PEARL E. LAMBERT FUNERAL SERVICE

May 1971
by Harold B. Lee

 

            As I stepped to the casket to get the last glimpse of my dear friend, that noble woman.  I saw standing there leaning on the casket several of the great grandchildren.  I suppose that this may be one of the first times they have ever been this close to death.  Perhaps the wonderment of it all was very apparent.  Her lying in earnest, no movement, no speech and perhaps the wonder in their minds, why did grandma have to die?

            If the spirit is willing and if you older folks will bear with me I would like to talk to the great grandchildren and the grandchildren about grandma and where she is.  Eighty-eight years ago, there came into a home of parents, out in Kansas, A little baby girl.  There was a gasp and a cry and a living soul was born.  For nine months the mother carried under her breast a little babe that she knew was alive and when the baby came, this mother knew that this wasn’t the beginning of that baby.  There was something that came into that body that was not of her.  She may have remembered what the poets have said at a flash of inspiration, “Our life star, hath else where had its setting come from afar.  Not in utter nakedness, not in entire forgetfulness, but training clouds of glory do we come from God who is our home.”

            In my minds eye will you go with me to that scene before we left that heavenly home?  She had parents who were there.  There was a father and there was a mother.  That’s why we sing, “Oh My Father”, and of course you cannot say anything about a father without knowing there is a mother, that is just good sense.  They gave birth to this little spirit that was called an organized intelligence.  That’s the only scripture we have to describe it, but she was just as much a person as we are here in the flesh, and she was told, in order for her to get the fullness of the blessings that the Lord had for her, she would have to go through a change, called birth, and go into a body which would be prepared by earthly parents.  And there to begin further development that would be necessary in order for her to one day return back and to have the glory that this mother and father had when she was born.  I suppose there was a sadness of parting; something like we are here and I suppose someone stands at the pulpit.  Someone may have said, now have faith, you know what our Father has told us, this is all a part of the plan.  We have to go down and take upon us a body to see if we will do all things that the Lord God commands us, and those who keep our first estate here, that is if we are faithful, we will have glory added upon our heads, forever and forever.  I suppose that there were tears shed as suddenly as she past away and here the tables were turned and there was rejoicing.  Today we are seeing a different scene, just as in reverse.  Over there can you imagine the joy, the expectations, and the reunions?  I can imagine it.  Some of us have had a glimpse of what is over there.  As the flashes of inspiration have given us the right to pierce beyond the veil and to see that their living, just as much there, as we are living her, and so is she. 

            Where did she go when she died?  The scriptures say speaking of death, “then the dust, that means the body which was of the earth, then shall the bodies return to the earth.”  Or in other words, she has gone back to that mother and father which gave her life in that pre-mortal state.  I don’t like to hear people say pre-existence because that suggest that there was a time when we didn’t exist.  I would lot rather think of it as pre-mortal life.  There she is today, and she is being given an opportunity to visit and give a report.  Because of her faithfulness, now she is entered into a state called paradise.  Now paradise is a place where those who are faithful will rest from all the earthly labors.  There will be no more pain, no more sorrow for all those things have passed away.  But those who die, that are not faithful will be in a different kind of place.  It will be in the same world, but there will be a fearful and awful anxiety for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them, and suddenly they will realize what they have missed because they were not faithful.  There the righteous will be in happiness and glory and joy and the others will be in a state of fearful, awful looking, for they must suffer the penalties of that Satan whose influence they yielded to in mortality. 

            There is one more step that she will have to take before she can full finish that whole course, because she will have to go through another change, called resurrection.  In order to prepare to come here I suppose we had to undergo schooling on how to take care of this earthly body, perhaps not a lot of training how to take care of a body that will be eternal and not subject to death, never to die again.  It will take a lot of training to train us to take care of that eternal body after this change called resurrection.

            There will be a trumpet that shall sound when the Savior comes again to the Earth.  That trumpet will sound and those who are the most righteous will come forth out of the graves to meet those who have been resurrected before and now with our Heavenly Father.  There will be great rejoicing in that reunion.  Then later on in the day, when the Lord is 1000 years with man, we are told, there be another trumpet sound and the next ones who are the next worthy will come forth.  And another trumpet will sound and the last ones to come forth will be those who are filthy, those who committed grave and serious sins that have had to suffer through 1000 years of penalty, in order for them to be purged of what was necessary for them to come in a glory called telestial glory.  But sad to say, there will be some others who have the awful penalty, they will come forth out of the graves, but then they are cast out, never again to return to the presence of the Lord.  To be tormented by that third host of heaven who didn’t keep their first estate, which were cast out and were here to try to destroy the work of the Lord.  Third of all the creations failed to come here, even to take that first step.  The resurrected person who had sinned so seriously, to be called the sons of perdition, never could they come back, but tormented by those trying to enter into their bodies.  I can imagine the terrible torment that’s the penalty. 

