So I'm feeling upset right now. We just got word that an Elder here on mission, actually a previous AP who did SO much to change the standards of the mission in a very good way, his mother just passed away. He is a good friend of mine and i love him alot. He only has about 2 months left on his mission, and this happens. Please PLEASE keep him and his family in your prayers. His name is Elder Pocock and he's actually from Idaho.
Thinking about this, and having it happen to somebody who is close to me, I realized how much we need to have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation. The greatest consolation will always come from the Lord and His Gospel. Sometimes we don't really grasp the truth and the reality of things like the Plan of Salvation. But i want to testify that it is real. When i die, i will go to the Spirit world. Elder Pocock's mother, though prematurely, is currently living in the Spirit World and is awaiting the further steps of eternity, having finished her mortal test. When mom and dad pass away, they will pass into that life. We will not see them again in mortality, but we are sealed in the Holy Temples of God by the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood of God, which is eternal. No earthly or evil force can separate us from each other, and no holy force would. I hope you all see that we must build our defences and KEEP them high. We need to do away with anything that may cause our bonds of sealing to be nullified. We need to increase our physical health to do our part to prolong our mortal life. It can happen in the blink of an eye. I talked to Elder Pocock on the phone last night, joking and laughing. I text messaged him this morning joking and having fun. Now, the mood is pretty different. This could be any of us, and we need to know what needs to be done.
I won't say that i don't mean to sound solemn and serious, because it is something solemn and serious. Please keep him in our prayers as we reflect on how blessed we are to be healthy and strong and alive still. I love you all with all my heart and know that God has blessed me beyond what i deserve for sure. I had a picture of you all on my desk here, the family one we took, and an Elder from Nigeria who is also a great friend of mine and also an orphan, picks up the picture and looks at it. He is usually very jokey and lighthearted and happy, like all the time. When he looked at the picture, he was still smiling, but he asked, "Are you proud of this family?" I thought it was a jokey question and laughed and said yeah that i am. He didn't laugh, and looks at it again for a while, and then he puts it down and looks at me and says, "I hope you get on your knees and thank the Lord for this beautiful family. It is a blessing." Again, not sensing his tone, i chuckled a bit, but then i realized, 'He is totally serious, and the look on his face was a look that said that he would give anything to have a beautiful eternal family that i have, and to feel the love of a mother and father and siblings, and to belong somewhere.'
Bottom line is, we have been blessed to have our beautiful family all still in mortality. But death is a part of the plan. Even the prophet's wife just passed away!I love you all so much and just want you to know that i know the Plan of Salvation was established before the world was, and Jesus Christ, because He knows and loves us, volunteered to come here and suffer the most difficult mortal sojourn that has ever been experienced so that we can feel comfort and forgiveness and peace. The Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is the only true and whole Church of Jesus Christ on the whole Earth. I know God loves us and cares for our welfare, and notices the struggles and difficulties we go through, and is eager to help us in His higher and better ways. Maybe not how we expect, but it's how He knows it will help us best return to Him.
Love you all forever,