I just laid little Ellie down to sleep, and Ben is taking a nap too (and so will I once I'm done here). Looking at my two favorite people sleeping away filled me with gratitude for the gospel, especially that I know that our families can be together forever as part of God's great plan of happiness for us, and how thankful I am for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that makes it all possible through repentance and his grace. So here I am expressing it. Enjoy.
Today I was nursing Ellie at church while the ward after us was having sacrament meeting and it was playing in the mother's lounge. I listened as a sister spoke about how her family was finally sealed together after each of the brothers and sisters had been married and sealed to their spouses. Just 10 days after the big family sealing, one of the brothers was killed instantly in a car accident. Obviously they were incredibly grateful for the powers of the priesthood that had sealed them together from time and eternity.
Even more interesting to me was that a few months later the mother decided to join a support group for parents who had lost children. She found a non-denominational group that specified that people shouldn't preach or discuss their own religious beliefs. She sat in shock listening to people whose children had died years, even decades ago, and they still hadn't pulled their lives back together. She desperately wanted to share her knowledge about God's plan of salvation, but was prohibited, and realized that she didn't really need a support group, that she had the best support possible through the gospel and the Atonement. All I can say to that is AMEN!
I remember one oft he two arguments I ever got into with an elder on my mission. He wanted us to set a date with a less-active woman's children for baptism. We had talked to the mom, and she wanted her children to have their own testimonies. I agree. The elder said (in essence), "C'mon. What kid really has a testimony that young." My reply was "I did. I knew when I was three." He looked at me in disbelief, but it's true. Now, I certainly didn't know everything, but I felt that it was true, and I remember that. My sister Sierra had died and my parents, being the wonderful people they are, taught us about the resurrection and that our family could be eternal. I knew it was true then, and I know it now. I have never doubted because of the teaching and example of my parents, and because of my own experiences in living and studying the gospel, in applying the Atonement in my own life and seeing it work.
I know God is our loving Heavenly Father, with infinite wisdom and love for us, his spirit children. I know he sent his Son to live a perfect example, to suffer for our sins, die for us, and be resurrected that we might enjoy the blessings of exaltation and eternal life. I know the priesthood and the fullness of the gospel were restored through God's prophet, Joseph Smith, and that he still has a prophet on the earth today, who teaches us and is directed by God. I know I am a daughter of God, with limitless potential and a divine calling.
It's kind of intimidating sometimes, to think about the enormous responsibility of being a mother; it's physical, emotional, and spiritual work. But then I remember that Heavenly Father is her Father too, and he has more vested interest in her well-being, and that I can turn to him for any kind of help. It's humbling. And awe inspiring. I love it.