            But that isn’t grandma’s, that isn’t grandma’s place, when we say she’s dead we are thinking of something that never moves, that never has any intelligence, well, if we speak of death that way we are more dead than she is.  She is seeing things, knowing things that we are not seeing or knowing.  She is now learning things and now they’re coming back to her recollection of what she knew before she came here that we had forgotten in order for us to walk by faith and thereby tested again to make sure that we were ready to come in the presence of the Lord.  She is alive too.  You wouldn’t wish grandma to come back out of that.  Those who have had a glimpse say if you knew what’s there, you’d never wish to come back into this place of mortality, despite the fact there were many loved ones left behind.

            When she came into that home, she was nurtured by a mother and a father.  As folks came into look at that little baby, some said it looked like father and some said it looked like mother.  As a matter of fact, it didn’t look like either of them.  It had its own personality.  That little one began to grow and develop until she came to the full bloom of womanhood and that was to the full statue of that spirit.  Now if you could see the spirit that’s in me, you would see a full grown person standing by my side exactly the same size as my physical body is.  Everything living has a spiritual part that helps the body to grow, but sometimes when there is sickness and the mission of that one will be shortened in less time than the Lord has for him.  But Grandma has been blessed that she could live out her full mission, and we call it administering to the sick.  Priesthood came in and by the blessings called to the aid of Grandma’s spiritual forces, beyond the power of doctors, to keep her here until the last moment that her mission had been complete.  The Lord told us in this day, that we should call in the Elders of the Church when we were sick and those who live would live unto the Lord and those who would die, would die unto the Lord.  And those who had faith to be healed would be healed, but there is one qualification, if they were not appointed unto death.  There is a time when the Lord answers prayers in a peculiar way. 

            He always answers prayers, you youngsters must remember that.  Father and mother have answered you a lot of times when they’ve had to say no, when they knew it wasn’t good for you.  That’s the way Heavenly Father has to say no many times.  So there came a time a few days ago, when he said no to all the prayers that were offered for your grandmother.  He said no, her time has come.  She is going home to that God who gave her life.  So she gathered her family around about her, she blessed them and said; “Now I am going to sleep” and she woke up on the other side.

            I was at the hospital with one of our brethren who had gone through a long prevailing sickness and as we stood by his bedside, he looked up and said, “Am I dead?”  Presuming he had been hovering between the two worlds, and he wasn’t sure what side of the veil he was on.  Was he over there, or was he over here?  That’s where grandma was when you said she was kind of wandering and wasn’t sure where she was.  She was partly over there.  Who do you suppose was close to here?  Many of you didn’t know you grandfather.  Well, he was a tall handsome man.  He was active; he was faithful in the church.  But a rather sudden thing happened, it was an accident they said, we don’t know why accidents come and whether in a moment of forgetfulness or whether there was some purpose.  Suddenly he was stricken, and in a moment his life was snuffed out and he was home for what?  Well I guess to prepare a home for his wife and his children.  There he entered into a glorious experience.  The Lord told Apostle Peter that he gave unto him the keys to the kingdom of heaven, that whatsoever he binds on Earth would be bound in heaven.  That was call Priesthood and because your grandmother and grandfather were faithful they were permitted to go into a holy house and those who had the authority pronounced them a husband and wife forever and promised them that they should have seed, which mean children after the resurrection.  And all the children who came to them here, who were born under the covenant, would belong to them there.  She has eight children and their partners would make them more.  She has thirty-eight grandchildren; she has forty-four great grandchildren and counting grandma and grandpa that make it an even hundred, an even hundred of her direct posterity.  Now do you suppose she is going to be absent and not concerned about you where she is now?  Where is she? Where is heaven?  Heaven isn’t a million miles away from here on another planet.  Heaven is right here, there’s a spiritual part of this world and sometimes if our eyes could be opened we could see and feel the presence and know that those who loved us here, love us now and they won’t be very far away from us.

