Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never to be Forgotten: Jared Johansen

    Today was the last Fast Sunday of the year of 2011. As I was sitting through sacrament I began to reflect on all my blessings of this past year. I was blessed to enter into the temple 9 months ago tomorrow with my best friend and be sealed for Time & All Eternity. I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple. "The Temple is the Lord's University where we receive our PHD. Peace, Hope, and Direction." This has become very real to me, especially in this past week. Brian and I had the opportunity to go to The Forgotten Carols on Tuesday night. What an extremely beautiful message that this wonderful show has to offer! The spirit was so strong throughout the entire performance.
     Brian and I watched it a year ago when we were dating, and the year before that I was able to sing in it with my high school choir. One of the closing songs that is sung is one where the audience links arms with the people on either side of them and joins in singing the words, "We can be together, forever someday." So here we were a year ago, dating, and Michael Mclean has Brian and I linked together saying "we can be together, forever someday." We got the hint and were married 3 months later.
    This year was different for us though. This time when I was linked up singing this song with Brian, I was just reminded of the temple and the wonders and beauty that I am now able to partake fully of. Michale Mclean spoke of the people on the other side of the veil and how we can be together with them. I started thinking about my family and how blessed I am to have everyone alive and well. I come from a very large family full of many cousins, aunts, uncles, etc on both sides. The only death I have ever experienced in my family was with a great uncle or great grandfather. Deaths that were bittersweet because we knew we'd miss them, but that it was their time to go and that they had lived a full and wonderful life. Nothing had prepared me for the news I would receive the next morning.
    My mom called me Wednesday morning with the news that my cousin Jared had passed away in his sleep the night before.  Jared is a few years older than myself and has a year old daughter and another that is due in 6 weeks. I can't even begin to describe how I felt as my mom and I cried on the phone together. Losing Jared has been hard on my entire family and all those who knew him. As I have gone throughout the rest of this week the words of Michael McLean's song "We can be together, forever someday" has echoed through my head and brought me so much peace. My testimony of Heavenly Father's plan has helped me so much this week. The plan is so beautiful. Knowing that I can be together with Jared again someday and that it is made possible through the blessings of the temple and through our Savior's atonement has helped me receive my PHD of the temple. This peace, hope, and direction will help me and my family, and all others who have been touched by the loss of such a wonderful man, find the strength to move on through faith in this gospel.
I find these two videos very comforting:

    The words of this song by MercyMe is so comforting to me. It just puts into better words how I feel and how many of us feel after losing a loved one.

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways

The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

In Christ, there are no goodbyes

And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now
 We love you Jared!


  1. I was one of Jared's ward mission leaders during his time in Washington DC. The words to this song did such a great job in putting into to words how I've been feeling since I got the news. I loved that guy.

  2. Anna: thank you for your beautiful expression of love for Jared. I remember how much fun it was to witness your marriage together. Your smile and personality always illuminates any room you are in. You were especially radiant in marriage sealing room of the temple. Jared has always loved you and your family--and I am sure he will continue to do so. We are indeed "homesick" for him, and this ia an ache that never leaves us--at least not here in mortality. But we will continue to trust in the plan of God and the power of the sacrifice and Atonement of His Son. It is a stunning and humbling thought to consider that God Himself was pained to the depths of sorrow when He witnessed the mortal death of His Son. His was unfathomable Godly sorrow even with perfect perspective and knowledge. My heart aches and my river of tears continues as I constantly think of Jared's separation from his family. I am grateful for the sustaining power of faith, even though my persepctive and understanding is so limited. Love Alan


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