Sometime during my time in London, Tokyo or Japan I started writing “Messages from Mom.” There weren’t many and it didn’t last long. Here is one I found today.
I am starting up my “Message from Mom” again. I can’t guarantee it will be monthly, I am not sure I will have that many “profound” things to say. As always, those related to me by blood don’t have an unsubscribe option. Those who have married my children can always opt out.
The last time our home teacher visited, before returning to the USA in June, his message made a strong impression on me. His message was from a talk given at the June 1971 MIA conference by Boyd K. Packer. First you can read it and then I will share my thoughts.
“A few years ago Donna and I attended a holiday dinner at the home of one of our beloved friends. It was a New Years Eve party. Our host had an activity for the evening. He read a few verses of scripture and then quoted at length from a quotation from Heber C. Kimball, a member of the First Presidency during his life. I’ll just quote one sentence from his quotation from President Kimball.
“I have often said,” President Kimball says, “you may write blessings for yourselves and insert every good thing you can think of and it will come to pass on your heads if you do right.”
Our host gave us a sheet of paper and an envelope and suggested we write upon the paper the things we hoped to achieve during the new year. And then he repeated again the quotation from Brother Kimball, “…you may write blessings for yourselves. Insert every good thing you can think of and it will come to pass on your heads if you do right.”
After we had written our goals on the paper we were asked to seal the envelope and put our name on it. “I will take these to the bank and put them in the vault,” he said. “And a year from now we’ll meet again and have a dinner and I’ll deliver them to you. And we will tell, if we wish, how nearly we have achieved our goals.”
We thoughtfully set our goals that night and sealed them up and they were delivered to the vault to lay silent for one full year. Six things were on my list, each relating to the blessing for someone dear. Each seemed near impossible. One for instance related to a sister and temple marriage. Worthiness was not a problem, it was her body so crippled with disease that a temple session was just out of the question. Or was it? A year went by the envelopes were delivered to us again. During the year with those goals in mind we had prayed now and then and little opportunities or advantages came by, things that would have gone unnoticed without our having set the goal. We were able to move forward first with one goal and then another. There came that endowment session in the temple, there came that sealing ordinance. Four other things happened, but the sixth wouldn’t come to pass. It was on New Year’s Eve that I received a call from across the country. The sixth thing I had written related to the problem of a friend. It just seemed to defy solution. On New Year’s Eve that telephone call came. Excitedly he told me that his problem had been solved. He knew nothing of this list of goals. Our goals had been written, we had set our aim and they had come to pass. Let me repeat again. “…you may write blessings for yourselves and insert every good thing you can think of and it will come to pass on your heads if you do right.”
So now for my thoughts… In the Bible dictionary under prayer it says, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is the approved means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.”
I think all of you are familiar with the experience I had in 2009 regarding this very subject. I can testify to you that it works. It is my belief that if we ponder and pray about the blessings that we want to write for ourselves and others, the Spirit will bless to know which blessings to write. Then as we pray, fast and focus on realizing those blessings they will come to pass. I think the key to this is in the final words of President Kimball’s quote, “if you do right.”I have been thinking about what that means. Doing right in my mind is simply being obedient. I try to do right all the time, but there are still little things that I do that I shouldn’t. For example, I never think I obey the Word of Wisdom they way it should be obeyed. I live the letter of it, yet in my mind I don’t live the spirit of it. The spirit is moderation. Another example is the Article of Faith that tells us that we believe in obeying the laws of whatever land we live in. I still jay walk to often, it’s not only dangerous, but breaks the law. I am now waiting for the “green man” on a regular basis.
After hearing this home teaching message, I wrote several blessings down for 2010. All were realized, but two. One of those is in progress and the other one was a blessing I sought for myself. I have come to understand through prayer and fasting that receiving this blessing is based entirely on my obedience. In Doctrine and Covenants 130:20 it says:
“There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”
I was not obedient to the laws necessary for me to receive that blessing. I’m still working on it and know if I am obedient I will receive that blessing. I have a promise from the Lord.
Now, it’s a new year and I have already written the blessings I desire for others and one for myself. I have such a testimony that this works. I love each of you and pray for you daily. I hope you will consider writing some blessings for this year, then be obedient and see those blessings come.