I did not keep up my routine last week so it’s been a few days since I posted anything. This morning I have some quiet time in the hotel in Salt Lake City, and naturally I am thinking about family and being away. I do enjoy going to conferences and learning new skills for my work, but I am glad that I do not travel all the time. There was a time when I would leave behind a very upset wife and kids when I left. Now it’s not as hard to leave, but I don’t like being apart.
As I was walking around downtown Salt Lake City last night, particularly around the Temple and other church buildings, I kept thinking how grateful I am for the peace the gospel brings me. I choose to live the gospel because I have hope in Christ and believe that the greatest blessings we desire most come through Him. I also know that those blessings are about the family. Family relationships should not end when this life is over. We have the promise, through Christ, that we can exist after this life as families. This truth brings me the greatest peace.
I love my family and do all that I can for them. I am by no means a perfect father, or even a good one at times, but I am committed to doing my best to ensure we have close relationships here that will not end when we return home after this life. Time apart from my family here just makes the peace that comes from that truth all the more meaningful.
Today my message is simple. When I look back at the past month, and think about everything we have done, I am so grateful for family. Being part of a large family is not easy. Sometimes I think we focus too much on things we can’t do instead of taking full advantage of the things we can. I spent an hour after lunch yesterday playing music with #2 and #3. Using the hymn “O My Father”, we worked on an arrangement for piano and violin. It was fun to play the music and spend time together. Afterwards we played UNO with more of the kids and just enjoyed an afternoon together.
It reminded me of earlier in the day when #6 shared her testimony in church. She said that she knew families can be together forever. I am thankful to know that too. I hope that each day we will strengthen the relationships that matter most by forgiving, loving, and serving each other. This is the only way to create relationships that will never end.