I picked up my father’s scriptures and gently thumbed through the pages. He is gone and I saw them sitting on the shelf.
There was his name in faded, gold, capital letters on both books. One, the Bible, King James version (my favorite too). The other, the triple combination of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Together these are the scriptures I have learned since my youth, studied as I grew, and loved all my life.
There are some bookmarks in them. A card with the Old Testament chronology on it, several small pink slips of paper with scriptures and page numbers written on them in green or red ink – 3 Nephi 18:19-20 443, D&C 1:30 pg 3, D&C 88:14, 15, 16 166, and Moses 3:17 [no page number] – and a white slip, Moroni 10:32 531.
I notice a couple small paper clips on select pages, one holds a slip of paper with the generations from Adam to “Methusela oldest man” written in pencil for a lesson he taught sometime in his life.
Searching a little further I see scripture passages underlined, often in red, sometimes in green [funny, I use red, and blue 🙂 ], and sections where there is a red X at the beginning of a passage and then a / at the end, i.e. D&C 9:3-14 “Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me…you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”
As I see the little markings throughout the scriptures, I can almost picture him studying a lesson that he will be teaching, marking a passage he heard in a class, or underlining a verse that touched his soul as he studied the scriptures on his own or with my mother. It warms my heart to read these passages and feel the love and power of God come through to me also as I read them once more, this time realizing that they had special meaning to my father.
I find myself pondering not only on these things that were obviously important to my father, but contemplating also other things that were important to him as evidenced by the way things were left when he passed away, particularly in the garage where things were cleaned off (though now a bit dusty) before being put into the section where they belonged, painting, gardening, electrical, hand tools, power tools, the old radio we always stored in the basement, etc.
And I can’t help but wonder if everything was exactly as he wanted it, or if, like me, some things are simply where they were put down “for now”. What will people think they know about me by the state of my possessions when I pass on?
Think I’ll go through some of them right now…