|Craigfintray Castle: Ireland|
So for those willing to hang in there, I guess it might be relevant as my 71st birthday is coming up, I wanted to share these thoughts. Mark it down as an old man speaking. I know, I don't look or act old.
I am sure there is a God who has created all things and that he is a God of order. I am equally convinced that part of that order is the right he provides us to have our Free Agency. In other words, he will not force us to do his will, even when for our own good.
I believe that all things we encounter, good or bad, are for our own good. Many times I have asked myself,"'why was I born to these parents"? Yes many good things have come to me through them. I am now wondering if the challenging things we shared had lessons for me to learn. If there is such a thing as life eternal, and if our Saviour Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but his atonement will make right our pains, should it matter what we have been subjected to, or should it matter more what we did with our situations? Or how we grew? Kathleen and I were the Sacrament meeting speakers on Mothers Day. I don't know why, but I kept being prompted to say this to our mother: "Mother, I know you loved us", as part of my talk. Those close to our family will make more sense of this than others, let it suffice to say - things got pretty rocky in our family.
I am hoping for many many more good years on this earth. I'm planning on that. However, one thing I think I will cherish will be meeting some of my pioneer ancestors. It is true, the more research one does on their family history the closer you get to them. Recently I have wanted to understand our grandfather Elisha Cragun. The details of his joining the Mormons would be fascinating to me. I sense I would be impressed with that, as he was a wealthy man, married into a wealthy family. It appears he gave it all up, (land and slaves) as he and his family were baptized and joined the trek west. He did die on the way.
I'd also like our Cragun ancestors to tell me the proper spelling of our name. Whether we came from England, Ireland, or Scotland, or all of the above, their is no spelling of our name as CRAGUN in those countries. Not now, not ever in the past. Something simple would do, like Craig rather than ones I have found possible like Craigfintray. There was a Castle in Ireland of that name.
Connecting the principle of free agency to the sacrifice of our early pioneer ancestors makes me think about the many of their descendants who left the faith. From that, much of their entire posterity is mostly out of that faith. Does it matter? Are all religions enough, are all correct? Now that would clash with the concept of a God of order. It wouldn't clash with believing eternal life provides enough time for the love of God to win us all over. That also wouldn't clash with believing Christ paved a way for all of us to be given forgivenss, and to accept his doctrine. I do sense thatwe will be judged for our lives work. I sense it is important to turn to his doctrine as we are here and when we are prompted by his spirit. I think our pioneer ancestors are likely concerned for their grandchildren many.
Our Grandmother Nancy Athena Porter will be a special meetup. I feel like I am her buddy. I feel her love. I also think she is getting impatient for me to finish the book I started so many years ago about her life. If I don't finish it, much I have learned will be lost.
I'm not sure how to wrap this up - so I will just wrap it up. Have a good day today. Larry