Monday, July 26, 2010


As I read your letters this morning, I felt the power of the Atonement encompass my whole being almost as if it where a large blanket. Being in a public library, I didn't want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself, but I will admit that it was a tremendous challenge to keep my emotions in check, if only for a couple minutes. I have thought about Griff somewhat throughout these many months, with the hope that he wouldn't have to experience pain for much longer, but it still feels as though a part of me died with him. Nonetheless, as you said, the Atonement and its promised blessings of immortality and eternal life for animals is assured. Certainly there is grieving and sorrow at the death of a loved one, but at the same time there is tremendous peace and joy that results from knowing that the next life offers so much more, including a "next life" to being with! I came across a quote the other day from President Joseph Fielding Smith that illustrates the doctrine of eternal progression very well:

" Salvation does not come all at once; we are commanded to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. It will take us ages to accomplish this end, for there will be greater progress beyond the grave, and it will be there that the faithful will overcome all things, and receive all things, even the fulness of the Father's glory."

It is comforting to know that we can't achieve perfection in this life because we are mortals, but it is within our vast, divine potential. I love his use of the word "faithful" in that quote, because it is the perfect word, I think, to define what enduring to the end is. I'm sure I've shared this thought before, but I think it bears repeating: "We aren't called to be successful in all things, but to be faithful in all things." Well, lucky for Griffey, he gets a free pass into the celestial kingdom! We human beings have to do quite a bit more, but we can be where he is if we hold out until the end. Funny I'm talking about this, being so close to finishing my full-time mission! 

And don't worry, I'm doing a pretty good job of fending off "trunkiness." I can take questions from people about it without problems, and I really just have to keep it from affecting my ability to do the Lord's work. I received my flight information in the mail this past week, and as you already know, I'm headed from Columbus to Dallas to SLC. Hmmm.....I wonder if I could sneak away to see the Cowboys' new stadium while I'm down there. Probably not. 

Being on a mission has certainly helped me see the value in taking imporant life's decisions, whether they are Church-related or not, to the Lord. I have made many mistakes along the way, but I have tried my best to learn what the Lord wants me to learn, and He has been merciful to me and granted me knowledge from you, the scriptures, mission presidents, the Brethren, members, and even investigators that has stuck with me. Brigham Young said that revelation comes from many different sources, and I can testify to the truth of that principle. That was the main theme of our Leadership Meetings with Pres. Jensen this past Tuesday and Thursday. I truly believe that it came at the right time for me. 

Elder Kirk and I are very lucky to be in Cincinnati at this time, when it seems that so many people are becoming interested in the truths of the restord gospel, and that a chosen 6 are ready to make covenants this Saturday. Yes, it is still on and everything is in place! Shawntae has said several times that she is getting tired of waiting, in a totally joking manner of course. I second that!! I'm just ready for it to get here, as I know the members are as well. There hasn't been a baptism here since November, and I'm not sure when the last time was that a family joined the Church. Family is an area where the members will continue to be a strength to the growth of the Church, and I see evidence of that in the conversion of Shawntae and her kids. Along with Jeff Even, the ward is very well prepared to shepherd them along after baptism, and I know that it is their goal to make it to the temple as well. 

I am also excited to attend the temple next week, hopefully with a member or two from Wilmington. We were hoping to do it this weekend, but some things came up on both ends and we won't be able to. Darn! Well, it was worth thinking about at least!  I will certainly be making a return trip to that area as well my other ones in the near future, and hopefully you will get to come as well. The next week and a half is going to be a whirlwind of events, but I am nonetheless grateful that a baptism is included in that. I really can't think of a better way to go out!! In the past couple months, I have truly seen the fulfillment of a promise made by then-Elder Eyring in a conference talk he gave back in 2002, I believe. In essence, he said that as your alloted time of service in a calling draws to a close, you will have the marvelous gift of seeing your service magnified by the Lord. IT IS TRUE!!!! May the loving arms of the Savior be around you each day and always.

No comments: