I had already had a pretty bad day, and as I turned the corner onto my street I could see about a half dozen cars parked near my house. I wondered what was going on.
I could sense something was wrong before I even went inside, and my worries were confirmed as I met the tear-streaked face of my neighbor at the door. She took me aside and explained bluntly, yet sympathetically, what had happened. My father, a 46-year-old engineer, had been jogging when he suffered a heart attack. They had rushed him to the hospital, but it was no use. He was already dead. I stood there in shock as my neighbor hugged me.
The weeks that followed were filled with disbelief and incredible sorrow for my family. My mother was faced with all the emotional and financial worries of caring for four children, not to mention dealing with her own grief. I found myself constantly expecting my father to come through the front door and tell us it was all a big joke. When it finally hit me that he was never coming back, I spent tearful hours and lonely nights expressing my anger toward God, asking him why this had happened. I never seemed to receive any answers, which only made me angrier. I felt cheated, neglected, and forsaken. Then one Sunday, those feelings changed.
I was sitting in sacrament meeting sort of half listening to a speaker talk about Joseph Smith. He began to read a scripture and I immediately tuned into it. “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7).
Although the scripture was directed to Joseph Smith, it provided me with all the answers I needed about my dad. I went home that day feeling peaceful. Though I still don’t know why my dad was taken from us when we needed him so much, my anger against God is gone. When I think about my father’s death, I feel a sense of great love from God for me and my family.