Choices and Consequences

My mind has been somewhat taken up with the news of the deaths of these poor baby girls in Saskatchewan, left to freeze and die in the cold snow, in -50 degree weather, this week. My heart breaks for them, for their loved ones, including the young father who left them (and again we don’t know all the details) because in spite of the mistakes he made, in taking them out without proper clothes, and leaving them, because he wasn’t aware of all he was doing, he is suffering for the choices he made. It looks as though something precipitated this, which caused a string of ill advised choices, fueled by alcohol and stress. I am not judging either, but just feeling pain for this family and these poor babies.The comfort is that I know Heavenly Father sent his angels to hold these innocents, to bring them home and maybe maybe to take away the suffering from the cold. Maybe the cold didn’t cause them too much physical anguish? I don’t know much of what freezing to death is like, and I don’t want to find out that they suffered excruciating pain, so young as they are. Children, especially the smallest ones need and are to be protected. So many children for many different reasons are not, and I know this hurts the Lord, I don’t question why He doesn’t always interfere, because He is wiser than I am.

What I feel, as a mother (and even just as a human being) is this urgency, to protect and save the suffering babies. Right now, this is the current one in my mind, these little girls who had little protection from the elements.

I am not thinking (as I know some are) that it is just more evidence of problems on the reserves. No, it is a human problem. The choices made by the father he will regret for the rest of his life. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow he is experiencing, and their mother as well, that because of a fight, she was not there to watch over and keep her girls safe. The tragedy just transcends all blame at that end.

I do think there is some responsibility for a government that does not regulate the sale of alcohol better. Yes, this father (and so many other alcoholics) made his own choice to purchase and consume alcohol, but evidence shows that First Nations people are genetically more prevalent to substance addiction. The government makes too much money, though to not control the purchase of alcohol or the accessibility of it, better. Do they think of the victims of alcoholism? The innocents, who because of this freedom to drink yourself into a stupor, suffer, and sometimes pay, as in this case, with their lives.

See, children have a right to be protected, to be cared for. They cannot care for themselves. If a puppy or a kitten had been left out there, that animal may have had a better chance of survival. But if an adult is at risk, then how much more are a 3 year old and a baby barely over the age of a year unable to look after themselves? Especially in the debilitating cold.

But the government does not want to lose the revenue they gain through the suffering of others. Our governments (provincial and federal) who are supposed to do their best for the citizens make poor decisions that affect the lives and well being of those who do not choose to even participate in that. These little girls were not a part of the decision their father made to drink, nor a part of the decision to sell the alcohol, to create easy access to it’s sale, to make it in the first place. Adults, people who are supposed to have the intelligence to make responsible choices designed to promote the well being and safety of those they have stewardship over, were the ones who made the decision that resulted in the suffering and death of two little girls.

All I know is that a loving Saviour held them in His arms, this I know, brought them home and ended their suffering and kept them safe and I am sure, wept tears because of His great love, not only for them, but for all involved.

Christmas is coming

And Kim asked me if I miss getting letters from my grandma. Yes, actually I do. Sometimes I catch myself thinking I need to write to her and tell her something, and then I remember that I can’t do that anymore. I think it is something I will always miss.

I miss seeing that familiar handwriting in the mail and feeling a little lift in my heart, because my grandma was always such a wonderful correspondent. I think I have all her letters, at least I sure hope I do.

I will miss this Christmas, not seeing the familiar box of presents. That may sound mercenary, but really it’s not. It isn’t the presents themselves I will miss, but the gifts wrapped, in her creative, colourful way, with different pieces of ribbon and either wrapping paper or tissue, and our names written in her neat handwriting. That’s what I miss because not a year went by when she didn’t send something, not very big, but always something, and it is the wrapping and the handwriting I will miss.

I think most of all I miss hearing her voice and I hope I never forget the sound of it. For 35 years I heard it and to think, I won’t hear it again in this lifetime.

Clapping

One of my cousins came with me to church a few years ago (when I was still a teenager). That Sunday happened to be the day the young men and women sang “The Army of Helaman”. I don’t know if my cousin thought we were did a good job or whether he was just being polite, but when we were done, he started clapping.

It amounted to maybe three or four claps because it didn’t take him long to he realise he was the only one. He isn’t a Mormon and not clapping in church was something we took for granted and forgot to tell him.

Maybe we should have a sign outside: Visitors welcome. No clapping.

Purpose of Death

Continuing my study in 2 Nephi, chapter nine this morning, I was pondering the sixth verse.

For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

The part I contemplated the most was how exactly death fulfils God’s plan. Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Death offers an opportunity for the spirits of those who have not accepted the gospel a chance to hear it and accept it
  2. It tests our faith. Some of us might question the existence of an afterlife as we get closer to death.
  3. It provides a trial for the loved ones of the deceased that may not have been possible in the pre-mortal existence.

Are there others?