Happy fourth birthday my precious granddaughter Lily. I love you so.
Once there was a family of three white lilies that grew on a hillside above a small village including a grandfather, mother and young girl. In the winter, the lilies were dormant bulbs that slept deep in the soil. In late spring or early summer, sun created warm soil and the bulbs grew slowly toward the light. Gentle rain fell and soon three small spears of green appeared. Slowly the family of lilies grew upward until delicate petals appeared at the tip of their stems.
“I want to live on this hillside forever,” the young girl said to her mother.
“I love it here too,” the mother said, “but remember people from the village often climb this hill and choose us to help with their happy times and sad times.
“But if they choose me, I will die,” the girl said.
“Yes, you will die,” the mother said, “but only for a season. When spring comes again you will return.”
“Don’t be afraid,” the grandfather said. “I have been chosen many times. Eventually we all die from the killing frost. The only question is whether we will learn how to love before our season ends.”
But the young girl was still afraid because she had never been chosen before and she longed to be with her mother and grandfather forever.
One bright summer morning, a young man from the village raced up the hill and quickly picked the mother lily.
“This will be the perfect flower to give my wife to celebrate the birth of our first child,” the father said dashing back down the hill.
The young girl was sad as she watched the father race toward his cottage.
The next day a happy bride in her wedding gown climbed the hill and chose the grandfather for her bridal garland.
“This will be the perfect flower for my wedding bouquet,” the bride said.
The young girl was sad as she watched the bride hurry to her wedding celebration.
Now the young girl was alone. She missed her mother and her grandfather. She did not want to be alone.
The next day an old woman climbed the hill and knelt weeping next to the young girl. Then she reached out and picked the small lily before she slowly descended the hill. At first the young girl was scared. She did not know what would become of her. Then she felt her petals and stem placed on the polished wood coffin of the grandmother’s husband. She felt compassion for the old woman.
Then a man in a black suit opened a black book and said these words, “Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if you are not of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat: or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” 3rd Nephi 13:28-33
The young girl did not know lilies were mentioned in sacred books. She did not know how exquisite she was. Now she knew and she would never forget.
That fall and all that long winter, there were no lilies on the hillside. Then one spring day when the sun was warm, three small green spears pierced the soil. After days of gentle rain long green stems grew upward toward the light. Soon the grandfather, mother and young girl lily appeared again.
“You were right,” the young girl said. “We did die, but only for a season. Here we are together again. I wonder who I will learn to love this year.”