The late John Glassie Mateara served as the public relations officer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the 1st Counsellor in the District Presidency. He was a regular contribution to the Church Talk column. SUPPLIED/21042240
This article is dedicated to two great men that have passed this week from the Vaka Puaikura. Beresford Henry “Black” Heather and John Glassie Mateara, who was a regular contributor to this column. These were great life influencers to many people and had many followers.
We all have heard of social media influencers
that have vast numbers of followers. These people are influencers that guide
and lead many people in how they choose to act.
life influencer I would say are those people that influence a vast number of
followers to guide and lead them in a loving and caring way, following the Lord’s
plan of serving others.
late John Glassie Mateara served as the public relations officer for the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the 1st Counsellor in the
District Presidency. He prepared this talk as his last message to the family of
the late Beresford Henry “Black” Heather on Tuesday. Mateara passed away later
on Tuesday, two days after Heather’s untimely death.
“My first impressions of “Black” is up on the land (plantation) getting
some bananas and feeding his pigs. When Papa Smiley came and told me the sad
news yesterday (Monday) morning – my natural reaction was shock
and feelings of disbelief and hard to accept because subconsciously,
or in the back of our mind as humans we think that our parents, spouses or
loved ones our friends are always going to be around.
Particularly in the days after the death. intense sadness, which
can feel overwhelming. That’s why we are blessed to have family and friends
around to help lift you and hold you up.
Grief is a reaction to the loss, but it’s also the name we give to
the process of coping with the sadness and emptiness that can be overwhelming
and hard to bear.
Grief is a healthy process of feeling comfort as you are being
comforted, as love comes to you in abundance from those who mourn with you. You
are surrounded by a lot of love.
“...Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The symbol of the rod and the staff represents the concern and
compassion that a shepherd has for his sheep.
Coming to terms with your loss and not having Henry around will be
difficult. But we are all here to help you get through.
Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. We know that
Jesus friends “mourned and wept”. His disciples were wondering how they would
go on without their Lord.
But through adversity and the darkness that we sometimes experience in
life’s journey there is always a light that is available.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ is that light.
Jesus said I am the light and life of the world. But behold … I say unto
you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me.
Central to all Christian
belief is the fact that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of
this, we too will live again after we die.
This knowledge gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
Because there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no
victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ Jesus.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is
endless, that can never be darkened; that because of the resurrection of
Jesus, we will be resurrected, that there can be no more death thereafter.
New Testament John 11:25 – Jesus said unto Martha, “I am the
resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet
shall he live.”
In closing I would like to add, the scriptures tell us that when we die
our bodies go back to the dust from whence, we were created ... but our spirits
return to the realm of that God who created us.
I know that this is true through my own personal experience. Three years
ago, in Auckland City Hospital … Rest in Peace – Henry is not resting, he’s
with his parents, what a glorious re-union that would be, he would
probably be trying to start up a Arorangi Bears and Cowboys Club up there
recruiting the old players that have gone before him.
Just like I know Jesus lives, I know that Henry lives and he is happy
free from the cares and the woes of this earthly life.
We come together today to give thanks to Henry for being a part of our
lives and draw nearer to each other during these difficult times, let us also
draw nearer to our God and he will draw nearer to you and bless you and help to
heal your aching heart.”
Let us all be great life influencers like these two great men have
shown. The answer is service and love unto others.
This is a message of hope and dedicated to all their followers: Thomas S Monson once said “Frequently
death comes as an intruder. It is an enemy that suddenly appears in the midst
of life’s feast, putting out its lights ... Death lays its heavy hand upon
those dear to us and at times leaves us baffled and wondering. In certain
situations, as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of
mercy. But for the most part, we think of it as the enemy of human happiness.
The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth. ‘I
am the resurrection, and the life’ spoke our saviour Jesus Christ, ‘He that
believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth
and believeth in me shall never die’. This reassurance – yes, even holy confirmation
of life beyond the grave could well provide the peace promised by the Saviour
when He assured His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.”
Piltz T Napa (District President The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints)