Our Family Is Your Family

By Pearl Edwards of Olympia, Washington, USA

And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bonds of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace; pray always, that you may not faint until I come; behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen  Doctrine and Covenants 85:38c

In 1928, my dad and his five grieving children stood at the grave of my mother, who died from injuries suffered in a car accident. My father had been driving us home to Vernon, Texas, from a family celebration. I was 3 years old. My sister was 1½, and the other children were all 12 to 17.

Two months later, my little sister and I found ourselves in the home of my Aunt Pearl, my mother’s sister, with her four lively children in Moclips, Washington. One evening on a visit to Aunt Pearl’s, a couple, Tom and Louise Armstrong, asked my dad if he would consider having strangers care for his children; they wanted the opportunity.

We went home with the Armstrongs that night. We would live in their home for 12 years. They were Community of Christ members. They became our grandparents, and their family became our family. Because many of them were church members, the folks of the church became our family, too.

As children, we were faithful attendees at Sunday school. When I was 11 I went to a youth camp. During worship in the girls’ dormitory, I gave my life to Christ. We sang, “I will go where you want me to go, dear Lord; I will be what you want me to be.”

Those words have been the commitment of my life. At age 21 I was baptized and confirmed. My husband and children also were baptized.

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been the basis of my life. I have served in almost all offices of the priesthood and am now an evangelist. I continue to serve in the Olympia Congregation in Washington. How different my life would have been had it not been for the welcoming generosity of my new family.

Prayer for Peace:

Compassionate God, may we reflect your compassion to the lost and lonely. May we think of all children as your children. May we care for them as you care for us.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Offering Blessings of Community

Each day this week receive and share blessings of community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the network of relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life.

What blessings flow to you from these circles? Reflect, pray, and write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you “discern and embrace” the “divine blessing” of this name that opens you to “become a blessing to the whole creation” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:1). What act of blessing are you invited to complete?

Peace Covenant:

I will wrap myself in the bonds of charity, God, so I may share your peace.

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     /  20 May 2012

    Olympia Community of Christ has their own facebook page now!

  2. Kevin Stancer

     /  18 May 2012

    I was born in Centralia, Washington and have fond memories of Olympia, besides the youth camp at Samish island. My mother used to refer to Washington as “God’s country”. My father was born in Wichita, Kan. and my mother in Byron, Okla.
    All my life i have felt so close to the church in Washington, although most of my growing up has been in Kansas and was baptized at age 8 in Kansas where I am a member of wonderful congregation who are so caring and loving.
    I just feel so blessed to have been able to have been a part of the Washington Community of Christ


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