President Russel M Nelsons daughter Wendy Nelson Maxfield passed away on January 11, 2019 at the age of 67.
At her funeral service, to her children and grandchildren, President Nelson said: “She can minister to you in what I call ‘parenting through the veil’. She can see us more clearly through the veil than we see her. We cannot forget her. We do not cease to love her. We are sealed to her by eternal ties. She loves us now more than ever. Her desire for our well being will be even greater than that which we feel ourselves. So, dear family, stay tuned.”
I call the evidence of parenting through the veil: “fingerprints.”
In the four and a half years since Lorna passed away her fingerprints are still ever present in the lives of her family and friends.
The sunday morning Lorna passed away, before Calli even left the hospital, she felt an urgency from her mother that we not forget her. “Don’t forget me, I can do things from here. “In a blessing from our Stake President, Kurt was told that his mothers ability to bless her family was now “uninhibited.”
We have have not forgotten her, we have not ceased to love her, we have “stayed tuned”.
Sunday March 19, 2017.
John Anderson, a good friend, (he sang in the quartet at Lorna’s funeral) sees me at church. He starts telling me about a lady that works for him, Allyson (fingerprints). She’s 44, never been married and is like “wonder women”. She takes good care of herself and is true and faithful in the Church. I’m not sure why he is telling me about a woman who is 44 (I was almost 69). Then he said “and I know she has dated men in their 50’s.” I then realized he was telling me about Allyson to see if I would like to meet her. I said, “John, how old do you think I am?” He replied “I don’t know, 56?” I said ‘No”, he then said “54” I said nooo. He asked if he was going the wrong direction, I said yes. He then said “Well, you couldn’t be over 60”. (I should have said “John, your my new best friend!”) Instead I said, John, I’m almost, not quite, but almost, twenty five years older than she is! Not an option for me.
However, as John was telling me about Allyson, I’m thinking of Scott Lindeman (fingerprints) a friend whose wife Cindi passed away the day before (March 18th). My thought was when Scott was ready start meeting people, I would tell him about Allyson.
Cindi’s funeral was held on Saturday March 25th.
Friday, March 31st, I call Scott to see if he would like to go to dinner. (fingerprints)
During dinner Scott mentions that our Stake President, Buzz Butler, stopped by the day before to visit with him and his family. Scott was the only one home. President Butler offered to give him a blessing. Because Scott was there alone he told Scott he could record the blessing (something he virtually never allows) (fingerprints). Scott was very grateful to have a word for word account of the blessing President Butler had given him. He had listened to it 3 or 4 times and already transcribed it.
I asked him what he was told. He mentioned a few things, then he paraphrased this statement from the blessing: “She (Cindi) will be a guiding force in bringing unto you a women who will be her sister, who she (Cindi) knows very well. You’ll need not seek it necessarily, but allow your heart and mind to be open to it. She will be pleasing to your children and they will accept her readily. She’ll have a familiarity of spirit, not only to you, but to your children and grandchildren”
I immediately start hearing “tell Scott about John’s friend” (fingerprints). I’m thinking, “it’s too soon” (thirteen days). Tell Scott about John’s friend. The words are getting louder. Tell Scott about John’s friend! (footprints!). With a little reticence, I bring up John’s friend and tell Scott the little bit I knew about her.
Scott, for obvious reasons, showed very little interest. I told him I would call John and find out more about her.
After dinner, I called John. I shared what John told me with Scott. Scott wanted to talk with John. After visiting with Scott, John called Allyson, and told her about Scott. She told John she would be willing to meet him for lunch. John shared that with me. I called Scott, told him she was willing to meet for lunch and gave him her phone number.
When they met for lunch a few weeks later, they talked for three and a half hours. (fingerprints)
They were married in December, eight and half months later. (fingerprints, footprints and tire tracks!)
At the wedding luncheon, Scott and Allyson asked John and me to share our part of their story.
I mentioned that this story involved five people. Scott, Allyson, John, me and Cindi. I knew John and Scott. John knew Allyson and me. Cindi knew all of us. John mentioned that when Allyson applied for the job to work for him, she wasn’t a good “match” for the person he was looking for. However, he felt it was important that she be hired. He now knew why he hired her (fingerprints).
There really are not many coincidences.