            Sometimes if you’re worrying, having a struggle about something maybe you’ll say what a little child said to his mother, she was a widow.  The children were out playing and suddenly the older boy came running in the house, ran into the front room and then started to run outside to play and his mother said, “Clifford, what did you want?”  “Oh I thought daddy was in the front room.”  There are those, and especially children, who live so close to heaven.  You youngest children, it hasn’t been long since you were there yourself, in that heavenly place.  Heaven lies about you in your infancy, but shades of the prison house being to close upon the growing boy and he gets careless.  When we grow into manhood and womanhood we get mixed up in business and financial matters, worrying, then we begin to get a little distance from that spirit.  But a mother, like your grandmother, was very close to heavenly things.  She spoke oft times with the voice of inspiration as there communicated through her brain and to her fingers some delightful thoughts that some of you, and I think all of you have been recipients.

            When we saw the obituary in the paper, my wife said, “Oh I found something the other day when you were in the hospital.  Maybe you would like to read this.”  And this is what she had sent to me while I was there after a very critical operation.  She [Grandma Pearl] wrote, “Trust Oh Trust in God above for he is filled with compassion and love.”  Pearl E. T. Lambert.  Then she wrote this.  “To Pres. Harold B. Lee (I was the Stake President), I’d ask the birds to sing for you and wishing flowers to bloom and each little breeze that blows to blow a good cheer into your ear.  Wish I could get each passing hour to count my wishes true and make you promise me for sure that you’ll get well soon.  Will you promise?  God be with you and bless you and cause His face to shine upon you, give you courage, hope and faith.  Be not afraid said the Savior, He will be near you to comfort you and give you peace that passes all understanding.  You are very dear to my heart.  Thanks for all you’ve dome for my family since our daddy was called above.  I will pray for you continually.  Pearl E. Lambert”

            You see what I mean when I speak of inspiration?  For out of her brain, inspired of the Lord, she spoke beautiful thoughts.  Those who paint pictures, those who have inspired inventions to add something new that hasn’t existed, where did they get that from?  They pray about things and then suddenly out of the flashes of inspiration there comes a thought, and if we learn to give heed to those thoughts, as they come to us, we can learn to walk by the spirit of revelation.

            Every person that’s born into the world has a spirit because they are all His children.  Just because they are not Mormons, that doesn’t mean they are not him.  All of them were, every person that lives upon the Earth belongs to the family of God, and He has sent his spirit, called the light of Christ, or the Spirit of God.  It is spoken in differnt6 ways, and that light lightens every person that comes into the world.  Now there is a purpose in that.  Because that continues to strive with every person until it leads them to a time when, if they hear the truth, and they want the truth, they’ll accept it.  That’s the reason missionaries can baptize people who are devout in other churches, because they are really seeking for the truth and when they hear it, they know it.  It’s like sowing good seeds in fertile soil and if persons listening by the spirit of the Lord, and the missionaries preach by the spirit of the Lord.  The scriptures say both are edified together.  So they are coming into the church by the thousands and tens of thousands until we now have three million.

            Now it’s alright to talk about all these things, but when it comes to one as close to us as Grandma, it’s hard to believe that these things can be, that we can see her again.  Well, let me take you back now to some of the realities that we actually have a history of.  After all the proof is in what has happened before.  Way back when Moses was leading his people out of bondage, and you have heard the story of the children of Israel and their struggles.  They could have gone by a direct route, have gotten to the Holy Land in forty days, but He wanted to test them.  He led them across the Red Sea by a miracle.  They went through the wilderness and there had great difficulty, and they were starving, they were beset upon, they were thirsty.  There came through the Prophet, from the Lord, a great promise.  The Lord Said, “Thy dead men shall live and together with my dead body they shall arise.  Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dust shall be as the dew of the Earth, and the Earth shall cast up her dead.”  Eight hundred years had to pass before that promise could be realized and then we had this brief recording of history.  After the Savior was crucified upon the cross and he died, it says, the veil of the temple was rent in twain, which means, torn in two.  And after His resurrection, the body of the saints which slept in their graves came forth and walked into the city and was seen of many.  In other words, if we live on this Earth when this resurrection shall come, when the Savior comes, we will see people coming and saying, “Well it’s about time brother so and so is coming out of the grave.”   And they will walk, and it will be just as common as birth is.  Birth comes so often that we don’t think of it as a miracle, and likewise, when the resurrection comes, we will think of that as so common that it will no longer seem to be a miracle.  It will just be a natural expectation.  But keep in mind, that it is no more a miracle to have a resurrected body that it was to have had a natural body.  With the Lord’s plan now you can see that just as those come of the grave in that early day, so in this day.

