I thought I’d take a moment and share my gratitude for blessings received. Long have I recognized that our family’s path is guided by a loving Heavenly Father—I see this time and time again. We approach uncertainty, Lily and I smile at each other and take the other’s hand, and we press forward. In those moments, things just work out. I feel so undeserving of the Lord’s mercies. I still struggle at times to give myself entirely to Him, to be the man He wants me to be, to always treat others as they should be treated. Despite my flaws and weaknesses, my Heavenly Father is so patient and loving. He teaches me in ways that I can only hope to emulate with my own children.
I’m grateful for my family. Oh, how grateful I am. Abby is learning and growing. I see her flourish in our home, and I see the influence of her sweet mother in her calm smiles and gentle hugs she often offers any one of us. She has an observant soul and is extremely sensitive to others’ needs, even at this young age. I’m terribly fond of her. Jane, too, is learning and growing. She devours whatever good you can offer her. She is kind and tender with her younger sister, pausing her play and activities to encourage Abby and to share her toys. Jane sees the good in the world and is consistently seeking it wherever she goes. How I love Jane as well!
And then there’s Lily. How does her husband begin to describe her? This is a woman who knows God. There is a relationship there that fosters a simple, clean reliability. I know her daily decisions are inspired—there’s this peaceful, unquestioning move to action whenever she hears the Holy Ghost point her in a given direction. And she’s so kind and patient. Day after day she loves and serves her children and her husband. Not one of us doubts it, not Abby, not Jane, not me. I cannot say enough good about Lily. I am so grateful for her.
Recently, I was hired by BYU as a full time instructional designer for the department of Independent Study. My portfolio consists of BYU’s online religion courses as well as various courses tied in to education. How blessed I feel to be involved in teaching and learning at this institution. To obtain a job like this when so many others go without…I hope that I can return even a portion of the goodness shown me. I work in the Amanda Knight Hall just south of campus and it’s a beautiful old building.
I close with a declaration to the world (and I hope neither my daughters, nor the rest of the world, ever wonder about Steve Mott’s conviction): I know that God lives. I know that He loves us, and I know it because my experiences show me that He knows me and that He cares. I am given challenges that offer me a choice. I am taught by the way I respond to those challenges and choices. I see both good and evil in the world around me, and I have tasted a hearty portion of both. I tell you with confidence that evil is never good. Jane and Abigail, you’ll recall throughout your life the way evil feels, the way it affects people, the things it tries to do to our homes, our families, our nations, our world. You must never give in to it, and if you give in to it, you must never give up to it. It is never too late to choose good, a truth made entirely possible by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, how grateful I am. To all who read this, Jane, Abby, Lily, and others, I testify of the good that comes through following the Lord, and only hope I may continue to align my choices more closely with that conviction each passing day.