, after some debate it was decided to leave the hands off the statue as a memorial, under the statue are the words "You Are My Hands" meaning that we have to be Jesus Christs hands here on earth. I hope that I can be! Maybe in that way I can follow the model that Jim (and Paula) have set for me.
Of course the grand highlight of the day was when Grant and I were able to meet President Monson. President Monson put his large hand on Grant and said he looked like a very good boy (I said he was) and that he looked like a future missionary (I sure hope so!) I sure love my boy and I love President Monson!
What a special day!!!!