Sunday, February 2, 2014

Early morning thoughts on the birth of a new granddaughter

"Birth was, and will always be, the most commonplace of miracles - an event at once familiar and phenomenal, timeless and immediate, briefly making angels of us all." -Call the Midwife

I woke up early on Friday morning, before my alarm would normally go off, and pondered on the significance of what had happened the day before. The arrival of Kylie was more than a precious person coming into the world. It was the start of a family. And it was so much more! I realized that Kylie was a sort of glue that would bind us all together, and that she probably came to Earth with a specific mission. Whether she is bright or not, beautiful or not, talented or not, she will still be so very important. She will be a catalyst for change, just as my kids were catalysts to me. I had a strong impression that she would be "a gatherer". I'm not sure I fully understand what being a gatherer means, but I do know that the next events in her life will be a sealing in the temple, and a name and a blessing. Both are binding, gluing, gathering events.

I thought about her naming and blessing. A special priesthood ordinance, that looks forward through her life. Yes, inspiration is involved in that blessing, but the Lord has also explained that inspiration comes from "studying it out". Is not the very best way to study it out, to receive inspiration, to ask your wife what she would say! For whatever reason, the Lord has appointed men to hold the priesthood. But they magnify that priesthood when they counsel with their angel wives. We may be the ones to lay our hands on our family members, but a wise priesthood holder knows what to say because of his eternal companion. Yes, inspiration still comes in the moment, but that inspiration comes more readily as he counsels with his wife as his equal.

(One of the scariest things for me about being a bishop was that I was not able to counsel with Jackie on some heavy and important matters. I felt so alone! I'm so thankful I can counsel with her on important family matters. I'm so much more intelligent when I do!)

And so, the arrival of a child changes everything. It causes us to grow, to seek inspiration, and to grow closer to our spouses. Yes, there are bumps in the road, but Jackie and I have largely gotten over those bumps as we've repented and applied the basic principles of the gospel. I'm thankful for the miracle of children. They briefly make angels of us all!