Svithe: Acceptable sacrifice


My brother Braj came home from his mission on the fifteenth, and watching him adjust to America has helped me remember my own homecoming nine years ago. After arrival, I immediately became horribly ill and so most of the details of those first few back-in-America months are lost to me. But I love seeing him--how he is the same person (often in surprising ways), yet he is also more.

One thing I do remember was sitting on the plane in Cheju, having just said goodbye to all my Cheju friends and my now former companion and knowing it was all over. There is nothing like Too Late to make one wonder how close to 100% one's efforts were--to analyze what more could have been done. I was sitting on the plane, praying, worrying over the worth of my two years of service when a song came into my head. It wasn't a hymn. It wasn't approved listening at all. It was a song off a tape one of my Korean friends had on endless repeat in his car to learn English. The tape consisted of American standards and classics of soft rock sung by celebrity fakes. The song in question was "My Way" as sung by a phony Frank Sinatra--a song I had never heard before my mission. And as strange it may seem, that anthem to individuality was the Lord's expression to me that he accepted my service--and that it was given in my way made it acceptable. That what he had wanted to me to do: to be a missionary my way. The Lord didn't want some guy to do some stuff, he wanted me to do stuff and to do it my way. That meant a lot to me. That means a lot to me.


At age 78, Mary Alice Hansen
    found herself serving as a host in the Church Office Building, as well as a worker in the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center.

    She served in both capacities many times during the week for several decades until one day, when she was 99 years old, she fell and broke her hip and wrist. . . .

    Sister Hansen returned less than three months later--walking without a cane. Sister Hansen continued to serve until she was released May 18 at age 102.

Well, Theric? What have you done lately?

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  1. .

    I apologize that the link for dear Sister Hansen is unhelpful. If you have a subscription, the article can be accessed--it is titled "Beckoned to Bless" and is from the issue ending June 3.

  2. I just got released yesterday after nearly 2 years of being the Primary president. It was a terrifying calling for many reasons, but I was surprised to feel mixed emotions when they released. I think because I'd finally found "my way" of doing it and was getting comfortable. Now someone else gets to do it their way. I think people forget that despite the handbooks and other things we have in the church, our best asset is the unique talents of the individual members.

  3. Well, Foxy you just answered my question about how in the heck long do you have to work in a calling before you get released and what if you don't live to be 102!?

  4. Actually, once I served in the Stake RS for 3 weeks before being released. I'm certain I got a lot done, helped many sisters, surely magnified that one...still asking today: "What was the point???"

    Sis. Hansen puts me to shame... :(

  5. .

    Foxy--I feel a need to comment, but find myself empty. You've been looking to this for so long....

    And Sam--they were about to call me to Young Men's, then they learned I was leaving in two weeks and changed their mind. I seem, myself, to have become to uncallable.