On Sunday mornings I listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word. My sister is in the choir, but more than that, I just love the thoughts and music. This morning Lloyd Newell presented the idea that that we are who we are because of those who have gone before us. I couldn't agree more. In February of 1676 (Gregorian reckoning) Isaac Newton wrote these words to Robert Hooke, "If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." Newell quoted these words and we watched a video of a boy and his dad as the men of the choir sang a selection from their new album, Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Jesus Carrying a Lost Lamb by Del Parsons
(Courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints image library)
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.
(from You Raise Me Up, Music and text: Rolf Lovland and Brendan Graham; Arrangement: Nathan Hofheins)
I listened and I felt the truth of those words on many levels. I thought of the giants in my family history. I know that I am who I am because of them, because of what they have done in the past. I am filled with gratitude for their contributions to me and to my life. My tribute to these people is the retelling of their stories. Just as I have been raised up by my knowledge of their lives and their sacrifices, I would like others in my family to have those same opportunities.
One of my sons is undergoing a radical transformation in his life right now. I watch in amazement as he changes before my eyes. I know he is made of "good stuff"--his own "stuff" plus what he inherited from me and my ancestors and my husband and his progenitors. And I know that the ultimate source of "being raised up," Jesus Christ Himself, has enabled all of us to "be more than we can be."