Thursday, 3 November 2011

It's not a tragedy

Before Noah even passed away we knew that we wanted our good friend and Stake President from our church, Scott Prebble to speak at his funeral.   He and our Bishop from church helped us a lot the week before the funeral to get things organised and spent a lot of time just talking with us.

The day before Noah passed away he came to visit us in Hobart along with Lisa and Lizzie and it was so lovely to have them with us, and to talk about what was happening.  We told them that it wasn't looking good for Noah and we talked a lot about how hard it was, but also how grateful we were that we knew that we would see Noah again one day. 

This is the talk that he gave at the end of Noah's funeral service. 

It’s been a wonderful privilege to be here today, and to be asked to speak at Noah’s funeral service.   As Aaron, Jalen, Lisa and Harri stood here and looked back and saw the vast colour and mountain of people, surely they must realise that they are loved, and that Noah is loved.   I suspect that each of us are here, for one of two reasons - you love Noah, you love his family, or both.  We thank you for coming and being here, and showing your support to them. 

I think to know Noah, you need to know his family.  To know his family at least in part, you need to know something about them - what they believe in.   How is it possible at a time that seems such a tragedy, yet they still smile, yet they still have hope?

I would like to share with you some of our beliefs as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In so doing I have to say that I have great respect for those of you who may have different beliefs. I respect that, but to know the Kings you need to know why this is sad, but it’s not a tragedy.

We believe as members of the church that it’s not an accident that we came to the earth to be here right now.  There are two major events that take place in our life.  Events that we have very little control over – birth and death. These two book ends encompass everything that at the moment we know as ‘life’.  But we didn’t start here.  Before we came to this earth we lived with our Father in Heaven and we were his spirit children.  Our spirit is us. The person that fits inside us. The thing that controls and handles our body.  Aaron spoke about Noah’s spirit, and what his body could not do, but his mind, in other words the ‘real’ Noah was very capable of thinking, acting, doing.

When we come to this earth we experience many challenges, many trials, many adversities and often the question is, if there really is a God and if he is a loving God, then how can he possibly let bad things happen to good people?  Surely a loving God would not allow that to happen. He would protect the good and make it so life was easy, and make it so they got everything they want.  Part of this life is to be able to endure and to experience many great things. 

I don’t believe you can really appreciate the sweetness of a mango, if you haven’t tasted a lemon.  You can’t appreciate good if you’ve never experienced bad, and so a loving Father in Heaven has given us an opportunity to experience bad. It gives us and chance to show him who we truly are, and rise above it. 

Many would look at Noah when he was born and say ‘here is a tragedy, here must be a curse from God, how could he do this to the King family? They did nothing wrong. How could he do such a horrible thing to them?’  I’m pretty sure you can see clearly why a loving Father allowed Noah to come to this earth to this family.

When Bishop Bailey and I met with Aaron and Lisa on Monday night, Aaron said something which is a light bulb moment for me. One of those moments that make sense. It’s not that often that Aaron says something that makes sense :) He said that "many people say that Noah came to his family because he needed them. That is not true. We needed him".  They are better people because of the challenges, the hardships, the struggles, the sacrifices they had to make.  They are better people. Their character has improved.  Their Christlike attributes – compassion, sacrifice, love, caring about others before themselves, has all been developed. If only good things ever happened to the King family, if they only ever got good things, how could they have developed such attributes?  So I think there are many things we can learn from this.

We know the next stage of death is going to occur for each and every one of us. When that will take place I don’t know, but what does happen when that takes place?  Our beliefs are that our spirit, that real us, separates from our body. Our body and spirit together is best described like a hand and a glove.  The glove by itself is lifeless, it does nothing, but the hand is the controlling factor. When the spirit leaves the body, the body which is here becomes lifeless. There it lies in a grave, waiting for the time which Harri said, when the spirit reunites back with the body in the perfect form, never to be separated again.

This life is such a blessing that a loving Heavenly Father has given to each of us, even though we have struggles and trials and hardships.  We get to experience love and physical pleasures, all of the joys and they are wonderful, wonderful things.  Come death I have no doubt what happens. I testify Noah is not dead. His spirit lives on.  Aaron mentioned that.  He is here, and one day when we part this earth, we too will see Noah.  That who he really is, and he will see us and we can be together again as society but most importantly as families. In the church we believe that there is no organisation more important than the family.  I like Aaron and Lisa and many others am a school teacher. I teach Science, Maths and whatever the subject may be, and yet the thing that I know most about, the thing that I am most sure of, that I have the greatest knowledge and conviction of, I don’t teach at school.  That responsibility is left to families.

I believe Aaron and Lisa have taught their family, their boys that which matters most.  They have an understanding of this plan, which a loving Father in Heaven has created. We were with him.  He has given us an earth to experience all the positives and negatives.  And from that we can return to his presence, and in our family unit forever.  How wonderful is this plan.  How tragic Noah’s death would be if we were to say this is the end. And so in the church we truly do say to Noah ‘God be with you until we do meet again’.  I testify we will meet again.  There is life after death.  It’s what gives me hope. It’s what gives the Kings hope.  It’s what gives us a reason to enjoy life to its fullest.  I do thank the Kings for their example.   I thank Noah for his example.  The fact that there are so many people here is a testament to the example that a boy can have on so many people.  I’m grateful for my knowledge of a loving God, who truly loves us individually and who understands our pain and our hardship, and our loving Saviour Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.   

At the beginning of the funeral service our friends Sacha and Belinda sang a beautiful song called 'Every Breath' which was written by the beautiful and talented Jenny Phillips, who we got to meet last year.  I had asked Leona to take care of the music and we had been back and forth during the week before, talking about different songs that may be nice for them to sing.  I'm so glad that she suggested the one the girls sang as it was so beautiful and perfect.  I have put the original music which is sung by Jenny Phillips to photos from the funeral, just so those who weren't able to be there can hear what a beautiful song it was.   It also goes along perfectly with President Prebble's talk.


6 comments:

  1. I think President Prebble's talk of faith and testimony was the perfect end to Noah's funeral. I am thankful for my own testimony, to know that I am part of a loving family here and an even greater heavenly family. And to have principles which guide and govern my actions so I can return to God the woman He wants me to be.

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  2. Thank you so much Lisa for sharing this with us. I felt the spirit so strongly when I read President Prebbles talk and cried when I watched the video. The song was just beautiful.

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