Elder Shayne M. Bowen; 'Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also'
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Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy directed his remarks Saturday morning to parents who have lost a child and have asked the question, "Why me?" or have ever questioned their own faith in a loving Father in Heaven.
He spoke of the comfort a bereaved mother in Chile found in the message that "little children need no repentance, neither baptism....but are alive in Christ" (Moroni 8:10-12). Before he and his missionary companion taught her, she had believed that her child would be "in limbo for all eternity" because he died before he was baptized.
Elder Bowen said he wrote home about his missionary experience of bringing true doctrine to the grieving mother. "I never dreamed how this wonderful true principle [of the innocence of children] would come back to me in future years and prove to be my balm of Gilead," he said
"Elder Bowen spoke of the death of his 8-month-old son, Tyson, who choked on a piece of chalk. In the aftermath, Elder Bowen was racked with guilt, anger and self-pity.
"Through very personal sacred experiences, the Lord gave me a new heart, and even though it was still lonely and painful, my whole outlook changed. … I was able to look forward with hope, rather than look backward with despair."
Elder Bowen testified that this life is not the end and that the teachings of the prophets regarding life after death are true. "This life is but a transitory step forward on our journey back to Heavenly Father."
Explaining that Tyson remains an important part of their family, Elder Bowen said, "The same feelings of loyalty, love and family unity don't end as our loved ones pass to the other side; instead, those feelings are intensified."
"Sometimes people will ask, 'How long did it take you to get over it?' The truth, is you will never completely get over it until you are together once again with your departed loved ones. I will never have a fullness of joy until we are reunited in the morning of the first resurrection."
Feelings of sorrow, loneliness and despair, however, will be swallowed up in a fullness of joy because of the Savior Jesus Christ. "I testify that we can depend on Him when He said, 'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also'" (John 14:18-19).