I was going to rework this letter to put as a blog post because it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.  But then I figured why not just share this letter here.  So here you go 🙂  

Hey you two oldest kids I love with all my heart, I’m writing to you both together because man alive I miss you both.  I wanted to share some Sacred Grove thoughts.

I gave a lesson in YW on the sacred grove last week.  I brought this branch in (in the attached picture…don’t mind Claire, she’s just trying to show me how cool her slime is that she made 🙂

I told the girls that with that branch I was kind of “bringing the sacred grove to them.”  We talked about Joseph Smith and his experience asking God (James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him., 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.)

And then I told the girls that even though many of us haven’t actually been to the sacred grove where Joseph Smith had his prayer answered, we all have our own “sacred groves” where we too can ASK OF GOD.  I told them how my “sacred grove” was often in my bedroom growing up…that bedroom with peach and mint green heart wallpaper.  That place where I prayed my heart out to know if the Book of Mormon was true, and got my answer.  And where I prayed so hard to know if I should go to Boston University for college, and KNEW that was exactly where I should go.  Another “sacred grove” of mine was sitting on the front curb of my house in Salt Lake with my friend, where I knew I was supposed to serve a mission.  There have been many “sacred groves” since then, little and big.  In college, in Romania, kneeling next to your cribs as I worried about different things for you two.  Kneeling with Dad in prayer in our bedroom pleading with Heavenly Father to help you two (and your other sisters) with different things as you have grown up.  I know God has been with me so much and helped answer my prayers in all my own “sacred groves” as I have prayed to Him and pleaded for His help…even sometimes just understanding things and trying to figure out how to deal with certain situations.
I told the Young Women last Sunday to be sure to ask of God. Because he cares and loves us so much, and wants to answer any and every prayer, to help us understand and to help us have JOY.  The answers to our prayers may not be as momentous as to help the church to be restored (like Joseph Smith’s was), but they will be our own little miracles.  I know you guys have had answers to prayers in your lives creating your own sacred groves.  I hope you write them down.  I hope you keep them close to your hearts, and also will maybe share them with me.  Because I love you and love that stuff.  And because that’s what builds our testimonies and makes us that much stronger.  
I’ve just been thinking about that a lot this week since that branch has been sitting on our counter so I thought I’d share.  I’m so grateful to know “God is awake” (part of my favorite quote) and that He will continue to help you two kids as you spin off and spread your wings, (and that he’ll help me deal with that:), and that you will continue to have your own sacred grove experiences that help you grow and feel that never-ending connection to God who loves you so much.  
It’s hard to imagine someone loving you more than I do, but I know He does.  And He has you both in the “palm of His hand” no matter what comes your way.
Love you two forever and ever.



  1. What a sweet thought that I can share with my kids. I am continually inspired by your blog. Thank you for being a force for good in so many of our lives.

  2. Would you share the entire quote that the "God is awake" is from? I think you've shared it before but I can't seem to find it! Thanks!

  3. Wow, I love your letter to your kids and the lesson you taught at church. It makes me think I should be sharing more of my faith with my kids. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Love this! Wish every young man and woman could read this! Sometimes our kids don't realize how much we pray for them and how often our own prayers are answered…even if the answer is no! Ditto on all comments above :)!

  5. Shawni, Thank you so much for sharing this personal letter with all of us! I love this so much! I''m always inspired by your posts and just want to say thank you for your wonderful example!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *