The chapel in Lindon, Utah, was full, as several families were there to participate with their children. My attention was fixated upon a beautiful young girl named Ashli Hart, who was one of seven being baptized that morning. This sweet little strawberry blond girl is my niece, and the proud uncle buttons were just a popping.
May we remember the eternal nature of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and Their eternal love for each of us. May we learn and grow in our understanding of the plan of salvation, the saving power of the Atonement, and the eternal nature and brotherhood of each of us. May we be more understanding, more loving, and more obedient to the Lord's teachings. "O man, remember, and perish not" (Mosiah 4:30).
Several years ago, I attended the musical production Cheaper by the Dozen being performed at the SCERA Theater in Orem, Utah. I enjoy attending community theater but specifically attended this one to watch my nephew, Steven, who is in the cast. His good friend, Dane, is also in the cast of this perfect family show. From the audience, it appeared both of these young men were enjoying being part of this entertaining show.
In my life today, I often feel like that new missionary faced with a very difficult task ahead of me. I feel like the youth speaker in my ward who mis-spoke and said in life we are "tired and tested." I am convinced that I will succeed in life "if I only try harder."
Stories of his giving and caring for others endured him to the Saints. Whether it was taking the boys out to chop wood for the needy after a ball game, or showing how sorry he was that a brother’s house had burned down the night before to the amount of $5.00, Joseph was continually teaching the Saints to love and serve each other as they built Zion. He exclaimed that he “would esteem it one of the greatest blessings . . . to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me” (History of the Church, 5:361).
Either way, Elder J. Golden Kimball served the Lord for many years and endeared himself to the Saints who returned his love. He was a common man, schooled in the ways of hard work and difficulty, willing to acknowledge his personal struggles within himself, but with a testimony of the Lord’s work here on earth. This unique combination of earth and spirit gave hope to the Saints who identified with him.
My sister reminded Kyla that grandpa couldn’t see the fireflies because he was in heaven with Heavenly Father, but Kyla really wanted to show her fireflies to him. Suddenly, Kyla took her container, sat down on the floor with the container between her legs, and said, “Heavenly Father, please let grandpa see the fireflies, because I know he would love them. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”
Christmas in New Zealand for a young man from the mid-western United States wasn’t easy. A Missionary Christmas is often awkward without family and loved ones around, but being in the middle of summer made it even more difficult. It was hard to catch the spirit of Christmas. There was the box of gifts from home that helped, and the Christmas decorations around town added a little spirit. But it just didn’t seem like Christmas.