Man, I'm so glad that you (and the mission) taught me to be modest, Mama. Thank you for your example and testimony. I know working in the temple is going to be one of the greatest blessings in your life, because this mission is one of mine--the only difference between us is that I'm doing the work of salvation for the living, and you for the dead. I know D&C 18:10-16 applies just as much to you as it does to me.
One of the biggest things I've learned so far (I'm compiling a list and I can only imagine how extensive it will be after 18 months...) is about the commandment to be perfect. I'm sure you know that the translation actually means "whole" or "complete" but there are a couple interpretations of that, or levels I suppose. The first is that we are perfected by entering into the ordinances of the Gospel--baptism, endowment, sealing--and therefore, in that sense, you are perfect. However, Joseph Smith taught that no man has reached perfection in a moment, and Elder McConkie taught that no one will reach perfection in life. What we do have to do is get on the path and stay on the path. We keep moving forward, becoming perfect line upon line, grace for grace. And if we stay on the Gospel path, once we pass from this life to the next, we will never fall off the path. This life is the time to prepare to meet God, so that is exactly what we must do. We are here to be proven, but not graded. The final judgment will not pass upon us u till after the resurrection, and I have it on good sources that the second coming is still yet a ways off--many things must happen first. Our responsibility in this life is to enter into sacred ordinances and to remain true and faithful to our covenants until the end of our earthly lives. And I know with all that heart that even if perfection as we consider it is not possible, that that type of perfection is. And I know that you are on the right path.
I love you so very much Mama. And I know I'm where I need to be, and that you're where you need to be. Thank you for everything you've taught me over the course of my nearly 20 (gag) years.
Todo mi amor,
To Hija,Hermana DeBuck