I was first asked to share in Primary Sharing Time, then the next week I was asked to share in Young Women, and of course Seminary gives me several opportunities, and then Easter was here to remind me.
I have a hard time bringing my thoughts and words together to make sense and struggled to want to share my deepest feelings. I knew I should so after prayer and pondering I came up with a presentation using the photographs and plaques around my house.
It has remained on my mind for weeks. It is important to me so I decided to write it down. It is a "feel good" memory. It's a "feel good" trust and faith in our Redeemer, and I share it now:
I call this a love story.
Between these two people -
Terry and Elaine Hebdon
We met 39 years ago.
We were married 38 years ago ...,
Because we were married in an LDS temple by a man with the proper Priesthood / Sealing authority, the two of us and all the children we would have could be together forever.
A couple years later our family began to grow, and in time, the Lord had sent us a total of nine children.
The last time all 11 of us were together was after Gregory came home from his mission and before Brandon left on his mission (the last week of July 2003).
(The opportunity to be together at this time was a tender mercy in itself. Brandon was to leave almost a month before Gregory returned, but I sent him for one last dental cleaning before he left for two years without one. The dentist was not supposed to take x-rays but fortunately he did, which allowed him to find a hole in Brandon's jaw bone. An elbow in the face could have broken his bone, so it needed repaired before he left, meaning Brandon's mission would begin a couple months later than he was first assigned, allowing some time between their missions. )
The next time we had an opportunity for us all to be together was in December 2014.
You will probably first notice that there are many more family members in this photo.
Then, as you look closer, you will notice one of the original 11 (or the original 2) is not pictured.
In December 2014 there were 27 family members and one of them (Terry Wayne Hebdon) had passed away.
More family members have been added - in April 2018 there are 35 members of our family, and this summer we will add 4 more grandchildren, making a total of 39.
At this point, Terry has not met two daughters-in-law and his son-in-law, and a third of his grandchildren, and they have not met him nor will they see each other in this life. More than half of his grandchildren won't remember him, even though he has loved them and held them in his arms.
After the birth of our grandchildren this summer only half of his grandchildren will have met him, and of course this number will continue to grow, and some day we will also add another daughter-in-law to those numbers.
However, because of another love story this separation will not last forever.
Our Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son to earth to make eternity possible, and Jesus Christ accepted this Plan of Redemption - a Plan of Happiness.
Because of Jesus Christ's acceptance of this plan, His birth, His life, His teachings, His Atonement, His death, His Resurrection, and His love we will all see each other and live together forever.
I am grateful!
Because of Him our family is eternal!
I did not add this next picture (that has been hanging on our wall for many years) to my presentation, but I do add it to my testimony today. And it's all because of Christ.
Across the years I will walk with you ~
Love in our hearts; adventures new:
And when our time on earth is through,
You'll have my hand in heaven too.