in a little over a week, my baby brother enters a new phase in life. he follows mormon tradition and says, i beleive now i will go and do. he has been called to serve an lds mission to the people of mexico.
the older i get, loving two little boys of my own, the thought of missions always hit me different/harder. it's a little more emotional for me thinking of what it entails to send a boy off in the world on his own, using every skill you have ever taught him, to survive in the world.
i only lived with kyle for 4 years before i was married, so our normal family connection is a little different. my kids however, look to him like a sibling and i appreciate that on every level. he has been glue for our family, the late in life baby that garnered a whole lot of looks my parents direction as my mom was 38 when she had him. he was the best decision they made. he is such a good, focused person. he works hard, he is a stoic person. he does what is asked of him and he does it well. i hope my kids know its because he "knows".
i know that he knows who god is. kyle is coming out of his shell, leaving all comforts of the youngest child, essentially the only child the past few years, the comforts of a first world country, because he has put the effort into cultivating a relationship with god and that gives him enough strength to share with others what he knows.
it's not just about god either. if we know god, we know that jesus christ is the way. sometimes the world suggests we "find jesus" as if he is something only a few will find. if only the world knew what sheri dew stated: "jesus christ is not our last chance, he is our only chance. he will show us the way because he is the way." our achieving an eternal reward will not be by the skin of our teeth as my mom always tells me. our eternal measure will be fulfilled by abounding grace and mercy. abounding.
there will always be apostacy. it makes my heart hurt but i am no stranger to it. utah mormons are always shocked when we tell of the amount of apostacy we saw at an ivy league university. the reasons for abandonment were no small feats. there were facts/reasons/books/knowledge that took years to accumulate. people can throw away a lifetime of god's love by hanging themselves up on the smallest detail. the smallest. it becomes obsessive and a lifetime of anger, frustration, and hurt gets thrown at the very thing that heals. the very peace of life is cast aside due to brewing anger that isn't extinguished thru the merits and mercy of him who can heal.
we are all on spiritual journeys here on earth whether we acknowledge it or not. we are progressing towards god or we are not. either direcion is crucial for our eternal destiny. how do i know that the way the LDS church does things are the dictates that mandate heavens entry? my life has been layers of confirmation and also times of doubt, frustration, and self inflicted darkness. i have found that our bodies are meant to worship. i believe that is how god created us. the mountains beckon awe, seasons encourage deep emotional stirring-a need for connection. the order of god's creations suggest his ways are ones of process, journey, struggle, growth but above all order. our body's need to worship can be tilted either way. worshippers of self, pride, world, money, intellect, imagery, materialism, intellectualism, can feel just as fulfilled/justified in life as those who choose to direct their worship to god. i believe in satan. he is just as real to me as god's abounding love. he also begs for our natural ways of worship. so many times he wins.
i was listening to one of my favorite talks a few weeks ago by henry b eyring and one thing that stuck out to me this particular time was when he said - "if the foundation of faith is not embedded in out hearts, the power to endure will crumble." i needed to hear that so i could know where to draw from. i was struggling with enduring, hope, faith. i think it's a daily struggle for anyone caught in the thick of thin things. i appreciated that line. my foundation is embedded, i just needed to remember that. and because of it, i can endure. it's that simple.
so kyle, this is what i know. i see the creations under his direction and i know that there is a way to him that entails order, direction, work, and love. his plan is perfect, and because we are not, there is no road/journey/belief that his plan can not find a place for. every detail of our lives have been accounted for so that we can return with him. there is no struggle, doubt, pain, wrong, loneliness he did not account for and it's because he wants every one of us. every single body he gave life to, he wants returned. he longs for that parental love returned in order and worship, respect and understanding by us.
now, go and do. find and serve, our knees our bent on your behalf. loves.