I am sorry that I cannot be there with you in person today. For this reason I have asked Jared to read this for me, we look so similar that some of you in the back wont even be able to tell the difference!
My dear friends, we have all been saddened by the loss of our dear husband, father, brother, Grandpa, and friend, Grandpa Val Shields. We love him very dearly and that is why we have come here today. Nevertheless, we have not come to mourn the loss of our beloved friend, but rather, to celebrate the life of our beloved Mentor, Example and Patriarch of the family.
We all loved our Grandpa Shields very much, and we loved him for his strong character, example of hard work and for the love that he had for those around him.
Grandpa was a very strong person that always worked hard. He started working at a young age and continued working from that point on to provide for his family. Grandpa loves his family more than anything else, and his actions were driven by this profound love he has for his Family and friends. He was always thinking about others! He showed his love for us through his patience with all of his grandkids, whether it was one of us standing in front of the T.V. or one of us accidentally stepping on his toes! He was a great example to me of selfless service. He showed me how to respect women in the way that he treated Grandma. He is an amazing man and I hope to be able to follow his footsteps in raising my own family.
Grandpa developed a strong testimony of the gospel in his youth and was able to strengthen it throughout his life and his testimony has had an incomparable influence on his children and grandchildren. I remember going on camping trips with Grandpa and on Sunday mornings studying in the Book of Mormon and hearing Grandpa's testimony. He is a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and has impacted the lives of many through his example.
I love my Grandpa very much which makes it hard for me to be here in Florida so far way from home, but I need to be here so I can share the knowledge that I have of God's plan for each of us, his children. Though we are saddened that our Grandpa is no longer with us we have hope in the resurrection of Christ that we will be able to see him again. President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has stated, "The aging process is... a gift from God, as is death. The eventual death of your mortal body is essential to God’s great plan of happiness. Why? Because death will allow your spirit to return home to [Our Heavenly Father]. From an eternal perspective, death is only premature for those who are not prepared to meet God."
And Grandpa was prepared.
Even though we know that Grandpa is at peace now, released from the bonds and pains of his mortal body and is now reunited with his beloved Parents, we still miss him. President Gordon B. Hinckley when speaking at a funeral said, "...it is a devastating, consuming thing to lose someone you love. It gnaws at your soul." I am sure that we have all had these feelings because we love Grandpa so much.
These are the same feelings that those dedicated Disciples of Christ had on the Hill of Calvary as the most wicked men on Earth crucified the Savior of the World. Oh the despair that they felt to lose the Lord and Master that they Loved so much. On that terrible Friday the world was full of darkness.... They must have felt that the world would surely end, but it didn't. Oh how great was there joy that following Sunday, when they saw their Resurrected Savior again! Perfected never to die again. In this we can all have hope, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Elder Wirthlin has said, "Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."
I add my testimony to Elder Wirthlin's that Sunday will come, that we will be able to see our Grandpa Shields again with a perfected body, just like the Savior's. An incorruptible body no longer racked by the pains of cancer. How great will be our Joy at that day when we are reunited with the Friend that we love so much.
I testify that Grandpa has done his part in following the example of Christ and has remained firm in the faith despite all his afflictions and that he now at rest. Now it is our responsibility to follow his example so we too can qualify for the same blessing and be reunited as an Eternal Family exalted in the kingdom of God forever.
This is my testimony which I bear in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
We love you Grandpa!
"I am so proud of and impressed with Matthew!"
This is so them! Just having fun and being silly :)