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Thursday, July 23, 2015

#IAmAPioneer

I won't go into many details here about my heritage because I have already done that in a few previous entries (here and here) but this is about, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has so helpfully suggested in their #IAmAPioneer campaign, "Discover[ing] and shar[ing my] legacy."

Since I love to use quotes and to always present my thoughts definitively, a legacy, as defined at wordnik.com, is "Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past."

My parents are awesome.  They set a great standard for my life in teaching me the gospel and plan of Jesus Christ and made every effort to assure that words of God's prophets were the foundation for our character and our very lives.  They worked tirelessly to establish our home on principles of "faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities".  They gave every effort they could muster to center our home on the atonement of Christ and always aim for higher spiritual ground.

Truly, their example was a critical foundation on which I could build my own home upon the doctrine of Christ and make it so that, as God has encouraged through His prophets, "[o]nly [our] home can compare with the temple in sacredness."  My wife and I have always had in mind a goal to make our home a safe haven from the world for anyone who enters here.  Society is in such a chaotic mess and the hearts of people, as Jesus predicted, are failing them.  We desperately want our home to be a place where the hearts of men can be restored, healed, comforted, strengthened, inspired, cleansed, and transformed for the better, where the doctrine and love of the Savior can permeate souls, expand minds, fortify faith and protect them from the fiery darts of the adversary.  One of the reasons why we work so much with missionaries is because they carry with them the Spirit of the Lord.  Missionaries who are dedicated to the Lord carry with them the Holy Ghost, which is the key to any of those goals being accomplished.

As the sign in our bathroom says:
Obedience is the price
Faith is the power
Love is the motive
The Spirit is the key
Jesus Christ is the reason.

If each person who enters here, by the time they leave, feels better, if they feel like they are more inclined to follow our loving Savior, the Son of God, if they have a greater desire to do good and be kind, if they are more sure of the role of Christ and His Atonement in their lives, if they are more confident of the love God has for them and all others, if they feel more capable of being the salt of the earth, if they have a greater desire to change and repent, if they are more committed to the Lord's church and His priesthood, if they feel a greater resolve to defend truth no matter the consequence, if their relationship with our Redeemer and our Father in Heaven is stronger, then we have succeeded.  Anything less and we have some repenting to do.

No matter our position in the church, no matter our circumstances, no matter how others see us or speak of us, our legacy must be as a light that leads to our Savior Jesus Christ, to trust in Him and obedience to His laws, to His gospel, to His plan based on faith and love.  We still make mistakes.  We mess up.  We have disputes and arguments, but as long as the Atonement changes us and our home for the better each day, mission accomplished.

Our legacy must be one that our descendants look back on with hope, with a sense of freedom, self worth and value in the eyes of God.  It must be a legacy that reflects sharing talents to brighten the lives of others, that brings us closer together as children of God, unified in our love for each other and for Him, where hard work, service, truth and quality time act as the glue that bonds us as an eternal family, in charity with an eye single to the glory of God.

As my ancestors were, #IAmAPioneer of faith, perseverance, service, self improvement, providence and love to those without the gospel.  I look back on their examples and see defense of righteousness, great personal sacrifice for a great cause and the fruits of hard labor and immeasurable rewards from such.

So when my posterity look back I want them to see that #IAmAPioneer of a new level dedication to the greater good and a home where the peace and joy of the Lord is apparent by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I want them to see a family and reputation that is conducive to wholesome fun, a self evident oneness of purpose and a palpable commitment to God, our Father in Heaven.  In my family, being raised at a time when the internet became ubiquitous as it now is around the world, #IAmAPioneer of online missionary work.  With my musical gifts from our Father in Heaven, #IAmAPioneer in my family of the power of music composition to convey the Spirit of the Lord to the hearts people everywhere.  These standards are not just something that I want for the benefit of my family and posterity.  My goal is to set a legacy for everyone I ever meet, a legacy that shows that our family is committed to everything godly, being proven, pure and sealed as a beneficiary of the Atonement of Christ, a legacy that invites and encourages them to do the same so we can all partake of the fullness of the joy of the Lord at the last day.