Good morning to my favorite child...
Yes it's your momma with thoughts from the pool. As I swam this morning I was feeling reflective and as often happens I think of my family. Stop Jackie...let them know that I'm healthy and not writing a farewell letter. Hope that you like my greeting because as you all know and believe...YOU are my favorite.
Part of this letter began last week. I was preparing for my Sunday School lesson; Alma 36-39 where Alma speaks to each of his sons. Those are full
of some beautiful teachings, and pure testimony. It made me think that it's been awhile since I spoke to each of you. Now Alma chose to speak individually
to each of his sons, and that's probably what I should do. I do enjoy my individual times with each of you and I have been blessed to have many good times and conversations with
each of you on more personal levels. Don't ever stop having these with me, as I love them most.
Like Alma I want you each to know how proud I am of each of you!!! I'm proud of you on so many levels.
Michael....you continue to make me grateful for having you as my son. You are so much fun to be with.... a great game player, a thoughtful son, and a great husband and father. I love watching you and Keah with your girls. You are doing an amazing job together. I love how you individualize with each girl. I am grateful that you honor your priesthood, and that you are raising your children in the gospel. I see you exhibit your love to Keah so openly and tenderly and that brings me much joy!!!
My counsel to you...magnify your priesthood constantly. Come to value it for the great gift that it is in your life. Search out your family ancestry and do this with your father. I know that this is important to do and it will help your father return to the church. Also Michael...return to the Temple with your wife. This is a challenge for many young couples and I know how much strength, regular attendance at the Temple has been for me. Just as you are learning to keep your physical body healthy, always seek to be spiritually fit too.
Kathryn....what a growing year this has been for you!!! Probably your biggest ever and you have accomplished so very much already. Well done daughter, wife and mother!!
You held your family together, despite deep challenges ( especially financially), you renovated your home from top to bottom ( beautifully) and sold it in record time, you continued to work for Stampin Up..inspiring many ladies, you served as Primary President, and you did many things with the children's school community. You have also been a strong support to your husband as he made a huge career change. Your children and husband are lucky to have you!!! You continue to be lots of fun, and a special friend to many!
My counsel to you....when the dust settles...is listen to your children. As they grow older they need to know that they are heard and understood. Organize your home with order, and dedicate it as a home of holiness. Family Home Evening, family prayer, and scripture time are so valuable in raising your children. They will need these in the small LDS community that they are in. You will want them to be strong as they make new friends, and as they grow. Work as a strong team with Jeff to help them make good choices. Encourage more priesthood in your home, and don't settle for less. The Temple is now farther away....but not out of reach...return.
Karen....another growing year....this time as a mother and you glow in this role. It is so evident as we see what a happy little person Olivia has already become. You continue to be such a support to your family, to your siblings, your friends and your momma. How deeply I appreciate your thoughtful ways. You are an amazing teacher, especially in Relief Society. You are not without your challenges and I admire the positive attitude that you demonstrate !!
My counsel to you.....support your husband and call on his priesthood...come to the Temple....read your scriptures and look for answers in them....Set goals for you and you family.Continue to serve the Lord...follow your Patriarchal blessing.
Laura.....miles have never separated us and I deeply appreciate your constant contact with me. ( even at 2 in the morning) What a year you've been having and what impresses me most how automatically you turn to the Lord for answers. You are preparing for a huge change in your life and you are ready. Jeremy is very lucky to have your love. He loves you deeply and you two will be strong in the Lord! I have been so thankful for your focus towards the Temple, and your righteous choices that have brought you there. You are very independent and in setting up your home away you have made many sound choices.
My counsel to you....be patient always and willing to listen. Support the priesthood in your home, and value family. Visit the Temple often and begin many special traditions with Jeremy. Pray often...individually and as a couple. Be supportive as your husband completes his studies and give praise often.
Children....I have just written as I have felt impressed. You are all very blessed and we should always acknowledge our many many blessings. Face your trials ( and you will have many) with a positive attitude. Value the family that you came from and especially the one that you are creating. Raise your family in the gospel....be obedient....keep the commandments...and serve. My mother's last words are deeply imbedded in my heart...."Be kind to each other"....I echo this to you.....especially with your siblings and with your spouses!!!
I want to share my testimony with you. It is deeply important to me. I found the gospel at a young age, and gradually heard the Spirit whisper the truth of it to me. With experience, time, and service I have come to gain a better understanding of the gospel and of my Father in Heaven. I am thankful for the Savior and his part in the plan. I am grateful for repentance,forgiveness, and opportunities to grow. How I love our prophet, and I know that he, and those who serve with him are truly called of God. The ordinances, and covenants of the Temple are very precious and my attendance there constantly reaffirms
how true this all is. How I wish that we all could be together in the Temple.....it is a prayer in my heart always!!! I face many trials and tests and it is my testimony of the gospel and the Plan of Salvation which always always gets me where I need to be!!!
Love you all deeply and forever,
Be Kind to Each other, always.