Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Until We Meet Again

Letter from President Derlin Taylor, sent at the end of his time as the mission president for the Washington Vancouver Mission.

President Taylor

26 June 2016

Our Dear Elders and Sisters,

The sudden death of Elder Lambert has stunned our mission and causes us to wonder why this would happen and how could it have happened. We know much about death, but we do not know why people die when they die. That is one of those questions the Lord requires us to take on faith.

From Alma we know that death is essential to the plan of happiness. He taught; "Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness." (Alma 42: 8) It does seem odd that death is essential to happiness when it causes so much grief and pain. Again, something we must take on faith. All I know is this, the Lord knows all these things and I trust Him.

Elder Maxwell said this: "Since this life is such a brief experience, there must be regular exit routes. Some easy, some hard, some sudden, others lingering. Therefore, we cannot presume, even by faith, to block all these exits, all the time, and for all people. Nor, if possessed of full, eternal perspective, would we desire so to do."

Given our mission to proclaim the truths of the gospel to all the people in the WVM and given that Elder Lambert was actively engaged in that same objective, it seems to me the best thing we can take from this is to again realize our purpose and understand that this work is bigger than all of us. We should recognize that we are here to help all we can to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel so they can walk through the veil as prepared as he was. And by so doing, we will prepare ourselves to also enter into the presence of God, having walked the strait and narrow path with singleness of heart, seeking righteousness and obedience to the laws and commandments of God.

Death is never easy for those left behind. It will always close a chapter of life that will change our way of living. We can choose to be bitter or we can choose to rejoice in the joy of having had the relationship for as long as we did. When we truly become disciples of Christ we will trust Him in all things, especially the difficult things. It will not be easy all of the time but we know we can do hard things. May the blessings of the Lord be upon each of us as we deal with Elder Lambert's death and may the Lord bless this mission as we move together toward bringing souls unto Christ.

Now, as this mission is handed over to President and Sister McAteer, Sister Taylor and I testify they have been called of God to be your Mission President. He will hold the keys of this mission and He will lead you according to the Spirit. This is not our mission or their mission, but always the Lord's mission.

We feel much like Ammon in Alma 26 when he says; "we have traveled from house to house...we have entered into their houses and taught them, we have taught them in their streets and upon their hills...and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered...all this that we may be the means of saving some soul...we can look and see the fruits of our labors and are they few?...Nay, they are many...have we not reason to rejoice? Yea...there never were men and women that had so great reason to rejoice as we."

From Moroni; "I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing...Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness...then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ...and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot."

Farewell, WVM. We love you and trust you to carry on the great traditions of previous generations of missionaries. Yours is a valued heritage which will be handed down to future missionaries from you until the Savior shall declare the work to be finished.

We love you and pray for you always.

President and Sister Taylor

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