I have not walked in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, or Judea. I have not visited Gethsemane, Golgotha or the Sea of Galilee. I have not visited Nauvoo, Palmyra, or seen the Sacred Grove or Hill Cumorah. I have not attended General Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah and I have not met a prophet or apostle in person. I don’t need to. Witnessing the physical realities of these tangible things, as compared with seeing them in film or on the internet, would not cause me to know more surely the intangible absolutes that I carry in my heart and mind.
I am a simple person that has lived a simple life limited primarily to my family, near acquaintances and friends, and those I have met through employment or volunteering in the communities I have lived in. Few people have left a lasting impression on my memory and I suppose even fewer would remember me - I am OK with that - I know we all influence and are influenced in imperceptible ways and by imprecise, imperfect means.
One significant reason causes those that have made a lasting mark to stay fresh in memory: something they did – positive or otherwise - fundamentally changed the manner of thought I have and I became a different being than I was previously.
I hope that if I am remembered by anyone it is because I have helped them to know one surety - It is summed up in the 1st Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – I will quote and paraphrase it as I often find it in my thoughts.
I [ me – a simple, very ordinary and sometimes pathetic being] BELIEVE in God, The Eternal Father [a loving father who loves me and each and every single human being so greatly we cannot begin to understand it], in His son Jesus Christ [my Savior and Redeemer] and in the Holy Ghost [whose reality at times leaves me stunned in awe].
I know with absolute certainty that God is our father in heaven. I know that Jesus Christ is his son. I know of their grace and mercy in my life and wish I could give every person I see and meet that same assurance of their reality and of their love. I have received that knowledge as a grand gift and it gives hope and peace and strength.
These things are among the intangible absolutes that transcend even my own existence. I know.
God knows I know. I know – really.