December 4, 2016
This week I noticed a message that was in a folder I rarely check on Facebook from a lady who sent me a message back in June. She came across my blog and noticed that I had broken my neck. She reached out to me because she broke her neck this year and has had a really hard time and wants to communicate with someone who has been through something similar. We’ve been messaging each other back and forth. She had a WAY worse accident than I did. I’ve been thinking about her and praying for her. While reading a conference talk on Friday morning I had the thought to share the plan of salvation with her. This is what I wrote:
December 2, 2016
Hi Nicole. This morning I have been thinking about you. I realized something else that helped me a lot after my accident and during the other hard trials I have gone through in my life. The thing that has helped me is the knowledge of the plan of God, our Heavenly Father. I know that we lived with God before we came to Earth and I know that there is life after death. A leader in my church recently gave a talk in our church’s twice a year general conference that explains very eloquently Heavenly Father’s plan. I read that talk this morning and I want to share part of it with you. I think it will bring you hope!
“I believe every human being carries in his or her heart some form of fundamental questions regarding life itself. Where did I come from? Why am I here? What will happen after I die?
These kinds of questions have been asked by mortals since the dawn of time. Philosophers, scholars, and pundits have spent their lives and fortunes seeking for answers. …
We are eternal beings, without beginning and without end. We have always existed. We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!
We come from the heavenly courts of the Lord our God. …We walked with Him in our premortal life. We heard Him speak, witnessed His majesty, learned His ways.
You and I participated in a Grand Council where our beloved Father presented His plan for us—that we would come to earth, receive mortal bodies, learn to choose between good and evil, and progress in ways that would not otherwise be possible.
When we passed through the veil and entered this mortal life, we knew that we would no longer remember the life before. There would be opposition and adversity and temptation. But we also knew that gaining a physical body was of paramount importance for us. Oh, how we hoped that we would quickly learn to make the correct choices, withstand the temptations of Satan, and eventually return to our beloved Parents in Heaven.
We knew we would sin and make mistakes—perhaps even serious ones. But we also knew that our Savior, Jesus Christ, had pledged to come to earth, live a sinless life, and voluntarily lay down His life in an eternal sacrifice. We knew that if we gave our heart to Him, trusted Him, and strived with all the energy of our soul to walk in the path of discipleship, we could be washed clean and once again enter the presence of our beloved Father in Heaven.
So, with faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you and I accepted, by our free will, Heavenly Father’s plan.
That is why we are here on this beautiful planet earth—because God offered us the opportunity, and we chose to accept it. Our mortal life, however, is only temporary and will end with the death of our physical body. But the essence of who you and I are will not be destroyed. Our spirits will continue living and await the Resurrection—a free gift to all by our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. At the Resurrection, our spirits and bodies will be reunited, free from pain and physical imperfections.
After the Resurrection, there will be a Day of Judgment. While all will eventually be saved and inherit a kingdom of glory, those who trust in God and seek to follow His laws and ordinances will inherit lives in the eternities that are unimaginable in glory and overwhelming in majesty.
That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.
Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.
But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace, mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children. If our desires and works are good, if we have faith in a living God, then we can look forward to what Moroni called ‘the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge’” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, O How Great the Plan of Our God!).
I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that he loves us! Even when we go through hard things he loves us and is willing to help us. Our life is meant to test us and to try us. It was not meant to be easy or fair. We are able to prove to our Heavenly Father, and ourselves, that we will follow Him and make good choices even when things are hard. This knowledge has helped me through hard things and I know it will help me through the hard experiences I will face in the future.
I am so glad we are friends. I am thankful you reached out to me after reading my blog. I love you!
I don’t feel like our meeting is a coincidence. I’m glad that our paths have crossed and I hope I can be an instrument in God’s hands in her behalf.
Here is another letter I wrote that morning to my Dad for day two if the Church’s light the world initiative. I’m glad my Mom is still around and that I got to call her instead of writing a letter!
Dec. 2, 2016
I love and miss you. I am grateful that I feel your presence in my life, especially when I am going through a hard time. I am grateful for the things you taught me, especially that you taught me about the gospel ties that bind us together. I am grateful for the love you showed me. Your praise meant a lot. I am grateful for the love you showed Mom and the example you both were of what a happy marriage is like. I am grateful for the love you showed your Mother and your siblings and that we were raised near them and interacted with them frequently. Your example has taught me so much.
I am grateful for the love you had for everyone you met and for the connections you would make. You knew so much about the families in Arizona and how they were related to or connected to our family.
I missed your advice during this political season. I miss your wise influence in the Arizona legislature.
I am sad that my little kids have not had the chance to make memories with you yet or to hear the nicknames I am sure you would give them in your kind, booming voice or to feel your big hugs. I know they will have that chance eventually though and that brings me comfort.
I love you and look forward to the day when we will meet again. I know that families are eternal. Thank you for teaching that to me.
Your loving daughter,
I hope your week has gone well! I would love to hear from you.