The Oakland Temple Visitor’s Center has this awesome exhibition about families that we often view with the people we are teaching. The Spanish voice-overs are funny to us missionaries, and so they become inside jokes in the Spanish program in the mission.

At one point, the dad in the film tells his kids, who are behind a rock formation in what looks like St George, “saquen sus cabezas” which translates to “take out your heads”.

This week we watched that film with our investigator and her son. She has been through a lot of difficulty after losing a close family member.

My earliest memory, at least I think it is my first memory, is from my Great Grandfather Francis Mortenson’s funeral. I remember sitting in a church somewhere and listening to the children’s song “Families can be Together Forever”.

I shared that this week at the end of the film, and as I did I was struck by the beauty of that memory.

There isn’t much that sticks around in this life. Our high school promises to Keep In Touch sublimate faster than the dry ice in our 7th grade science class, and often our values change at the same rate.

Suns rise. Suns set. Protons decay. Ankles break and heal.

The beauty of being a missionary and of the Gospel is that there is another type of object that does not break, decay, vary, or waver. The truths taught by Jesus Christ are eternal. One of those truths restored through Joseph Smith is that family relationships need not decay or dissolve, even after death.

Families can be together forever.

Alright, now saquen sus cabezas. I have riddle.

I die. I expire. You want me now, but you’ll hate me later. All of my supposed positive effects are quickly replaced by negative nonperishable woes. You won’t believe you could be rid of me until you are.

Now, whatever sin you’re thinking of, kill it and save your eternal family. There is nothing perishable worth losing the only eternal hopes you have.

I am well here in Richmond. The mission is awesome. I love helping other people find the truth! I’m sorry I’ve been bad at weekly emails/blog posts.

Love you all!

Elder Mortenson

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