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 Short Story

Stand Fast

By James H. Lee Jr.

Dear Poetry Galore Visitors:

I want to share this very special experience with you which I had some years ago, which resulted in my receiving a very beautiful poem that follows, which I received from the Savior of the World. This is not something, which I sat around and thought up, but was given to me without my forethought as to what I wanted to say, for someone I met while out sharing my little books of "Heart Thoughts for When a Baby Dies," and "Heart Thoughts for Those Who Grieve and Mourn." We became dear friends almost immediately as you will see.

It was given to me as a result of meeting this man whose son had committed suicide the year before I met him, which I knew nothing about at the time. I had been directed to his place of business by the Spirit, which had prompted me two different days in a row, to stop at his place of business, which was a mortuary, but no cemetery there. I had driven past the entrance, so had to make a "U" turn in order to enter the parking lot. I sat there for a moment pondering what to do next.

When I went inside, he came up to me and asked if he could help me. I told him I wanted to see the manager. He said, "I am he." I asked if I could talk to him in his office, and when we went into his office, I showed him my little books of poems, and asked him if he would like to purchase them to give to those who lose a loved one. I was selling them for only $3.00, and felt that they would bring them comfort in their hour of sorrow. He looked at them a moment, then told me that they had a whole room full of books and articles which had been donated for that very purpose, and suggested I donate a couple of my books to add to their collection.

Then he said, "For some reason I don't feel that this is why you're here." Then I told him I had often been prompted by the Spirit to go and visit people, and share one of my poems with them, and that I had been prompted two days in a row to stop at his place of business, and had decided to follow the promptings of the Spirit that day. Then I asked him what was going on in his life that he could share with me.

He shared with me the fact that he and his wife were asked to speak in Church the following Sunday, and that the Bishop had asked them to share how they had survived the ordeal. I asked him "What ordeal?" And he told me that his 21 year old son had committed suicide a year earlier, while on drugs, and that he had tried and tried to think of something which he could say that would make a difference, but to no avail.

As we sat there visiting, he said, "Perhaps you have a poem I could share with the members of my Ward, that would help, and so I took out my spiral notebook which I carry with me all the time, and read several of the most recent poems to him, but none of them would do, so I told him I was sure I would receive a message for him to share soon since I had been prompted to stop there. He then told me that they would be speaking the next Sunday, and this was Tuesday. I told him I understand, and not to worry. I was sure a message would come.

I stood up and we shook hands and embraced, and I left, and went about my business that day.

That night, as I was working at the bakery here in Salt Lake, I couldn't get his son off my mind. I kept feeling that he was on the other side of the veil trying to reach through to his dad to tell him he was sorry, but for some reason wasn't able to do so.

The next morning, after a couple of hours of sleep, I arose and went to visit with my new friend. When he saw me, he came and asked if I had received the message, and I asked him "What message?" thinking he had called and left a message on my phone. He said, "You know, the message I am suppose to share with my Ward." I told him I hadn't, but wanted to talk to him.

So we went into his office, and I explained to him that all night I had been thinking of his son on the other side of the veil trying to reach through to him, but for some reason was not able to do so. Then I asked him if he had had any contact with his son since he committed suicide, and he said he hadn't.

I then asked him: "What would you say to your son if he was sitting in this chair beside me right now, and you had five minutes?" He broke down and cried, and I stood up and went around the desk to his side, and put my arms around him and just held him close to me. I told him "I love you," and he said, "I know. I have felt that love since the moment you came into my office the first time. That's why I said when I first met you that I didn't think that you had come to sell me some of those little books to share."

When he stopped crying, I returned to my seat and I repeated the question, "What would you say to your son if he was sitting right here beside me in this chair and you had five minutes?" He said, "I would tell him I love him." And I said, "Well, dad, he needs to hear that." And he asked, "How can I tell him?" And it came to me immediately with me saying, "Write him a letter." "Where do I mail it?" He asked, and instantly the answer came to me. "You don't mail it, you get up in Church next Sunday and you read it to him. He will be there on assignment from the Lord, so that he can see first hand the effects his actions have had on mom and dad."

He sat there for a minute, and then I saw a shadow lift from his being, and his face lighted up, and he said, "I'll do it!! I'll do it!!" I reached for his hand, and held it, saying as I looked into his eyes, "Promise me that you will write the letter and read it in Church next Sunday. "He said, "I will."

