I do not expect you to believe the story I am going to tell; I know it will sound unbelievable. However, I would ask you to stay open minded.
I would like to start from the beginning.
I was born in the LDS Church; therefore being kindly raised my entire life, with loving parents and a safe home in Denmark. I felt safe there. I am the sixth kid in a family of eight. Three older brothers, two older sister, and two younger sisters. My family did not have much as I was growing up, but we came through, and the lord blessed us with everything we needed. Because of the many kids in my family, I often felt alone, but I wasn’t alone, I had my two best friends from church, both of whom I counted as my brothers, even though we weren’t blood related.
I grew up, with a huge testimony, I never thought the church to be anything but true, and I strived as hard as I could to follow Christ and keep His commandments. I never doubted the gospel, and I knew with all my heart, that I was a child of a loving Heavenly Father.
As the teenage years kicked in, I did not lose faith in church, but instead I prepared to go on a mission. At the age of fifteen, I started dating a member. She was wonderful, and we talked about getting married when I returned from my mission with honor. All the stuff teenagers love to talk about. Soon things started to escalade, some rumors about me started flowing in the stake, and it became harder and harder for me to hang out with my girlfriend. Thinking we were too young, her father and mother, tried with all their might to pull us apart. And they succeeded. I was not strong enough. I would like for the story to make me sound a little better, but truth be said, in the end when rumors appear and I tried to make them go away without any luck, I felt like nothing mattered anymore, and the rumors ended up being true. I left church. I didn’t leave, leave, I just didn’t attend. And that’s where everything turned wrong. I left my girlfriend and my friends in order to be with people outside of church, people whom I knew would not build me up.
I was around 17 when I met a girl. This girl seemed to be kind. And I did things I’m not proud of. I started drinking, smoking, breaking the law of chastity. And I didn’t seem to care about anything. At this point, my father was serving in the military for his country in Afghanistan. He called me and asked what had happened.
All I could say was, "I don’t feel like church now, there are other things I would rather do."
It broke my parent’s hearts. Even though others of my siblings fell away from the church, I think because of my knowledge and my testimony, I may have hurt them the most by leaving the church. I have NO idea how many tears my mom has cried because of the worst decision I ever made. But I know they are many.
Quinton L Cook once said: “God will hold men responsible for every tear they cause their wife to shed.“
I believe this to be true. I would like to add just one line to that quote: "God will also hold children responsible for every tear they cause their parents to shed.”
Therefore, a great deal of what I am writing is also a hope to reach out to parents who are discouraged because of their beloved children, who are lost and will not just yet, let help come. Parents please don’t give up. Love your kids. They need you, they may not realize it just now. But they need you. Pray for them. Help them in anyway, do whatever you can to love them. For they love you as well, even if they don’t show it.
My girlfriend and I moved in together. I actually planned to return to church and bring her with me. She was not a member, but open to spirituality, therefore I saw it as an opportunity to bring one soul back to my Heavenly Father, while tagging myself along. I had now been inactive for about three years. My girlfriend was taught by the missionary’s and our home teachers where MORE than amazing. We started studying together, but not for long, and as we turned eighteen, we stopped studying and started partying.
After that, things did not go that well. My girlfriend and I argued about everything. Even the small things, and in my despair I felt like she had forgotten me, and was no longer my girlfriend but just a roommate, so we broke up. This is pretty much how everything went from there on. I would find a girl, who seemed good for me, but at the end, she was nothing like what I needed.
In my trials I lost three friends to suicide in a period of two years. Of the three, I was only able to attend one funeral, because no one told me about the others. How could I go on from there. There where so many things going wrong. I couldn’t even keep my own life intact and now I experienced death up close.
I tried so many times to come back to church. But, every time I got tempted and fell right back to where it all started. Because of my weaknesses, I felt that I couldn’t return. I wanted too, but I just gave up. It just seemed easier to stay away.
When my two best friends went on a mission, I promised them, that by the time they returned I would be their brother in faith once again. I prepared, but something happened.
I once again got tempted and met a girl. Who I loved so dearly, she was more than I could ever ask for. She made me the happiest man alive. Not only did we fit so, so well together, but she also accepted our faith, and was truly investigating the church. She took the lessons from the missionaries. Even though I knew I wasn't keeping the law of chastity, we studied together. As time went on, I quit smoking and drinking, and worked towards coming back to my Heavenly Father. She did the same. We prayed together, she even prayed. All my life I have been wanting a partner with whom I could kneel down and pray -- a partner with whom I could share my testimony, a partner who could strengthen me in the gospel, and who could help me become the man our Heavenly Father intended me to be.
