My father is an old man. I do not say that disrespectfully, but matter-of-factly. He recently retired after 50+ years of practicing medicine. Truly, he is a unique example of service to his fellow beings. He converted to the Church over 40 years ago and has also been an exemplar of service to God. He was a child of the Depression; an onlooker of WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam; and a concerned observer of the societal change of most of the past eight decades. Genetics, however, has been his toughest challenge. His health has been mainly determined by a predisposition towards hypercholesterolemia which has affected his heart, and now his brain. The father I have known as a Lion of the Lord is now, because of health conditions, feeble – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This, of course, is hard on me. And, it has intensified my thoughts about the purpose of aging. I, after all, am not getting any younger. I think we all wish we, and our loved ones, could be vibrant until the very end of our mortal probations, much like Pres. Faust. But for many, that is not the option.
What are your thoughts on the lessons to be learned by these final years? We all have challenges throughout our lives, but what, in particular, is the â€œpurposeâ€ of old age; or, what does old age teach us that the rest of life does not? Is it just part of the package or does it have special significance in our earthly sojourn? How does this phase of life, in particular, relate to our salvation? How should we prepare to care for our elder families and church members? What are the things we are doing to prepare ourselves for the â€œtwilight years?â€