Sunday, June 01, 2008


(sister-in-law Aaron with her little baby Levi)
Over the past couple of weeks there have been tragedies happening around me. I feel like our family (meaning our extended families on both sides as well as our own little family) is being asked to do a lot of hard things right now. The hardest thing for me personally has been feeling deep grief on behalf of people that I love.

Yesterday we spent the day at the funeral of my husband’s step sister-in-law. She was killed in a car accident and left a husband and 3 little boys behind. Although I wasn’t particularly close to this sister-in-law, I couldn’t help but feel overcome with grief and sadness for the 3 little boys that lost their mommy. The oldest boy, Benjamin, is almost 5, and about a year younger than my husband was when his dad died. I couldn’t contain my tears as I watched my tall, manly husband go over to little Ben, sit down on the grass beside the casket, scoop Ben into his lap, hold him close, and through tears, tell him that if he is a good little boy he will get to be with his mommy again in heaven. This tender display reminded me of the infinite blessings of the gospel: that we have a knowledge of the resurrection, that we covenant to bear one another’s burdens, that we know we can call upon heavenly powers during moments of despair and sorrow.

There is other sadness and heartache going on in hidden places all around me. One of my very favorite quotes is by Elder Maxwell. He said:

“…for the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours.”

I discovered the truthfulness of that statement when I was in Romania and experiencing darkness that I had never known before. I was amazed at my ability to see light in the midst of the tragedies that were unfolding in front of me every day. I was amazed to find that even though I was feeling sadness to a degree I hadn’t felt before, I was also feeling the spirit more abundantly, and my testimony of the Gospel was being strengthened constantly.

I love knowing that if we are doing the best that we can, even though we will have dark hours, darker even than we may think we can bear, through that darkness we can be refined in a way that would not otherwise be possible. I know that, and it makes my heart swell to think of the promises that are made to us if we can just rely on God through our darkest hours.

My baby usually is napping around 11:00 AM, which means that I am usually blogging around that time. I sometimes turn on the TV in the background, and there is always a BYU Devotional being broadcast on channel 11. I wish I could say that I always watch the devotional, but much too often I turn the channel to something far less praiseworthy and uplifting. However, a few months ago was one of the days that I decided to watch the devotional. Elder Eyring was the speaker and I remember how much his words touched me that day. I called my husband to tell him about the talk because I loved it so much. And then I forgot about it.

In the wake of some of the tragedies that have happened in the past few weeks I found myself praying for some guidance as to how I could be of comfort to those around me. My answers have come in a variety of ways, but one of them was the recollection of that devotional talk by Elder Eyring. I didn’t really remember what it was about, but I decided to see if I could find it online. When I found it I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the small ways that the Lord answers our prayers. The talk is titled “The Power of Deliverance” and as I read it I knew that part of my answer was to print out copies of the talk and give them to specific people. If you would like to read the talk, click here.

I hope I haven’t come across as gloomy or preachy. My intent was just to share some of my feelings and some of the ways that I have personally found comfort and solace during trying times. Now it’s your turn to tell me—what things help you get through dark times in your life?

Please share—I need all the help I can get!


Heather said...


Hello! I also am attending a funeral tomorrow of Trent's friend/coworkers 17 year old son. He was on a fourwheeler and got hit by a car. It is so sad when these things happen. I try not to ask the "why" question. I try to trust that I will understand someday. Thinking about the resurrection brings me the most comfort of all. Knowing that we will see the person again, and that families will be together always if they're faithful. I remember learning over and over in religion classes at college that the resurrection is the single most glorious message to humankind. I could go on, but wow I wrote a lot. George is so cute!
Love, Heath

teacher retired said...

Lis, I know how hard it is when someone dies too young, and children lose a parent. I'm so sorry.

I don't know you personally, but I taught John in 6th grade (a sweetie then too), so of course I know Lisa and Janet. It sounds like you are a beautiful addition to their family.

My sincere sympathy.


Anonymous said...

I know how hard your 26th birthday was, and how tragic life seems in light of all the grief we have suffered recently, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The rainbow waits till after the storm to appear and almost illusively takes us by surprise! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

To all who read this blog, Cameron and the boys are doing well. We have felt Aaron's presence and her kind and gentle care with the children. Love, Mommy Janet.

Lucy, Marc and Katie said...

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us."
--Pres. Hinckley

Woodhouse Clan said...

Liz, I'm so sorry to hear the news. Tose are the kind of funerals you never want to have to go to, because you never want that to happen so someone you know. My prayers are with you. What helps me get through dark times is to turn to the people who care about me and love me and let me ease the pain with their help. A good friend always helps. :) I know I had a good friend when I went through one of my dark times.

Woodhouse Clan said...

wow, I didn't spell check that whole shpill before I posted it. Sorry, I know that is a pet peeve. You'll figure out what it says though...

Brooke said...

What a sobering experience. That talk is wonderful! I couldn't imagine the pain and grief surrounding that...Thank goodness we know that they can and will be reunited. I can't imagine not knowing that...

Kevin, Danica, & Claire said...

I really liked the book called, "The Gateway We Call Death" by Russel M. Nelson. I give that book to people I'm close with when I'm expressing condolences. I usually write my testimony in the front cover and include the quote, "Death is a mere comma, not an exclamation point!" A quote by Neal A Maxwell that kind of brings an eternal perspective to death. After some deliberation I gave the book to some non-members after they lost a close and young family member, and went and hilighted some of my favorite parts. I think it meant a lot to them. More than anything, I would just pray for them continually.

(on a completely superficial note...when do we get to see pics of your haircut? sorry to change the subject so abruptly.)

Lucy, Marc and Katie said...

We totally used your email about sleep. Thanks so much for taking the time to write that-it really helped. And oh how great life is with more sleep!

the mama monster said...

i am so sorry for you and for johns family. i honestly don't understand why these things happen. i hope those sweet little boys remember the love that they felt from their mamma. what a sweet and touching thing,john did for the little boy.

Sheree said...

Thank you for the talk. I am Channa's mother from Circleville. You probably know our son, 17 year old Heath, was in a terrible automobile accident. He was in a coma for two months and is continuing with therapy for a traumatic brain injury. My sister gave me a quote that has helped me very much. "As you cheerfully do all the things that lie in your power, you can rest assured that the Lord will do the remainder and things will work out all right". A friend of mine also told us that this would be the time we can show the Lord how much faith we have in Him. Somehow we all make it through. It is nice you are so caring. That helped us the most - knowing people really FEEL our sorrow and worry. It makes all the difference.