In the Illinois Chicago Mission there are 212 young missionaries living in apartments scattered across the city and country. They are far from home and family. They have come here from all over the world.They spend their days knocking on doors, contacting those who have asked for a visit, giving service, teaching those who want to hear their message. We love them for the effort they put forth and the love they share with those they meet. As we watch them labor with pure intent, we think of you,
You are growing up in a religious culture with a strong heritage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored to the earth in 1830. The short form name of Mormons has been used from the beginning and we referr to ourselves today as Mormons along with the rest of the world who know of the existance of the church. Joseph Smith explained that he could never deny the things that he had seen and heard because he knew it and he knew that God knew that as well. Some of you who are old enough and your parents and your grandparents know what we know relative to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We each know what we know because of feelings that are ours alone. Witnesses of the spirit to each heart and mind anchor these feelings.These feelings can not be impircally proven, but in no way can they be denied. As we apply the things that we know in our everyday lives, we find a lot of happiness, and success, and growth. These are all good things to us. Because of this and because the scriptures ask us to, we choose to share our treasure. Your parents, and your grandparents and presently 90,000 young men and women have given years of their life to share with anyone who will hear, the things that are dear. All of you and your parents and grandparents have felt the sting of detractors who attack with words and actions your motives and your beliefs. I want you to know that you do not have to be ashamed of what you believe or the motives involved in sharing what you know. For those who go out among the people to share, the motive is love alone. There is no reward other than seeing people's lives change for the better. The effort is to offer themselves up to God's service and share his love. The effort is to do what Jesus did. There are people who are not interested in hearing what is to be shared. That is okay. Sometimes they don't refuse politely and that is okay too. Agency is the operative word. As you employ your agency relative to your beliefs, so may others do the same.
Treasure your beliefs, your culture and your heritage. Maintain the standard of love and acceptance that Jesus taught. Live the statutes outlined in the scriptures and taught by modern prophets. If you feel the desire to share your beliefs and feelings, know that there will be those who will want to hear.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..........2 Timothy 1:8.
With Much Love,
Grandma and Grandpa