You know a great place for the Spirit to talk to you?
By a casket.
My wife and I took our six children up to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah for the viewing of President Thomas S. Monson. We had the same opportunity 10 years ago to stand by the casket of Gordon B. Hinckley.
We wanted to make sure we went again because our two oldest children still remember seeing President Hinckley.
Do you want to know what I felt when I was standing by President Hinckley’s casket ten years ago?
“Surely this is a prophet of God.”
Those were the words that were ringing through my mind then, and I had a similar experience as I stood by President Monson.
As we walked through the Hall of Prophets and approached the casket of President Monson, there was no glow about him. His face and hands were thin, and the light in him was gone. He had no large smile on his face as I was accustomed to seeing.
I was sad.
That is when the following words came to my mind.
“He is not here, for he is risen.”
And it’s true. “President Monson” the soul wasn’t there. While his body lay on earth for us to pay our final respects, his spirit was separated to rise to a greater place filled with greater responsibilities and greater joys.
As I mulled over the thought of going to the viewing, I almost decided to pass it up. Then I remembered that precious experience of having the Spirit confirm to me that President Hinckley was a prophet of God.
I knew if I skipped the viewing this time, I would miss out on a wonderful opportunity to have the Spirit teach me a valuable lesson about President Monson.
As we drove up to the Conference Center, my oldest daughter prayed in the car that we would have an experience that would strengthen our testimonies. I’m glad we decided to go because we got what we came for.
I didn’t just go to pay respects to President Monson – I went to visit the Spirit. And they were both there.
“My brothers and sisters, death eventually comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. Death is one fact that no one can escape or deny.
The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth. “I am the resurrection, and the life,” spoke the Master. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
This reassurance—yes, even holy confirmation—of life beyond the grave could well provide the peace promised by the Savior when He assured His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Thomas S. Monson, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 59