I stood to leave and he came around and put his arms around me, and we held each other for a long time, crying. Then he said, "I feel so good inside, and am so happy to meet a kindred spirit whom God has sent to help me at this hour. I am so happy." And I told him I was very happy, too. Then I went out in the car and sat there and cried for joy.

The next night I went to work, and never thought once about his son on the other side of the veil trying to reach him. The next morning after a couple of hours of sleep, I awoke, and realized it was time to record the message from the Lord for my friend. I reached for my spiral notebook and opened it, then took my pen in hand, and the message, "Stand Fast" flowed into my being, and I recorded it exactly as it was given me. After I had recorded it, I lay back down on my pillow and read it, and cried, because I knew who had given me the message, and whom it was for.

I got up and dressed quickly, then went to my typewriter and typed it up, then went to the copy shop and made some copies of it, then went to see my friend again. When I went into his business he saw me come in, and he immediately left the people he was talking with, and came to me and asked, "Did you get the message?" I replied, "Yes, and I want to share it with you."

We went into his office and I handed him a copy of the poem as he sat down in his chair behind the desk. As he read it, tears streamed down his cheeks, and finally he said to me, "How did you know what was in my heart that I wanted to say, but didn't know how to say it? How did you know? I never told you anything I was thinking about, but every detail has been included in this poem." I told him, amidst my tears which were flowing then, "I didn't know, but He who gave me the message knew what was in your heart, and He it is who gave me the message, and He it is who wants you to share it with the young people of your Ward to let them know how precious they are to He and Heavenly Father. Will you share it with them next Sunday?" "Yes, I will share it gladly." He said.

As I stood to leave, he came around from behind his desk, and embraced me again, and we both cried. There was a feeling in my heart at that moment as if Jesus Christ himself was putting His arms around me. It was wonderful.

As we parted he said to me, "Please come and see me again." And I told him I would be back. I told him that it would be hard, and he would cry, but that was okay, because his son needed to see that, and to know the heartache he had caused him to bear because of his taking his own life.

I did return to visit with him the next week, to see how his talk went, and he was delighted to see me, and told me that it had gone just as I had suggested it would go, but he didn't know if it made any difference to others in the audience. I told him that didn't matter, because the one person who needed to hear that was there, and that was good.

A couple of years ago, I ran into he and his wife at a meeting I was attending, and I went up and greeted them with joy in my heart to see them again, and they asked me to sit down by them so they could share with me what had since happened.

They said that one of their dear friends whose son had died, came back to tell them of his experience in the Spirit World. He had met a number of people whom he knew and loved, and among them was their son, who was involved in helping the Savior. He was very happy, and told their son to be sure and tell his mom and dad that he was with the Savior, and doing his work there. Needless to say, they rejoiced in this news, and were so glad to see me again.

I could hardly wait to get home so that I could share that with my dear wife, since our own son had committed suicide less than a year before our meeting again, and we had shed many tears over him. They assured me that he was in good hands, and not to worry anymore. That chance meeting was meant to be, or at least, that's what I feel in my heart. We needed to know that, and what a special blessing it was to get to feel of their great love as they put their arms around me that night. The thought came to me that "What goes around, comes around," and here they were comforting me, even as I had been directed by the Spirit to go and bring comfort to them in the loss of their dear son.

Here is the poem I received from the Lord to share with my dear friend that day. I hope and pray that you will share it with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all with whom you come in contact as there are so many people in this world who get so discouraged and depressed that they end up taking their own lives, and that is not what Heavenly Father or Jesus wants them to do. For we are all God's noble sons and daughters, and He has sent us here on a mission, to get a body first of all, and then to work out our own salvation as we overcome the temptations of Satan, and learn to live as Christ would have us live, so that we may find joy and happiness forever with He and Heavenly Father. And since we are Heavenly Father's sons and daughters, and He is our King, then that means that if we live righteous lives, and follow the great example of the Savior, that some day we may become like our Heavenly Father, even Gods and Goddesses as the poem indicates in the last stanza. Also in the poem it mentions that we should grasp "The Iron Rod" which is the word of God, as revealed by His Prophets throughout the ages of history.

May the Lord bless you and me that we may live His gospel and do His will so that we may live our lives in accordance with His teachings, and be able to rejoice when we meet Him again, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Have a wonderful day, and know that God loves you. Your friend and brother in Christ.

James H. Lee Jr.
Copyright June 2, 2004

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