I Will Not Leave You Comfortless: How Christ Brought Hope in the Face of Tragedy

Thirteen years ago, when I was 17, my mom and I were driving on I-15 in Utah, and we were in a terrible car accident. Only the two of us were in the car. On the other side of the freeway, a 16-year-old boy was driving a pickup truck when a tire blew out. He lost control of his vehicle, crossed the grassy median, came up on our side of the freeway, and hit us: immediately, unexpectedly, and head on.

A moment after we collided, I pushed away the airbags and felt the urgency to call my dad, right away. I had my phone in my pocket. I told my dad what had happened and where we were, and that I thought my mom was dead. My dad happened to be, or should I say the Lord prepared a plan for my dad to be, on a quick errand across the street at our bishop’s house when I called him.

My dad and our bishop were somehow able to make it to the scene of the accident before any of the first responders came. My dad raced out of the car right over to my mom.

And then came the sirens, ambulances, police, helicopters, life flight, the whole force. A paramedic came over to us, and truthfully stated that there was a fatality and that my mom was dead.

It seemed like life went into slow motion, everyone buzzing around us. My dad held my hands and through streaming tears said, “Lins, I don’t know how we are going to do this, but we can do it with the Lord.”

There was hope. We didn’t know how, but we knew the Lord could lift us, carry us, help us, and give us the courage to keep going.

Hope came through tremendous miracles, big and small.

Hope came when a paramedic on the scene of the accident asked if I had been in the accident, then immediately put me on a stretcher and began calling out my diagnoses: broken femur, internal bleeding, shock, broken collar bone. Then another paramedic asked if I had been given a priesthood blessing. Hope came when my bishop and this paramedic we didn’t know administered to me on a stretcher in the middle of the freeway. Through many x-rays and tests later that day, they could find no injuries sustained to any parts of my body.

Hope came when we told my little sister, 10 years old, and my little brother, 8 years old, that we didn’t know how we would do it without mommy; but that with the Lord we could do it.

Hope came when we made it through the funeral, then through the first days of school without a mom. Hope came when our community gathered together and put on a “home makeover” to distract our lonely hearts from the reality that we were missing our mom during our first Christmas without her.

Hope through the Savior gave us joy through lonely nights and difficult days. Christ did not abandon us; He was there constantly to provide the people and means to heal our hearts.

Through this loss, I came to know the Savior, in a very real way.

Four years later, I found myself married to my wonderful husband, Brandon, and living in the great state of Texas. We were attending school in San Antonio when I received a phone call that Brandon’s father had been killed in a car accident. As I drove to go see and tell my husband the tragic news, those familiar words came back to me, “I don’t know how we are going to do this; but we can do it with the Lord.” Once again, hope and the love of the Savior filled my husband and me. Once again, there were many miracles, tender mercies big and small, many people in the right place and at the right time. My Jarvis family chose hope. They chose to do it with the Lord, and the Savior of the World lifted us.

At a time when the Book of Mormon prophet, Moroni, is fleeing for his very life, he records words from his father, Mormon, about the reason for our hope:

And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:41)

We should have hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. He was born, He lived, He accomplished the Atonement, He died and rose again, and He lives today. No matter what path we take, He has a rescue plan for us. He has overcome it all. The Atonement and resurrection have given us the solution, the answer, for everything. The answer to sorrow, to discouragement, to despair. He can heal abuse, addiction, infertility, grief, pain, disability. He is the key to emotional and mental health, the forgiver to the repenter, the strength to single parents, the hope for the unemployed, the Savior to the one overcoming, the clarity to the confused, the comfort to the lonely, the solution to every problem, the key to every locked door, the Band Aid to those who hurt, and the Savior to our soul. He is the way, the truth, the life.

As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught:
“Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness…Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us…And to all who suffer—to all the feel discouraged, worried or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you-never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart” (“The Infinite Power of Hope,” October 2008, General Conference).

Linsay Jarvis lives in Navasota, Texas on a small farm. Her husband runs Jarvis Dental Lab, and Linsay assists occasionally in the accounting department. They have four wonderful children. She has decorated wedding cakes professionally but is taking a hiatus to do her favorite job, staying home being a full-time mom. She enjoys gardening, the outdoors, organizing, decorating, and all the time she can with her family.

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