For my last letter, I would like to briefly share three fundamental principles, which I hope will govern my actions for the rest of my life. I would like to title this: “My Personal Constitution.”
First of all, who I have become and who I am becoming is the product and result of the amazing examples and invaluable guidance/assistance I have received from the Spirit and the people that have surrounded me in my life. The people I speak about are the people that have been my young men’s leaders, my bishops, my stake presidents, and my many other church leaders who have taken the time to think about me and guide me through many life experiences. These people also include my Mission President, my mission companions, other missionaries I have served with and all of the amazing members and nonmembers I have come to know these past two years. In addition, these people include my great friends, and family members (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, siblings, etc.) who loved, supported and labored with me prior to and during my mission. And, most notably, I owe so much of who I am to my incredible and loving father and mother:
“You may have riches and wealth untold,
Baskets of jewels and caskets of gold,
But richer than I, you will never be
For I had a mother who read to me.”
I also would add: “and had a father who played basketball with me!”
Without these great people who have been in my life, I would be far less than the person I am. The following guiding principles and truths were all introduced and/or taught to me by them and then confirmed by the Spirit.
- Love of God and love of fellowmen
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40)
In all that I do in life, I am going to strive to always remember what Christ said to this questioning lawyer. I will love God with all my heart and always seek to find ways to love his children. I know the way we love God is by obedience to his commandments. I know the way we love others is by serving them.
- I am a child of God (and so is everybody else).
“ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
I am a son of God! I am the literal offspring of the most powerful being in the entire universe. Am I worth something? You betcha! Can I do great things? You betcha! Are others worth something? Yes, every single person! Everybody in the world is a son or daughter of God just as I am. He loves us all equally. We should all love others as much as our Father in heaven loves us.
- “There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” (Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
There are going to be really hard trials that come my way in life. There are going to be obstacles that stand in my path. There are going to be distractions that try to pull me away from my purpose. There are hills that I will need to climb and rivers that I will need to cross. Through it all, I will remember this poem. I will remember that I am in the driver’s seat as I go through my life. I will remember that I am in control of who I become!
I know Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. I know his church is on the earth today. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. I am inexpressively grateful for my mission. I love and miss everybody back home and I am excited to see you soon!
Steadfast in Christ!