Catharine Rasband

As I turned to the scriptures, I read in 2 Nephi 9:20 that God knows “all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.” If the Lord knew beforehand what would happen to our son, then the word accident takes on a greater meaning. Yes, it was an accident, but the fact that the Lord knew that such a thing could happen in mortality made it easier for me to accept and bear. I felt trust and faith in Him. I knew I could cast my burdens on the Lord and He would sustain me (see Ps. 55:22). I realized that simply because God knows all things does not imply that He is responsible for what happens. I am grateful for the Atonement that can compensate for whatever happens and can heal all my wounds.

I don’t think I could ever have coped without the hope given us throughout the scriptures and the writings of the prophets. I love and accept the Prophet Joseph Smith’s teachings on the innocence of children and their right to inherit the celestial kingdom (see D&C 137:7). These truths are also profoundly expressed in Mosiah 3 and in Moroni 8. We find peace in the knowledge that we shall have our son again.

Catharine Rasband  |  Working through My Grief

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“In April 1993 our water heater pilot light came into contact with gasoline fumes and exploded into flames. Our two-year-old son, Thomas, was in the middle of it. The fire department put out the fire with minimum damage to our home or possessions, but our son was severely burned. Though I longed for him to live, I could see he probably wouldn’t. Within six hours of the accident, he died…

During the first few days following the accident, all I could feel was acute pain, though now I realize that the Spirit of the Lord was constantly with me. Through the Spirit it became clear to me that how I acted was my choice. I couldn’t change the facts. I couldn’t stop the pain and the hurt, but I could choose my reactions. I looked to the scriptures for everything I could find about death and the Lord’s healing balm. I couldn’t sleep at night, so I searched my mind for any hymns or scriptures that I could call to my memory to find even a moment of relief.

I knew I had to accept my son’s death and work through my grief. Though Thomas was gone, I knew I had the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope of the Resurrection to help me. The strength of my testimony was of vital importance. I did a lot of soul-searching and determined that everything I had professed to believe throughout my life was indeed true.”

Catharine Rasband  |  Working through My Grief

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