Saturday, May 30, 2015

An Eternal Echo

Unfortunately the time has come in which I write my last letter to all of you that I love as Elder Lyle.

This week I have had time to reflect on exactly what I have done with the last 2 years of my life.

This week I have been consuming the Book of Mormon at a rate that I have never done before and I have found that the meaning of many things change as you read the Book of Mormon all at once. 
As I was reading the book of Alma, I found myself reflecting on one story in particular. That is the story of the Stripling Warriors.

When I was in the MTC I had an incredible experience that I will never forget concerning them. In my journal I wrote; "In that moment, I knew that I personally had met ever one of those 2 thousand Stripling Warriors, and they are my brothers. I felt as if I was knocked off my seat with the impression that I received of the spirit, as He reminded me of my past, even before the veil."
I did not understand fully the importance of that experience until this last week of my mission.

In Alma 56 these 2 thousand and 60 young men are at war, they had never fought before in their life, they were faced with eminent death, yet when Helaman, their captain, says to them;
"Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?"
The courage of these young men was said to have been indescribable. The courage which they had, came from their faith in God and what their mothers had taught them.
Their response was: "Father, behold our God is with us, and He will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go"
In that moment, as I read this passage, I truly felt everything come together.

I know that over the past 2 years I have felt their arms pushing me forward,
I have felt their hands push me back as I almost have stepped in front of traffic,
I have felt their hands stop me from entering parts where not many leave alive,
I have felt their hands pick me up after every spiritual battle that I have had. 
I have felt the spiritual, physical and emotional wounds as I have made my way through the last 2 years, but my Heavenly Father never left my side. I know that I received divine help.
I have fought the battle,
I have won the fight,
I have seen families go to the temple that before teaching them I would have thought they would have never changed.
I have seen people I have taught leave on missions to help others.
I have seen how God works by small things :"by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" Alma 37:6

I have thought of all the people that I have met and all things that I love about this country. It is hard for me to leave, but I know the Lord needs me in another part of His vineyard.

I know that I have worked hard, and that satisfaction will stay with me forever.

I love my God and my Savior, and I know that I will continue to work for them just as I have worked for them here. 
I have followed the impressions of the spirit and will continue to do so for all my life.

I know that God is my Heavenly Father, and that His son is Jesus Christ the Savior and Redeemer of the world. 
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know. I know because I asked God and he told me so. It is that simple. 
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is the only true church. 
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. 
I know that I have the authority to baptize and administer His holy priesthood. 
I know that this life does not end with the death, but only continues. 
I know that my Father in Heaven loves me and wants to see me succeed.
I love you all.

My mission has been the best two years. They have not been the easiest, but they have been the best.

I owe all of this to my Heavenly Father, who worked a great miracle through two young men in white shirts and ties that knocked on my family’s door. For that same reason I can compare my experience to that of Nephi: "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents".
Because of the teachings of my mother, and my grandmother and grandfather I am here. 
I too can count myself with my brothers the Stripling Warriors to say, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

I have felt how the gospel has wakened those who I teach here, but also those that have passed beyond our reach to the following life. I know that God has made it possible that the work I have done here has made an eternal echo, especially through my own family.

This is the true church of Jesus Christ. 
I know it, and I close these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World, the very Son of God,

Elder Lyle