Hello friends and family,
I would like to start my email by saying that my heart goes out to my Oakview ward. I heard about some of the tragedies that took place this last week, and I wish to express my sincerest sympathies to my dear friends back home. I know the sadness will pass with time and I know that our Savior can heal your hearts. To the Jensen family I send all my love and I am offering prayers in your behalf each day.
In light of all that has happened this week, I must say I've had a wake up call. Heavenly Father has put a number of experiences in my path to remind me what this life is REALLY about.
I am so grateful that the Relief Society Broadcast focused on Covenants. I hope everyone that was able to go to the broadcast found it as enlightening as I did.
So, what is life about? It's about making sacred covenants and doing all that is necessary to keep those covenants. Through the saving ordinances we receive we can one day receive the greatest gift of all, exaltation. As has been made very clear to me, life is so very short. The time is now to do what I can to keep the sacred covenants I have made. Not tomorrow, not some time in the near future... The time is NOW.
What does it mean when we keep covenants? When we keep our covenants we are bound to the Savior. I love that! "BIND" is such a powerful word.
I love how Sister Stephens reminded us that we demonstrate our commitment to the covenants we make every time we act as the Savior would act. I'll admit, I never really thought of it that way. We, as members of the church, have committed to act in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ... So it would only make sense that Christ-like acts demonstrate covenant keeping! Seems so obvious... but it really flipped a switch on in my brain... don't know about anyone else. Haha.
I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to help the relief society sisters in my ward keep the covenants they made at baptism and eventually make more sacred covenants in the temple. I realized on Saturday that it all starts with me. "Mourn with those that mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort." I have been issued a call... and that call is to put away all other distractions so that I can focus solely on the needs of those in the ward in which I'm serving and well in essence, EVERYONE I come in contact with. I would say this is a prime time to think about the covenants I've made with my Heavenly Father and look at what I can do to better demonstrate my dedication to those promises.
So again, after receiving word about Sister Tamra Jensen, I understand a little more than I did before the importance of expressing love to those who are far from me. I love every one of you... family, friends, anyone who may be reading this. You are not alone. Ever! As was mentioned by our Prophet Thomas S. Monson this week, the tribulation we face may bring us to our knees and cause us to seek consolation from the atonement. And this is what helps us grow. No challenge each of us faces is too great, and no trial too difficult for us to overcome. As we keep the covenants we have made at baptism and in the Holy House of the Lord He is bound. He will always keep his end of the deal. Thus, our families are forever. I know, with all that is in me, that families last beyond the veil. The relationships we have with our dear loved ones have been there since before this life began and will go on after this life.
I love you all and may God bless you with the strength you need to endure!
Love Always, Sister Franklin