S: For Cameron
1: Dear Cameron-- I've created this book, especially for you, in hopes that I can share with you about the importance of families. You are very lucky, you have aunts who love and adore you, uncles who you can look up to and pattern your life after, grandparents who are supportive and loving and a mother who tries her best every day to show you how to live your life with integrity and faith. I love you Cameron and am so proud of the young man you are becoming. Love, Mom
2: Eternal Marriage
3: Preparing for temple marriage starts with a testimony of our Savior and a desire to live with him again. My preparation for a temple marriage began when I was 12 years old. As a Beehive in Young Womens I made a commitment to myself that I would live my life so that I would be worthy to be married in the temple. I made this commitment because I had a testimony of the gospel. I knew that being married in the temple was the right decision and that I would be blessed because of it. I knew that to return to live with my Heavenly Father, I needed to be sealed to my spouse for time and all eternity. Because of the commitment I made to myself and because of my testimony of Jesus Christ, I was able to keep all of God's commandments. I was able to live the law of chastity, the word of wisdom and all other commandments necessary to be worthy to enter the House of the Lord. On March 21, 2003 I was prepared and worthy to be sealed to my spouse for time and all eternity because I had done all that was necessary to be married in the temple. And now, 8 years later, my family continues to be blessed because of the preparation I made throughout my teenage and young adult years. My family is blessed because I had a testimony of my Savior and wanted to live with him again and because of this testimony I kept myself worthy to be married in the temple. And because of my temple marriage, my family is sealed to one another for time and all eternity and that is the greatest blessing of all.
4: Birth into a family was the way God chose to send His spirit children to earth. Marriage and family relationships are the central means He has prepared to achieve His purposes.
5: Home as a sacred center for family life
6: Cameron, you are part of a great miracle that happened in our family. When your mother was pregnant with you, she remembered some important things that she had been taught and made some good decisions in her life. She remembered just how sacred life is and that family is everything here on this earth and on into eternity. She wanted to raise you in a loving family environment with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, provide for the two of you and teach you many things that will help you grow up to be a great young man. So your mother came to live with us and the miracle began. What a blessing you are to your family with your mom and to all of us your extended family. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to support your mom while she was pregnant with you and to help her take care of you when you were so little. You had a tough time at first with your 3 ear operations, occupational and speech therapy and 4 years of preschool. My how you have grown to be such a great kid! I love seeing you everyday, your hugs and kisses, hearing “I love you, Grandma”, singing our funny songs, making olive oil popcorn and your happy smiles. We taught your mom right, families are everything and family relationships are forever. I’m so grateful to be your Grandma and part of your forever family. I love you forever, Grandma
8: As a 36-year old woman and single member (and having never married) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I have found great joy in serving others. In my late 20's when I began to accept the fact that marriage may never come or may be many years in the future, I felt that I needed to redefine my role in which I had been raised to believe would come if I was faithful and obedient. It was important to me to know that I could still contribute and feel needed despite the fact that I was single. Knowing that I am a daughter of God and that He has a unique and individual plan for each of us was essential in accepting and redefining my role and how I saw myself. I know that I have a divine nature and as I remain faithful to His commandments I can attain all of the blessings that He has for me and will be able to live with Him forever. This knowledge helps me to remain happy, joyful, and gives me the desire to serve in the capacities in which I'm asked to participate. Even though I may never be a mother during this earth life, I do know that I can be an example to others. I have 5 beautiful and wonderful nieces and nephews and I love them with all of my heart. I strive to be an example to each of them and hope that I can always have a strong relationship with them as well. It is also important to me that my nieces and nephews know that I can be happy, have courage, and be strong no matter my circumstances. I also had the wonderful privilege recently of serving as the Young Women's president for 4-years in my ward. In this calling, I was able to teach the YW about their divine nature, to remind them constantly that Heavenly Father loves each of them and has a plan for their lives, and that the most important thing they can do is to always be faithful no matter how their life unfolds. As a teacher, I have found great joy in being involved in the community in which I teach and strive to be an example at work as well. So as a single member of the church I live a fulfilling life by attending the temple, fulfilling my calling, participating in the singles activities, striving to be a kind and thoughtful aunt, daughter, and sister, and by contributing to society through my career as a teacher. Even though I may not be a wife and a mother I continue to strive to develop talents and qualities that will make me a better person and prepare me for my future whatever that may be.
9: Single Adults | Single Adults
10: Always remember that Heavenly Father is ready to hear and answer your prayers. I love praying with you and enjoy listening to your prayers. I found this scripture in Alma that I want to share with you.... But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you. Alma 34:26-27 | Faith & Prayer in a Christ centered family
11: "Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it the the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church and neighbors...love, like faith, is a gift of God. President Gordon B. Hinckley | Love, Respect & Compassion
12: Your Grandparents were always so good about making sure I was involved in church, sports and that we did things as a family. This is something that is very important to me and a value I want to instill within you. Wholesome family fun keeps us on the straight and narrow and helps us to have fun while making good choices; family vacations, cub scouts, primary, sports, and camping are all great examples of the wholesome family fun that we participate in.
13: Wholesome Family Fun
14: Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good and worthwhile things. Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in deed a son of the living God. There is something of divinity with you, something that stands high and tall and noble. Get above the dirt and the filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane with your heads up, believing in yourselves and in your capacity to act for good in the world and make a difference. -President Gordon B. HInckley | Divine Nature
15: Through prayer and scripture study you may find comfort in all things. This is something I try and teach you Cameron, although, you are a better example to me then I am to you. When things get hard or you need answers please remember this scripture: But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. D&C 9:8 | Scripture Study
16: I love sharing, experiencing, teaching and creating new traditions with you. Some of my favorites are reading bed time stories each night, playing secret elf, being your valentine, easter egg hunts, setting up our nativities and telling the story, decorating the Christmas tree and our weekly movie night. It's my hope that one day you'll pass these on in your new family and create your own.
17: Traditions | Family Traditions
18: I wish I could express to you how important the temple and my covenants are to me. Even before my endowment I loved going to the temple. I would go every week to do baptisms for the dead because I loved the feelings that I had when I was there. Then I had the opportunity to receive my own endowment, which had to be the happiest day of my life so far. When I walked into the celestial room after the session many of our family members were just waiting for me there and I had the most distinct feeling that this is what it would be like after this life as long as I kept the covenants that I had just made. From then on I have tried my best to do as God has asked me. I am not perfect and have made so many mistakes along the way, but that is why Christ was sent to the earth. God just asks us to do our best and Christ makes up the rest. I hope that you will one day make the same choice to go to the temple. It is the best decision that you could ever make in this life. The promises you make there are not just earthly promises, but eternal promises. We covenant with God to follow him and to keep certain commandments and he in turn promises us eternal life and the opportunity to live with our families forever. What a great blessing that will be one day to all be able to live together forever. I still don't completely understand everything that has to do with the temple, but that is why I try to go often. The more I go, the more I understand God's plan for me and the better I understand the covenants I have made with him. | Temple Covenants
19: We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally. The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed. We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. | The Family: A Proclamation to the World
20: June 27, 2014
21: I created this book three years ago and at that time I was not married. CJ, I am so excited for our new little family. I am excited that you finally have siblings and how well you have handled all these changes. But what I am most excited about is one day being sealed to my husband and then having you sealed to us. This has been a huge heart desire of mine and it's about to come true. I love you and want to be with you forever!