Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Final Words from Grandma Eva B. Israelsen to her posterity

I have a large family. I had 11 children to start with. Eight of them reached maturity. I have 67 grandchildren, 221 great-grandchildren. I heard President Hinckley say the other day when he was speaking about the various phases of life, “Now we have reached the golden years, but they are laced with lead.” I guess maybe that is a good description.

I’m happy, and I don’t think I am afraid of death, but I don’t like to contemplate what might happen before I get there.

I have such a wonderful family. I have appreciated each one of them, and I hope they all realize how much I love my family. One of the things that has been bothering me is to know how I am going to say goodbye to my family here, and yet I have many of my family on the other side who are precious to me. My great responsibility I feel at this time is to bring all of my family together, and I think that is possible if each one of you can live according to our Heavenly Father’s great Plan of Salvation.

I know it is going to be hard for all of us to say goodbye. Death is part of living, just as much as birth. It all comes in the Great Plan of Salvation. Our Heavenly Father has put out this blueprint for us to follow as we build our lives. Let’s all be working to that same end, that we may all meet again in a happier sphere, even though our lives here have been very happy, there will be a happier one still if we can keep the commandments.

I’ve been asked to bear my testimony, and I’ll be happy to do that. I have a very strong and abiding testimony. I’m so grateful that the gospel was on the earth when I came to live here. The gospel has meant so much to me in my life. I’m grateful that Joseph Smith was so faithful in the work he did for us, and some day I hope to meet him and tell him how much I appreciate what he did for us all.

I’m grateful for the prophet at the present time, and I would say to my children and my grandchildren: Listen to the Prophet. He will never lead you astray. If you listen to what he has to say, he will always lead you in the right direction.

I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know that He is there to help us. I know that we all make mistakes, but if we put our trust in the Savior, He will help us through.

I’m grateful that we have a chance to repent of the things that we do that are wrong. I would advise all of you to stay really close to the Lord. Know that He is your greatest friend on the earth, our Father and his son, Jesus. How great they are, and how grateful I am for the Holy Ghost and for His influence in our lives. I think that is one of the greatest blessings we have, to know that the Holy Ghost can help us and to prompt us through this life. I say these things humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

O, My Father, thou that dwellest, in that high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence and again behold thy face?
When I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high?
And at length when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation, Let me come and dwell with you!

Eva May Butler passed away on Sept. 30, 1999