HOME – Where is Home?

Hebrews 11:1 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

I was born in Kentucky but lived most of my life in Maryland. I’ve lived in many places such as Ohio, Texas, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, California. I have also lived outside the states in China and South Africa and last but not least Utah.

I always had feelings of being a stranger. When I would visit family in Kentucky I would think, “No, this is not home.” Maryland was definitely not home. I know the old saying, “Home is where we’re living at the moment,” but there is a special feeling for a place we call home. I was visiting in Logan, Cache County, Utah one year and decided to go for a walk along a canal. I stopped and looked out at those majestic Rocky Mountains with tears streaming down my face and a beautiful feeling of “Wow! This is home.” I’ve lived in Utah twenty-five years and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I’ve never coveted owning big houses, lands, and things. As a very young person I loved the Bible and one passage I identified with in the New Testament:

Hebrews chapter 11 talks about Faith. In verse 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Verse 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

2 Corinthians 1:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I have lived in many different kinds of houses, nice brick houses, mobile home, to an old dilapidated house in west central Texas. Below I will share a few pictures of the houses I lived in.

Glen Este, Ohio

House in Winton Woods

2205 McKinley Ave. Saint Albans, West VA

Fields1941Grace_0097 836 Armstrong Ave, Hagerstown, Maryland

Watson1963Timothy_0103 750 Straight StreetI do not have a picture of the little house in west central Texas.

The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things.
 
benson

L-R: President Ezra Taft Benson and President Dwight D Eisenhower.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

The ancient prophet’s question, asked centuries ago, has been revived. Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). In other words, what happens to a person once he dies? A definite answer to that question is provided by the Savior’s ministry in the spirit world following his crucifixion, death, and burial.
The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin.

When the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things. . . . If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes.

What, then, is death like? Here is a simple incident as told by my friend, Dr. Peter Marshall, the late chaplain of the United States Senate:

peter marshall

“In a certain home, a little boy, the only son, was ill with an incurable disease. Month after month the mother had tenderly nursed him, but as the weeks went by and he grew no better, the little fellow gradually began to understand the meaning of death and he, too, realized that soon he was to die. One day his mother had been reading the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and as she closed the book the boy lay silent for a moment, then asked the question that had been laying on his heart. “Mother, what is it like to die? Mother, does it hurt?” Quick tears filled her eyes. She sprang to her feet and fled to the kitchen, supposedly to go get something. She prayed on the way a silent prayer that the Lord would tell her what to say, and the Lord did tell her. Immediately she knew how to explain it to him. She said, as she returned from the kitchen, “Kenneth, you will remember when you were a little boy, you would play so hard you were too tired to undress and you tumbled into your mother’s bed and fell asleep. In the morning you would wake up and much to your surprise, you would find yourself in your own bed. In the night your father would pick you up in his big, strong arms and carry you to your own bedroom. Kenneth, death is like that; we just wake up one morning to find ourselves in the room where we belong because the Lord Jesus loves us.” The lad’s shining face looked up and told her there would be no more fear, only love and trust in his heart as he went to meet the Father in heaven. He never questioned again and several weeks later he fell asleep, just as she had said. This is what death is like.”

On the third day following Jesus’ crucifixion, there was a great earthquake. The stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. Some of the women among the most devoted of his followers came to the place with spices “and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke said that angels appeared and said simply, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen”(Luke 24:5, 6).

christ

There is nothing in history to equal that dramatic announcement: “He is not here, but is risen.”

The greatest events of history are those which affect the greatest number for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master. The eventual resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a scriptural certainty, and surely there is no event for which one should make more careful preparation. A glorious resurrection should be the goal of every man and woman, for it is a reality; nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Barry Willardson

Barry Willardson said: “Then, referring to all these noble souls, Paul made a statement that captures our attention: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews 11:13

“What was Paul teaching us in this passage? Was he saying that these great ones understood that this earth was not their home but rather a stopover on their way through the eternities?

“This is one of the compelling questions of mankind. Are we truly strangers and pilgrims on the earth and is there more to our existence than meets the eye? Here we live on this small but beautiful blue planet. We each make our way through life doing what we want or what others convince us to do, but what is the ­purpose of it all?

Brother Barry Willardson’s talk on Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth is Beautiful.

A beautiful expression of this truth was penned by the poet William Wordsworth. He came to an understanding of this truth without hearing the message of the restored gospel. He wrote:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.

LDS Hymn:

There is no end to glory; There is no end to love; There is no end to being; There is no death above.

I conclude with the words of the apostle Paul, who was caught up into the third heaven and paradise of God, and he saw things he was not permitted to write. But he did say: “Eye hath not see, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

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