Monday, March 09, 2009

A Message to the Family -- From Dad

This is the message to the family that I promised yesterday in response to Jim's request.

Dear Family,

I do not know how may of you will read this.  I think it is important that I use this medium to speak to you.  When I talked to Jim last night I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he requested that I talk to my family and try to stop the bitter fighting that is going on via the internet.  King Benjamin (in Mosiah 4) counseled the saints to see that their children do not fight and quarrel one with another.  This is my attempt to do so.

The role of patriarch in a family is not really well defined in the scriptures.  Just because I have lived longer than any of you does not necessarily make me any wiser than you.  I guess my authority in this regard is whatever each one of you grant to me.  I regard your faith and trust as a sacred and precious gem.  I do not take it lightly.  I have lost some sleep and spent much time in prayer and I now pray that the Lord will bless me with the words I need.

In the past few days there have been bitter thoughts and words published in family blogs.  I have to think this is grievous to the Lord and gives great comfort and joy to Satan, who is the enemy to all of us.  There have been accusations and vicious attacks from many sides.   Cruel words which can never be recalled have been spoken without regard to the consequences.  I call upon each one of you to cease and desist right now!

None of us is perfect.  This is a goal we're supposed to be striving for, but will likely not achieve in this life.  To aid us in our quest the Savior has given us some clearly defined guidelines.  I'm sorry I don't have my scriptures with me, but I will try to recall some of them.  Maybe some of you can add to my list.

1.  First of all we are supposed to love each other.  "As I have loved you, love one another." (John 14)
2.  He foreknew we would fail in our attempts to live as we should and has provided a means for us to avoid the consequences of our failure.
3.  He paid dearly in Gethsemane and on the cross for our mistakes. (D&C 19)
4.  His love for us in infinite and without any qualifications.  He grants pardon -- which only He can do.  He forgives us.  Though our sins may be as scarlet, they may be as the driven snow. (Isaiah 2)
5.  Our responsibility is to forsake our sins and repent.  He promises us if we do so He will remember our sins no more. (D&C 58)
6.  He tells us that we must forgive one another of all offenses.  He says he will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all men (women too). (D&C 64)
7.  His brand of forgiveness is that he forgets -- I will remember your sins no more.  He tells us that if we do not forgive in the same manner that we are guilty of a greater offense than the offender. (D&C 58, D&C 64)
8.   He tells us that we are to suspend judgement ".. let the Lord judge between me and thee." (D&C 64)

Well, I guess that's enough of that.  As I said, maybe you can add to the list.  But now I want to take another direction -- the internet.  It is a modern day miracle and can be a blessing in our lives.  So much information, so much knowledge, so much good.  Also so much trash, so much ugliness, and so much evil.  The Lord blesses us with great tools to further His designs, and Satan manages to turn these tools against us.  We must be ever watchful. 

Please, I implore you, don't use this great means to accomplish the work of the devil.  Watch carefully what you write.  Guard your children carefully.  Many of them have or will have their own computers.  Perhaps some of these precious little ones have already been exposed to pornography or other evils.  I don't know enough about it to advise you how to block it, but it is imperative that you make every effort to do so.

Please believe that I love each of you.  I pray often for all of you by name; sometimes that takes a long time.  I want you to enjoy happiness and the Lord's peace in your lives.  You are my greatest source of joy -- all of you.

Finally, I testify to you that the principles that we are taught by our Savior, and by his holy prophets, are true.  His gospel is true.  He is the Only Begotten Son of our Eternal Father.  He created the heavens and earth as a place for Father's children to grow and learn -- to become as He is -- and we can do this.  He has given us the church organization and the scriptures and ordinances and inspired prophets and leaders to help us.  And he has given us a sacred charge to nurture his children in example and precept, that they too may become more like Him.

I pray that we may all succeed in our mission in life and enjoy the eternal life that awaits those who persevere in righteousness.


Mary Cook said...

