I'm hoping to put together a book of family stories this year, and have quite a few already collected that you've sent. Previous topics included: Memories of Grandparents, vehicle stories, Fathers and Sons outings, Things my mother taught me, Things learned from Dad and Faith promoting experiences.
I'm at this stage of life where I love and appreciate a family story even more than brownies, and would love it if either for mothers day or my birthday you could write a story for me on the topic: Metaphors In my Life I'd love it if your spouse and older children would also send me a story that they learned from.
An example of this would be one I used in the last talks I gave:
I grew up on a dry farm 17 miles from Ririe, Idaho. The last two miles home were up a dirt road, and 1 mile of that road was up a big hill. It was quite a climb to get to the top, and sometimes we had to walk it, if Mom wasn't there to pick us up from the school bus after school. After several years of requests, and proddings by my Dad, Bonneville County finally graded and graveled that 2 mile stretch, so that the school bus could actually come pick us up at our home. After that happened we no longer had to move into Ririe during the winter and its storms.
Each fall my dad would have us help burn off tumble weeds along the road, so they wouldn't hold the snow, and then we would insert study willow poles along one side of the road about every 20 feet. The poles were put there in case a blizzard or heavy snowfall came and we couldn't see the road to drive safely home. We would still know where the edge of the road was by the "protection" poles. I remember driving home many times as a family, hoping Daddy could see the next pole, as the snow and fog were so thick. Were it not for those guidelines, and poles of protection, we would have been in serious trouble, blinded by storms, or hidden dangers when we wouldn't have known where the road was.
When Daddy told me that story, he emphasized how you needed to prepare well before the storm came. The reality of the poles' importance really came home to me at that time and I've never forgotten what happened to Mrs. Hayes.
Recently, I was assigned to speak on staying on the path that leads back to Heavenly Father, and thought about the markers, or protection poles God has established to help families return home. These includes things as simple as a willow pole: praying daily, reading scriptures daily, holding Family Home Evening, church attendance, reading your patriarchal blessing, being honest, providing service, charity, and love. They are markers to help us return, and when used in a family setting can help us and our children stay on the road to eternal life.
I hope you will contemplate on some of the events of your life or experience and find a gospel application for them, and then share your thoughts in a short story. Andrew had to speak recently also, and used a similar idea with an ice fishing experience he had. I'd like the whole family to participate in this endeavor, so we can build each other up and provide our own teaching metaphors.
Thanks so much for your love and support. WE have the best family ever, and I thank Heavenly father each day, that you turned out so well, despite our mistakes. We are so appreciative your good spouses you married and their valiant efforts to work with you in raising a good family. Your children know the gospel so well, and we pray you will do everything possible to protect them from the adversary...Keep those protection poles close together and show them how to follow the path.