Friday, February 19, 2010

3 Nephi 28

"The Frozen Man," by James Taylor

Last thing I remember is the freezing cold
Water reaching up just to swallow me whole
Ice in the rigging and howling wind
Shock to my body as we tumbled in
Then my brothers and the others are lost at sea
I alone am returned to tell thee
Hidden in ice for a century
To walk the world again
Lord have mercy on the frozen man

Next words that were spoken to me
Nurse asked me what my name might be
She was all in white at the foot of my bed
I said angel of mercy I'm alive or am I dead
My name is William James McPhee
I was born in 1823
Raised in Liverpool by the sea
But that ain't who I am
Lord have mercy on the frozen man

It took a lot of money to start my heart
To peg my leg and to buy my eye
The newspapers call me the state of the art
And the children, when they see me, cry
I thought it would be nice just to visit my grave
See what kind of tombstone I might have
I saw my wife and my daughter and it seemed so strange
Both of them dead and gone from extreme old age
See here, when I die make sure I'm gone
Don't leave 'em nothing to work on
You can raise your arm, you can wiggle your hand(unlike mysef)
And you can wave goodbye to the frozen man

I know what it means to freeze to death
To lose a little life with every breath
To say goodbye to life on earth
To come around again
Lord have mercy on the frozen man
Lord have mercy on the frozen man

So, perhaps you are wondering why I reproduced the lyrics of this pop song here. As I was reading about the 3 Nephite disciples who made the choice to remain on earth until the Second Coming of the Savior and preach the gospel, I thought of this song. How hard would it be to live to an extreme old age long after loved ones and friends had all gone on to their reward? The natural course of life is to live and then die -- to return to that God who gave us life. The promise of the restored gospel and the sealing power of the temple is that we return also to those we love. We can become part of a great celestial family and return to those we miss or have longed to meet.

I admire the courage of the three to desire to bring souls to Christ for as long as the earth should last in its current state, but my heart aches for them as I think about their long separation from loved ones and friends.

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