Monday, November 3, 2008

Trailing clouds of Glory

I am one of those people who once awake cannot fall back to sleep. So, since it was my turn to feed Josephine I sat and watched her for a while. Most of the time Josephine sleeps. It seems that just simple processes of respriration and digestion seem to use up all of her strength. This morning however she was bright eyed, and looking around. I know every parent feels this way, but Josephine is truly a beautiful little girl. As I held her I was wondering what sort of things she could posibbly be thinking or experiencing. In a way I began to think of my Father, Owen Bennion, who passed away this January. He was the kind of man who loved little children, he must have he and my mother, Lenore Wood Bennion, had thirteen of them. I remembered him talking about where little children come from, and how wonderful and precious they are. He would often quote from William Wordsworth and say something like "they come trailing clouds of Glory." Like too much of what my father said I didn't pay much attention to this, but as I sat here holding my daughter, I decided to find out what the real quote was and the context that Wordsworth had said it in. If you have never read Wordsworth's Ode "Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" here is a link. The part my father often quoted is this:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

I know that Josephine is not just some genetic mistake, some construction of eons of evolution. She is a spirit daughter of our Father in Heaven, who has left his presence to come to earth to gain a mortal body. I know that her problems and disabilities are not a curse either, but are in truth a blessing. She will never loose her innocence. She will never loose the purity which she brought from our premortal home.

We each owe a death. This is simply part of life. And it is through death that we partake in one of the greatest of Christs miracles, the resurection. Christ has broken the bonds of death for us. I know as did the prophet Job that,"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."

Josephine is a wonderful little girl. She gave her mother and I quite a scare today, when she quit breathing again. The thought of her leaving terrifies me, as it does her mother, but we are greatful to know that through the atonement of our Savior she will live again, as will we all, and that through the blessings of the Temple we will be reunited as a family for all eternity.

I love this little girl, more than I could ever express. Clara and I were discussing the likelyhood of having more children and the odds of having another baby with Trisomy. As she was looking up the diferent numbers on the internet she came across the number of pregnancies that are terminated. We each must make our own choices and live with the concequences. I for one am greatful for the eleven days of joy we have had so far with this precious little infant. We are humbled and honored to be entrusted with this gift, and to help Josephine gain her mortality.

Jonathan Bennion

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