"Brothers and sisters, I believe that if we could truly understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is one son or daughter of God. I believe our Heavenly Father’s everlasting purpose for His children is generally achieved by the small and simple things we do for one another. At the heart of the English word atonement is the word one. If all mankind understood this, there would never be anyone with whom we would not be concerned, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or social or economic standing. We would strive to emulate the Savior and would never be unkind, indifferent, disrespectful, or insensitive to others.
If we truly understood the Atonement and the eternal value of each soul, we would seek out the wayward boy and girl and every other wayward child of God. We would help them to know of the love Christ has for them. We would do all that we can to help prepare them to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel."
- M. Russel Ballard, The Atonement and the Value of One Soul, April 2004 LDS General Conference
ALOHA Heavenly Homes and Forever Families Reader!
Today I am going to open up and share something that is extremely personal. We are adopting a son! It's not big news to anyone who knows us. He's been living with us for more than 6 months. So what's different now? Well- we thought we had lost him, we gave him back to his birth-mother, and then the Lord reminded us just how precious one soul is and told us we are to fight for his ETERNAL welfare, not just his physical well-being.
Elder Ballard also says "I believe our Heavenly Father's everlasting purpose for His children is generally achieved by the small and simple things we do for one another." Now honestly, adopting Vai could be considered a huge undertaking. To me, it is; it has taken so much of my physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Could it be considered a small and simple thing accomplishing Heavenly Father's purpose? Yes. In the grand scheme of things, Heavenly Father has orchestrated more miraculous things. Hebrews chapter 11 and Mormon chapter 9 are full of examples of miraculous circumstances the Lord has orchestrated in behalf of His Children. So, I must trust that this adoption is in the very capable hands of our Heavenly Father, and do the small and simple things he has asked me to do.
I can sense some of the eternal purposes that the Lord has for Vai, and why this adoption is so important... Through Sean and I adopting Vai, he'll be sealed into an eternal, covenant family. He will be raised knowing the gospel, and making his own covenants with his Savior. He'll learn how to listen to the Holy Ghost, to our Latter day prophets, and learn that there are Heavenly Parents who love him deeply. Adopting Vai means that he will receive that nourishment that he needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually and will one day become who Heavenly Father needs him to be.
"I understand from what the Lord has revealed to us through the prophets that people are his greatest concern. We are his children. We are somebody... We are his children, and he continually reveals himself through the prophets so that one day we can be like him."
-Paul H. Dunn, The Worth of Souls is Great!, April 1973 LDS General ConferenceHave you ever truly thought about the magnitude of the calling to be a mother or a father? Motherhood and Fatherhood in its truest form is what our Heavenly Parents do! I love how Elder Dunn states that we have "prophets so that one day we can be like Him". What's the purpose of the gospel and latter day revelation? To teach us to become godly parents!
Heavenly Father is the Father of our Souls. He loves us, cares about what happens to us, orchestrates miracles in our behalf, and just wants us to make it back into His presence! Sean and I take this challenge to be Vai's parents very seriously- and we will do the very best we can to be Christlike parents and raise him in the way the Lord would have us raise him.
Thanks for reading! May you have a blessed, wonderful day- one that's full of Aloha!
Silipa Smith just celebrated her 5th Wedding anniversary with her dear husband Sean!!! Someone recently told Silipa that she and her husband have done more in their 5 years of marriage than many do in 15. Indeed, her life has been filled with adventures and miracles- her happiest miracles are her 4 children (Maile, Nani, Sina, and Vai). She loves reading and read over 600 books in 2012. When she grows up some more, she’d like to be a Life/Joy Coach and children’s book author and illustrator. Silipa is passionate about the gospel, and her favorite callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has been to serve as a missionary on the island of Pohnpei, and as a seminary teacher in Missouri.