Monday, September 23, 2013

My History

I come from a long line of really great people on both sides of my family. I feel truly blessed to be who and where I am because of their great sacrifices. But lately I feel this deep and abiding connection to the Smith side of my family. In our church this year we have been learning a lot of church history, this is my family, these are my people. I have felt their suffering and feel great pride at the wonderful people who came before me. It's hard to put into words. I don't really like to talk about where I come from that often. I don't want to come off as arrogant or prideful in any way, but I am so thankful for the sacrifice of my ancestors. I had to read a scripture in a book of scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants a few weeks ago. I could hardly contain my emotions as I read about the martyrdom of our prophet Joseph Smith and his brother my some odd great grandfather, Hyrum Smith. Even now I am emotional about it. All this suffering and hatred and persecutions all for the sake of religious freedom. They made the ultimate sacrifice for what they knew to be true and I am so thankful. And even today in class we talked about choices and even after all they had been asked to endure they had to leave their beloved home in the middle of winter and head out west to an uninhabited territory. I think of my some odd great grandmother, Mary Fielding Smith, a widow taking herself and her kids to Utah all alone and without help from anyone. She could have stayed behind like Emma, Joseph's wife. She had endured enough terrible heartache. But she knew where she wanted to be, she knew where she wanted to go and suffered greatly along the way, but never gave up. She truly is an amazing woman. I am extremely thankful to her and only hope I make her proud, and all my ancestors who have fought so valiantly. I know the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I have known it since a young child. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ as a young boy of 14. I know he restored the church of Jesus Christ to the earth, so we could enjoy the fullness of the gospel in these days. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, another testament of Jesus Christ. I know the power just reading its pages can bring into your life for I have felt it's healing balm. I know we have a prophet on this earth even today, President Thomas S. Monson. I am so thankful for the peace and assurance that comes from my Savior and His atonement. I love my family, old and new, and I am thankful everyday for their loving influence in my life. I really have a wonderful family.