Dear Pre-born Sons,
This letter serves as a sort of prayer. Originally, it was written only to the little one whose arrival I eagerly await. But after conversing with your mother, I find that it is not just a letter to the first of you to enter her womb, but to your brothers waiting to come down to Earth as well. As I ponder your approaching arrival, I find that there are many things I want you to know. You are too little to comprehend most of these right now–especially those of you who are still enveloped in Heavenly Father’s arms. As you grow and mature, I pray that you will add the things in this letter to a list of unquestionable truths you are building in your spirit.
You have a Father in Heaven. You have a Mother there, too. You were part of our family before you were born on this Earth. We knew and loved each other in Premortality, and vowed to be together again when we entered mortality. This means that you are eternally loved. There was never nor will there ever be a time that you weren’t enveloped in the arms of your Heavenly Parents, your Savior, Jesus Christ, and your earthly parents.
Your mother and I know that the Gospel provides a refuge from all trouble. We want you to be disciples of Christ, because we know that if you make and keep covenants with Heavenly Father and follow Christ’s example, no trouble that befalls you will matter. Everything will be okay.
There will be trouble in this life. That is actually the point! You agreed to come here so that you could experience trials, so that you could grow into the people Heavenly Father always wanted you to be. Nothing you experience here is an insurmountable challenge. You will need to work hard. A strong work ethic will carry you through any temporal or spiritual challenge you may face, as long as you build your foundation on the rock that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world needs you. You were chosen to come at this specific time in history because of what you offer the world. Heavenly Father loves what makes you special. Never be ashamed of your talents or strengths. Embrace them. See how far you can go. Do your best in everything you do. Always keep in mind that Heavenly Father’s plan is the one that will lead to the best outcome for you. Also know that He smiles upon temporal success. So don’t be afraid to pray for success, and never be ashamed of what you have. Especially don’t be ashamed of what you’ve earned.
There is nothing toxic about masculinity. Hopefully by the time you read this, that phrase won’t even be a footnote in history. The world needs strong men, maybe now more than ever. What does it mean to be a man? A man is submissive to the Lord. A man stays with his wife and family, and raises his children. A man provides for his family as best as he can. He sacrifices for others, and dedicates his life to the service of the Lord and his fellow men. A man is not ashamed of physical strength, but he uses it appropriately. He uses persuasion, reason, and kindness to win support. He uses physical force only in the protection of himself, his family, others around him, or his property. A man keeps himself physically strong so that he can count on his body to perform whatever tasks are necessary to protect, provide, and preside over his home. He also keeps himself spiritually strong for the very same reasons. This is how you should think about your body, my sons. Never be ashamed of being men, or think that this is an unfair “privilege”. Now more than ever, the world needs an army of men who are willing to set an unapologetic, unwavering example of masculinity for others.
A true leader lifts up his people. He is not jealous of others’ success. Indeed, one of the worst viruses plaguing the world you are about to enter is not COVID-19, but covetousness. If you want to be successful, you will become your people’s servants, and seek to lift them up. A true leader’s people will follow him to the ends of the Earth. Why would they do that? Because they know he would do the same for them. How do they know? Because he has already done so much for them. He has sought out opportunities, ideas, and tasks they can undertake to develop into the best people they can be. He has spent time considering the strengths of his people and putting them to the best use possible. He has asked his people who they want to become and has helped them achieve that. If you think about it, this is exactly what Jesus Christ has done for each of us. If you emulate this example, you will be more successful than your peers, because your people will be put to better use, be more efficient, and be more invested in whatever they do. Your people will make you successful.
There are dangers of which you should be aware. Satan has had eons to learn human nature, and he is extremely good at manipulating men. He will find his way into our home to tempt and try us. When you are little, your mother and I will do all that we can to shield you from his attempts to harm your spirit before you are even old enough to know what is happening. But as you grow, there will be less and less that we can do to prevent him from interacting with you. It will be up to you to fend him off. That is why we want you to be firmly grounded in the Gospel and in fundamental truths. That is why we want you to be armed with knowledge of things both temporal and spiritual. That is why we want you to be not just well-educated, but wise.
Many of the things I pray that you will come to know deep in your heart were things that my own father taught me. Some of these things I learned from my mother. Some I learned from the modern-day prophet, or from Scripture, or from direct revelation. You will inherit this knowledge. These things, along with all that I have worked so hard to achieve, are your “unearned privilege.” These things are your inheritance. It is the order of the universe, and a core aspect of the purpose of life and the mission of mankind, that the fathers should pass their accomplishments on to their children. Only through generations of good choices do families prosper, and it will be up to you and up to your children to continue to make good choices, to choose to be protected by the standards of the Gospel, and to work hard. It will one day be your right to pass along all that you have worked so hard to learn and to achieve. So raise your children well, my sons. Carry on a family legacy of leaving the world a better place than you found it, with each generation of our family gaining prosperity and wisdom as they serve the Lord.
There are so many things I want to do with you, and share with you. I can’t wait to teach you to rock climb. I can’t wait to share some of my favorite TV shows with you. I envision a day when, with delight, you read one of your favorite children’s books to me. It will be so wonderful to watch you learn and grow. I look forward to the day when you “help” me with household projects…and I look further forward to that day when you are actually helpful! I don’t know what you will become, but I pray that whatever it is, it brings you satisfaction, it provides for your families, and it puts you on a path to achieve all that you possibly can. I have spent my life thus far trying to be a Renaissance Man. It would be wonderful if that was your desire as well, but my prayer is that you will love life. When you arise in the morning and kneel in prayer, I pray that you will thank your Heavenly Father for all that He has blessed you with, and for the life you lead. I will work hard to raise you with a strong foundation. Sons, please work hard to carry on not just our family name, but embody the name of Christ in all you do.
I’ll see you soon.