It is good to hear of the Inspiration you received to hold a Family Council Meeting. It sounds wonderful to me. And it sounds like it came at a very key time. I must say mother... I hope you never grow to weary because of our reluctance in these sorts of endeavors, for we do so need your consistency. It is this we will always remember. That our parents always prayed. Always taught us to remember who we are. Always attempted to gather us for family prayer. Always read the scriptures. Always taught us, through their examples, how people ought to live. How people ought to be treated. They taught us... through their consistency, how to be more than just another person, but how to be a Child of God. People always see this... they don't know how to describe it... only with words such as 'nice' or 'different'...or others, but always, words of praise.
We will remember... that our Parents, never. gave. up.
I know, and I remember... and were I there... I would most likely have fought you on it or found a way to avoid it or complain or not participate... even if forced, i would have given you little attention or feedback. I apologize. I can only hope my siblings will be of greater character than I. But I know... that it is this consistency... that will one day bridge the gap we place between our parents and ourselves... and tear down the wall... because one day, it will no more be awkward, but rather, in comfort... we will know whom we can trust.
I do hope my Sisters realize this. Even if they don't want to... and you may tell them this... even if they do not want to participate in the slightest... I ask their patience and their trust...
please, you two, Rebecca and Amanda... use this time... speak from your heart... give your real thoughts on the Family... but before spouting off bad things... and all the problems...think first of the good things that can come by overcoming the obstacles... think of how amazing we would be if we could remove these obstacles. Then... speak to Mother and Father, and with One Another, on how. What must we do... to achieve this. How can we do this thing. And together... it will be done. You are not alone. We are a Family... and all of us need each other, if we want to be Happy.
I am amazed by the missionary program. I am amazed how there can be avoided all forms of contention by simply communicating.
Every night... an opportunity to relate our feelings on the day, begun and ending with a prayer... finding the great things, and complimenting one another... and if we fell short... reestablishing that we shall overcome. Apologizing and overcoming. Every Thursday... an actual time set apart,.called Companionship Inventory, where the Companionship discusses the strengths of all that has come from one another, seeking to uplift and inspire. And then, in the Spirit of the Scripture, "reproves betimes with sharpness, but showing forth afterwards an increase in love" (D&C 121: 43) ; that's the key. Love needs to direct all things. Its not a time to point fingers or to blame. For such brings a spirit which can quickly burn wild and ruin all that might otherwise have been built. But rather... all things that are said concerning faults... are said in love with suggesting how they can be overcome, and the promises and blessings that would follow. Not that, "i don't like that you do this..." but rather "i think that if you tried this, instead of this... you would become..." always, always... the focus, is on them. That you want them to become a better person. If this is so... if they are the focus, and not our unruly emotions, but them, we would never dare say anything to offend. But only to edify and improve.
And this happens... every time. It's interesting... especially trying not to be offended when someone tells you a "fault" that you may be able to improve. But if we can get past the prideful thoughts and realize we are NOT perfect.... and if we can avoid the tendency to want to shoot some fault back at them... and realize they are doing their best to help US grow...then miracles can happen. It's all about being slow to anger. It's all about love.
And every week... the District leader takes each one of us aside... and simply asks... How are you? And hows the area? And then... you can speak of anything. And it is always so much better... when we know we will have these conversations... that we prepare beforehand... truly thinking on our thoughts, perhaps throughout the week... reviewing the night before... How IS everything? Find your real thoughts. And then... that interview actually will mean something. Not just a repetitive, same interview every week... but rather, a chance to speak your mind, and receive revelation and advice from another person.
Twice a transfer Zone Leader interviews...
And then... the monthly interviews with President.
Same focuses. Same opportunities. New Revelations.
If we see them as the Amazing Opportunities they are.
If not... of course, they wont mean much.
My Hope is that Rebecca, you, and Amanda, you...
will become excited and prepared for these interviews with Mom and Dad... these talks...that you will look forward and want to talk to them. And that... even daily... you start talking to our parents. They are Mom and Dad. Come on! Even their names imply they are our Best Friends! Please... get to know our parents. Let them in. It Changes everything.
And speak with one another... in all things... What are your Dreams? What do you want Your Life to Be? You All Decide... If You Are Willing to Speak with one another... I know your lives...can be EXACTLY all you dream them to be. You Decide.
Thank You, Mom and Dad. I Hope the Council Meetings continue. I Pray Rebecca and Amanda will speak to you often, daily... about any and all things. Even to the smallest... tiniest details. And I do pray... that the young children, will see everything of Rebecca and Amanda's examples... and will be bettered, because their older siblings were strong in the faith... and always were Good Examples. In all things. I know that it is upon Rebecca and Amanda... who those children become.
Love You, my Family.
--Elder Christopher A. Lewis
Witnessed the Cebu Temple Dedication just the other day... Sunday.
Prophet, Apostles, Seventy... others.
I am so Happy... Ours is an Eternal Family. Thank You.
Please... if ya'll can... take a Family Picture?
And send many many copies to me? With all of your signatures on the back?
Saying some small message about Families perhaps? About love? Or prayer?
Just a sentence or two?
I want to give them out to many many people... and let them know...
that My Family believes....
that this Church is True. And that Families can be Together Forever.
So please... if you can, take a picture of ALL of you, if you have one...
make many many copies (small preferably... but not too small.... maybe 3x6's?)
and write all your names. Thank you...
I really feel that these people... will benefit greatly, from our Family, if we do this thing.
Thank You Family!