Monday, December 30, 2013

Three Empty Chairs

I believe I wrote this in 2011 or 2012 

I recently attended a Stake Conference where we were privileged to hear from one of the twelve Apostles.  While listening to the talks I found myself looking around at the packed chapel thinking to myself how neat it was to be seated with so many of my brothers and sisters.

Then my eyes spotted three empty chairs and I felt a sadness welling inside.  
Once again I looked around at my brothers and sisters some were intently listening to the speakers’ while others were trying to console tired children.  
No one seemed bothered by the three empty chairs.

As my eyes wandered back to the empty chairs two thoughts started playing out in my mind; the first one was how easy it is in the hustle and bustle of this mortal journey to overlook empty chairs here and there. 
I then found myself sitting at a table in the Celestial kingdom with our Father and Elder brother. 
People were happily chatting away with their table companions but I observed a few people who were sitting alone with sadness in their eyes; each with a vacant chair at their table.  
I then felt our Fathers and Elder brother’s sadness because they too knew about those three empty chairs.  
I then wondered “was it a brother, sister, child, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece or nephew’s chair that was vacant. 
And I began to weep for those whose hearts were broken because one of their loved ones had not made it.

Sensing my sorrow my family turned and looked; with love and sadness they gently patted my hand. 
Then one of my cousins with tears in her eyes thanked me for finding her and giving her the opportunity to once again be seated with our family.

Once again my eyes traveled to those three empty chairs and I felt a pang of sorrow and thought, 
“this is a taste of how Enoch must have felt when our Father showed him the reason for His tears.”  
And just like Enoch our Father offered me comfort by reminding me of that lost cousin that the world had forgotten but He had not and He allowed me to be an instrument so she could once again sit at our families table.

Those three empty chairs have created a desire in me to make sure that there are no empty chairs in my part of our Father’s house.

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