Sunday, May 31, 2015


One of the things I remember about those unforgettable days in the dust and mire of Fort Ord, California, where I did my basic training in the US Army was the phrase NAME – RANK AND SERIAL NUMBER. Tags were issued with this information inscribed as a reminder and evidence of existence, or in case of death, identifying the bearer. Although, we have since entered into a day where waterboarding and unending ear piercing noise have overridden the rules entered into in the Geneva Pact, for a moment an attempt was made to add some humanity to our inhumanity. However, every new recruit is still indoctrinated that they need reveal these three things about themselves and nothing more.

On the occasions that I have visited cemeteries, the burial markers I read usually bore the name, date of birth, date of death and sometimes an epitaph which possibly gave some hint as to a characteristic or contributions of the deceased. While on my mission in Mexico as a young man I was struck with disbelief when I learned that burial plots were bought for only a specific number of years and then the remains of the deceased would be removed and another planted in their place. In these cases there might or might not be a record kept of the former tenants. Sometimes short notations are made of those who are cremated on a brass plaque or on the urn containing the ashes. I have recently become aware of a woman who makes a bob to be hung on a necklace which contains a few of the ashes of a cremated family member. If I went this direction, I would want a flat ‘stone’ mounted in silver or gold with an inscription on the back bearing the basic information about my mortal span.

When I was pondering on this last option – the thought went through my mind that I would need to commission six bobs so that each of our children would have one. I suspect there would be plenty of ash to accommodate this choice. The footprint of one’s existence would really be diminutive if this alternative were to be their choice, even less than an urn.

I don't really worry about how this unique inheritance would be passed to grandchildren and posterity beyond, since very few of earth’s inhabitants leave life with much more than a two generation remembrance. My children know a little of their grandparents’ lives. Some of them may be able to identify the names of their great grandparents, but I would not even chance asking them to come up with names or life contributions of generations beyond that point.

As I was reading the one question in the book of Genesis which is repeated, ‘who art thou? who art thou my son?’

I was struck with and then spent some time pondering about the idea, whether everyone who has dwelt on this little sphere, when thinking about the transiency of life, afterward had that thought, as it always seems to do, lead to wondering who they really are?

I suspect that if they see themselves according to the rusting accumulation of stuff they have amassed, the reality of the temporary-ness of existence will become overwhelming.

If they do this soul searching during a particularly disappointing period of their lives, I doubt that any depression they have been feeling will be diminished.

If the accumulated voices of those who have expressed their opinions of who they think one might be are used as a measuring stick, I am sure that delusion will be a paramount part of one’s daily walk.

As I have spent time personally contemplating ‘who art thou,’ I have found the following points to be of tremendous value.

An expansion of one’s total existence and great joy enters into the soul of a person when they come to know that the words ‘Eternal Father’ mean more than just a title of convenience in prayer talk.

There are few thoughts which cause more exhilaration to one and which broaden their understanding of who they are, than the understanding that they are the spiritual offspring of Deity.

It would be difficult to measure the tremendous expansion of self-worth which comes to that son or daughter who comes to the realization that they have been sent to this earth by loving Heavenly Parents to be added upon.

Our vistas are expanded when we come to understand that we have been sent to earth, not to train our physical bodies for a momentary Olympic event, but how to dwell forever in Kingdoms of Glory.

Our understanding of the purpose of existence takes on expanded meaning when we finally realize that the purpose of learning obedience is not to keep us safe because we stop at stop signs, but we have been sent to learn to harmonize ourselves with Eternal Laws.

How we wish to shout with joy, with the angels of heaven, when we come to know for ourselves that death is not dying, but is being born into Everlasting Life.

How sad that so many of Heavenly Father’s children have been deceived into believing that our destiny is but scattered ashes and maybe a few notations on tags or stones.

The testimony which is forever true, gives us the profound understanding of ‘who thou art.’

A child of God sent to earth on a mission of absolute importance, where we are preparing ourselves to live in Eternal Kingdoms of Glory.

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