This is a message that President and Sister King in the Chile Santiago West Mission sent out yesterday to all of the missionaries in their mission and President May was kind enough to forward on to us. It really puts things into perspective a little bit.
-- Élder Todd
Our dear missionaries,
It is with a heavy hearts, we inform you that on Saturday morning, May 21, 2011, Elder Benjamin Taylor Jennings passed away from this life. Elder Jennings was companions with Elder Ciccio in Las Industrias in the San Miguel zone. They were out jogging for their exercise early that morning, and upon their return, just before they arrived at their pension, Elder Jennings collapsed and all efforts to revive him failed. He passed away quickly and peacefully.
Elder Jennings was a wonderful missionary, full of love for the people of Chile, and happy to be serving his Father in Heaven on a mission. The Bishop from Las Industrias commented that he was always happy, and that his face always shone bright with light. Other missionaries have spoken of how he always took joy in serving others, especially other missionaries. We have only every heard positive comments and feedback about Elder Jennings.
We will miss him dearly. He is one of our beloved missionaries. We all feel saddened by this painful news. His family is suffering the most. He comes from a beautiful LDS family – mother father, two younger sisters and a younger brother. He was the oldest. Please pray for his family. They need our support through our prayers.
But let us rejoice in the Plan of Salvation of our God. Elder Jennings was called home because he was ready and needed to serve on the other side of the veil in the spirit world. He has entered into the rest of our Lord, and is in a far better place.
D&C 138: 57 I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
The Lord knows our time and if we are faithful, we will not be taken until we have completed our mission on this earth. Each has his duty to perform. For Elder Jennings, his death was sweet.
D&C 42: 45 Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.
46 And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them;
48 And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.
Elder Jennings certainly has a hope of a glorious resurrection, but having completed his mission here in mortality, he was appointed unto death. Oh that we can all pass from this life while serving faithfully in the work of the Lord, that we all might have that hope of a glorious resurrection and redemption through the infinite atonement of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
But our mission is not over, we have been called to save the souls of men here in Chile. “Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad.” Elders and Sisters, we have the “good news” – the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the truth with will set men free from sin and suffering. We have the baptism that will open the gate to receive the blessings of the Holy Ghost in their lives and carry them unto life eternal. Elder Jennings has gone on before us. We hope that we all want to be where he is. He would have us continue faithful and diligent in this great saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hagámoslo!
With all of our love and prayers, may the Lord comfort you in this loss,
President and Sister King