Soon after Brent and Jennie Taylor found out they were expecting their first child, Brent learned about possible deployment.
They had just spent a year apart for his basic training and other initial training with the military.
“I’ll never forget that long, long night in December 2004, when we stayed up all night talking about ‘What if?’” Jennie Taylor recalled.
“By the time the sun rose that morning, we had decided yes, he would go where he needed to go to serve our country. We would answer that call without fear, without hesitation.”
On Nov. 3, 2018, Jennie Taylor learned her husband, Maj. Brent Taylor, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
In the Church’s latest inspirational message video released Thursday, Nov. 17, Jennie Taylor describes her journey of reclaiming hope and happiness through the Savior in the four years since his death.
“In some of my darkest moments and my deepest anguish, I’ve come to believe that life is incredibly unfair — in our favor,” said Jennie Taylor, a mother of seven.
The 13-minute video “Life is Incredibly Unfair — In Our Favor” links to a talk Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave in April 2021 general conference on “Infuriating Unfairness.”
“If we let Him, Jesus Christ will consecrate the unfairness for our gain,” Elder Renlund taught. “He will not just console us and restore what was lost; He will use the unfairness for our benefit.”
A member of the Utah Army National Guard, Brent Taylor served two tours of duty, to Iraq and Afghanistan, while six more children were born to their family. He had won reelection as the North Ogden mayor shortly before his final deployment.
With God’s help, Jennie Taylor said she has come to view the tragedy of losing her husband as a blessing. “I hate saying ‘My husband’s death has blessed my life so much,’ because that hurts. But I can’t deny it. God has blessed us so much through what has happened.”
She shares her testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, who experienced the most unfairness of all.
“No one was more abandoned, or more betrayed, or suffered more or greater than He did,” Jennie Taylor said. “And yet He did so, so that He could make everything right in our lives. He took all of the unfairness, so that He can help us write these wrongs.
“And again, some of them get made right in this life, and a lot of them don’t. But to me, the greatest miracle of all is knowing things really will work out.”
In mortal life, she said, the tendency is to think in terms of “or.” For example, “We can be happy or sad, heartbroken or hopeful.”
“I think I’m learning how to use the word ‘and.’ I can remember and love and miss the past — and be optimistic about the future. I can be heartbroken and happy in the same breath. I can be devastated and determined to keep going. And I think that’s what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers, is that ‘and.’
“We don’t have to choose this or that. He lets us find healing. He lets us be whole in Him so that we can face the struggles of life and know that life really is a beautiful gift from Him.”