Monday, June 18, 2012

Losing a Friend, Gaining an Angel

I've been through a lot of different trials in my life, but I had never before experienced losing a friend or loved one until this week.

My childhood friend Ammon passed away Wednesday morning in an accident while hiking in Utah. Ammon Mark Latham and I grew up together, and I have so many fond memories of him: 
  • picking on each other in Sunday School
  • dancing at church youth dances (he always smelled like really clean soap)
  • coming over to my apartment in college and eating meals with my roommates
  • taking me out and buying me food
  • going over to his family's house before and after his mission
  • trying to keep in touch while he served in Brazil
  • looking through his mission pictures/videos with his family a few weeks before I left for my mission.

I was so shocked to hear the news. It wasn't real. You never realize the place your friends have in your hearts until you feel an unexpected emptiness when you lose them. I will have to wait a long time before I can see Ammon again, but I know that I will see him again.

God has a plan for each of us. Before we came to earth, we lived with Him, and when we die, we "are taken home to that God who gave [us] life" (Alma 40: 11). Ammon is an incredible incredible that his work is done on this mortal earth and Heavenly Father needs him in the Spirit World to continue to teach the Gospel and bless others. I know this. The Plan of Salvation is not just something to believe in because it brings peace, but it's a knowledge and an assurance that there really is more than this mortal life.
My companion lost her brother 9 months ago while on her mission. She has a great, eternal perspective on losing a loved one. She created a blog, to uplift and inspire others as she has dealt with this. She said,
"I know because of The Atonement of Christ that all of us will live again!! I know that I will see my brother again and that I will be able to live with him and my family for eternity. I know that if I listen to the Prophet's words and follow the commandments of God that I will live with my Heavenly Father and my family. I know that my brother will live again and that I will see him again. I am human and so I know that I will at times feel sad and miss my brother, but because I know God's plan, I have hope. I know good things are to come here on earth and when I return back to my Heavenly Father."
 I'm so grateful for my own testimony of Jesus Christ and God's great plan of happiness.  I know these things are true because The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth and is led by a modern prophet.

The song in my heart this week is "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good," LDS Hymns no. 293.
1. Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

2. What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

3. When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

4. For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior’s name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.


  1. What a awesome title! You may have lost your friend physically, but you will for sure be able to fill his spirit in your everyday life.

    And that song is amazing. As I focus on the wonderful things and many memories of my brother, I find it a lot easier to deal with it than when I focus on the missed opportunities.

    "Celebrate his life, not his death."

  2. This is one of my favorite hymns. It reminds me of a dear friend who died in 1978. I still see her sweet smiling face whenever we sing it.

  3. Thank you Sister Nordstrom for sharing this testimony through song and heavenly words. You are an inspiration to me. I love you.