“I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 76–77
As a freshman at Brigham Young University–Idaho (then Ricks College), I missed my family. But after a few months of classes, I had settled into college life and was enjoying myself. When the telephone call came, I was in my apartment, studying.
“Christy, I have some bad news for you,” my mother said, her voice breaking. “Your father passed away tonight from a severe heart attack.”
Emotions flooded over me as I tried to comprehend what I had just heard. I had seen my father only a few days before, but I had no idea it would be for the last time. Dad’s death was a shock to our entire family; it was also a shock to my home ward. Dad was only 53 years old, and he was serving as our bishop.
The days that followed were filled with visits and phone calls from family, friends, ward members, and neighbors. We felt a tremendous outpouring of love from those around us. At Dad’s funeral, family members shared memories of our life with him, and we testified of the plan of salvation and of life after death.
Dad had been a faithful husband, a devoted Latter-day Saint, an avid Scouter, and a wonderful father. Many people were blessed because of the life he had lived. After the funeral my oldest brother dedicated the grave, and as a family we stood and sobbed through “I Am a Child of God” (Hymns, no. 301).
The day after the funeral I returned to school. I wasn’t thrilled to be back, but I knew I had to go on with life and fulfill my responsibilities. Some days were easier than others. I spent a lot of time thinking about my father, and I relied on my knowledge of the plan of salvation and my faith in Jesus Christ to help me face my challenges and questions.
About two weeks after my father passed away, I took my journal to a chapel on campus to record my feelings and the events surrounding Dad’s death. As I wrote, I felt the Spirit so strongly that I had an overwhelming assurance that my Heavenly Father loved me, that He had a plan specifically for me, and that I would never be left alone. As I finished writing, bells sounded from speakers atop the nearby student center playing the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136). Words from the hymn instantly came to my mind:
I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head. …
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
I do know that my Redeemer lives, and I know He loves me. Because He rose from the dead, I know that my father and all of our loved ones who have gone before us will also live again. What a comfort it is to know these truths.