Hello my dearest family,
Guess what!?!?! Tanner and Ali are getting married on February 18th!!!!!!!!! AHHH!!!!! I wish them all the best and I am guessing that there will be some travelling this week. I love you all. Let me tell you about what we discussed in Church on Sunday, it was really cool. We talked about John 3-4 and discussed the terms "Born Again" and "Living Water."
During our discussion of being "born again" I had two words pop into my mind. Sanctification and Consecration. When we are baptized with both the water and fire we are born again. In baptism we make a covenant with God in which we decide to consecrate our lives to Him. We then give Him our old lives and allow the Spirit to sanctify us so that we can start a new life dedicated to our Heavenly Father's service. I know that through the Spirit and the power of the Atonement our lives can be cleansed of sin. I know that our faith is what gives us power to accomplish all that is asked of us. Through our faith and action we are then given the opportunity to have the Spirit sanctify our lives. But we need to show the Lord that our promise to Him is something that we take seriously.
John 4:10 "Jesus answered and said unto her, if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to me, Give me drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." In this verse Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. I realized that in just a few words Christ teaches this woman how to receive revelation through prayer. He says that if the woman knew who Christ was and that He was sent by God, the woman would have asked God and received revelation, "thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." One definition of living water that I was given that day was revelation. I know that God lives and that He speaks with man through revelation. That is why we have a prophet. He is called as one to receive revelation for the Church and the World. But, we can receive revelation specific for us as well through our faith, prayers, scripture study, and church attendance. I know this to be true.
Sarah, I have thought a lot about you recently. I know that it can be hard to adjust to adult life. To live away from family. I have found that something which helps me to stay strong is my knowledge of who I am. In the front page of the Young Women Personal Progress Book it states, "You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose." I know that these words are true. I would invite you to read the talk from President Uchtdorf titled, "Your Happily Ever After" and really ponder who you are.Then write down on a card one sentence to help you remember and read this card each morning. I know that as you do this you lay a foundation that destroys the lies that are thrown at you during the day. I know that Satan works hard to tear down the righteous women of this world but remember "You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose." You are a daughter of God. If you wake up each morning and infuse truth into your mind then the lies of the world will not matter.
Do you remember the book "You Are Special"? The one with the wooden men and women who give stars to those who they think are good and dots to those who they think are bad. One of these wooden men wasn't able to do anything to impress the others and so he would get dots all the time. It made him depressed. Then he saw one girl who had no stars or dots. When the others would try to put stars or dots on her they just fell off. The man who had the dots (I think his name was Punchinello) asked her how she did it. She said that every day she would go and see Eli. Eli was the maker of all the wooden people. So Punchinello decided to go see Eli too. He went in and Eli told Punchinello about who he really was. This allowed Punchinello to rid himself of the dots and not care about the opinions of others. We have the opportunity each day to sit with our Heavenly Father and be taught by Him in our personal study. As we allow God to tell us who we really are we do not need to worry about the cares of others. This gives us the ability to be happy, even in times of great trial. I know that as you are able to put truth into your mind each morning it will give you the strength to stand against the lies that are thrust at you. With truth lies will be able to roll off of you like water off a ducks back. I remember mom and dad using that phrase a lot when we lived in Pennsylvania :) I love you Sarah and so does your Heavenly Father. I can't be there each day to tell you how wonderful you are, how incredibly proud I am to be your older brother, but your Heavenly Father is and He is perfect. Let Him tell you who you truly are and nothing else will matter. You are a strong woman. You are faithful. You have a divine nature. Your individual worth has grown already and will continue to grow with your constant gospel study. You have great treasures of knowledge. You know the importance of your choices and you are accountable for the things you do. You are a woman that shows her good works and glorifies her Father which is in Heaven (3 Nephi 12:16). You have great integrity and because of these things and your decision to grow in these areas you are a woman of virtue. I know that God lives and loves His children. I know that we all have a purpose. We are given talents for our joy to be full. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.