I become increasingly grateful for the blessing of seeing how good the majority of Heavenly Father’s children are. I’m thankful for each of you and the positive impact you have and continue to make on my life. I love the quote by Tenneyson who said, “I am a part of all I’ve met”. You are uniquely a part of my life and I am thankful for that fact. An expanded vision reminds me that ALL OF HIS CHILDREN are also family! Heavenly Father has such extraordinary children the world over. I am grateful for them all!!! Thanks and Happy New Year.
I confess openly, I am BYU Blue…through and through. I also cheer for the Utes and Aggies (when they aren’t playing BYU). I clearly remember being at the football game against Utah State in early October. While I congratulate the Aggies and their followers on a great win, I was particularly saddened by the injury and loss of Taysom Hill. We can hope he’ll return next year stronger than ever. The Sunday before the game, I happened to be at my daughter’s and son-in-law’s ward to participate in the blessing of our newest grandbaby, Adele. Taysom is in their ward. During the bearing of testimonies he stood and shared his. He said something along the lines of, “I am thankful for my testimony. No matter what happens in my life, I can be sure that my testimony of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are the foundation. Things may change in this world…but I know what I know.” He’s out for the season, his Heisman hype is over for now, and he will be watching the games this season on the side-lines. But he knows what he knows and everything will be ‘alright’. I too am grateful for my testimony of the same. Come what may, my testimony will see me through — everything will be ‘alright’.
“I just want to make a difference in the world,” a student once said to me.
“Just make sure it’s a positive difference,” I replied. “History books are full of men and women who ‘made a difference’ alright: those who have killed millions, toppled the twin towers in NYC, or changed the world of not only nations and empires, but also in how individuals lived their daily lives,” I continued.
I knew this wonderful student and did not honestly question where her heart or intent was. In fact, I’m confident that almost all of us in someway are a little bit like our Father in Heaven and just want to bless the lives of another person or make things better for even the masses. It’s the spark of divinity in all of us. In the creation of this planet I find it interesting and important that God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ ‘counseled in the beginning’. It was, “let us” and “we will”…
So what does it take to ‘make a positive difference in the world’? How do we do it? Well, I’m not sure. However, in nearly every good thing that has ever happened to change the course of life for one — or one million — of Heavenly Father’s children began with ‘we’ and ‘us’. When two or more people come together in thoughtful consideration…ideas, plans, and ways are opened up to ‘change the world’. After all, it’s been that way since the beginning. Anything is possible when at least one of the ‘we’ involved is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Not long ago I gathered with a group of my mission companions from 45 years ago. As we shared memories of our days in Mexico nearly a half century ago, feelings came into my heart and soul. I felt extraordinarily privileged to have been a missionary, a builder of the kingdom in my small way, and a participant in something that changed not only the future and destiny of the lives of others but also my own. For nearly three hours we exchanged stories of companions and especially our mission presidents, Gordon Romney and Joe J. Christensen and their extraordinary wives, Beth and Barbara respectively. Those memories and stories reminded me of a quote by author, Shannon Alder. She wrote, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
I honor my mission presidents, their spouses, my companions, and our converts. Those truly were “days never to be forgotten” (as Oliver Cowdery said of his experience translating with Joseph Smith). As someone once said, “Memory truly is the mother of feeling.” I believe that! Remembering can produce laughter, nostalgia, excitement, fear, joy, sadness, peace, or regret. May we all create the kind of memories which produce a storehouse of positive feelings to last forever.