Darrell B. sent me this letter. I thought it was wonderful and asked for permission to share it with the UnBlog.
There are some things I have experienced lately that I wanted to share with you. The scripture in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew has come to my mind a lot lately. The scripture reads, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it”. (Matthew 13:44-46)
I was pondering over this scripture the other night when the Spirit reminded me of an event that occurred in my life many years ago: In the year 1991 when I was in my senior year of high school we moved to Tennessee. The move had taken some time and my brother Cheyenne and I had missed a lot of schooling. When we finally went to register for school in Tennessee, the school board determined that we had missed too much school and that we could not catch up so they suggested that we go to a special school where we could earn the remainder of our credits at our own pace.
This school that we went to was very unique in a number of ways: We didn’t have homework, each day we just took up where we left off the day before. We could stay at school as long as we wanted, whether it be 30 minutes a day or 12 hours a day. At first, my brother and I didn’t take our schooling very seriously; we would go to school for 30 minutes to an hour each day. It just didn’t seem all that important to us, and we loved all the free time to do whatever we wanted.
On New Years Eve in that same year of 1991, my mom announced to my brother and I that we were going to make a trip to New Jersey to visit our sister Jackie. This news excited us greatly because the last time we had seen our sister Jackie was in the year 1978 when she came out to visit us in New Mexico. At the time, Cheyenne and I were 5 years old and our sister seemed amazing: she was beautiful, fun to be around, and always loved spending time with us. Her visit left a permanent impact on us. Year after year we yearned to see her again, so you can imagine how excited we were to hear that we would be going to see her again.
Our visit lasted about a month, and it was like being in a dream. Jackie had lost none of that magic she had when we were kids. Our visit with her and her daughters was the greatest high point up to that point in our lives. Mom decided that she would remain in New Jersey with Jackie and her family, but Cheyenne and I had to return to Tennessee to finish our schooling. The day we left New Jersey was one of the most painful days of my life.
In the days that followed, I missed my mom, my sister Jackie, and my nieces Stephanie, Katrina, and April so much that I felt that a part of me was dead. The emptiness and sorrow felt overwhelming; however, some days after our return to Tennessee my sister Jackie called us and told us that she wanted us to move up there with her as soon as we finished our schooling. At that moment, our schooling took on a whole new meaning to us. It seemed to us to be a gateway to our return to New Jersey. We couldn’t get enough of schooling. We would arrive at school as soon as it opened and stay until it closed at 8:00 p.m. at night. No sacrifice seemed too great. The more school work we could do the better we felt. It actually felt like a great relief.
The weekend of our graduation was one of the greatest times of my life. Mom and Jackie came to get us and to celebrate our graduation with the rest of the family here in Tennessee. A big cake was made for us by one of our cousins, and our great-aunt made a wonderful celebration dinner. It was also during that weekend that we had the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon us.
I mention this story because the Spirit told me the other night that that experience was a type and a shadow in my life. I had an impression that Heavenly Father will give me glimpses of the things He has in store for me just like I had a taste of how wonderful things were when I visited my sister. Having that vision or taste is what enabled me to make the sacrifice to devote so much time and attention to my schooling so that I could finally receive those things I had hoped for.
Likening this experience to my spiritual journey has prompted me to ask for a blessing: I want Him to plant in me a vision or taste of those things He has in store for me to the degree that I will be willing and desirous to make any sacrifice to obtain it, and just as I needed to be near my sister and her family again and was willing even yearning to do what it took to get back, so I want to need my Saviour to the degree that no amount of sacrifice will seem too great, that I might even view the sacrifice as a gateway to Him, just as I viewed my schooling as the gateway to my family.
The blessing of having that yearning so strong that one would be enabled to sacrifice anything seems like a blessing almost too good to be true, and yet I feel certain the Spirit planted that in my heart. As a fellow seeker, does that sound like wishful thinking, or does it sound like He’s leading me in that direction?
Sincerely, Brother Darrell B.