Dear Family, (especially Mom & Dad)
I want to share something that has happened on my mission. Something I have come to understand: I have been richly blessed in my childhood.
I've been studying Church History lately from the Church's textbook on the subject for a Religion class... like you might find at BYU I think. I came across something President David O. McKay said that really got me thinking. He said,
"No other success can compensate for failure in the home... The poorest shack of a home in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than the richest bank on earth. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles... Pure hearts in a pure home are always in whispering distance of heaven."
As a family we may not have succeeded financially, or even in our relationships with others and each other. But success has been achieved elsewhere.
While in the MTC I realized that I had never actually prayed to know of the truthfulness of our church & the Prophet Joseph Smith. I decided I should probably do so since I was going to be teaching about it so much. When I did pray though, I got a funny answer: you already know it's true, why are you asking?
I wondered how I knew already since I had never before & we can't "inherit" someone else's testimony. The answer is simple. I've been taught & have learned of it's truth already. I can count on one hand the number of times I missed church. At this point I can only remember 3 instances. I missed maybe a day or two of seminary each year. And I have read the Book of Mormon once a year every year, from start to finish, since I was old enough to read. I have a firm testimony of prayer & tithing. I also believe strongly in serving faithfully in whatever calling(s) you are extended. All because of the efforts of my mother & father.
I have a firm & unshakeable knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been "born of goodly parents" (1 Nephi 1:1) and "taught somewhat in all the learning of my father" (1 Nephi 1:1) and "[I] had been taught by [my] mother, that if [I] do not doubt, God would deliver [me]... [I] do not doubt [my] mother knew it." (Alma 56: 47-48)
In whatever ways you may feel that you have failed, Mom & Dad, I want you to know that you have NOT failed in teaching your children the path we should follow.
I am so grateful to finally understand this. I now know that (cannot read this word, I think is says "foremost"?) of all the trials in my life I have been given all the knowledge & instruction that I need.
I love you Mom.
I love you Dad.
All that I am... I owe to you.