How a violinist and videographer overcome challenges and share their talents

Rebecca and Issac Goeckeritz tell how Christ is the source of hope and strength

After an auto-pedestrian accident at 15 months old, Rebecca Goeckeritz was paralyzed from the waist down. She later exchanged her wheelchair for leg braces before starting kindergarten, and one of the ways her mom supported her growing up was teaching her how to fall down and get up on her own.

“Just taking that plunge and going for it as I learned to fall,” said Rebecca Goeckeritz, “that has been a source of strength for me in my life, because I just know that I’ve got it in me to push through some tough stuff.”

She is currently an inspirational violinist and a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square. Her husband, Issac Goeckeritz, works as a videographer to document the work of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square and to cover the ministries of senior leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The couple joined the Church News podcast on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to talk about overcoming challenges through faith in the Savior.

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Rebecca and Issac Goeckeritz smiling, with a large body of water behind them.
Rebecca and Issac Goeckeritz in Singapore. | Provided by Issac and Rebecca Goeckeritz

‘He is the source of hope’

Having been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, Rebecca Goeckeritz received a kidney transplant in 2016. This led to lengthy hospital visits before and after the transplant. Seeking strength and relief, she pleaded for help in prayer.

“During the prayer,” said Rebecca Goeckeritz, “I had a vision of two Beccas. And one Becca was bitter and angry and dark and lonely. And the other Becca was light and happy.”

She continued, “The Spirit then said to me, ‘You are putting your hope in the wrong things. Your medications will fail you. Your doctors can fail you. Everything, every hope you have hope in, this treatment, that can fail. If you put your hope in Jesus Christ, because He is the source of hope, that will not fail.’”

Rebecca Goeckeritz taking a selfie with her cellphone, with lighted lanterns in the air above her.
Rebecca Goeckeritz at a lantern festival. | Provided by Issac Goeckeritz

Issac Goeckeritz, who tirelessly supported his wife through the hospital visits, found a similar strength in Christ. He said, “We did everything we knew how to do. ... But at some time, we just had to hand it over to the Savior and just say, ‘We’ll do all this. We’ll do everything the doctors say we’ll do, what we think we should do too, and we’re just going to trust in You.’”

Turning to the Savior gave Issac Goeckeritz the hope that “whatever the result was, we were still doing what we needed to do, and He was going to help us when He felt like we needed the help. And He did.”

To pass time, the pair brought a Lego set to work on at each hospital appointment. This connection with Legos has also led Rebecca and Issac Goeckeritz to make a yearly New Year’s card with photos of Lego displays.

Issac Goeckeritz said, “We pick five or six events during the year and re-create them with Legos, with minifigures of ourselves in these places, and then take pictures, and that’s our New Year’s card.”

A Lego display with a male minifigure holding a camera toward a female minifigure playing violin in a wheelchair.
Issac and Rebecca Goeckeritz re-create the 2022 events in their life using Legos. | Provided by Issac and Rebecca Goeckeritz

Lessons from violin and videography

For Rebecca Goeckeritz, rehearsals with the Orchestra at Temple Square are opportunities to witness the Holy Ghost touching the hearts of listeners. 

“Whenever I enter that space, it feels like I am entering the temple, because everybody is there as a volunteer; it’s part of their musical missionary work.”

Each member has the same goal: to glorify God and the Savior Jesus Christ. “Because we are one in purpose, we can bring all of these different characters and all these different people into the mix and create something really powerful.” 

As a videographer, Issac Goeckeritz has personally followed the ministries of several Church leaders, including Apostles and the Prophet.

“Following the Prophet isn’t physically following him,” he said . “It’s just following who he preaches about, and that’s Jesus Christ. ... That’s what prophets preach. And that’s what they’ve always preached.”

Issac Goeckeritz recording on a camera, with members of the Tabernacle Choir wearing blue dresses in the background.
Issac Goeckeritz shoots video of members of the Tabernacle Choir during the group’s recent trip to Mexico City in June 2023. | Provided by Rebecca Goeckeritz

Everyone has a unique story

In 2021, during a meeting to Saints in the Middle East with Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Issac Goeckeritz and others were invited to bear their testimonies. The request came with a challenge: Do so in only 30 seconds.

“I’m not one that speaks a whole lot,” said Issac. Yet bearing a simple testimony taught him that “I don’t need to say a whole lot of things to minister in this Church. ... There’s so many ways to worship and praise our Savior.”

What he has learned about the uniqueness of each Latter-day Saint is a lesson shared by both husband and wife: “Everybody brings their own unique story to the gospel.”

Rebecca Goeckeritz playing the violin amid other violin players.
Rebecca Goeckeritz performs with the Ogden Chamber Orchestra in Ogden, Utah. | Provided by Goeckeritz family
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