Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thankful on April 6, 2011

On Sunday, my sister Julie showed me something most precious. Something I cannot get out of my mind. Her adorable little Cannon (age four) drew a picture to send to my son Iver, depicting Iver's mugging incident. I cannot wait for Iver to get it. He will not be able to stop smiling! I can picture it now. In Cannon's picture, Iver (with a tie) is being assisted by an angel, who is protecting him from the bad guy. What Cannon doesn't know, but I do, is that the angel's name is Maria...

About a month before Iver received his mission call, Corbin and I had the opportunity to attend the Denver temple on an initiatory assignment. If you do not know, our temples are places where we take part in sacred ordinances that we believe bind families together for eternity. In initiatories we receive blessings and annointings that teach us about our divine nature. Part of the work we do there is to provide these ordinances for those who have passed on from this life and were unable to do them for themselves. It was a very snowy night, and the parking lot was near empty. We walked in, half expecting them to tell us that they were going to close down early, but instead they were thrilled to see us and excited for us to fulfill our assignment. I went to the appropriate room, the only patron with two workers to help me. We were able to work quickly, and before we knew it, I had completed a whopping TWENTY names. All three of us were giggling a little bit because every single person I had done work for was a Maria from Mexico. I thought it was pretty cool, but didn't think too much more of it. I was grateful to be able to help each of them to receive these special blessings.

A month or so later, Iver received his mission call to Mexico. The temple ordinances I had taken part in did not even enter my mind...

Fast forward a few weeks to April 24, Iver's birthday and the day he went to the temple for his own endowment in preparation for his mission. It was a wonderful day and I had all those crazy momma emotions...nervousness, tears, joy. A lovely old woman met me in the lobby, the same time a little old man met Iver. As he lead Iver and Corbin in a different direction, I felt so sad that I couldn't be with them both for all of the experience, but before I could dwell on that feeling, my helper said, "Sister Johnson, would you like to do some initiatories while your son does his own? This will help you feel very close to him." I quickly expressed to her my worries of not being there when Iver came out of the initiatory room, and missing something that I should be a part of, and she reassured me that her entire purpose that day was to help me, and she would make sure I was in the right places.
And so I entered the initiatory room. It was very full of women this particular morning, and each name took much longer than the time before. As I was half-way through my third name, I was waiting for the workers to finish helping the woman ahead of me, and thinking of Iver. I looked down at my card. The name I was working on was a Maria from Mexico. And the two I had just completed were also Maria's from Mexico. Tears spilled down my face as the the holy spirit manifest to me what was happening. These wonderful, beautiful Maria's and the twenty wonderful, beautiful Maria's from before whom I was serving, were gathering to serve me. They were the angels who would buoy Iver up on his mission to Mexico. They are the ancestors who would lead Iver to their precious posterity, that he might help them become eternal families. And they are the angels that would surround him and protect him in times of danger and discouragement. They are Iver's army of Maria's.

This is but one blessing of the temple for my family. It is one that brings me incredible joy and comfort at this time. Crazy-thankful for that Maria who protected Iver from the drunk who would rob him. Crazy-thankful for all twenty-three Maria's who are doing what I cannot.