Sunday, September 20, 2009

Becoming a Son of Thunder...

Written by Kit

My father-in-law uses this term for someone who has the fire of righteousness in them. He gets the reference from the New Testament which references the Apostles James and John who in the gospel of Mark 2:17 refers to them as “Sons of Thunder”. Also in Luke 9:52-54 there is a story about James and John, 52. And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? I know that if the Lord had let them, they would have had faith the carry out the desire. My father-in-law, when working with others as a member of the Stake Presidency, asked that we have the “thunder” and I, as a missionary, I used the term “fire”, to please the Lord, to be a “son (or Daughter) of thunder”.

Over the last 6 months or so I have had the great privilege to witness the development of a “Son of Thunder”. As many of you might know, my brother-in-law, Mack, has been living with us. When he came to live with us he is what most would have call a typical 19 year old. Caught is his own world, where scuba diving, cars and the “where is the next fun thing for me” attitude centered his life. Don’t get me wrong, Mack has always been a good kid and I have always loved him. But over the last few months I have seen a visual and spiritual change. I have seen a boy become a man, and the words that I heard my father-in-law speak of solidified in my mind.

I was called as Elder Quorum President and one of the brothers in the ward had become blind among dealing with other health issues. I was asked by the bishop to find some one to help up keep his lawn. I asked Mack to do this. He smiled at me and said, “Yes Pres. Applegate, I’d love to,” and he did. Every week he would take his time and go to the brother’s home and mow his lawn. Every week when I ask who will help the Elders in our ward by going on splits he always raises his hand and helps out the servants of the Lord in doing His work. Just this last week another brother in the ward had his sewer pipe running by his house collapse. It was a last minute thing and late on Friday night I asked Mack if he could help the following Saturday morning bright and early. He said, ”No problem.” As we worked on the 20 ft of sewer, he was joking and laughing and working very hard. I heard comments from others on the work crew like “Mack the human Earth mover” and even the Bishop gave him the nickname Bobcat because he worked like one. At the end of the day when we were driving home, Mack and I were talking and he told me, “I felt that the Lord was with me, He (the Lord) had to have given me strength because I wasn’t tired and am not tired.” Most 19 year old boys would have said, “I’m the man” or “ yeah I’m a stud”, but this Son of Thunder laid his success at the feet of the Lord. My boys look up to Mack, they love him. He always takes time to play with them. He has told Lib and me to go on dates and he watches them. As I see their eyes light up when he talks to them and he wrestles them I can’t think of anybody else I would rather have them admire.
Over the last months I have seen his countenance change. I see light when I look at him. When he teaches in Elders Quorum I see light, when he plays with my boys I see light. To those who think that they know Mack and the phrase “Son of thunder” doesn’t come to mind, then they truly do not know him. Is he perfect? No, but this is why he and we are, becoming Sons of Thunder.

7 comments:

Steph said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to Mackie! Thank you, thank you for writing this. I know it will mean a lot to him...but it means a lot to me, as well. He IS a wonderful young man and we love him dearly. I am grateful he has had the opportunity to live with you guys and to grow. He is a "Son of Thunder" and may we all learn a lesson or two from his selfless, loving nature. I love you, Mack!!

Steph said...

This comment is from Phillip, not Steph.

Kit and Liberty, I was not going to comment because I felt my fellings may be best made through a phone call. The more I thought about it the more I thought I should put it as a comment. I must say that I am slightly jealous of you, but completely grateful to the both of you. I wish, that I would have had the opportunity that you have to see such a change take place. Mack has always been a great spirit, but in need of counsel and guidance. Thank you for the guidance you have given him. The power of the advesary is abundant today and many strong spirits are tragically falling. Thank you for helping to keep him focused. For that I am completely grateful to the both of you.

To Mack, I know this is not your blog, but I know that you will read this. I love you. You are not my brother-in-law, you are simply my brother. I am so proud of the man you are becoming. You have a tender, yet strong spirit. You remind me of Joseph Smith. Studying him the past two years in Sunday School I have received a better understanding of who he was. He was spiritually stong, and a hard worker, yet he found time to have fun, and most importantly he loved people. You will be a wonderful missionary because, as Joseph, you are spirtually strong, a hard worker, you have fun, and you love people. Mack,keep strong and recognize that Satan will work harder on you these next few months then he ever has, but you will be stronger these next few months as well. The Lord has a great work for those who are willing to follow him and do his work. I love you and respect you. Your brother, Phillip

holyoak said...

Thank you Kit. The atmosphere was right for the lightning to develop. You and Liberty have been the catalyst and the real Mack has provided the rest. Now on to the next steps to be self cleaning, self oiling, self sharpening tool to be used in the Lord’s hand as needed. (see Romans 12:1-3; Mosiah 23:10)

whitney said...

Such a great post! I'm so, so proud of Mack. He's turned into such a valiant young man and is really fulfilling his true potential. He loves people and is so well-loved by people. That is one of his greatest strengths and will truly serve him well as a missionary. We love you, Mack!

WITHERS FAMILY said...

You guys have an amazing family!

Thanks, Liberty, for your sweet words on my blog :)

Coty said...

I loved this post.
What a great tribute to Mack!

Andrea said...

It is a very sweet post. It's funny b/c our entire family was just commenting this past Sunday, of what a great guy Mack is, and how he will be missed in our ward when he leaves for his mission, but what a great missionary he will be!