            As you looked upon grandma you saw her form and how she looked in life, but there was something lacking, you didn’t see that which looked out through her eyes and made the lips smile and the tongue to speak.  That wasn’t there.  That took its flight the other day.  You saw only that which was of the earth and that will disintegrate and go back into the elements from which it came.  But there will be a spark of what is in that body, and as the Apostle Paul said, just like a seed of grain, you sow a seed of grain into the ground and it actually happens to rot it seems like, but there is just enough left of that original seed to put down some roots and then a stem and then into leaves, and finally from that one seed, there comes for forty to sixty new seeds.  Apostle Paul said, “So is resurrection of the dead.”  He says our bodies have to give up what is here in order for them to come again to the newness of life.  As in Adam all must6 die, in other words, from the beginning of time, when Adam came into this world we came as his children.  He partook of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and so brought on mortality, making the body subject to death.  All of us are born to die.  We all have to go through that same stage.  That may sound gruesome until you understand the plan.  Your grandma would be one of the first to say, “It’s one of the most glorious expectations that I could have, that I can lay down this tired body and go home to that God who gave me life.”

            Now thirty-nine years have not been easy years for this grandmother and mother.  She had a family, there have been some hardships and been some night of tears and sorrow and anxiety about her children.  I suppose about her grandchildren and maybe her great grandchildren.  As I have thought about hardships, I remember many years ago I was in this very building and as I came into that door, the place was packed, it was just before Christmas.  I knew they all have not come to hear me, because I was a nobody, but there was a wonderful spirit in that meeting.  I said to the bishop, “there is something unusual here” and he said, “Brother Lee, this has been the most glorious week of my life as a bishop,” And I said what made it so?  “Well, he said, we use to send out our deacons to get baskets of food for the needy, especially the widows, and sometimes we had to send them back two or three times to get enough, but this time, we could hardly contain what the people wanted to give”  and I said, “What caused that?”  And he said, “The Sugarhouse Bank closed its doors, and most all the people in my ward had their savings tied up in that Sugarhouse bank and the hardships seem to have brought our people together into a kind of sweet family unity.  We are all one and everybody was thinking of everybody else.  It’s been a glorious week.”  I thought of what the Apostle Paul said speaking of the master, “Though He were the Son, he had to learn to be obedient by the things of which he suffered.”

            Dr. Albert Switzer, a great humanitarian, concluded with this advice.  “Don’t flex your mind by trying to explain the suffering you have endured in this life, don’t think that God is punishing you or disciplining you, that he has rejected you.  Even in the midst of your suffering, you were in his kingdom, you’re always his children.  He has his protecting arm around you.”  Does a child understand everything his father does? No. But he can confidently nestled in his fathers arms and feel perfect happiness even while tears glisten in his eyes.  Because he is his father child, do you understand that?

            Grandmother is not far away, and I have a feeling when I speak at a service of this kind, when one like she is so saintly, that they’re permitted to come very close and to influence what is being said.  You now I could sit down and prepare a talk for her today.  I just wanted to come with my mind and heart opened to see if through me, you mother, you grandmother, could speak what she would wish me to say to her little group here today.  I don’t know whether I have done it or not.

            I want you to know Mother Lambert, grandma, great grandma, friend, neighbor, sister, woman of God, bless your sainted soul, you dear sister Lambert except for you, we who have high responsibilities in their church couldn’t do it.  It’s the faith of the noble women like you, who dare to believe, even when you see our weaknesses, you dare to believe that though us the Lord speaks, not has spoken, but now speaks.  You sainted soul, its folks like you, who gather your little ones around you and have laid in their hearts a foundation that they can carry on like you taught them.

            Dear Sister Lambert, you have forgotten yourself, you’ve immortalized your name.  Your name is emblazoned in the hearts and the mind and memories of so many of us.  You will live in that way with us forever as long as our memories last.  Please God that we might be worthy one day to go where you are.  We could wish for nothing more than to be in the company of folks like you.  Heaven is happier because of you today, mothers like you. 

            Peace be with your family, Stay close to them and inspire them so that they will climb higher.  Help them today to realize the baton that you have passed on to each one of them.  Your sons and daughters also remember:

 

Do you know that your soul is of my soul such a part?
That you seem to be fiber and core of my heart?
None other can pain me as you, dear can do,
None other can please me or praise me as you.
 

Remember the world will be quick with its blame
If shadow or stain ever darken your Name.
“Life Mother, like son” is a saying so true,
The world will judge largely of Mother by you.
 

Be yours then the Task, if task it should be,
To force the proud world to do homage to me.
Be sure it will say, when the verdict you’ve won,
She reaped as she sowed, Lo! This is her son.

 

This is her daughter, this is her grandson, granddaughter, this is her great grandson, her great granddaughter,
and to all this I bear my humble testimony and leave you my blessings, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.