Grandma Robinson kept a journal, and wrote in it nearly every day, from 1996 until her health didn’t allow her to. These are a great resource to help us get to know her better… and they may inspire us to be better at keeping a journal. As we are able to scan them in, we will post them to the welcome page.
See all of Afton Robinson’s Journal at http://www.robinson-family.info/journals-afton-robinsons/
How Grandma Robinson helped me learn what Joy is
When my grandmother, Afton Ring (Christensen) Robinson, passed away at age 98 on January 27, 2015, she had a posterity of 7 children (all living), 35 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, 18 great-great grandchildren.
Since Grandpa Robinson passed away (November 12, 1996), on most of my trips to Idaho I would make time to stop by to see Grandma Robinson. She enjoyed the visits and would want to know how each of my children were doing, and in turn could update me on new developments in the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (Those who visited her at the farm in Grace will remember that she kept a large calendar-like chart on the wall of her kitchen with names and birthdays of each of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.)
On one trip, while she still lived at home, as I recounted to her details about my family–how my children were growing, developing, and making good decisions, and as she brought me up to speed on her extended family–I could see the pure joy she felt as she reflected on the blessings enjoyed by the many members of her posterity who kept God’s commandments, and prepared themselves for the ordinances and covenants of the temple. I could see the joy was from her knowledge that as her posterity keep God’s commandments and live worthy of a temple recommend their lives are blessed, and the knowledge that they are sealed to her and are living in such a way that they can be together with her, and with their families, in heaven. This is all possile because of the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, and because of the priesthood and sealing power restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.
A few years ago as I was pondering Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 “…and endure to the end…” and I had an epiphany that enduring to the end is like riding a skateboard up a slight incline in order to draw closer to God and all the blessings he has waiting for us. This has helped me on multiple levels to be willing to persevere through trials, and keep on trying: 1) riding a skateboard only works if you are facing in the correct direction—in this case uphill; if you’re not facing in the correct direction, you know what the first step is; if you are facing in the correct direction, give yourself credit for what you’re already doing right; 2) going uphill takes work and isn’t always easy (sometimes it’s fun even though it takes work); the scriptures teach us that life is meant to have tests and trials (and we make some trials harder than they have to be), but that we learn and grow stronger from being willing to work through trials; 3) a skateboard works by having one foot on the skateboard and one foot pushing; sometimes we feel tired, or that we deserve a break, (some even feel that they’ve done enough) and are tempted to place both feet on the skateboard and coast—which would work if we were riding the skateboard on level ground or even downhill, but remember that we are riding this skateboard up a slight incline—if we stop pushing and intend to coast on the incline, we actually go backwards and lose progress we’ve worked hard to make. This comparison helps me to be patient and to endure. I’m not competing with anyone or trying to win a footrace, I’m trying to check that I’m facing in the correct direction and continuing to work so I can keep going uphill to my ultimate destination—eternal life. It’s not a perfect metaphor or simile, but it helps me, and so I’ve often shared it with my children and with others. I know God loves us and is aware of our trials, and that he helps us with our trials when we ask him for help and we are willing to keep trying to draw closer to Him.