Since Amos passed away I’ve been sporadically adding blog posts here to update people about how we’ve all been getting along. I got to spend some time with him in my dreams last night and I thought today would be a good day to end the blog although there is no real end to this eternal story.
This has been one of the most unique years the world has faced not just because of a physical sickness that has taken many lives around the world, but a spiritual sickness that has corrupted hearts and caused extreme hatred and division. It’s been difficult for many people to know what is true and what is not with very little pure truth or righteousness remaining anywhere. Members of both major political parties in America seem to only respect our Constitution when it benefits their end goal. The political climate combined with the pandemic and blatant lawlessness have had horrible effects on people’s lives and been mentally and financially devastating.
I don’t know when it will end but until it does, I already know where to look for that pure truth. Despite churches and temples being closed for the majority of 2020, we have been prepared for these days and continued to be directed by Jesus Christ through His living prophet and loving parents. In 1980 my dad wrote this Christmas letter to his children. We had recently moved to Arizona from Lake Tahoe for my brother’s health needs. He died of pneumonia soon after the move.
On this Christmas eve of 1980 I wish that I could find the words to express my love for you all. The worldly gifts around the tree seem so inadequate as a token of my love. The toys will soon be broken and discarded and the clothing will soon wear and find its way to the floor of your closets. Earthly treasures fall short as a means of lasting happiness or expression of love. What I offer this night is my testimony. I know that we are a forever family. We might seem like a large family now, but as each of you grow up and find your own eternal companion and have children, just think how great our family will be! I know that the Lord gave your mother to me. He knew that I would need a lot of help spiritually. He knew of the trials that I would face and provided a companion with the strength of a tiger and the spirit of a prophet. No woman on earth could hold a candle to her. No woman could be half the mother she has been to you. (Note: I have come to realize that my girls are very much the same.) I know that the Lord is mindful of our family. He has guided and protected us. He has answered our prayers. The Gospel principles which we teach and live in our home are our only chance to survive this world. I am often awkward at teaching you these principles and at times lack the self control necessary to teach you as Jesus would do it, but you must know that the principles are true. Tomorrow is the day that the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior. May we grow closer to Him through continued study and prayer. May we grow closer to each other in the knowledge that through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may be a forever family.
Our newly combined family is thriving as we are expecting a new little girl in April. We have Michael’s 3 small children with us for Christmas and I have loved the opportunity to have my four girls close this year. This will be our first Christmas at home since America’s Got Talent. We are normally on a Christmas tour with Evie. While Evelyn lost most of her regular income for the year with dozens of her scheduled events being cancelled, she has been able to use the time to get ahead on her education. She is finishing both 11th and 12th grade simultaneously and will be done just in time for shows that are now being rescheduled for Fall of 2021 when we all hope the pandemic and political divisions will be behind us. She has been doing a lot more virtual concerts. She recently arranged the old song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” for an online church event in the Philippines. The song tells of the narrator’s despair, upon hearing Christmas bells during the American Civil War, that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.” The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among men. “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.” That remains our hope as we continue our family’s story and continue to look forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
We love hearing from our missionary each week. Porter will most likely finish the rest of his mission in California rather than returning to Brazil since he will be home in August. His most recent letter was titled Changes and Changing. I wanted to share an excerpt;
As I’ve adjusted to this new place, helping to lead a new group of missionaries, I’ve felt a weight on my shoulders… In the morning, we witnessed a Christmas miracle: A young man who we started teaching this week, had requested a copy of the Book of Mormon in Spanish, so that he could read it to his mother. Sunday morning he explained that after he read to her the introduction, she gathered together everyone in the house, and sat them at the dinner table. Together, they read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. In a hushed, and reverent tone, he told us that they all got chills. His father said, “This means that God is near us.” From that moment, Angel’s mother established that every day at 6:00 pm, they would sit at the dinner table, and read from the Book of Mormon. I pondered my own relationship with the Book of Mormon, and began to study. I studied, and wrote, and studied, and wrote, and I felt this promise of Helaman animate in my heart:
“Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery…” (Helaman 3:29)
Porter reminds me so much of Amos who left lasting goodness behind in each of our children. We often feel him close as I did last night. I woke up this morning to a wonderful man rubbing lotion on my dry feet, little ones laughing, and a daughter bringing me breakfast in bed so I can get a handle on my morning sickness. I’m not sure what I’ve done to feel so loved and cared for but my prayers and love go out to the many of you who are lacking that love and care this year and this Christmas Season. We love you and we remind you of hope that comes by and through the Son of God who will not delay His return and will fix every problem we currently face with perfect justice and mercy. “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.” Merry Christmas! The End.