My hubby and I are about to leave later today to bring our oldest, firstborn son out West to serve as a full-time missionary for two years in declaring the good news to those in the northern Utah, southern Idaho, and Star Valley, Wyoming areas that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. He will be a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we believe our church is set up in the same manner that Jesus Christ established His church when He was living upon the earth as a mortal. We have the same establishment such as prophets, aspostles, temples, the proper authority to act in God’s name through His Holy Priesthood, the sealing powers (as stated in Matthew), faith and works, baptism by immersion, repentance, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, etc. We believe that the Lord is the same today, yesterday and forever, which means that He has always had His people record words under His inspiration and that we have been blessed with another testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and that He knows where all His people are. (We believe there is yet additional scripture if and when we are ready to receive it, by living up to what we already have.) The greatest news is that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Our son is part of the great work in fulfilling the prophecy that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. This is one reason why there are missionaries from our church all over the world, including here in our own backyard!
Our son leaving for two years is both an exciting time for our family, and a sad one. I think back when my hubby and I were dating as seniors in high school. Upon graduation and after summer completed, I was to begin college about an hour away as he waited to serve his own mission (he ended up going to the Concepcion, Chile, South America mission). I would stay in the dorms at college Monday through Thursday, and come back for the long weekend until he left. My mother and sister were driving me there that first week, and we went to my future-hubby’s house to say good-bye.
As my mother pulled away with me in the car, my hubby and I began to cry. My mother declared, “Well, my goodness! It’s only four days! It’s as if you won’t see each other again.” My hubby and I locked eyes, and we knew it had nothing to do with the four day separation and everything to do that we both understood, without speaking any words, that our lives were about to change forever. It was time to enter the next phase of our lives. We were both excited and sad, just as we are now with our son. With our first child leaving home, we will no longer be the family that all lives under one roof as a parent/child dynamic. I suspect that it will never go back to that again.
I have such fond memories of our family-growing-up-together times as one whole unit. As a mother, it is easy to flash back to all the stages, some more favored in my mind than others. At the same time, I am eager to see and observe all that my son will learn and grow from this next stage of life for him. Eric is eager to learn how this experience will shape him. I know he has his own mixed feelings of being anxious and being sad, but ready.
It’s ironic that we were able to seal our two little boys, who are adopted, to us as a family in the Raleigh Temple a couple of weeks ago. We believe that the family unit continues into eternity; therefore, we are married for time and all eternity versus till death do you part. As part of this sealing, any children born to us after being sealed together in the temple for eternity as a couple are also automatically sealed to us as a family. If an adoption occurs, you must specifically seal them to us by going to the temple for that opportunity and blessing. So, for five years, we have operated as an “incomplete family”, but now we are once again a forever family. And now, we bid one adieu as he forges his own life away from us. It’s bittersweet, but we, too, are ready for all that it brings our family!
It looks like it’s snowing, but it’s not, though it was bitter cold. We lost a lot of our pictures, and this is the one I found, and it ended up with splatters on it: