Dear Friends and Family - Our son came home early from his mission. We appreciate the support that was given him and our family as he prepared to serve. The Lord has set a high standard for missionary service, and though it is high, it is no more and no less than the standards we are asked to live as regular members of the church. Tom has always had a tender heart and a love of the gospel despite whatever shortcomings and challenges he faced in his personal life. We all know we have weaknesses and continually fall short. As the hymn goes, "In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see." However, serving a mission is a very public type of service that carries with it an extra responsibility and accountability. Many missionaries carry the burden of unresolved issues into the mission field and it becomes an albatross around their neck, a burden they can carry with them the rest of their lives. Fortunately, Tom did not want to carry that burden into the mission field. We are sad for the way things have progressed, but at the same time we're happy that the internal conflict, self doubt and fear Tom has felt have begun to be relieved. We're sure he will understand and appreciate the power of the atonement in a way never felt in his young life, and that ultimately, he'll develop an even greater love for our Savior. His current goal is to stay busy with school and work so that he may qualify to serve a mission after an appropriate time has passed. We appreciate your prayers, love and support as you see Tom and our family in church and at other activities.
Steven is an average guy trying to make sense of himself, his above-average wife and children. He enjoys all things out-of-doors so he can legitimately claim he's trying to think "out of the box." Check out Steven's previous guest posts here and here.
Image credit: h. koppdelaney (used with permission).