My Anguish Turned to Gratitude
April 2023

“My Anguish Turned to Gratitude,” Liahona, Apr. 2023.

Latter-day Saint Voices

My Anguish Turned to Gratitude

In desperation and deep anguish, I cried out to the Lord. In His mercy, He responded.

baby lying on the floor

Photograph courtesy of the author

In September 2021, our youngest son, Joey, passed away after living for only about two months. Despite prayers, fasting, priesthood blessings, and the monumental efforts of some of the best doctors in the world, little Joey’s body would not allow him to live.

During Joey’s last moments of life, my wife and I held him. As I watched him take his last breath, everything inside me broke. In desperation and deep anguish, I cried out to the Lord. In His mercy, He responded.

Immediately my anguish was replaced with an intense feeling of gratitude that is hard for me to describe with words. I felt overwhelmed with thanks that the Lord had given me a wonderful wife, four beautiful children, and covenants that bound them to me forever. I felt like Alma the Younger when he experienced joy as exquisite as the pain he had previously felt (see Alma 36:20).

As I basked in gratitude to the Lord, I received a profound spiritual impression. The anguish I felt for the death of my son helped me appreciate the anguish Heavenly Father must have felt when His Son died for me, and for the rest of God’s children, two thousand years ago. Because Jesus Christ died for us, I know I will see my son again.

In a small way, I better understood the sacrifice that Heavenly Father and His Son had made. Again, I felt grateful for the deep love of God.

During the time that has passed since our son’s death, I have often contemplated what I felt that day. The anguish, the gratitude, and the powerful spiritual impressions have changed me forever. I can truly testify that the trials of life give us experience and will be for our good (see Doctrine and Covenants 122:7) if we allow the Lord to be involved in our lives and hold on to our faith in the Savior and His Atonement.