Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a life-long commission to serve others and help them grow closer to the Lord, Jesus Christ. This mandate is woven into our daily patterns of life. In addition, some may have the privilege to serve a full-time mission as circumstances permit.
Michelle and I are very grateful for our calling, from modern-day prophets, to serve an 18 month, full-time mission for the Lord in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission (Spanish-speaking). We thank the Lord, family members and friends for their support as we begin this blessed phase of life. We have been asked to share a message, as we depart on our mission, by speaking in our sacrament meeting at 1 p.m. on Sunday January 22nd at 7401 Smoke Ranch Road in Las Vegas. All are invited to attend.
We made gingerbread houses during the recent holiday season. The 5 year old son of our niece visited and noted the round peppermint candy on the side of the house which was decorated as a happy face. He declared to all of us, “Look, it’s an emoji.” One of his siblings disagreed but the inter-generational vocabulary differences, that are part of our world, were obvious that morning. We had a good laugh.
Today we commemorate David’s 33rd birthday! It has been miraculous how the Lord has sustained and uplifted our family since David left this world over five years ago. Oh how we love and miss dear David. Nevertheless, the Lord’s plan that seals families together, throughout the eternities, has brought us much joy and peace, peace that passeth all understanding.
President Nelson recently taught the doctrine of joy in this mortal life when he said:
“That’s it! Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year! My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation…..and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy.”
Certainly, there is scientific explanation for the occurrence of rainbows but why does God allow these beautiful scenes to appear briefly on His canvas before our eyes? White light, when passed through a prism, breaks down into the various colors of the rainbow. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and His light is pure and white. His light encompasses all of the righteous elements we can strive for in this life. Each of the values in the Young Women’s theme is represented by a color. As we strive to develop these values, represented by rainbow colors, we grow closer to the Savior, the source of pure, white light. White represents faith, blue–divine nature, red–individual worth, green–knowledge, orange–choice and accountability, yellow–good works, purple–integrity, and gold–virtue. Why rainbows? All things denote there is a God, and the rainbow is no exception.
We often go through life with our “nose to the grindstone,” missing out on the beauty that surrounds us. Even from this tiny perch in the universe, that we call earth, we can appreciate the grandeur of God’s creations. May our view be upwards and may our eyes be aware of the great blessings from God that surround us each day.