Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bright and morning star

I hesitated before publishing this post. This video, which contains the last recorded words of our mother, was filmed on the evening of the accident that took her life. We saw it for the first time during a private family viewing of her body last Thursday. A blog is no place to mourn, and the part of me that still mourns when I watch this clip wanted to keep private this last glimpse of my mom--to have a part of her that nobody else would have. But my mom would want as many people as possible to hear the message she delivers in this clip, and it is for this reason that I'm posting it here (with the permission of my siblings).

I know that not everyone reading this blog has the same perspective on faith. One important aspect of the LDS faith is the practice of "bearing testimony," as we call it. To bear testimony is to verbally express one's conviction and understanding regarding Christ, and also regarding both the vehicle (i.e., the organization of the church) and content (i.e., the principles of the Gospel) of Christ's teachings. To the degree that this understanding has brought joy to someone, it will drive that person to share it with others by way of testimony. The spontaneous bearing of testimony was a defining element of my mother's character, and she did this primarily because of her love for others and her desire for them to have the same joy that she experienced. This is how I will always remember her.

I suppose this is an appropriate moment for me to express my own conviction that life does not end with death, and that I will be with my mother again. My normal tendency would be to launch into a lengthy explanation of this conviction (primarily for the benefit of my scientific colleagues, who I love and respect), but this blog isn't about me.

In this clip, my mother refers to Christ as her Bright and Morning Star. It is a reference from the book of Revelation in the New Testament. To fully appreciate why my mother found this name so meaningful, you have to be acquainted with my parents' fascination with astronomy. For a glimpse of this fascination, go to my father's website, where he has posted some of his astrophotography. Click here or here.

Because of the private nature of this post, I have disabled comments.

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