Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Own Little Warriors

Yesterday, Rob and I had the opportunity of attending the temple. We said a special prayer together before going in that we might feel close to Branson, and to have an added amount of peace while we were there. Since Branson's passing, I yearn to be in the temple, for it is where I feel the closest to him...away from the distractions of the world, and freed from the negative thoughts that Satan tempts me to believe.

All day I had been thinking about Branson, and what he's doing during this time that we are spending apart. I often try to envision him...what he looks like, what he's doing during the day, what his mission in the spirit world is. During his name and blessing at the hospital, we had a strong confirmation from the spirit that Branson had in fact been called on a special mission at this time, and I have had that confirmation many times since then. I don't know exactly what he's doing, or why he was needed...I just know that it's real, it's important, and that he was valiant enough to be called and obedient enough to answer it.

During the session, the story of Helaman's 2,000 Stripling Warrior's (Chapters 53 and 56 in the Book of Alma, Book of Mormon) kept coming to my mind. This has always been one of the most inspiring and motivating stories in the Book of Mormon for me. Over and over during the two hours we were in the temple, I thought of these young men who so willingly and courageously accepted the call to serve, and vowed to protect their liberty, their families, and the lives of their people.

I wasn't exactly sure why this story kept coming to mind, when I had prayed to feel close to Branson, and we were also seeking direction to another situation in our lives. Yet, I couldn't ignore that the thoughts were there.

So, first thing this morning after eating breakfast, I sat down at the table and opened up to the book of Alma. I started to read the story of these stripling warriors, and as I read, I felt the spirit so strong and it all started to come together.

Over the past 7 months, and particularly the last 2 months, I have been able to meet (via the Internet) hundreds of mothers who have also had to say goodbye to their little ones too soon. All of these mothers...these families, are good, loving people. Parents who would have provided a wonderful home and a life full of love to these little spirits. As I have learned about each child and each family that they are a part of, I have been so amazed and inspired by each one. Every single little life, no matter how short, has already made a difference in so many ways...in so many lives! I have often wondered why so many of them had to leave these beautiful families...why weren't they allowed to stay?

And it hit me...all of these spirits were needed for something special...important. They have been called home to be a part of something great. Like these young men in Alma "...they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold this was not all-they were men/women who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men/women of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him." Alma 53:20-21

The spirit whispered...they are all Heavenly stripling warriors.

What an incredible thought! These spirits, working together, comprise perhaps one of the greatest "armies" ever known. Although their call is not to defend in a mortal battle, it's a call to defend in a time of spiritual unrest. They do not fight with weapons of war, but with the power of God. They don't have to defend the liberty of their land, but perhaps they defend the truthfulness of the gospel and the beauty of the plan of salvation. They don't make preparations for a physical battle, but perhaps they do make preparations for the second coming. They don't stand guard with weapons to protect their leader, but perhaps they do protect and prompt their families, friends, and loved ones on both sides of the veil. They don't teach others the methods of battle, but perhaps they do teach other spirits about Christ and the joy they can find through living his gospel. Perhaps these are just a few of their duties as warriors of truth.

The stripling warriors of the Book of Mormon succeed in their mission to protect, and I have no doubt our warriors will do the same.
"...they fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power" Alma 56:56

I am thankful that I received an answer to my prayer, for the thoughts I had in temple have helped me feel closer to Branson, and they have brought an added measure of peace.

It is my prayer, that although I still grieve the separation from Branson...that I still have days full of tears and a heart full of longing...that Branson will someday be able to reply as the Stripling Warriors did...
"We do not doubt our mothers knew it"

14 comments:

Vest Family said...

You brought tears to my eyes with that last line.
~Heather

Amy said...

wow Natalie! that is an amazing insight and totally brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for that beautiful reminder!

Loretta Valenta said...

Beautiful, Natalie, just beautiful. You are right that they are all warriors and you have a very special warrior of your own! Hugs to you and to Rob.

The Hicks Family said...

Natalie you are such an amazing writer! And you have such wonderful insight. And whenever I read your writings I feel the spirit very strong. I wish I were more like you! You're awesome!

Emily and Jens said...

so true nat...what a wonderful impression.

The Holland Family said...

Your writings are very inspiring. You will cherish the things that you write about now later on. I wish I could go back to those feelings of closeness I felt to Mia. I think that she is busy now and not as close as she was in those early days after her death. I try to remember my feelings and the "Tender Mercies" that were so abundantly showered upon me. Thank you for your awesome words. They comfort me too. Love Nicole

Brittanie said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read that right now. I'm getting ready for bed, and lately going to sleep has been causing me such anxiety. Will I wake up to not having a baby like I did before? But this entry reminded me of all the peace I have felt over the last nearly 3 years. I have often said that my patriarchal blessing made me feel that my mission on earth was to raise Stripling Warriors. I had not until now included Cora in that. Thank you for the reminder I so needed.

Kara said...

What a wonderful perspective. I am glad that you have found that place that brings peace to your heart. What Temple is closest to you?

April said...

Natalie I just had to let you know that you've been such an inspiration to me. I really am so amazed at how much the Lord new the internet would help in so many ways. I hope you don't think i was copying you in starting a blog for my Harry. I started pne a few months ago but never did anything with it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it with anyone. And then when I saw your blog of healing I just thought it was a great idea to vent, get angry and write all the good and bad feelings. I know if I don't help anyone else I am helping myself and remembering my little boy. So Thanks. I hope its ok. You truly are amazing. You have such a way of writing and expressing how you feel and I truly think that Heavenly Father is with you through this to not only help yourself but all mothers like you. Thank you.

shelly said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts that was a very inspiring sweet post. I found your blog through a friends blog i hope that you do not mind me commenting and reading your blog I appreciate your testimony

Lindsay said...

Okay . . . this is so crazy you posted about that story! Yesterday I was sitting in church and I had the thought to read about that exact story. I must have needed to be reminded about that again through your amazing words on your blog. You are right - and I hope to be the kind of mother that does not doubt. THANK YOU!

Ashley said...

That was beautiful!!! I love to think of Miles as a spiritual warrior!!!

Tevita and Jodi said...

Thank you for that post Natalie. I continue to read your blog and it seems that you can put into words exactly how I am feeling. I have three angel baby boys and I hope and pray everyday that they are doing the Lord's work and know that they were needed more by Him than by us. Thank you again for your blog. I truly enjoy reading your words.

Tifani said...

This post has touched me deeply and I feel that you were inspired with those thoughts to benefit all of us. I want to print off everything you said as a constant reminder of my son's call home to be a warrior. I am really at a loss for words because of how poignant that post is. My name is Tifani and I found your blog through another angel baby blog. We lost our son a month ago due to a ruptured placenta. God bless you for all that you have gone through with your husband to have a little baby. My heart aches for you and I would hug you if I could.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tifani
enduringwell.blogspot.com