Encircled About Eternally in the Arms of His Love

2 Ne. 1: 15

But behold, the Lord hath aredeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his bglory, and I am encircled about eternally in the carms of hisdlove.

that was the most poignant lesson he ever taught me. my first zone leader and, later, district leader as I opened a new area in the Florida Tampa Mission, Jeff Snelson, passed away yesterday. I felt shaken and emotional as I considered his passing to the other side, and reflected on the moments I spent around him that impacted my life, serving together as representatives of Jesus Christ.

he was bold and assured in everything he did, and 100% focused on his purpose as a missionary. his dry humor was an extra splash of personality that added to the powerhouse that was Elder Snelson.

before his mission, he battled brain cancer, and fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go out and serve a mission, once he was in remission. he started out English-speaking, which he was when I came out as a brand new greenie, and he served as my zone leader, having just been released as Assistant to the President, and later was switched to be a Spanish-speaking missionary. I didn’t see him for several months after my first couple of transfers, but when I was called to train a new missionary while simultaneously opening a brand new area for sisters in Fort Myers, he was my district leader. for those who don’t know much about mission jargon, the mission is broken down into districts and zones and missionaries are called to leadership positions within these smaller groups in order to run the whole mission organization more effectively.

he did the usual district leader training once a week. there were several memorable moments during these trainings. but the most touching instance in which I heard him teach, for me, personally, was hearing him bear his testimony about the love of the Savior, Jesus Christ. this came just before he was to be sent home early due to the return of the brain cancer. my eyes are tearing up as I write this, remembering the Spirit that I felt that day. he shared his favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 1:15, and how he knew that he was encircled about in the arms of the love of the Savior.

I felt suddenly reminded of just how much the Savior loves me, as I was struggling through the most difficult 6 weeks of my mission, and felt grateful for his worthiness and desire to be an instrument for the Lord to speak to me, and I’m sure many others, that day.

Ex-Elder Snelson’s passing yesterday reminded me, again, about priorities, blessings, and just how much the Savior loves me. as I’ve been going through what has been one of the most difficult years of my life (seriously, 2010 hates me) I needed that reminder that he’s there, lifting me up and allowing me to become what he needs me to be. I know I am “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

he’s the tall, red-headed one in the back, standing next to me.

I know you’re serving as valiantly on the other side as you did in this life, Jeff Snelson.

thank you for touching my life.

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5 thoughts on “Encircled About Eternally in the Arms of His Love

  1. I too found out yesterday about my friend Elder Snelson’s passing. Thank you so much for your comments. I served in Elder Snelson’s district when he was in his greenie area. He was one of the most powerhouse missionaries as a new missionary. He had no inhibitions about the work. His attitude was one of, “Duh,, Why wouldn’t I give my all? And why aren’t you doing the same! Just do it!” I imagine it was due to his enlightened view on life, and how precious this gospel really is. I admire him. It’s funny, I feel like I saw him maybe six or so months ago, tromping around BYU, and he never said anything. He wasn’t one to burden others with his problems. He dealt with things in his own way.
    I remember when we had a mission-wide fast for him when he began having headaches. That was only a few months into his mission. He went into the doctor and the doctor could find no trace of his cancer. Perhaps, the doctor just couldn’t find it, but I’m sure that our fasting and prayer helped Elder Snelson continue on his mission a while longer. The Lord qualifies who he has chosen for as long as He has called them. They are then qualified for their next calling, whether it be in this life or the next. God bless Elder Snelson!

  2. That really pulls at my heart… What a great example of how to live life. I never met him, but I’m inspired just reading about him.

  3. Aubrey, thank you for sharing your memories of one of FTM’s greatest missionaries. It was an honor to serve alongside someone who’s faith was centered so much in our Heavenly Father, and who was so sure of his plan for us. I know of no one who embraced their time on earth more, and so fully flfilled his mission than Jeff Snelson. He is an inspiration to me, and like you has caused me to again reconsider the blessings of the Lord in my life, and be grateful for the gospel in my life, and his plan of salvation for all his children.

  4. Hi Aubrey,
    I’m so glad you shared this glimpse of Jeff as a missionary. We met Jeff when he was a teenager and his family moved into our ward in Newhall, CA. Then we moved didn’t see him again until a few years later when he was house sitting for friends in the same ward. I was so impressed with his maturity. He was an outstanding young man and touched many people’s lives. Thank you again for sharing how he touched yours. What a nice memory.

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