When I look around our home, I’m blessed to see items that have been given to me from various family members. Plates, dressers, artwork, and holiday ornaments from my grandparents make me smile. I will never get rid of my mom’s pearl earrings, and we’ll figure out a way to take the fig tree growing in the backyard (from my dad) wherever we go. The list goes on and on.
Family heirlooms carry a lot of meaning — they remind us of the person who gave them to us, and the items are treasured for years to come. They encourage us to think back on the person fondly, and perhaps we’ll want to pass those items (or others) to our own children one day.
Just like family heirlooms, we’ve also been blessed to receive spiritual heirlooms from our parents or other brothers and sisters in the Church. I learned the importance of consistency in my service to the Lord from my grandma, Sister Florence Pezzenti; the gift of letter writing and sending words of encouragement from my mom, Sister Karen Pezzenti, and my aunt, Sister Rosalie Pezzenti. Brother Randy Ciccati’s wise words of, “Preach the Gospel; use words when necessary,” has never left my brain — and neither has my dad’s calm, collected nature anytime trials arise because God promised to take care of us. Sister Ruth Batson’s devoted approach to praying for others has impacted me, too. Again, the list goes on and on.
These spiritual heirlooms are qualities that have been handed down to me and aren’t tangible. Although I can’t physically hold them in my hands, I hold them in my heart. I’m certain each of you have your own spiritual heirlooms you’ve been given, too. Brothers or sisters from your branches, visitors from other missions … they all make their mark on our lives.
This notion of passing things down from generation to generation isn’t mine … it’s the Lord’s. He was adamant that His church would be set up this way:
- One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)
- Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever; for they are the rejoicing of my heart. (Psalm 119:111)
- And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
- For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
So the question becomes, what do you hope to pass on? Will it be your love for others? Your enthusiastic spirit when it comes to taking an office in the Church? Perhaps it’s your diligence in studying the Word or visiting the sick. No matter what you choose, it’s all part of the legacy that you will leave behind, and more importantly, that the Lord is asking you to leave behind. He gives us these heirlooms so that we might share them. You may not think you have anything to give the next generation, but I promise you do.
Here’s some inspiration to start your day and to remind you that you have qualities to share!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.