Allyson was asked to speak in the Alpine West Stake Conference, the Sunday Session, January 13, 2019. As you read her remarks, pay attention to the dates.
Being Faithful In Christ
Stake Conference, Alpine West Stake
January 13, 2019
Mar 24, 2017, 9pm: I got in my car and drove to a Wal-Mart parking lot. I pulled under a lamp post and turned off the car. It was my 44th birthday. I sat for a few moments and then bowed my head and began to pray and plead with the Lord for guidance. I had prayed many times before, but this time it was different. The deepest desire of my heart was to be a wife and mother. I cried and poured my heart out to the Lord. I asked, “Lord. What? What more do I need to do? I have searched and waited for 26 years. I have gone to all the dances, FHE’s, and single’s conferences, never finding someone I would like to spend eternity with… I don’t know what else to do. Time is passing me by. As I sat there in the dark, I knew that another birthday represented one more year that had slipped away.
After quite some time, feeling spent, and that the Lord needed me to learn greater patience, I prepared to go home. At that moment, I received a text from my sister, which read, ”I wish we could see the bigger picture right now, because I know Heavenly Father has your best interest and your happiness in mind, even though nothing has gone how any of us thought it would. It will all work out in the end! …Good things are coming.” Humbled and grateful, I thanked her for unknowingly being a comforting answer to my prayer that night.
I’ve been asked to talk about Being Faithful in Christ, and to share some of my experiences about being single for 44 years, and about a very special family who changed the course of my life. I share these thoughts, realizing that there are far greater trials than this out there, undoubtedly even in this congregation today.
Each of us goes through heartbreaks and challenges over the course of our lives. There are so many ways in which we are tried. My experience and observation is that those challenges are fitted specifically for us–and they may test us to a degree that is much greater than we desire. Will we remain faithful, or will we falter? Will we draw closer to God, or turn from Him? Often the clarity, the mercy, and the blessings of those trials are not evident until after we pass thru them, and the hardest times are in the midst of challenges for which no end seems in sight, and which we do not know how to solve or escape.
I think this quote it really insightful – Neil L. Anderson, “These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us.”
In the process of sharing my experiences I hope you will feel the emotion, the pain, the sweetness and ultimate mercy of the Lord. In the process, I hope your testimony of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation–of the sealing power–and of Angels, will be strengthened, because I have witnessed them firsthand. And I hope you will see that my trial, and your trials are the very experiences that strengthen your faith and make us great.
After my mission, the dating years began to pile up. I dated lots of good guys, but it never felt right. More blind dates, more firesides, and hundreds of singles dances until it got to the point where I had to will myself to go to the next dance. I would get all dressed up, drive to the dance, and then talk myself into getting out of the car and going in. Maybe tonight would be the night that I meet him.
The events were fun, but I often drove home feeling empty. Although I found joy in serving in the church and spending time with family, with each passing year, and particularly as I reached my 40th birthday, I felt the anticipated joy of having a husband and children slip away. I resigned myself to living single for the rest of my life.
Let me tell you about a beautiful woman whom I have never met — but whom I love — and who I know loves me. Cindi Lindeman grew up in NY, 15 minutes from her future husband, Scott. They had 6 children, 5 grandchildren, and were married 28 years when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was beautiful and strong. Her great desire was to be with her family and love her grand-babies.
Even as the cancer progressed, Cindi was never interested in talking about what she wanted Scott to do in the event she was not healed–she was totally focused on getting well and loving her family. However, less than a month before she passed away, she and Scott were still awake one night at 2 am as they dealt with the pain and hardships of her illness. It had been a very sacred day, her college kids had come home to love her and be with her. The Spirit was very strong. Late that night she turned to Scott and said, “I told the kids today you could marry a woman in her 40’s who had never been married. Then she looked him in the eye and calmly and lovingly said, “Don’t worry …I will help you …and I won’t make you wait long.”
She battled her cancer and the accompanying chemotherapy, bone pain, nausea, exhaustion, and so many other miseries and indignities…with a grace and power that was breathtaking for her family to witness firsthand. At one particularly hard time, Scott asked Cindi in the middle of the night, “Do you think we signed up for this in the pre-existence? She smiled and said “Heck no, I can do hard things—but this is ridiculous!”
After a 2-year battle with cancer she passed away quietly in her home with her family and angels all around.
