This past week I recieved a letter in the mail from my little sister. As I opened it up and read the words she had written, a smile quickly spread across my face and I could not help but laugh out loud as she told of an experience of late that she had had. Oh, how I love and miss my dear family. I have been away from my family now for 9 whole months! In the beginning, this whole mission thing was just a new experience, like going away to college, and through the hard times, I did not have much trouble remembering that my family loved me and were cheering me on in my endeavors; however, as more and more has gone by, I have found it more and more difficult to remember that home and the unconditional love that surrounded me there. I know in my heart that they are real and, quite frankly, I even have pictures of them, but, sadly, sometimes it seems like a dream. Letters have become my key to remembering, both who I am and my worth as a member of my family (friends included).
When I read the letters that each of them send, I feel like I am right there laughing with them about the experience they are sharing. My heart is filled with that love that I know I always felt being with them, and for a moment I am there, with them. I have come to realize through this experience that life on Earth is a very similar experience. Here we are so far away from our Father in Heaven with a mortal memory that remembers very little about what that heavenly home was like. Over time, we tend to forget that we have a divine nature with truly profound potential. Can you imagine the family that must have surrounded us there and the sincere love that we must have felt cheering each other on began as we each began our journey here on earth? In the world sometimes, we find ourselves thinking that nobody cares what we do or what we think. You may even ask yourself “What is the point?” It is then that I find myself scrambling for that letter from home.
The scriptures are like those “letters from home.” Each time I read the Book of Mormon, the love that I know that my Father has for me floods my whole being. As I open the Bible and read of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that feeling of love and family that must have existed there in heaven comes rushing back. Through reading of His life, I have come to know once again my loving and kind, consoling and just, unchanging and perfect Father in Heaven. I know that He lives. He is real, and He has given us the scriptures that we might remember His voice and His character, and through the scriptures, He helps us remember the home we had there. As I read, I am reminded of how well He knows me; just like when I open a small package from my family and find each of my favorite treats. God is well aware of what does and what will make you truly happy. I know with all my heart that He knows the thoughts and intents of your heart (Doctrine and Covenants 6:16). He is your Father and has sent you those letters or scriptures to help YOU rememeber who you are. That comfort and love cannot come if you leave them in the mailbox or on the shelf unopened, but if you will open and read them, those letters can become, as they have for me, your key to remembering.