Sunday, October 12, 2008

If you only knew how many times over the past ten years I’ve thought of each of you. How often I’ve had thoughts and feelings I wanted to share, but couldn’t find the right setting.

Over the past ten years, there have been a number of experiences, thoughts, and insights that I really wanted to share. Things that touched me in some meaningful way. They were things that I thought might also make your lives better, or richer. I would try to find a time to share them, but our times together were filled with people and food and lots of grandkids. Not really the environment to ponder deep things. So, I just kept them to myself.

There have been lots of private chats, and many of these have been precious to me. I appreciate you letting me be part of the serious part of your lives. Still, I have a desire to share more with you and more of you.

This last week, some of my reading pulled me back to Elder Bednar’s talk from April Conference, 2005, titled “The Tender Mercies of the Lord”. It reminded me all over again of the special feelings I had as he gave the talk originally. Elder Bednar’s testimony was “that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us.”

We all need and appreciate the Lord’s loving care of us. It is humbling to think He even knows we exist. I have many times felt Him break through the veil to let me know He was watching, was taking care, was working on our behalf. These aren’t usually the kind of experiences where He orchestrates the way out of our problems. Instead, they are just gentle reminders that He is aware of the trials we are going through. That knowledge has invariably given me the courage to go forward in faith. (Over the next months and years, I will try to retell the stories of those experiences. If I forget or dally, nudge me.)

Three times Elder Bednar testified “that the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.” (emphasis mine)

You know we are seeking his blessings and mercy now as we look to find new employment and a way to support our family. (I should say that we have been richly blessed over the last two years in the work we have been doing with my brother, Tim. Without that blessing, we would truly be in trouble now.) We have been working hard to develop new ways to market my peculiar talents and trust that God will open the doors and windows as necessary.

It was in considering the many ways in which we need His help that I turned back to Elder Bednar’s talk. And his testimony that He was mindful of those who were faithful, obedient, and humble pricked my conscience. My mind went immediately to a new calling I had received as committee chairman for family history and temple worship in our High Priest Group. I had done nothing about it since I was called several weeks ago.

So I put down the other stuff I was working on and turned my attention to my calling. Nearly immediately, thoughts began to come into my head. I began to think about the blogs that Gayle, Colleen, and Marissa have and how they are tied together. I thought in my mind about the letters my dad sends. And I thought about the difference between them. It struck me that blogs could be journals that were available now, always available. Blogs could be used to share experiences between family members in ways that “knit them together in love.” (That’s one of Elder Eyring’s favorite expressions lately.)

Several scriptures came to mind. Malachi 4:5-6. JS-H 1:36-39. 2 Nephi 25:23-26. You know the verses. “To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.”

The end of all this “working in the Spirit” is a new family history program we will launch in our High Priest Group to teach them how to knit their families together by writing a journal online in blogs. And this is the first entry in my online journal. I will look to mom and you kids to teach me how to really do this. Please leave comments and tell me how to make it better. I hope this will be a helpful account of our challenges, miracles, blessings, mistakes, corrections, etc. I hope to connect this to each of your blogs so we can make it easier to keep up with each other, in spite of all the other busyness and commitments.

It still won’t be small talk, at least not this blog. I may start a second one to do pictures and lighter material. I’ll probably do one for the High Priests, so they will always have access to the training material.

This first entry wouldn’t be right without letting you all know how much I love you and how great it makes me feel that you are my children, all six of you. (Yes, I counted correctly. Someday it will be eight and we will love the next two just as much.) I love you for what you are and for what you can be. And together, what will all be.

1 comment:

Marissa said...

I'm so excited to see what you haven't been telling us over these last couple of years. I love you and I'm glad you've taken up blogging so I can heckle you even more at all hours of the day and/or night! Something I do on my personal blog is one day a week for gratitude (at least) where I just list things I am grateful for and things I am appreciating that week. I also pull out my favorite scriptures that are on my mind and write why they are important to me or have particularly special meaning to me and what is going on in my life. Thought these might help to get you started... and I'm excited to see more pictures from home as well - pictures make posts better - especially for daughters who live on the other side of the country. LOVE YOU!!!!