Shoulders Wet With Tears


I really can’t explain it but it happened.  In 2002 my mother passed away and I thought I was handling her loss very well.  Then, one Sunday, a few weeks after my mother died, a fellow church member came up to me and gave condolences regarding my loss.  I felt tears start to swell in my eyes as I thanked him for his kindness.  Then, the flood gates opened up and I started to sob.  I mean sob right there in the middle of the chapel with all sorts of people in close proximity. As my tears flowed this kind man put his arms around me and when he did I laid my head on his shoulder and sobbed till I had nothing left. I was so embarrassed.  Yet, there I was, crying uncontrollably while being held in the arms by this good brother. He never pushed me away nor did he make me feel uncomfortable about my behavior.  In fact, I will say that it felt, at that moment, as though the Savior himself was holding me in his arms.  I have never forgotten the love and concern I felt from this man.

I have not seen this good brother for many years, as we both have since moved from the area.  But just this past summer I happened to see him at our old church building. We were both visiting. I went over to him and we hugged and caught up on each others lives. I mentioned to him about this experience. He remembered. I told him how special that experience was to me.  He humbly brushed it off as nothing.

Great are the words of an ancient prophet:

“…he said unto them: Behold…as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life— Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord…” (Mosiah 18)

What a wonderful and beautiful blessing it is to have brothers and sisters of the church who are willing to bear our burdens, and who mourn with us while trying to comfort us in our darkest hours. That is the true essence of Christianity; the pure love of him who we worship.

I have had many experiences with members of Christ’s church who, like this good brother, are willing to share my burdens and offer words of encouragement when I have needed them.  My hope is that I am found to have the same, ‘pure love of Christ,’ so that when others darkest hours descend upon  them, I might also be there for them.

When the day comes and the Lord asks us if we are our brothers keepers, may we be able to say, “Why yes, we are. ” And we will know where our brothers are, because our shoulders will still be wet from their tears.

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