By: Ilyan Kei Lavanway, Moroni Channel
Rockledge Florida, USA


A family in our ward – Victorias First Ward, Cadiz Philippines Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – had a 26-year-old Down’s syndrome son who died Friday, 19 February 2016. It made me think how grateful I am that my own Down’s syndrome son is still with us and is so robust and healthy. And how grateful I should be that my Down’s syndrome son tests me daily. Having him here to test me means I still have opportunity to pass my test. He is my test. If he were gone, my test would be over, and if I have not passed it, I might lose my soul forever.

In my particular case, it would be like being a student in a class where a long and difficult test is required to graduate, and during the test the Master notices the student is so vexed by the test that the Master decides to remove the test from the student before the student has completed it, seeing how the student so wishes the test to be over and is so distraught about being required to undergo the test at all.

The student, once the test is removed from his hands, suddenly realizes, to his eternal horror, that the premature removal of this arduous but absolutely essential test means he cannot graduate into the field he so earnestly desires to attain. I am saying this would be my case, not the case of the family whose son died.

I love my son, and in light of this thought, I should be singing praises to God all the day long for my son’s presence in my life. I should consider how cleaning my son head to toe when he is covered in his own feces is the lowliest of callings, akin to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, and doing so with nothing but pure, overflowing love for each of them. Jesus is not focused on the filth they have stepped in (or smeared themselves with). He is focused on serving them and loving them – and cleansing them as only he can.

Dedicated to Rhomel Casañares Pasco
Victorias First Ward
Cadiz Philippines Stake
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