Being away from home is hard sometimes. I mean look at those kids, who wouldn't miss those faces! Not to mention my 3 other nephews and nieces and add to that my siblings and extended family. I missed my little brother's graduation, Suzy's first date, and the countless athletic events they participate in that I LOVE to watch. It would be nice if I just lived a few hours drive from everyone, but for some reason, the Lord has something for me to do here in Georgia.
There are times though, when I have to ask myself, "Is it really worth it?"
I took great comfort in a comment made by President Eyring in the April 2008 General Conference (emphasis added).
"My sense of gratitude stems also from blessings to my family. It is the sealing power and our knowledge of it which changes and transforms our family life here and our expectations for the joy of family life in the world to come. The thought and the hope that I can have eternal relationships carries me through the trials of separation and the loneliness which are part of mortal existence. The promise to the faithful in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that we may have associations and an expansion of families in the eternities. That assurance changes forever and for the better all of our associations in families."
"For example, I am at a stage in my life when, because of great distances, I cannot come to know well grandchildren and, in time, great-grandchildren. There are also people who have never had the opportunity for marriage and parenthood who have the same yearning as I do to somehow be close to family. Because of the restoration of the knowledge of eternal families, we are more hopeful and more kindly in all our family relations. The greatest joys in this life center in families, as they will in the worlds to come. I am so grateful for the assurance I have that if we are faithful, the same sociality which we enjoy here in this life will be forever with us in the world to come, in eternal glory."
This knowledge gives me the desire to make sure I do everything within my power and scope of influence to ensure that I can enjoy those special and sacred blessings. Having an eternal perspective makes it so much easier to choose the right; things become very black and white. All those little and sometimes big sins that could keep me from celestial glory are so much easier to avoid. If I get to the other side and an inappropriate movie, song, thought, or deed keeps me from my family, it will so not be worth it. That's why prophets, parents, and other church leaders teach us to AVOID certain things, because they KNOW the consequences. Sometimes we somehow justify in our minds that, it doesn't apply in our lives. Yet, we have the Book of Mormon a very strong witness that shows what will happen if we fail to heed the prophet and obey with exactness. The Nephites and Jaredites weren't guilty of heinous crimes at first, but the further away they fell, the greater their sins became. That is why we must hold fast and tight to the iron rod.
FAITHFUL AND EXACT OBEDIENCE DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE "FUN" and "JOY" WE CAN EXPERIENCE IN THIS LIFE, IT ENHANCES IT!
"And, finally, in all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
I have come to know for myself that true happiness can come only from full and complete obedience to the Gospel.