I take this from the Book of Mormon, yet the words are not only Alma’s they are mine:
My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.
I would that ye should do as I have done, in remembering the captivity of our fathers; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he surely did deliver them in their afflictions. (You know that I came when I learned of where you were. God blessed me with you that night – thank you for saving me from your friends.)
And now, O my son (Phillip), behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
And I would not that ye think that I know of myself—not of the temporal but of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God.
Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me, not of any worthiness of myself;
My sweet man, now. You are no longer my little boy. I only held you from birth until you were a two week old baby, then again in Colorado in 1989. My son, when I found you at 17, I could not hold. You were someone else’s son. The only reason I knew it was you is because you looked so much like your father. When your step-mother, or whomever that lady was in Colorado said, “What kind of a mother are you to not even recognize your own children.” she was right. A big difference between a child being fed at my breast and a man sitting there in a full beard and long hair. Nonetheless, when I looked into your eyes, I recognized you.
The reason I sat so long holding my hands together that night was because I was pleading with Father to help me be calm and not feel the pain of the words being thrown at me. I had wanted so badly to see you both that I did not want this moment to end.
Now, all these years have gone by, and I am almost ready to go back to my heavenly home. Perhaps, if it is Father’s will, I can see you when you and Rebecca leave this earth. If not, know this. I never stopped loving you.
The picture was taken when I did not know who you were. I just knew you and your sister were sitting on a swing and I pushed you. Larry brought you to my home and your grandfather took this picture of us. By the time I got a copy of it, you were a full grown man. Pain knows no bounds at times. Yet, this little picture has been in my home, in a place of honor, since I received it. I used to have a small statue of Jesus holding little children, and I taped it to that. Then, I found a woman who had lost her children to death and gave her the statue, but I kept this picture next to my mission theme. I have Christ in my heart, so I only needed to see you and Rebecca once in awhile to be comforted. Now that your grandfather is gone, I was blessed by your Aunt Pat to get the picture of you two on your second birthday. The one where Rebecca had three candles and you had two on the same cake, and you both were smiling. I have that hanging on my kitchen cupboards. Good night my sweet one.