“Just Like in Heaven,” Friend, Oct. 2004, 47
As the organist played prelude music, Keeley looked around the chapel. She smiled when she saw some of her friends she had left behind when her family moved to a small town in eastern Colorado.
Her family had returned to Loveland, Colorado, for the blessing of her aunt and uncle’s baby girl. All of her dad’s family had come for the special event.
She liked her family’s new home, but she was happy to be back in Loveland, where she had lived most of her life and had so many relatives and friends.
After the opening song and prayer and announcements, the bishop announced that there would be a blessing of a baby.
Keeley watched as her dad, uncle, grandpa, and other family members gathered to bless baby Kaitlyn.
Uncle Mark gave his daughter a name and a blessing. She knew that the men who stood in the circle held the priesthood. Keeley’s dad had explained how important the priesthood was when he had baptized her and confirmed her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a year ago. In another year, her oldest brother, Samuel, would receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained a deacon.
Keeley felt tears sting her eyes as she heard Uncle Mark’s voice quiver during the middle of the blessing. She reached up to brush them away.
When the blessing was over, Uncle Mark held up Kaitlyn so that the congregation could see her.
After sacrament meeting, Keeley and her brothers went to Primary. The chorister invited them to choose their favorite songs for the children to sing.
Keeley chose “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus.”* The Primary children had sung it for the Primary sacrament meeting program a year ago, and it had remained one of her favorite songs.
Following opening exercises and sharing time, she went to class. When class let out, Keeley said good-bye to her friends. Once again, tears gathered in her eyes.
Everyone in the family went to Uncle Mark and Aunt Celeste’s home after church. Keeley took a turn holding the new baby. All too soon, it was time to leave.
“It was like going home,” Keeley said during the drive. “All of our family and friends were there and were glad to see us.”
“That’s how it is in heaven,” Dad said. “Family members and friends who are already there are happy to see those they left behind on earth.”
“Like when Grandpa Munson died?” Keeley asked. Her mother’s dad had died before Keeley was born. She had heard Mom talk about Grandpa and what a great man he was.
“Exactly like that,” Mom said. “We were sad that Grandpa had to leave us, but we knew there were lots of people in heaven waiting for him.” She took Keeley’s hand and squeezed it. “I know you were glad to see your old friends, and they were glad to see you. We’ll see them again. In the meantime, you have friends at our new home who will be happy that you’re back.”
“Just like in heaven,” Keeley said. She liked the comparison.
“Just like in heaven,” Mom agreed.
After family prayer that night, Keeley kissed her parents good night. She thought of her friends back in Loveland and her friends here at home, then she imagined how many more friends and family members must be waiting to see her again in heaven. A sweet warmth settled over her like a comfortable blanket as she got ready for bed.
“We go to church to feel the Spirit, learn His doctrine, renew our covenants, and receive the ordinances of salvation and exaltation to return to the presence of God with our families.”
Elder Carlos H. Amado of the Seventy, “Some Basic Teachings from the History of Joseph Smith,” Ensign, May 2002, 81.