My brain is swimming with random thoughts, so I'm up. Today both Ben and I will be speaking in church. We haven't yet spoken in this ward, so it's funny that we are both doing it the week before we move to Japan. I guess I'm the "Hello, we moved in about a year ago"-talk, and Ben is the "Goodbye, we're so sad to leave"-talk. Mostly I just hope Eleanor does fine hanging out with her grandparents the whole time.
I'm speaking on repentance and the blessings associated with it. And can I just say what a beautiful thing repentance is. If I could boil down my talk to two sentences that I wanted everyone to walk away with it would be "With repentance, God's supernal gift of mercy to us through the Atonement of His Son Jesus Christ, we know we can be made clean again, new creatures in Christ. And it is never too late, and never too early." So there is your spiritual thought for the day.
Short example story (and Mom, feel free to correct any details I get wrong). My Mortensen ancestors came from Denmark in the Willie Handcart Company. The father and on of the daughters were crippled and had to be pulled in the cart. They had something like 9 kids. When they were introduced to the gospel in Denmark and baptized, they wanted to join the Saints in America. The missionaries in Denmark asked them to leave behind the oldest son (my ancestor) to help them preach the gospel and promised them that if they would do so that all of their family would reach the Salt Lake Valley and be reunited with their son after he had finished his mission. Being stalwart and faithful, they did so. They had enough money to go by wagon, but choose instead to go by handcart and help furnish other families for the crossing. For those unfamiliar with the story of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies, many people died in the terrible snowstorms they encountered in Wyoming and others suffered from frostbite. Miraculously, none of the Mortensens died or were affected by frostbite (the father made shoes for his family while they pulled him in the handcart). Truly they were true to the faith. I'll forever be in awe of my pioneer ancestors. No matter what the cost, they were true to their testimonies, true to the witness they had received from the Holy Spirit about the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And that is truly something to celebrate.