"In Adam, we die. In Christ, we live." This biblical scripture was the central idea of this author's message on the funeral service to the late Gary A. Baradas at the Alijis Meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Saturday, 14 April 2007 at 2:00 p.m.
Because of the transgression they had made at the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were driven away from the presence of God. That's the beginning of the first death, the spiritual death. Man, therefore, by nature is an enemy to God, his Creator. He became carnal and subjected to the laws and commandments of God.
Another death came to man, that is, physical death. It is a separation of spirit of man from his physical body. Physical death comes in three possible ways: one's negligence, other's carelessness, and God's acts.
Gary's gruesome death was due to his negligence or carelessness. He was robbed and killed by several suspects sometime in the late evening of 30 March 2007 and his lifeless body, which sustained a multiple stab wounds, was found at the vacant lot near the Lupit Church of Roman Catholic, Bacolod City.
Gary was an active member of LDS Church at Brgy. Alijis. He was once a branch clerk of the said branch and had served on a mission for 2 years. He was well-loved by his parents, Nestor Baradas and Anecita Asiain, who were long-time and closed neighbors of the author before when they were residing at San Agustin Street, La Carlota City.
Anyway Gary, who was completed his personal temple ordinances at the Manila Temple Philippines, is just waiting for his parents and some of his siblings who are not yet a member of the Church to accept the gospel, to be baptized and to be sealed together as family when the time comes. Only his brother Glenn is the member of the Church.
When death comes, is it necessary to be happy? To be sorrowful?
An anonymous author of "Thoughts on Immortality" describes death as "a homecoming…is simply passing into an unending existence beyond human life…as a graduation from lower grades into a more splendid equipment for a larger life of more divine service that is possible on earth…
"Life comes first, faith afterward. The immortal life follows the mortal life, but we must seek it and prepare for it…
"Mankind craves a clearer path to God. Man's hunger for immortality among all races will never diminish…
"The man who lives only in himself, for himself, with himself will torment himself to the end."
On the hand, Shakespeare described life as a stage where there are entrances and exits, and we are all actors. When we are born we enter the stage, each with a role to act. When the time comes for us to make the ext, we shall answer the question posed by the Great Censor: "How well did you play your role on the stage of life?"
Since Adam's transgression, we all come short of the glory of God and because of the carelessness, negligence, hardheadedness to heed the God's words and obey His commandments some of us pass away untimely. But we know pretty well that in Christ, we live. It is His atoning sacrifice that has redeemed us from our sins. Unless we persist on committing those sins, we will not live with Him.
So nothing to worry, nothing to be grudged with, and nothing to fear, when death comes. We have all the chances and the hope to be resurrected, and be reunited with our Father in heaven, our Creator, and more importantly to be with our departed loved ones when the proper time comes!