Monday, July 19, 2010

For The Strength Of Youth

At the beginning of this month, I wrote about a precious little boy named Jake who had a pool accident on the 3rd of July at a family function. He was revived and has been in the hospital ever since. If you haven't seen his mother's blog, please take a look. She has candidly and openly expressed her feelings and kept us updated on the condition of this adorable little man.

What I really want to write about today are the precious lessons learned during these past 2 weeks. Let me start by saying that my ward is the BEST ward I have ever lived in and the faith of the young men and young women (ages 12-18) is undeniable. These are valiant young souls who stand as examples of righteousness and strength to all of us. They are our future leaders and our world will be a better place because of them. They just completed their "Trek" on Saturday and yesterday they came to church wearing their pioneer garb. In fact, our Bishop and everyone who participated in trek wore theirs as well and it set the tone for a very spiritually charged meeting...I felt like I stepped back into the 1800's.

For those who are not of my faith, Trek is where the young people ages 14-18 dress in pioneer clothing, push handcarts and walk in the beating sun for 3 days as they recreate a small portion of the trek of the early Mormon Pioneers who came west to Utah. There are many heart-wrenching stories of these early pioneers...many buried children, wives, parents etc along the way. They froze and they starved. But ultimately they endured and arrived in our beautiful state. These kids also suffered along their trek this past weekend. They pushed and pulled handcarts up rocky hills, through flowing river beds, carried all of their provisions in heavy buckets, got filthy dirty, some were a bit dehydrated, they have blisters, minor sunburns and were exhausted...but every one of them is glad they went and shared how hard it was but also their testimonies of faith and love for their Heavenly Father who watched over them as well as the original pioneers...Every one of them was glad they went!

So how does this relate to Jake? Each person on this trek was to walk for an ancestor of theirs who's name they wore on a lanyard around their neck. They also wore a sticker on the lanyard that read "Jake + Lucy = Miracles"...Lucy is another precious 2 year old child in our ward who is struggling with health issues. Anyway, these kids have fasted and prayed over the past weeks for Jake and his family. They found out in their Saturday morning devotional that Jake's parents had made the decision to take him off life support and leave his future in the hands of the Lord. At first, they were devastated! Tears were shed and hearts were broken. They wanted and expected the obvious miracle of a return to a "normal" life for this sweet little soul.

Yesterday in sacrament meeting, our Bishop decided to cancel the scheduled speakers and he randomly, through the Spirit, called people up to share their experiences on Trek. Adults and Youth were called up. I have NEVER shed so many tears in a meeting as I did today! Tears of sadness, tears of joy. Most of the kids mentioned their feelings about little Jake and talked about the miracles that they DID see through this. They all talked of their immense love for their Heavenly Father and their testimonies of prayer. They KNOW that their prayers have been answered and that the miracle THEY wanted, wasn't the miracle they received...and that's O.K.with them! They trust in God and His plan. I LOVE these kids!

So yesterday, I was taught by teenagers and inspired to be a better person. I learned from their ability to remain humble and submissive to the will of the Lord. I will always be grateful for the strength of the youth.


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