Wednesday, March 9, 2016


A few Saturdays ago, Brother Tom Y. made his final trip into the chapel of the church building where we meet for Sunday services.  Tom has been accustomed to entering with his wife through the back doors on the east side of the building, and sitting on the cushioned pew just inside the door.   He held that spot for 18 years.  On this recent Saturday he entered through the customary doors but did not stop at his favorite pew.   You see, that morning he was wheeled into the chapel as he rested in his casket.  I felt a catch in my throat as I realized that for the last time, Brother Tom was joining us for a service.  His casket was pushed up the aisle until it rested at the front of the chapel.  When he left the building for the last time he was rolled out the west front door.  I'm pretty sure he had never exited through that door under his own power.

Last week Brother Barry B., a former ward member, was laid to rest in another city.  In December, faithful Brother Dale W. was eulogized.   Last spring it was Sister Nadine S. and 2 years ago it was Brother Tom E., age 101 3/4.

We have been members of the Oak Hills Ward for 31 years.  Scores of people have come and gone during that time, and each has made an impact while they have lived here.  I always say that people with a common bond weave a tapestry of beauty and stability.  When they move on or die, their rich threads remain.  Contributions of service, faith, industry, musical gifts, compassion, testimony, etc. are valued and remembered.  When new people arrive, their thread is blended into to our tapestry.  Certain threads and fibers have vibrant colors or great strength that resists breakage.  Others are nubby or fluffy, thick or slender, and a few shimmer and shine.  There are threads that easily fray, or appear scraggy on the surface.  Yet together they weave a stunning display.

It is to our benefit to incorporate into our lives characteristics that we admire in others.  Sister Nadine was firm in the faith.  Brother Tom E. was the most integrous man I can think of and never made excuses for his short-comings.  Brother Barry went out of his way to greet people; he had a way of letting you know you were important to him.  Brother Dale had broad life experience that blessed us all as he taught.  And Brother Tom Y. always stood by "his" pew after sacrament meeting, and smiled and shook the hand of each person as they exited.  He had time for everyone.

I imagine my tapestry thread to be a fibrous one of blended deep greens and purples without being showy.  It will be a long thread of consistent body and reasonable strength yet with a few frayed areas.  It won't be a standout thread or the first one people notice in the tapestry; a background or foundation thread is a better description.  It can buoy up weaker threads around it and will quietly complement the showier more vibrant fibers.   We all contribute to the beauty and quality of life around us.

NOTE: photo from