Earlier this month my wife and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. Also, earlier this month marked four years since my father passed away. We had been preparing for both events for months, but never expected them to happen within the same week. It was a whirlwind experience full of happy tears and tears of mourning, but that time helped give me a deeper perspective on what this life is all about. The week was eternal--both in length and meaning. Here are three lessons I learned.Love thy Neighbor
The morning after my father passed, I attended church with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and soon-to-be wife. We received handshakes, hugs, and all forms of condolences as we walked into the chapel. I’ll never forget the opening prayer of the meeting as a sister in the ward expressed sincere love and appreciation for my family, and prayed that we would receive special blessings of strength and comfort during this time. At that moment the spirit hit my heart with such piercing power and I felt an overwhelming sense of love around us from our friends and neighbors.The Plan of Happiness
I have thought that all we needed was someone in the family to have a baby and we would have had every major event in this life covered in one week. Birth, marriage, and death. There were multiple special and sacred moments that week that solidified my testimony of the Plan of Salvation. I know we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came to earth, and I know that we can return to live with him and have an opportunity to live with our families again.Strength in the Savior
I saw a quote by the pioneer prophet Brigham Young that read “We went West willingly--because we had to.” That sums up my explanation as to how I got through that week. Just as the early pioneers of the Church left their lives behind to go to the Salt Lake Valley, we willingly did everything because we had to and there was no other way. At the end of it all, I was both physically and emotionally exhausted, but I had never felt closer to my Savior and Father in Heaven and felt a deep inner strength moving forward.I know that Jesus Christ is there for us, He will not leave us comfortless, but will lift us up and give us strength when needed. That is the most important lesson anyone can learn.