BETA

What we did: Dealing with the impacts of a violent crime

Continue to pray

When my youngest sister told me that she'd been raped by her boyfriend, I found that the Lord was with me to keep me from hating the boyfriend. But as time went on, I found that an anger and a fear were forming inside me. How could this have happened? Hadn't I prayed hard enough for my family to be protected? Thoughts I hadn't faced even when my life had been threatened on my mission now assaulted me.

I continued to pray for help and protection. I knew the Lord would help me, and through the scriptures, the love of the Lord, priesthood blessings, my husband's love and patience, I have found and continue to find peace. I know that all things will work together for good for those who love the Lord, and that He always prepares the way for us to do His will, even when we face challenges we never wanted to meet. I am grateful for this knowledge for it provides us with a way to overcome all trials and bring us peace. — Name and location withheld

Families forever

My husband of 22 years was murdered at work during an armed robbery while he and I were talking on the phone. I can't say it wasn't difficult, but I did feel peace through the many prayers and acts of service on our behalf. I gained a testimony of why my mother had told me many times before and throughout my life: "The only real tragedy in this life is sin."

As I sat in the courtroom during the murder trial, I realized that no matter what anyone does to us in this life, they cannot take away our inner peace; they cannot take away the truth that we know; and they cannot take away our families forever. As I watched the families of the defendants, including their very small children, I had to admit to myself that I felt more sorry for them than for the loss that I and my family had experienced. We have the gospel and are so blessed daily by it. My four sons have a father that they can honor and respect and look forward to seeing again. — Jill Heasley, Clovis, Calif.

Rely on Lord's love

I was the victim of a violent crime that seriously disabled me and nearly cost me my life. The following is my counsel:

  • Realize you are a child of our Heavenly Father. Rely upon His love.
  • Read the scriptures. Have family, friends and ward/branch/stake members join in fasting and prayer. Put names on the prayer rolls of the temple. Read your patriarchal blessing often for comfort. Ask for priesthood blessings. Spend time in nature spots and sacred places. The love from our Savior is a great healer.
  • Spend time each day listing the blessings as they come. Remember every good thing about your life and the lives of those around you.
  • Record all of these victories, inspirations and miracles in your journal. Do temple work and Church service often. Find new things that bring joy.

Overcoming the grief won't happen overnight, but the process of finding our Savior's love for us and reaching for our eternal purposes will bring us new peace and joy in our souls. — Heather Nebeker, Salt Lake City, Utah

The greatest good

I was 16 years old when my grandpa was murdered and the murderer was later acquitted due to "lack of evidence." He had confessed to the murder without his lawyer present, thus his testimony was inadmissible. Later, my brother and I were serving missions at the same time. I was in Finland, and he was in Arizona. About a year into our missions, my brother was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

Both of incidents have compelled me to understand my own relationship with the Father. I am on the path to live eternally with my Father in Heaven, but I wouldn't be able to do that if I stayed grieved because of these experiences. My faith had to be strengthened. I read from Alma 32 many times in order to understand the principle of faith. I did my best to concentrate on the good that came out of the tragedy. I'm amazed at how much good can stem from a moment of such horror. The Lord loves us, and I have learned to turn to Him for my peace. I think that's the greatest good.

Talking about the situation also helps. — Wendi Bergin, Westville, N.J.

Sorry, no more articles available