49 years ago today we were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
This had been my goal and dream to be married to a man that I could love forever. My dearest husband is that man. It has been a sweet journey for us. We have enjoyed our married life together. We have been through many moments of pure joy and many times of struggle and sacrifice. We have been blessed with a very large posterity. There are now 52 of us; including 32 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. All have blessed our lives with their varied personalities, amazing talents and unique qualities.We are fortunate to be with them for a few days as we meet for our family reunion this year. We can hardly wait to see them all and enjoy time together.
We recently attended the temple and while sitting in the Celestial room, contemplated our large posterity and wondered how we might influence them and be an example to them.
We thought about Adam and Eve as they were cast out of the Garden of Eden into the "lone and deary world". Through them, the families of this world would multiply and replenish the earth.
We then wondered how they felt as their posterity multiplied into thousands. As they lived out their final years on earth; what did they want their posterity to know?
Here are a few of the thoughts of what we would want our posterity to know and remember:
1. We have a loving Heavenly Father and Mother who love us all more than you can possibly imagine. We are their spirit children. Everyone that has been born or will be born belong to our Father In Heaven's family. You have all been born into an earthly family of brothers and sisters that love one another.
2 We have an Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, whom through His Atonement provides the way for each of us to return to live with our Heavenly Parents again someday. Our Redeemer paid the price for all of us in the Garden of Gethsemane and Golgotha and He only asks that we be baptized, repent, keep the commandments and covenants that we have made with Him and Endure to the end.
Each week as you partake of the Sacrament reflect on how you can repent and or improve in your daily actions. Then keep those commitments to always remember our Savior and do as He would have you do. There is nothing you can ever do that the Atonement of Jesus will not cover if you repent and overcome whatever struggle it might be. Forgiveness will come.
3. Heavenly Father has revealed His Gospel in every dispensation since the world began.
In each dispensation there have been prophets who have taught the gospel. There have been periods of Apostasy throughout the centuries. During the great apostasy there was no revelation given through a prophet; people fell into spiritual darkness; this was foretold by ancient prophets and apostles.
4. Because of the Apostasy there was a need for a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The restoration of the Gospel came through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph saw in vision the Father and the Son and the Kingdom of God was once more upon the earth. God restored the fullness of the gospel through Joseph Smith. The Priesthood was again restored and Christ's Church was organized. The Spirit has testified to our souls that this event in history happened.
5. Today we have a living prophet in President Thomas S. Monson and twelve Apostles that lead and guide His church today. Follow the Prophets and you will never be led astray. Follow their counsel and advice and you will be safe in an increasingly evil world.
6. Keep your baptismal covenants and your temple covenants. As you do you will have the great blessing of having the Holy Ghost as your constant companion to guide you, protect you, comfort you, heal you and bless you in so many ways.
7. Come to know your Heavenly Father through daily prayers to Him. He will always answer those prayers. The Savior is always there for you no matter what. His arm is always stretched out still. It is up to you to reach for Him. He knows you and because He has suffered all; He is the only one that can lift and succor you in your greatest hours of travail.
8. One of life's greatest blessings is the privilege to serve your brothers and sisters that surround you. Service is one of the best ways to show your love to your Heavenly Father and at the same time it will bless your life beyond measure. Service is a the key to a happy life. As you serve one another you will be filled with tremendous joy.
9. To our sons, grandsons and great grandsons we say; receive and utilize the priesthood in your homes and church assignments. The priesthood is the power to act in God's name. You can heal, bless and serve others through this great gift of the priesthood. You families will be deeply blessed as you use this priesthood to bless them and the lives of others. As a family we have already witnessed the Priesthood in action. There have been numerous examples of healings and times of comfort through Priesthood blessings.
10. Believe in Miracles because they are all around you. As we have been serving our mission we see the hand of the Lord in this work like never before. He is preparing His children all over the world to receive the gospel into their lives. Look for the little tender mercies that you will find everyday in your life. Just look!
We love our posterity with all of our hearts. We have an enduring love for each and everyone of our children and grandchildren. We want them to partake of the fruit from the Tree of Life which represents the Love of God - Atonement of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the temple.
We want them to hold on to the Iron Rod; which is the word of God. The Book of Mormon is the greatest book ever written. Within the pages of this book you will find the True Doctrine of Our Savior Jesus Christ. You will find this book to be the best guide throughout your life. It is the perfect parenting manual. It has the answers to life's questions. It will bless your lives as you read it personally and as a family. It is the key to our individual conversions. It is the key to enduring to the end and being prepared for the 2nd coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As you come to know our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ you will have a desire to make the Atonement more effective in your life. The culminating ordinances are found in the temples of the Lord. We pray that you will all strive to attend and live the covenants that you have made or will make in the temple. The temple is the ultimate of God's blessings on this earth. Through the temple sealings we can be a forever family and have no empty chairs.
We have a dream to someday be in the temple with all of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. What a beautiful day that will be.
Our love for one another has sustained us through various circumstances. Mostly, we have had a great deal of joy in being with one another. We are enjoying our time of serving together as companions on this mission. We enjoyed all of the precious times that we have been able to attend and to work in the temples of our God. We know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and is what has helped us cultivate and enduring love for each other and for our families.
Here is a sweet video that I wanted to share with you on enduring love in a relationship of marriage. Grab some Kleenex.