In 2013, when Taylor Scout Smith was 12, she wrote a letter to herself, and sealed it in an envelope with instructions specifying that it not be opened until 2023. It was a kind of message in a bottle, and apparently the existence of the letter was a secret known only to herself.
Tragically, Taylor died less than a year after writing the letter following a bout with pneumonia, says Little Things. The letter was discovered by her grieving parents, Tim and Mary Ellen Smith. The Smiths shared it with Hosanna Fellowship—their church in Johnson City, Tennessee, which posted the letter on its website, on a special memorial page for Taylor.
The letter has since been read by a worldwide internet audience, which has been touched by the maturity of young Taylor’s words, and her religious sentiments.
“Speaking of, how’s your relationship with GOD?” she writes to her future self. “Have you prayed, worshipped, read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!”
In the letter, she goes on to ask the future Taylor whether or not she has been on an airplane or traveled abroad, and encourages her to get her college degree. “If we are in college,” she asks, “what are we majoring in?” She also includes references to the "Doctor Who" television program, the Dollywood amusement park, and the iPad, for which she includes a drawing. Taking for granted that she would be a mother by the year 2023, she closes by saying, “Don’t forget to tell your kids that we’re older than the tablet!”
In Johnson City, Taylor was a student at Liberty Bell Middle School. According to her aunt, she was involved in a faith-based organization called First Priority, which "helps students with their faith, living out loud," reports the Johnson City Press.