Graduate Student? You're broke. Three kids? Even broker.
And so on.
But let me go back through the mists of time to a memory approximately twenty years ago. I was a newly ranked Petty Officer in the United States Navy. One of their academic elites - I was a nuclear reactor trainee. I was the top 1% of academia in the US of A and among the most elite in the military in one of their hardest and most prestigious schools. I was only nineteen years old. I was on track to be one of the highest paid and most critical jobs to national defense getting paid over a quarter of a million dollars just to re-enlist and ten thousand dollars just to graduate school, plus advanced promotion and receiving in 12 weeks what most sailors earn in six years. I was on track for hazardous duty pay, sea pay, sub-pay, combat pay.....sailors who get into the program I did easily make +$100k / yr when you factor it all in.
I was also a new member of the church. By only a couple weeks or so, maybe months.
And I sat at an ice-cream shop in Downtown Orlando, Florida in my Summer Whites eating an Ice-Cream-Cone and watched out the window at people walking buy, my future was certain, I was in a premier field, just past the tests, my future was set. There I sat with my medals and patent leather shoes, many a woman's dream not just because of my abilities but because we were going to TRAVEL THE WORLD and Hawaii and the Philippines were on the list and so was Italy and a bunch of other great places.
So by nineteen, I had it made. I busted my assets in high school and made it pay off and now, just pass the tests and away we go! I can write my own ticket after this.
And as I sat there, thinking on my good fortune, looking like something out of a Hollywood Movie, a homeless man wandered past the window as I ate my ice-cream. He looked disheveled and filthy, and there I sat....the world at my fingertips.
I paused eating my ice-cream.
The disparity between our worlds hit me hard, yet, between two worlds, here we crossed paths. Same time, same place, two worlds.
Suddenly it hit me.
I got up and ran to the door as he walked out of sight and I yelled "Wait a minute! You're not poor!"
He was gone. I trailed off "....you have....everything. A patriarchal blessing....the priesthood is yours upon repentance....you can be sealed....you have a purpose here on earth...."
He was poor, and yet he was rich but didn't know it. I didn't know where he went but I wanted to tell him what I had found just a few weeks previous....but....no....
I might be envied, and I was! Women chased after me to grab ahold of the future that being married to a United States Sailor and Reactor Operator carries. But my most valuable riches were unseen and unknown.
Now return with me through the mists of time to tonight.
Family home evening. Three kids. Two exhausted parents. No money. Living on the gifts fom the ward and some government help while I finish a graduate education.
Tonight as we prayed, the spirit came into our home and as we played our game I got for Christmas for Family Home Evening, the spirit rested on our home.
We are sealed. My oldest is baptized. My youngest is a joy, and my daughter is full of energy and loves to help.
We have a warm house, and a bright future, enough food to last for a bit, electricity, place to stay, not enough gas to go anywhere and yet.....we are rich.
We are the richest of all outside of the many mansions we do not live in.
Family Home Evening and the commandments of the Lord have made us rich. Though we be poor, we are among the richest of them all in the world.
The spirit was here, we know why we're here, we know what to do, we know what is going on, we're blessed.
Just, a thought from tonight.