The day after Cindi passed away, the wheels were set in motion. It was the same week I was pouring my heart out to Heavenly Father. A member of our stake thought to line me up with a friend of his. However, this friend thought of his own friend Scott instead, as the age was more appropriate.
There were powerful witnesses, events and assurances that made it obvious that Angels were clearing the way. At one point, after some very unique and very sacred experiences, Scott looked to the sky with a big smile on his face and gratitude in his heart, and said to Cindi, “Ok, now you’re just showing off :)”
One such experience happened the morning after I first learned about Scott. I was at the gym. Within minutes, a lady began working out next to me. She reached over, touched me on the shoulder and said, “Hi”. She began to talk. Soon, I knew all about her life. Then she asked if I had ever been married. I told her “No”. She stated very matter of factly, “You need to marry a man whose wife has passed away”. I stared at her and asked, “What did you say?” She continued, “A man in that situation isn’t separated from his wife because they got divorced. They were good to each other, meaning he’s a good man, with all the right qualities that you need. If he loved her, he will love you, as well.” She left, leaving me to ponder a statement someone had said to me once: “A coincidence is a miracle in which the Lord chooses to remain anonymous.”
Gradually I got to know Scott and learned about Cindi and their family, and what they were going through. The more I got to know him the more I felt the peaceful reassurance that I knew I would, when it was right. It was a feeling of, “Oh…there you are. It’s you. I’ve been waiting for you.” As he would drop me off at the end of our dates I would watch his tail lights in the window and pray that Heavenly Father would grant me this blessing. It was such an easy “Yes”. Through the flood of assurances, and special witnesses, I began to see that Heavenly Father had a plan for my life all along, I just hadn’t been able to see it.
For me, that Plan required time. That time is one of the things that made the trial so difficult for me. But now I see the bigger picture. That time was so sacred and precious to Scott & Cindi.
I look forward to the day when I meet Cindi. I will embrace her and express my deep gratitude for creating such a beautiful family, and for inviting me to be a part of it. And (in the spiritual sense) for walking arm in arm with me, as I now join this family for the last leg of this trip we call life. I pray that she is always near.
My trial was to wait – to continue stepping into the darkness, not knowing what the outcome would be. Through those years I did my best to be where I was supposed to be and to remain faithful. This process was to make me strong and humble until my prayers could be answered. Instead of walking in the dark, I eventually learned to trust Him and walk with him day by day.
President Eyring teaches, “To wait upon the Lord is not a passive act. The help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough. The Lord doesn’t put us through this test just to give us a grade; he does it because the process will change us and make us the children of God we need to become”
Christ has suffered more than any of us, and He knows the intensity of our afflictions. There is no suffering we have that He did not undergo in Gethsemane and on Calvary. That is why He understands and can help us.
Carlos H Amado explains, “We limit our vision to the events that happen in this life with the greatest emphasis being placed on the present. Only when we fix our gaze on the heavenly things do we begin to understand the eternities. Only with the help of Christ can we fully overcome trials.” — Overcoming Adversity
I think most of us have lived long enough to realize we will always have challenges. And we need to learn to find meaning, joy and happiness in our lives—even in the midst of those challenges.
Each of our stories is different, but the principles are the same. Keep moving forward, strive to be faithful and be what He needs us to be, and we will look back and realize there was a plan. We will see tremendous growth, we will know why it was the right path for us. And we will see that our greatest trials laid the foundation for our greatest blessings.
I am eternally grateful for Scott. He is a merciful blessing to me. He is my sweetheart and my friend. I look at all he and Cindi were able to accomplish in raising 6 beautiful children to embrace the gospel and be such good kids. I feel that Cindi has asked me to take the baton and continue on with what she started- including, 3 awesome in-laws, and soon to be, 8 adorable grandchildren.
Marriage is trying to make each day so much sweeter than the last. Enjoy the little things. Don’t make such a big deal out of things – let them go. Don’t criticize, appreciate each other. Most things don’t matter. And even though I am pretty inexperienced in this new role, I pray my new family will have patience with me and that we will all have patience and love for each other as we go on to eternity.
I testify that our Heavenly Father is aware of us, and loves us beyond our Capacity to understand. Remember the Lord’s comforting promise to you and me in our trials of faith: “Hold on…, fear not…, for God shall be with you forever and ever.” Of this I bear my witness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen