Family and friends of [name removed to respect the privacy of the family], brothers and sisters in the gospel, my name is Calvin Andrus. I am the Bishop of the Sterling Park Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the Mormon Church. [Name removed] was a baptized member of our congregation. I had the honor of knowing [name removed], if only slightly.
I thank [name removed]'s family and Chaplin Grant for the opportunity to say a few words. I appreciate the kindness, love, and sacrifice Chaplin Grant has shown to all of us over the last two weeks. I also want to give thanks to the Sterling Park Christian Church for the gracious way in which they have made their building available to us this evening. In addition, I am grateful for the Sterling Funeral Service for their behind-the-scenes help. May the Lord bless those who have given of their time and effort to arrange this funeral. May the Lord bless [name removed]'s family, especially those who have traveled long distances to be here today. As I speak, I ask that our Heavenly Father let His Spirit rest with us this hour that we may be comforted in our time of grief; and that the word of God will give rest to our souls.
II. PSALM 23
I would like to begin by reading the 23rd Psalm.
III. EASTER HYMN
This past Sunday we celebrated the most sacred Christian holiday of the year, Easter. I would like to read an old Easter hymn that has been sung by Christians for more than 200 years. It was written in 1775 by a Baptist preacher working with the sailors in Liverpool, England. His name was Samuel Medley (1738-1799) and the name of the hymn is, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." Text From: THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941).
IV. JOB AND PAUL
Pastor Medley was inspired by a prophetic passage in the Old Testament attributed to Job, which reads (Job 19:25-27):
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Not only did Job anticipate Christ's glorious resurrection hundreds of years in advance of the event, he also teaches us something about ourselves. Job says, "yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself." Job is telling us that as the result of Christ's resurrection, we too shall be resurrected. Just as the Apostle Thomas saw and felt, for himself, the prints of the nails in Jesus' resurrected hands and feet, so we also will have the opportunity after we die, to see and feel the Savior for ourselves, in our own flesh.
The Apostle Paul taught this same principle in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 15: 20-23).
But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
V. . CONCLUSION
What a comfort it is to know that [name removed] is not dead, but lives on and will be resurrected! What a comfort it is to know that after we die, we will live on and will also be resurrected! What a comfort it is to know that we will meet [name removed] again, and there enjoy the presence of her company!
The hymn says:
I know that my Redeemer lives
What comfort this sweet sentence gives
He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death:
Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
Family and friends, brothers and sisters, I bear my witness of the reality of Jesus' resurrection. I bear my witness of the resurrection and of the family reunion that awaits all of us after death. I bear witness of the love our Father has for us. He knows us. He understands our grief. He sent His Son to overcome death. Christ's victory over death is a victory for all of us. I know that our Redeemer lives!
In conclusion, and by virtue of my ordination in the Priesthood, I call upon the powers of Heaven to let peace and comfort distill upon our souls as we contemplate these great eternal truths.
In the beloved and sacred name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.