The topic the Bishop gave me was "What would you tell all your children if they were here today?" One of my children is here today with her family. I was given a similar challenge in August of 1994 by a couple of writers, Bob Greene and D. G. Fulford, and at that time I wrote down a few thoughts which I will read today. A few lines of what I'm about to read were published in this little book, Notes on the Kitchen Table--my five minutes of fame.
To My Children, My Grandchildren, My Posterity for Generations to Come:
I’ve tried to live my life as an example to others. I’ve tried to raise my children to be good people. I’ve tried to be a good person myself. I’ve tried to be a good wife. But I’ve made some mistakes. I’m not perfect.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life, it’s that you have to be forgiving of others, as well as forgiving of yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you expect others to forgive you?
Religion is a very personal thing. We all have to find our Heavenly Father in our own way, in our own time. I testify to all who read this note, that you do have a Heavenly Father. Your Heavenly Father loves you, and wants only the best for you. He is close by when you need Him. Pray always. Pray with a sincere heart. Pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Listen for the answers to your prayers. It has been said that prayer is like a telephone conversation; it works two ways. If you don’t listen, you’ll never hear an answer.
I know with all my heart and soul that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that my family will be together after this life. I long to meet my ancestors who passed through this life before me. I long to hold in my arms the baby I lost. I know I’ll do that. I have not a doubt in my mind!
Please look at my life as a whole; don’t pick it apart and criticize my weaknesses. I have made mistakes, many of them. I’ve done things and said things that hurt people. I know that. Please know that it was not intentional. I never intentionally went out to hurt another person in my life. Please forgive me for any weaknesses, and for anything I’ve done which may have hurt you, or someone else.
Have courage to live your lives in these times. These are not easy times. It is not long before Jesus Christ will again come to this earth. The way is being prepared. It is said that our Heavenly Father saved his strongest children to come to earth in the last days. I know my children are stronger than I am. I’ve seen that time and time again. I’ve watched them endure many things that I would not have been able to endure. Don’t be afraid of what is to come; welcome it with open arms.
Live each day to the fullest, with great joy! Don’t brood over hard times—I’ve done that at times, and can tell you that it doesn’t do anyone any good. Watch the simple things in life. Don’t be too busy to watch a sunrise, or a sunset. Watch a mother bird feed her babies in the next. Spend time watching an ant colony bury its dead. More importantly, share these things with your children! While you share these things with them, watch your children! See their faces light up when they discover that ice cream melts when exposed to heat. Watch their eyes as they pet a new puppy. Be there when they take their first steps, and when they drive a car for the first time. Don’t miss a moment of their growing up years! Teach them to pray. Listen to them when they talk to you!
Always retain a sense of humor. If you can laugh, you’ll have a wonderful life. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously, or those around you.
Set goals for yourself, but reasonable goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to be perfect. Take one step at a time, then build on each step. When you stumble, pick yourself up and go on. When you think you can’t pick yourself up, pray for help. He’ll be there, or he’ll provide someone in your life to help you. Remember that your Heavenly Father often helps you through the arms of others. Reach out to people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to love.
I’ve heard it said that our Heavenly Father never hands us a trial that we can’t handle. He knows our limitations and our abilities. Have faith that He knows how strong we are, or how weak we are.
Learn from past experiences. If it didn’t work last time, it won’t work this time. If it did work last time, don’t change the method just for the sake of change.
Be kind to yourself. You can’t be kind to others until you learn to love yourself.
Seek out your Heavenly Father. He’s there for the asking. He loves you, Jesus loves you, and I love you.
All my love,
August 10, 1994