I know it’s been a while since I last updated this blog, but my explanations would warrant an entire post of its own – for which I have no strength.
I have a few post that were meant to come in the past few weeks, but they’ll come as I take time to gather my thoughts and frame them well enough to unleash on the world. All those posts are on topics that are dear to me so I want to do them justice.
I wanted to do today’s post today because of the sweet spirit I felt as I attended the Setting Apart of a very close friend of mine as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Elder Matthew Snowden (or as we have known him up until this evening, Matt) is headed for the Iloilo, Phillipines Mission for two years. Matt is just one of those rare people that has a powerful, yet warm presence. He has left a lasting impression on me, even though I have only known him a relatively short period of time. He has the makings of a great missionary. He bore a powerful testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ in his Sacrament Meeting talk today and I have no doubt that once the people of Iloilo get to know him, they too will have no choice but to love him as wholeheartedly as I do!
As close friends and family gathered together in a little room, there was talk of how sorely he will be missed. Adored by boys and girls alike, Matt is nothing short of a superstar. When he walked in with the Stake President, we were told that there was a short delay as we were waiting on the Bishop to arrive with another member. Matt took this opportunity to go around the room and squeeze in a last hug from all his female friends. 🙂
The Stake President gave a wonderful talk about how life-changing a mission can be and that all of the returned-missionaries of his Stake, none have ever spoken of those mission years with any measure of regret. And that, to his knowledge, the adjustment to home after mission can be more difficult that the adjustment from home to mission because of the love and attachment you develop for people when you render selfless service to them for so long. You grow to love them with a different kind of love.
When they got to the ordaining part, I felt a great rush of love in the room as Matt asked all his friends that were Melchizedek Priesthood holders to participate. It was a beautiful, intimate and sacred moment as each laid one hand on that precious head, and another on the shoulder of the person standing next to them while the Stake President spoke wondrous words to set apart this remarkable young man to the work of the Lord, sending him out to ‘[thrust] in his sickle with his might’ (D&C 4:4).
set apart v. to dedicate or reserve for a specific use.
My friend, Elder Snowden, has been set apart for arguably the most exceptional work one can ever do – the rescue of souls for his Father in Heaven.
How do sacred ordinances help you feel closer to your Heavenly Father?