I just want to take this time to express my love for this gospel. What an incredible knowledge it is to know that I can live with my Heavenly Father again. That he knows me personally. That he knows every pain, every sorrow, every heartache. That he knows every joy, love and success I have ever felt.
I set a couple goals this week. and let me tell you, I am SO glad I set these goals when I did, because I am positive that it would have been a much harder week without the watchful eye of my Heavenly Father, and the loving spirit that I so warmly felt.
I stumbled across this poem, from a CES fireside I was able to go to by Elder Ballard at BYU a couple months ago. I loved the poem then, and I love it now.
“The Oak Tree” by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”
The oak tree said, “I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.
"My beloved young brothers and sisters, be like the strong oak tree. Come to know how strong you are. Push your faith and trust in God and Christ down deep in gospel soil. Always be aware of the artificial flies being presented to us by the counterfeit fisher of men, Lucifer. May we have the wisdom and spiritual insight to discern and refuse his many dangerous offerings. Live the doctrine of Christ, the simple and basic principles of the gospel, each day—have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent, honor the covenant of baptism, live worthy of the Holy Ghost as your companion, and endure to the very end. Do this every day, and the Spirit of the Lord will be with you to keep you safely on the pathway that leads to eternal life." - Elder Ballard