Friday, May 22, 2009

LDS British Corporal Sean Binnie To Be Buried In Belfast, Northern Ireland After Giving His Life In Military Service In Afghanistan

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be found in all walks of life. Some choose military service. And on occasion, one of them is taken home much earlier than expected, to the chagrin of family and loved ones.

Funeral services for 22-year-old Corporal Sean Binnie will be held on Friday May 22nd, 2009 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel on Annadale Avenue in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after which he will be interred at Roselawn Cemetery with full military honors. Corporal Binnie was killed while on patrol in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Photo of Corporal Binnie and his wife Amanda available HERE.

Originally from Dublin in the Irish Republic, Cpl Binnie settled in Belfast after meeting his future wife, Amanda. He joined the Army in 2003. Following basic training, he joined the Black Watch 3rd Battalion in Warminster and moved with them to Belfast at the end of 2005. Cpl Binnie also served in both Iraq and the Falkland Islands and took part in the operation to close down British Army bases in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, he married Amanda in December 2008.

On May 7th, 2009, Cpl Binnie, who was part of a battle group mentoring the Afghan National Army, was shot by Taliban insurgents while carrying out a routine reassurance patrol near Woqab, close to Musa Qal'eh in Helmand province. Three other British soldiers were killed on the same day. A report into his death following a Ministry of Defence investigation revealed that he was assisting colleagues under enemy fire when he was fatally wounded. Since 2001, 159 UK troops have given their lives on operations in Afghanistan.

As expected, his wife Amanda is heartbroken. “I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it’s him. His mum went to see him in the coffin but I didn’t want to. I want to remember him how he was and seeing him like that would only make me crumble more, I need to do this in my own time,” she said.

Amanda continued to unburden herself to the Belfast Daily Telegraph. “I’m not really sleeping. I take a chair in at night and stay beside the coffin and when I do sleep I have really weird dreams. The other night I dreamt that I woke up and he was there and he told me it was all a big joke,” said Amanda. Among the messages of support Amanda has received since her husband’s death are letters of condolence from Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh.

She concluded by saying, “It has been a really, really long process and half of me is glad to get it all over with so I can start the grieving process, but the other half of me doesn’t want to let his body go. That’s the end, really. My faith in God is getting me through. I don’t go to church as much as I should, but I know that I’m going to see Sean again.”

And the last statement is axiomatic of Latter-day Saint doctrine. Mormons who get married believe they will not only associate with each other in the next world, but if they are married in a temple for eternity as well as time, they believe their marriage will still be in force in the next world. The story does not specify whether or not they were married in a temple. But it's important to note that this knowledge does not reduce the sense of loss upon the departure of a loved one, but simply provides them with the philosophical tools necessary to cope with the loss better.

We believe that the purpose of mortality is to learn and grow. To do this, we must experience the full range of emotions and learn how to master them effectively. Consequently, in our purview, the Lord does not "airlift us over the valley of the shadow" if we get into trouble, but walks with us through the proverbial valley of the shadow. He does not remove us from tribulation, but instead helps us get through it. If He was to remove us from tribulation altogether, we could learn nothing from the experience. But the Lord promises us that we will not be tested beyond our ability to bear it.

Still, it is a rather stern test of faith for a wife have to deal with the sudden departure of a husband after less than six months of marriage.

No comments: