My Father’s Mansion


In honor of what would have been my Father’s 96th birthday, I repost this- Miss you Dad!

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal”- (Albert Pine)

Each of us will brush up against others during our sojourn here on earth. Sadly the above quote applies to both the good and the bad that remain after each of us leave this life. Almost all who come to this earth leave footprints, some soft and small, others large and deep. But whether small or large, deep or soft, all of us have the opportunity to leave imprints of immortal significance. Some of our immortal imprint is left in our posterity of course, but those without posterity can also leave lasting impressions on the world. Jesus Christ himself being the chief example! His life, a true life of sacrifice and devotion to others, stands as the premier model in living a life of “doing for others”. And who can argue against the fact that the influence of his life “remains” and is “immortal”.

The attendance or size of a person’s funeral precession is certainly not an indication of the size of one’s footprint. I have noticed over the years that the funerals of a young person taken in sudden death are often highly attended and publicized, while the very old seem to slip into the grave with hardly a notice. The old person almost seems to slip out the back door of life, without so much as a graceful bow or a shake of the hand. It is a bit unfortunate as their lives have often left large and deep imprints on the lives of many. There are a number of reasons why this happens but I think it is important to understand that an ignominious death is not equivalent to an ignominious life. After all, Christ had but a handful attend his harried funeral.

I am reminded of a dream I had many years ago. I found myself in a house completely barren and built out of particle board. As I stood in the living room looking out the opening of a frame that should have encased a large picture window but didn’t, I heard my name called out and recognized the voice to be that of my Father. I turned and He proudly asked how I liked his new house. Somewhat bewildered due to its shabbiness and unfinished nature; I asked “Why didn’t you build a better one?” To which he replied, “Because I had no hammer and no nails.” No sooner had he said those words when I spied through the large window casing a multitude of people coming up the road carrying tools and material. They were all smiling. I noted some were relatives and some were past members of the congregation my father had served over as Bishop. Some I didn’t recognize at all. It was a sight to behold as the numbers went on as far as the eye could see. All were carrying some tool or materials for the express purpose of building a beautiful house for my father. As can only happen in a dream, within seconds the house was complete. There next to my father’s shabby, unfinished small home, was a magnificent mansion. It was very large and most beautiful. I looked back at my father and saw the tears spill down his cheeks as he was presented the keys to this gorgeous mansion. I then awoke.

Upon waking from my sleep I knew right away of its meaning. The shabby house of particle board is all any man can build for himself in our Father’s Kingdom. However the testimony of those lives who someone have touched through service, devotion, sacrifice and obedience serve as a witness as to the type of home waiting for them in the kingdom of our Father. Their testimonies will rise to the Father crying “We will build for him/her a mansion for all the good they have done.”

Certainly Albert Pine hit on a truth when he said that ‘…what we do for others and the world remains.” But I might add, that not only what one does for others is “immortal”, but that service “remains” as an “immortal” testimony which brings to the worthy recipient “eternal” and “celestial” life with God.

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