This one is my final post before I leave on my mission (again), and it is specifically for my parents, but can also be for anyone who has lost someone close to them. Just substitute Tyler’s name for the name of the person you lost. I want to try to write some last comforting words before I go, in case they need them at some point that I can’t give it to them right when they need it.
Mom & Dad:
I know that you already know all of this, but I’m writing it so you don’t forget. I’m hoping it can help you on those days where it’s just too much to handle, when the pain is too great. Always remember how much I love you, how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you, how much our friends and family love you, and how much Tyler loves you. Remember that God is merciful and that all the trials we are given are only for us to be strengthened, to be brought closer to Him and to learn more about life and the Gospel.
First: The Atonement is real. Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for you. He suffered for me and He suffered for every person who has ever lived on this earth. What does that mean? It means that our sins can be forgiven us if we go to Heavenly Father and truly repent of what we’ve done wrong. It means that we can be made clean again and that eventually, we can live with Him again if we obey His commandments. More importantly for right now: It means that Jesus knows our pain. He didn’t just suffer for our sins. He suffered for every type of physical, emotional and spiritual pain there ever is. We don’t have to bear our own crosses. Ever. He knows exactly what we’re going through and He is here to lift us up and carry us through our trials. All you have to do is have faith in Him and ask for His help. He is there and He WANTS to help us. Both He and Heavenly Father don’t like to see us be in pain, though it is necessary for us to learn and be strengthened. I have a testimony of the Atonement. I have felt His help throughout my life when I have asked for it. I have learned to have faith in Him and let Him carry me when I need it.
This is from a talk given by James E Faust in the October 2001 General Conference:
“President Hinckley quoted Isaiah:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. …
No man knows the full weight of what our Savior bore, but by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know something of the supernal gift He gave us. In the words of our sacrament hymn:
He suffered so much pain, “indescribable anguish,” and “overpowering torture” for our sake. His profound suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He took upon Himself all the sins of all other mortals, caused Him “to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit.” “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly,” saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and denied by Peter. He was mocked by the chief priests and officers; He was stripped, smitten, spat upon, and scourged in the judgment hall.
He was led to Golgotha, where nails were driven into His hands and feet. He hung in agony for hours on a wooden cross bearing the title written by Pilate: “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Darkness came, and “about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” No one could help Him; He was treading the winepress alone. Then “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”
How much love He must have had for us if He WILLINGLY did this so that we wouldn’t have to. Take comfort in this knowledge and in the fact of how much love that is. We can’t even begin to comprehend it all.
Second: Take comfort in the fact that Tyler is home. He is HOME! He no longer has to live on this awful earth that has become so horrid and corrupt. Life is HARD and yet, he managed to learn all that he was sent here to learn in just 22 years. Most of us take at least 75 or 80 years to learn it all. I don’t know how Tyler is feeling, maybe a little sad that he couldn’t say good-bye to us or spend more time with us and enjoy all the exciting things yet to come, but I know he is happy and he wants us to be happy, just like Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. It will be hard at times, and I am not looking forward to those days when memories of Tyler come flooding back or something small triggers the tears, but I take joy in the fact that I know the things I know, and one of those things is that Tyler is home. He is teaching others about Christ and helping to bring them back home, too. He is making jokes and laughing, he is making music and conducting the angel’s choir.
This music video from the Piano Guys is called “Home” and I find it to be quite heavenly. This song has been on replay for a while for me and it has really brought me some peace, as music usually does. I absolutely love it. It’s majestic and beautiful, and I can imagine Tyler making the journey through life and back, finally being received by singing choirs of angels and being welcomed home by our brother, Jesus Christ, who takes his hand then brings him into a big warm hug full of love and peace. 🙂
So, when those moments of sadness do come, take the time to remember. Stop what you’re doing, cry a little. But always remember to pray and thank God for the memories you do have. Thank Him for your lives and all that you have learned. Thank Him for this trial of faith because that’s what we were sent to earth to do – go through trials to learn and become more like Heavenly Father. Finally, remember to ask Him to take away your pain, if only for a little while, and lift you up so that you can keep going and endure to the end. Ask Him to carry you through it and to bring you comfort and peace, because it will come. If you have just a little faith, His love, comfort and peace WILL come. I know it, because I have felt it.
Finally: Please know how much love and faith I have in the Lord and this Gospel. You both have raised me to always strive to be a better person than I am and you have shown me how to love my Father in Heaven. I have great faith in Him and all that He can do. I know He is there and that He loves us, each and every one of us. He knows our wants and our needs. He knows our joys and our pains. He is watching over us and is there to comfort us every step of the way if we need it.
I have chosen to serve Him for 18 months of my life, all day every day. Why? Because I love Him. I WANT to serve Him. I want to do all that I can to bring others to Him and show them how great life can be and how wonderful it is when you live the Gospel and choose to live the way Heavenly Father wants us to. I want to bring joy and happiness to the people all around me and I want to show them how to get through the hard times. I want to show them how to love and serve others. I want them to know Christ. I know all of those things, and those are Christ-like attributes that have made my life better.
I know that Tyler chose to serve for 2 years for some of those reasons and more. He touched many lives by just being a good example and being himself. He was and still is amazing and it’s because he had developed many Christ-like attributes. I plan to follow in my brother’s footsteps by exceeding expectations, loving everyone and serving those in need.
Mom and Dad: I love you so much. You both have been wonderful examples to me as I’ve grown. I hope that what I’ve said today has helped you both in some small way, and I hope that the days of sorrow and pain will be short and few. Life is short, though sometimes it may seem like eternity, but I know we’ll be a family together again soon.
All my love,
Your missionary daughter,