Thanks, Dad, and Mom, too, for the love I have always felt from you both. I'll add my prayers for every member of the family to yours.


LivingstonClan said...


Oh how I wish I had just commented on your wonderful words, and not read the previous comment. I want you to know that I love you and Grandma with all my heart! You two have been on my mind so much these past few days, and I wish there was some way for me to take all of this away--more for you than for anyone. I appreciate your words more than I can say. I know how important it is for us to forgive, and am so grateful for the power of the Atonement in my life. It wasn't until I was into adulthood that I realized the full scope of the Atonement. I always knew the quote un quote Primary or Sunday School answers about the Atonement, but it wasn't until I was speaking with my Bishop about a painful situation I was dealing with that I was made to realize that the Atonement is not just for the sinner, but for those who are harmed by the sin. The Savior took all of those pains upon Himself also--what an amazing gift. He is there if we turn to Him, and we are all so blessed for that! I am sorry that I have been any part of your pain, and have participated at all in this angry back and forth. I felt a strong need to understand why certain people were doing what they were doing, and in the emotion of it all, the love was lost in translation I guess. But please know that I love you guys--and Jim! He is such a wonderful person. I know that I have not been able to get to know him as well as I would like to, but am so glad to know I will have plenty of opportunities! I will never forget he and Mike taking turns digging in my yard for the entire day! You have raised such a wonderful family--don't you ever forget that! You are one of the greatest examples I have in my life, and one of my favorite people of all time. I love you, and thank you so much for your words. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am not too far from the hospital, and have a nice cozy bed that is available any time--and my kids would be tickled to see you two! They always ask when we get to go see Grandpa & Grandma Cobabe. (They call my mom & dad G & G Washington--so I know they are referring to you!)

Limasa Family said...

We all know where Jim got his way with words from I'd have to say. You are my favorite "older" guy ever. I love you to pieces and could hear in my head your loving voice while I read. I hope to see you soon!
Love you,

Sarah Thomas said...

Thanks Dad, I love you.

Jeanette and Jason said...

Thanks for the sweet message Grandpa.

And I hate to increase your burden, but you have one more to mention in your prayers!

Nola Sunshine Cobabe (b. Feb 17th) is the latest addition to our rapidly multiplying family, unless someone else sneaked a kid in there. :)

We love you and Grandma both.
Jason & Jeanette Cobabe

Oh Babe COBABE said...

Grandpa...Thank you so much for your counsel and advice. Thank you for being the patriarch of the family and loving us unconditionally!!! We love you very much and had so much fun with your visit!!!


Mary Cobabe said...

I love all of you so much. I appreciate all your love and prayers.Last night my visiting teacher talked me into letting her pick me up and go to our Wards Releif Siciety Birthday Party Dinner.It was real nice and I enjoyed being there. Most everyone there asked about Jim. I just told them he is doing better and that he is in the hospital for more treatments.All were concerneed and are keeping him in their prayers.Charlie Brown Keeps Jim and Grandpa and I on the Prayer Roll at the Manti Temple.

I think most of you know the song---Love One Another--- Well we sang this song last night as a closing song for the evening.In the nt new Hymn book that comes out these second and third verses will be included Written by Deanna R. Pate who mny people know as she used to live here.
1. As I have loved you,love one another.
This new commandment: Love one another.
By this shall men know Ye are my diciples,
If ye have love one one to another

2. Reach out a hand of help to each other.Show love and kindness to one another.
Friendship and patience are what Christ has taught us,
As we give help one to another.

3.Sisters and Brothers , follow the counsel.
Show divine count-'nance by your example.
He longs to bless you, for your love and kindness.
We shod show love one to another.
I thot these words are just what we need right now. Love to ALL! Mom, Grandma Cobabe said...

Wow! I could not belong to a better family! I agree with Dad(Grandpa) that this internet thing is so amazing. I have been able to "spy" on my extended family and love every minute of "getting to know you" better!

All my Love to each and everyone of you!