I wanted to marry this girl. I loved her so, so much. At the same time, I felt sad, because I was so afraid that like all the times before, when I finally hit the point of happiness, it would be taken from me. The day before the wedding she told me she was pregnant, and that I was going to be a father. You cannot believe the joy that came to me, tears filled my eyes, and I was more than happy, I got on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for this blessing. When we were married, we could start a life together. Me and her, in our house, with our dog, her as a stay at home mom, and a baby on the way.
At this point I was working as an insurance agent, making a good living. I had everything sorted out. So I thought.
After one month of marriage she left me… no one knew why, no reason, no nothing. There I stood, alone, in an empty house, without my wife, my dog, or my unborn child. I lost everything, my savings, the house we rented, I crashed my car, I became depressed and had to stop working. I got diagnosed with ADHD. Bills began to pile up from everywhere. But the worst part was, that I knew I shouldn’t have married her in the first place. Before I proposed, I got on my knees asking God if it was right. And the answer was no. But I said I would do it anyway despite the fact that my Heavenly Father told me otherwise. I thought I knew better. BUT I DIDN’T. I lost the family I thought I had.
I was broken. Age 21 and alone. My pillow was wet with tears every night, and my heart was crying for my Heavenly Father to help me. I moved back in with my parents, and I started studying like never before. Now I was back in church, I kept my promise to my cousin. I still tried to make things work with my wife, but she didn’t want to speak with me, she wouldn’t answer her phone, she wouldn’t tell me how my baby was. She started smoking again, drinking, she didn’t really eat. And the doctors told her to take care of herself for the sake of the baby. She didn’t want the baby, because it was a boy, she didn’t want my son. Therefore she asked for an abortion, but the doctors said no. She wanted to put him up for adoption, but the doctors told her that she couldn’t do that. And if she did, I would get my son.
One of my best friends gave me a priesthood blessing one night. I was discouraged, sad and alone. In the blessing I was told, that I was soon to go through a trial that only a few people could endure, but I was to know that my Father in Heaven would be there for me, but that it wasn’t going to be easy. It was going to be almost unbearable . My family prayed with me, the entire ward prayed and fasted for me.
One night, as we ate together as a family, I was blessing the food, and by the end of the prayer I asked my Heavenly Father to let his will happen and not mine. That he would do what was best.
A few days later I got a call from my wife's friend, telling me my son had died. She had a miscarriage in the 22nd week, and that he lived shortly, but died soon after. She told me to move on, and forget about everything.
My son was dead. I couldn’t see him, I wasn’t allowed to bury him. And since it was in the 22nd week and not the 23rd my son was considered a fetus and not a baby, therefor according to Danish law, he is part of his mother, and she can decide anything she wants to, without consent from the father. She told me that she wanted me to feel as miserable as she did and therefore I would not be allowed to bury him, but instead he would be buried with the unknown. She knew he was the thing that meant the most to me.
I wrote in a diary back then and I still do. I would like to share some of the things I wrote during this time:
Dear anyone who reads this:
Today has been so hard. Maybe more here at night. I got a text from an ex-girlfriend asking me how I was. Truth be said, terrible. I do not understand why everything is going as it is. My wife left me, my marriage is ruined. I lost my savings, my house, my dog, my wife, and my son. My son, the boy who was going to be my best friend, lies buried in the ground, with no stone to mark his grave. There was no one to sing to him, no one to carry the casket, no roses, no father to dedicate the grave. He was all alone. I feel left in the dark without anything. I’m living in boxes at my parents. When is it my turn to be happy. My ex-wife is currently living with one of my previously best friends. They became a couple while me and him still where great friends, and while me and my ex where still married.
Despite all this, I cannot but cry with joy for the many blessings and the love my Heavenly Father has showed me. I love my Father in Heaven, and I know he has something better waiting for me. What it is, I do not know. But I do know my Father in Heaven lives and that He loves me. 11-13-12
As I read this now, I realize, I really did believe my Heavenly Father.
As the nights grew dim, I felt alone, once again, I felt left out. People around me got kids, people around got married. I felt like a failure. My heart begged for my Father in Heaven to help me.
Once again I turned to the priesthood and got a blessing telling me that within a year I would be happy, truly happy. I just had to follow God"s plan.
