Our precious, adventurous two-and-a-half-year-old little boy Luke passed away in an accident in March 2020. His passing occurred the week the United States of America shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools were closed, grocery stores limited shopping, products were difficult to come by, and we were living our greatest nightmare. Only a few of our extended family were able to fly in to attend a funeral. Due to government pandemic mandates, we could only host 10 people at the funeral service.
Heartache. Pain. Grief. Fear. The world was in turmoil, as were our hearts. We yearned for peace. We longed for the opportunity to be within the walls of the temple. We knew the comfort that comes simply from attending the temple. However, unfortunately, for the safety of all, the temple doors were closed.
Several months passed before we were gifted the unique opportunity to attend the temple while a friend’s son received his endowment in preparation for a mission. (During this time, only those receiving live ordinances and their guests could enter the temple.) Like a lighthouse in the midst of a foggy night, we were given guidance and direction that day.
We left the temple feeling an immense amount of love. In my journal that night, I wrote, “We felt peace, and our souls were flooded with love. God is so good, and has an immeasurable amount of love for all His children.” There was not a grand spiritual experience that day. I did not see my little boy in attendance. But I did feel an outpouring of love and comfort. The Spirit testified to the temple's goodness and the eternal truths taught there.
As time passed, the waves of grief continued, sometimes nearly overwhelming us. But as we kept our focus on eternal matters, we weathered the storms. The covenant of eternal marriage that my husband and I made in the temple and our faith in Jesus Christ became the foundation of our hope. The sealing covenant bound our family together in those difficult first days, months, and years, both to those of us still here on earth and to Luke on the other side of the veil. Never before had those promises held such significance.
Eighteen months passed. Through a series of promptings and miracles, a premature baby girl was placed in our home. We felt our Luke close, guiding our family during this time. We felt his excitement for this development as well. In October 2022, we were given the privilege of adopting this precious child, followed by a sealing ceremony. All six of our children, including Luke from the other side of the veil, joined us in the temple that day. We sat together with tears in our eyes, overwhelmed with peace.
The Lord’s ordinances are simple, yet profound. The pain of trials does not leave, but with the Lord’s help, we are more equipped to endure these trials with His sustaining love and strength. As we see His outpouring of love in our life we have come to understand more deeply His purposes and trust in His plan.