To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,
At the very beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi writes:
"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father."
This becomes a theme in the Book of Mormon of fathers teaching children. We see this with Lehi teaching his children, to King Benjamin teaching his sons (Mosiah 1), Alma teaching his son, Alma the younger teaching his sons and ultimately with Mormon teaching Moroni. When we see this pattern, the Book of Mormon becomes a collection of examples of what faithful fathers do. They teach. This is very different than what the world understands of fatherhood. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps us understand that becoming parents beings much more than having children. Once children are born, we inherit a sacred duty to teach them in the ways of the Lord.
Sister Mortensen and I are both grateful for our fathers. We are also grateful for your fathers. We owe much of the happiness we have experienced here to those who have not only bore you, but those who have taught you in such a way that you were willing to heed the call to serve.
I feel like I can relate much more to Helaman who led such young, valiant servants in his day when he refers to the stripling warriors as his "sons", not because he was literally there father, but because he felt a fathers love for each of them. I feel this same way about each of you. We feel that our family has grown by hundreds since we have been here in Houston. We love you and we are proud of the way you serve and lift and bless.
Thanks for making this Father's Day a day so full of happiness because of the way your faith allows us to see the fruits of your faith, much like Helaman saw the fruits/miracles of the stripling warriors.
We love you and feel so honored to be serving along side you in this great cause!
President and Sister Mortensen
We attended District Meeting in the Tomball District last Friday and enjoyed a wonderful spirit among the missionaries. We love to see the unity and dedication in this mission.