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PEOPLE WHO attended M. L. Andreasen's funeral on February 23, 1962, heard not only what they might expect but also some things they never could have expected.
"The lamp of hope was a guiding influence in our brother's life," Elder R. R. Bietz said in the funeral sermon. "I would like to refer to a certain paragraph in his book Prayer, on page 17. It is entitled 'Coming Home':
" 'When we get a clear view of the great Father heart of love, we can nevermore be disheartened or discouraged. God rejoices over us with singing, eagerly awaiting the time when all the children shall be home. Even now He is rejoicing in anticipation of that which is to come. He is happy in His love, and preparing for that great event of the ages, the home-coming of all the children of God in earth and heaven. Even to God this is a great day. While we are waiting for Christ to come. God is waiting for us to come. And His love and longing is even greater than ours. He has waited a long while.
" 'And so we pray because we need God, need His love and fellowship, need His care and guidance. . . . We pray not to get what we want, but to find out what He wants. We pray not to get Him to change His mind, but to have our minds changed. We pray not to have Him change His plans for us, but to ask Him to help us willingly to accept His plans. We pray not primarily to avoid pain, but for strength to
bear it. We pray not to be taken out of the world, but to be kept faithful while in it. We pray not to escape hardship or trials, but for patience to endure them.'
"In my many conversations with Elder Andreasen through the months and years, he always recognized the goodness of the Lord. Just a few days before his death some of us were visiting him at the hospital. His hope in Christ was evident by the manner in which he talked about death. He knew that he might die any moment. Even with thoughts of death upon his mind, he was a cheerful man. Even his sense of humor broke through during that hour."
"Few, very few, have made the impact on the thinking and the faith of Seventh-day Adventists that Elder Andreasen's teaching and writing have made," said T. J. Michael, who read the obituary. "Yet this man of God, who achieved so much in his lifetime, wrote of himself a few hours before his death that his was an ordinary life, that he came from nowhere in particular, accomplished no feats of strength or wisdom, but was a mere man who lived a quiet life without ostentation . . . who left no footprints on the sands of time. As he stated, he was not a Columbus, an Einstein, or an Edison. But to the hundreds who knew and loved him, he was more than these—he was a trusted friend, a wise counselor, and a spiritual strength. He had an intimate acquaintance with God, and to the best of his ability he endeavored to share this friendship with all whose lives he touched. . . .
"To close this obituary, I bring to you gathered here today, as well as to the countless others throughout the ranks of the Advent Movement who mourn his passing, a farewell message written by Elder Andreasen himself. This is what the message says:
"It seems fitting that on this occasion I should leave a word to my friends here assembled.
"God has been good to me these many years; life
has been good to me; my friends have been good to me; my family has been good to me. As I believe that life here is given us that we may demonstrate how we will use it, I leave my testimony that I love life, that I appreciate the privilege of having been permitted to live these many years, and associate with my dear friends.
"Life and love are wonderful, and I have had my full share of them. I have had a taste of life and love, and I am looking forward to another life, unending, with my friends and loved ones, where there will be no parting, no sad farewells.
"So, dear ones, be faithful and true, even to the end. I shall rest in hope, looking forward to the day of glad reunion. I love my Cod. I shall soon see Him. I love you that are here today; I love music; I love flowers; and I appreciate your love.
"Farewell, then, till we meet again.
"M. L. Andreasen"