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How Sweet to Die

This message is in honor and memory of Elder Jesse Stanaland who passed away yesterday morning, August 31, 2005. Prior to the illness of his daughter, Brittany, Brother Jesse would send out a daily devotional early in the morning called "Beginning the Day". I have missed receiving that devotional, so today, I thought it appropriate to honor what the Lord did through Brother Jesse with this message. Of course, Brother Jesse has now begun a day that none of us can fathom or imagine. His joys are unspeakable and indescribable.

In this edition of "Beginning the Day", I present to you the following hymn:

How Sweet to Die

Farewell, vain world I'm going home,
My Savior bids me come,
Sweet angels beckon from on high
Then, O how sweet to die.

I'm glad that I am born to die,
From grief my soul shall fly,
Sweet angels beckon from on high,
Then, O how sweet to die.

I'll praise my Savior while I've breath,
I'll praise him after death,
I'll praise his matchless name on high,
Then, O how sweet to die.

I soon shall pass this vale of death,
When I shall lose my breath,
And then my happy soul shall fly,
Then, O how sweet to die.

It never fails that many that do not understand sovereign grace see this as a depressingly sad song. I have tried, without much success, to explain the beauty of the words in this wonderful hymn. When we consider the pain, trials, and difficulty of this life and compare them to the promise and hope that lies in the next, we can rejoice in death. Death is not our friend, but we know that through Jesus we have victory over death and that death is not an end but is a transition from this world to the next. When we see Jesus as our victory and see death as our defeated adversary, we can sing this old hymn with great joy.

Brother Jesse, You will be missed by your family and friends. In this life, we will continue to try to endure and serve the God that you loved and served. We will pray for your family. We are just beginning our day, but you, my brother, are now experiencing on eternal beginning.

Marty Hoskins

Thursday, September 01, 2005
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Beginning The Day by Jesse S. Stanaland