This morning I received news that a friend's husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind five growing children and a devastated wife. Amid the feelings of shock and loss, I couldn't help but contemplate my own mortality, my own fragile and human existence in this world. I began to think about what I would be leaving behind, my legacy, you could say.
If I were to be taken tomorrow, what would my legacy be?
I know what I would like it to be. But am I doing all that I can to ensure my legacy will never be questioned? Will my children be able to say with confidence, "We do not doubt that our mother knew it?" (Alma 56:47-48)
Do my children know my testimony of a loving Father in Heaven, and in his Son, Jesus Christ? Do they know how the knowledge of who I am, a daughter of a supreme and divine Father, is ingrained in the very fabric of my soul? Do they know that this knowledge is the foundation of everything I know, and the guiding truth for everything I aspire to? Do they know how my love for our Savior, Jesus Christ gives me the strength I need to get up every day, to go through all the tedious motions of life, and never give up when life seems more than I can bear? Do they know how much I rely on the Savior's message of peace and hope every day, and especially when the blackest and most profound darkness has threatened to overcome me? Do they know how the Savior's light can conquer all-- darkness can turn to light, fear can turn to courage within, and despair can turn to everlasting happiness and peace?
Do my children know how much I love them-- how deeply, profoundly, and utterly I adore them in all their quirks, fancies, and imperfections? Do they know how proud of them I am, how much potential I see in each of them, and how I am constantly amazed at the people they are growing to be? Do they know how much I weep for them, pray for them, plead for them, fight for them? Do they know how much I see, and that through every heartbreak or struggle they face, I am in the background agonizing with them? Do they know how much I rejoice as I witness their growth, as they develop their talents, or courageously face their weaknesses? Do they know they are a piece of my heart and an eternal link to my soul?
I wish to leave a legacy of faith. I wish to leave a legacy of love.
Words will only get me so far, however. As vital as it is to hear it from my lips, my children must feel this legacy of mine through my actions, by the way that I live my life, by the principles and truths which I teach, and by the way that I serve others.
For now I will go say my prayers with them, hold them a little closer, and tuck them into bed a little more tenderly, clinging to the hope that my legacy will be etched into the center of their hearts.
My name is Heather.
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