From 8/8/13: To my 3 kids
I have to share a lesson taken from Jacob 5 which I have been studying for the past few days. I share this, because I believe it describes what happened to me, my testimony and experience in the gospel throughout the course of my life…it needs to be a lesson learned for each of you three children while you are still relatively young in life and in the gospel.
Jacob 5:48 reads in part, “…The branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?”
President Kimball commented, “It seems that some among us have this same problem; they want bountiful harvests – both spiritual and temporal – without developing the root system that will yield them. There are far too few who are willing to pay the price, in discipline and work, to cultivate hardy roots. Such cultivation should begin in our youth.”
I personally believe that the most basic, critical and important root structure that must be cultivated is daily prayer and scripture study. It is not important how much time is spent in these each day, so much as it is CRITICAL the quality of whatever time is spent. I NEVER did this. Whenever I did attempt it, it was without true meekness and desire, and thus unsustainable. Thus once abandoned, the branches of myself, my thoughts, my desires, even my testimony, could not be supported by the critically required roots which did not exist.
I was easily led astray in my very rational thought processes – and thus satan is cunning and able to deceive even the very elect – if the foundation is not established, roots strengthened and celestial habits created.
I love each of you. I desire for each of you to lay hold on your own humility, meekness, broken heart and contrite spirit and submit yourself, your love, your desires, your heart on the alter of the Lord as an offering and a pleading for His love, His nearness and His strength in your daily life. We all know what it feels like to be tempted. We cannot bear them alone – we will lose every time, unless we have done the small things to start each day that will add to our strength and ensure our safety throughout the remainder of that day. As we then string days, weeks and months of such patterns together, we will begin to truly stand immovable in our faith.