Last week, as we were preparing for the Brigham City temple dedication (the first time all of our children would be able to attend), we talked about the word “Hosanna” and its significance in the process of a temple dedication. The Spirit was really strong, and the experience left me reflecting often over the next several days on the plea embedded in the word “Hosanna,” — how, when we wave our white handkerchiefs during the Hosanna Shout, we are literally crying out “Please save us!” to our Father and our Savior.
This was the word that the Jews cried out during Jesus’ triumphal entry.
It was the word that the Nephites declared as they fell at the Savior’s feet when He appeared to them after His resurrection, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
It’s the word that is taking on more personal meaning as I’m passing through one of “those” times in my life…when I realize how desperately I need divine help. In beautiful ways, God is letting me know — as He always has, in one way or another — that He is there.
One of the ways I’ve felt heaven’s awareness of me recently was to bring to remembrance this talk by Richard Cracroft.
Brother Cracroft died last week. I was sad to hear of his passing. I didn’t know him and had never met him, but felt as though he was a friend. Actually, he felt more like an angel in my life.
His name was emblazoned on my mind when he gave that BYU devotional talk in the summer of 1993; it was clearly a message from heaven for me then. The story of Ingrid Olsen, in particular, moved me.
Imagine my surprise and wonder when a few years ago, at another one of “those” times, Ingrid Olsen’s story from Brother Cracroft’s talk just “happened” to be shared in my Sunday School class. I knew, again, that the story had been shared for me. (How did I know? Elder David A. Bednar has given the key to recognizing such divine interventions: “Some may count this experience as simply a nice coincidence, but I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.” The timing and the personal connection I had with that story let me know that my Father was there, reaching out, urging me gently onward.)
And so, this weekend, as I listened yet again to Ingrid’s story (and Brother Cracroft’s impassioned delivery of his talk), I was delighted and amazed to remember that he used the word “Hosanna” plentifully throughout. He described moments like those I have experienced with this talk as “Hosanna Moments,”
those transcendent moments in our lives when, without warning, we are overwhelmed by a close encounter with eternity, a surprise of the spirit—those moments when, while engaged in the temporal rhythms of our daily and earth- encrusted lives, comfortably duped by familiar routines, we are suddenly brought face-to-face with the holy, swept by the Spirit of God into a transcendent reality, overwhelmed by undeniable evidence of a literal Father in Heaven who knows you and knows me and is somehow interested and involved in our lives.
Thank you, Brother Cracroft, for being an instrument of such Hosanna Moments for me. With you, I testify that such Hosanna Moments are real, that our God and our Savior are real and oh, so very aware of us and involved in our lives.
I pray that God will bless your family and others who loved you with such moments as they mourn your loss.