What a comfort it is to know that if we live our lives in righteousness, sealed to one another, we can spend the eternities together.

On August 27, 1982, my brother, Howard Pack, died of a heart attack while running a cross-country race. At the age of 17, he was taken from our family of 13. We love him so very much. He was an example to us all.

Howard exemplified the words, “Don’t wait to be a great man; be a great boy.” Howard accomplished things, not to be noticed by the world, but to better himself. He completed all the requirements for his Eagle Scout Award yet never bothered to turn in the necessary papers. The recognition just wasn’t important to him.

An excellent debater, Howard carried the district team to a division championship. The local paper heralded the news, but somehow they listed his name as “Harland Pike.” Howard’s response was simply, “Oh well, I know who I am.” What an assurance for us to “know who we are.”

Howard’s list of achievements includes playing the clarinet, being seminary class president, winning trophies in debate and speech, making the honor roll, and being listed in Who’s Who among American High School Students. But through everything, his family came first. Though busy, Howard would make time to pick me up from work or dry the tears of a younger brother and sister. Howard honored his priesthood and kept the Lord’s commandments. In a recent conversation with mother, Howard assured her, “Mother, I am worthy to serve a mission.” When as a young boy, Howard cut his face, a clerk asked if he had received the scratch from fist fighting. Howard responded, “I don’t fight!”

Yet, for a good cause, Howard gave all that he had. He spent several hours of piano practice so that he could play a few hymns for seminary. When others smoked, drank, or told lewd stories, he walked away from it. Howard loved the Lord and is now serving him in the heavens.

How I love my younger brother. Although I am two years older, I looked up to him. He was such a good friend. We mourn the passing of a loved one, but my family knows that “families are forever.”