I have great love for all of you and a particularly profound love for the members of my family. Each child, grandchild, and great grandchild has blessed my life in countless ways. I have a deep love for the friends I have made over the years within the various wards and stakes where we have lived. I have gained many beloved friends while serving in Temples. I'm grateful for those amazing friends from school years who have blessed my life over and over again. Then there are the wonderful new friends that I have made through social media; you are greatly loved as well.
My heart has love for our Heavenly Father's children. Since beginning our full time mission in November; I have had the privilege to meet with, serve, teach and love so many new friends. Because Valentine's Day is a time for remembering and celebrating Love; I thought I should share my deepest hopes and even desires for myself and each one of you.
I find joy in reading in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi chapters 11 and 15. These chapters explain the vision given to the Prophet Lehi. In that vision, Lehi beheld a beautiful tree and the "fruit thereof" was most precious. He partook of the fruit and wanted his family to partake as well. He saw his family moving on the path towards the tree; but only his wife and part of his family found their way to him. Two sons would not follow on the path. His greatest desire was for his entire family to come and partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life. He knew that this fruit was the most precious of all; that it represented the love of God.
He saw that the only way to make it to the tree was to follow the path and hold on to the Iron Rod. The Iron Rod was the word of God and would guide those on the path to the tree. He beheld the things of the world that would cause them to depart from the path and let go of the Rod of Iron. He was deeply saddened by those who would not follow the path or who started, but strayed from it.
My hope for each of us is to feel His love as we come unto Him, who can lift, heal and guide. May we feel the arms of the Savior of the World around us, and experience the enduring love that comes through His Atoning Sacrifice. May we also reach upward to our Loving Heavenly Father in thought and prayer, and feel the Spirit touch our souls to know that They love us more than we can possibly imagine.
May each of you to feel love from friends and family, and most of all, from our Heavenly and divine parents.
Hugs for you all!