As I prepared for what God had in store for me. I started working hard with missionary work. I taught one of my friends, who I, after three weeks, was blessed to baptize. The Lord had things for me to do. I kept being involved in church work. And was blessed to see the friend I baptized bring another friend with her.
Time went by, but I felt like I was stuck in pause, even though all the great things had happened.
And as the days passed by, I felt as if no one understood how it was for me. People kept asking why I wasn’t working? Why I wasn’t doing something? Some even told me how other people have lost also and moved on, so why can’t you just move on? And with time I ended up asking myself the same question. Why wasn't I moving, why is this so hard? Why do I have to go through this? Why do I have to feel all this pain?
In several occasions I did ask God to take the pain away, but his will and not mine. I kept feeling the pain. I kept feeling alone. Everything I thought I had, had disappeared. Within 12 months, I had got married, got a dog, house, came back to church, quit smoking and drinking. Got divorced, lost my job, lost my house, crashed my car, lost my child, and stood alone. All within 12 months.
I had some friends who had tried the same things as I, But none of them tried it all so quickly or had to face it alone. I’m not saying that my pain is worse than others, I just wanted them to understand that I didn’t have anyone, no wife to cry with me, no wife to hold me as we said goodbye to our son. Instead I felt alone, like really, really alone.
As the date my son was supposed to be born came closer I asked my Heavenly Father.
“Why, why me, why do I have to walk alone? How long are you going to let this happen to me? I keep your commandments, I say my prayers I do your work father. Why aren’t you there, and why aren’t you helping me now, when I need you the most? I love you father, and if there is more to come, I will go through that too, but father I need you. Please hear my prayer, I’m lost and all alone. I need you Lord.”
In about that moment my cousin sent me a text with a scripture. A scripture that made him think of me. The scripture is in D&C 121:1-10 and 121:46 which talks about the trials that Joseph Smith had to endure.
In addition, my cousins wife gave me this story:
"Two men came to a wicked town. The people in the town where haunted by evil spirits. One of the men looked at an old man who was surrounded by countless spirits, so many that he barely could walk. The young man turned to the other saying:
"See that old man, with the many spirits around him, he must be a really evil man.”
The other looked at him saying kindly.
"That man my friend, is the most righteousness of them all, not a million spirits could lead him astray.”
This meant so much to me at the time because I KNEW in my heart that God truly loved me, and cared for me. That I was never forgotten. That all that has happened, was a blessing.
I realized, God didn’t punish me, he SAVED ME.
I would have been miserable with the life I was about to live. My Heavenly Father loved me so much. That he took away my son, in order to get me back. My son is waiting for me. And he knew he could be the one to help me back. When I look back now, I can’t but cry out with joy, that I love my Father in Heaven. My life is nothing close to perfect. But I am truly happy.
I’m back now. I just got the Melchizedek Priesthood, I got my patriarchal blessing. And I know now, just as before, that God lives he loves me. Even enough to let me go through pain in order to become happy. It has almost been a year now.
I’m currently living with one of my best friends. We are strong together. I teach in the elders quorum. I live the gospel. I met a girl, a member whom I’ve known all my life. And we are dating now. She is going on a mission. We don’t know where just yet. But she is preparing. She lives in another country, but we study together, we send each other scriptures every day to prepare. When she serves, she will tell me all her experiences on her mission, so I can experience a mission through her. I finally was blessed with a wonderful girlfriend, who is a member, who loves God with all her heart. Who strengthens me in the gospel. Sometimes our Heavenly Father needs to try our faith in order to build us up. So we can be able to work in his kingdom.
Looking back, I would go through all this again if the end result is marrying her.
I am truly blessed and I love my life. With all that has happened God showed me his mercy and love.
I cannot say this enough.
I have a Strong testimony of Christ and His restored gospel.
I know we go through trials. I know we feel discouraged. I know the tears we shed. I’ve felt it. I know how hard trials can be, I know how hard it is to be a member. I know the truth is the Gospel. I never doubted I just left the path for a while. But I was found. It takes time to come back, many people will maybe still be hard on you because of your past. But believe me when I say God is with us.
I have made so many mistakes regarding the commandments of my Heavenly Father, but he still loved and loves me. When we listen he is always there. I love my heavenly father. And as the days grew dark, he sent an angel to me. One of his daughters who now is helping me with the hard times. God works in mysterious ways. We just have to trust him.
When we ask Christ why there are only one set of footprints his answer will be, in your darkest hour, in the most difficult time I carried you my child. Because I love you.
I will carry you.