About Doing Good

Laney was a goer. Once she hit high school, she wasn’t home very much. She was always with her friends having fun or working or playing whatever sport was in season. She formed the four square club and the hiking club.  But the night of her accident, we found out exactly what she had been out doing. And it was amazing.

We had heard that people were posting things about Laney on her Facebook wall. We were afraid to look, though. We were already having such a difficult time that we didn’t think we could handle it, so we didn’t look at it until 3 am.

We sat there for the next hour or so reading, with tears streaming down our faces. We knew Laney was amazing. All parents think their kids are amazing, don’t they? But, we truly knew the extent of Laney’s good works when we read things like, “I don’t even think Laney knew my name, but she always said hi to me,” or, “Laney helped me through _______ ( fill in the blank).”

We knew that instead of toilet papering peoples’ houses, she would “chalk” their driveways with nice messages. We knew that she included everyone in whatever she was doing. Including her younger sisters. One of their last memories is going to the lake with Laney and her friends. They had a marvelous time and love how she wasn’t afraid to take them along.

But the most amazing thing is that every week Laney went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. And she took along a group of people. She took her three little sisters as soon as they turned twelve. Their first experience was with Laney.

After she died, Brynna noticed an app on her phone that logged the number of times she performed an ordinance. In 2011 alone, she performed 119 baptisms and 118 confirmations. At nine different temples. Think about it. They only allow you to do five baptisms at a time. FIVE. She was indeed out about doing much good. We continue to be amazed by her example of always being about, doing much good. I only hope we can be a little more like her.


Bless the Broken Road


Laney and her grandpa

I had always heard the saying that each trial we go through makes us stronger. And better able to handle the next one. As a teenager, I wondered why life was so hard. (I went to four high schools in 3 years.)

My mom was raised in an orphanage. My dad joined the Air Force at the age of 17. They were married young. They had 11 kids before they divorced when I was 12. My dad had two more kids, making a total of 13.Where do I fall, you are wondering? I am number 8.   (And just to be fair, my husband has 11 in his family, too).

Life was hard in a lot of ways. Each trial we were called upon to bear, the easier the last one seemed. During a particularly difficult time when Wade was dealing with some health issues, my sister-in-law gave me some advice I have never forgotten. She said that maybe I had to go through all of the trials in my young life so that I could handle what I was going through at the time. Amazing thought.

So, in February of 2010, when I started taking care of my dad,  I realized how grateful I was for the upbringing I had. I am so grateful and truly blessed for every trial and experience I have been through in my life. That broken road has been a blessing in my life and has led me to where I am now. My dad had Alzheimer’s. All of my previous trials allowed me to be strong for my dad when he needed me most, until he died in November, 2010 at the age of 73.

I continue to be amazed at how blessed I am. How every time something hard comes up, I just think, “Ok, we can get through this.” It isn’t a question of, “Why?” anymore, but rather, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

Wade the book Ye are the Light of The World last night when he read to me a quote by Harold B Lee. He says, “Death of a loved one is the most severe test that you will ever face, and if you can rise above your griefs and if you will trust in God, then you will be able to surmount any other difficulty with which you may be faced.” If that is the toughest thing I have to face, I am ready for anything.