“My Dad, My Example,” New Era, Nov. 2010, 47
Dad made each of us kids feel special. He would look after each of us and talk to us like an equal. He loved us unconditionally and would forgive easily if we said we were sorry. He did his best to make sure that each of us was happy, and he made it clear that he wanted the best for us. I loved him so much.
When I was in sixth grade my dad died in a car accident. My family and I were totally devastated. There was a big hole in our family. I was totally lost. Dad was the one I leaned on, the one I went to if I was having problems. I felt that he had no right to leave me. Instead of seeking help, I let the anger and hurt stay. I finally decided it was God’s fault. I stopped reading my scriptures and saying prayers. I only went to church because Mom wanted me to. I tried to stay far away from my Heavenly Father.
Then I had my first year of girls’ camp. Mom made me go, and I had fun. I liked meeting new friends, but I still didn’t really read my scriptures. On the last night we had a testimony meeting. I felt something I hadn’t in a long time—the Spirit. I admired the girls who got up and bore their testimonies, but I stayed seated because I thought I didn’t have one. All of a sudden I felt like I had to get up. It took a while, but I did get up. I opened my mouth wondering what to say, because I didn’t know that the Church was true or anything like that. So I started like the other girls did. I said I was glad for girls’ camp, which was true. Then I found myself saying that I knew Jesus died for me and that my Heavenly Father loved me and that the Church was true. And the most amazing thing was that I knew what I was saying was absolutely true.
I was filled with a remarkable peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Then I realized that all the things I loved about my dad were attributes of Christ and that my dad was trying to show me not just how much he loved me but how much Jesus and Heavenly Father loved me. I was so grateful for that. Because of this experience I can really say that this is the true Church, that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me more than I could ever imagine, and that Jesus loves me and died for me. I also know that I will see my dad again because of the Atonement and Resurrection.