"When we choose to believe, exercise faith unto repentance, and follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, we open our spiritual eyes to splendors we can scarcely imagine." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Joshua in the hospital wearing the signed hard hat from the rescuers

September 22-27, 1989 marked a very significant time for my family. Twenty-seven years ago my older brother Joshua was ten years old  and he went missing in the mountains in Tooele, Utah. He was with a group of Scouts for an over night camp out. The scouts went inside The Hidden Treasure Mine to do some exploring, and became separated from the others. Five days and five nights later he was found alive. To read what I wrote last year on my personal blog click HERE

Joshua at home in his wheel chair. He had frostbite on his feet.

My family was part of a modern day miracle. "A miracle has been defined as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand and of themselves cannot duplicate.” 1 The idea that events are brought about through divine power is rejected by most irreligious people and even by some who are religious." said Dallin H. Oaks. To read his full talk about Miracles go HERE 

I was only seven years old, exactly one month later I turned eight and was baptized a week later. It is still so fresh in my mind. Just like we can learn and grow from our ancestors we can also learn from those around us and their experiences. Several months ago my brother called me and told me that he is ready to write his story. After 27 years he is ready to share his experiences and his testimony. Josh is very humble and appreciative of his experience.I was thrilled that he thought of me, and immediately said yes, and we began to work on this wonderful project together. I began doing my part and was researching a few things. I started to read the testimonies and experiences of hundreds of family and friends who were there for my family at that time. I was amazed how many people this affected. I cried reading what they wrote and things that others went through. The spirit I felt was so strong. 

One year after the rescue family and friends went back up to the mountain to celebrate the wonderful miracle that occurred a year earlier. Pictured, me, my sister Terra, and brother Jake.

Suddenly I realized that I am the same age as my parents were. My dad was 34, mom 33, Joshua was 10, I was 7, my sister was 5, and my youngest brother was 2. I was shocked. I have a 10 year old daughter, my son is 7 and will be baptized in one month, I have a 5 year old and a 20 month old. My life is almost a mirror image as my parents at that time. I began to ponder how I would feel if I went through something like that. I couldn't even imagine having a child go missing or going through something so scary. Suddenly this feeling came over me and I felt two things. First I felt my stomach drop-you know that scared feeling when you think of something frightening? Second a calm came over me. Words came into my mind that said, "No matter what you can handle anything." It was shocking that I would think something like that. I wasn't really sure what to take away from that, so I pushed it out of my mind. 

My daughter McKenna at the hospital after her procedure.

The more I worked on my brother's story the more peace and calm I felt. My five year old daughter has always been that sensitive child. She would always get very strange illnesses. She was diagnosed at 18 months with Erythemal Multiforme from a reaction to Penicillin. I've been worried about her for a very long time for different symptoms and things that she would get. Only a month after we started writing my daughter had a routine test to rule some things out. I figured that it would be like every other test and come back negative. Only two hours after we got home we got a call from the Radiologist to come back to the hospital to do another test. The next day they had us come back again for a 3rd test. They all came back the same and showed something very unusual. She then had to be seen by a Neuro Surgeon and had a Cerebral Angiogram. It's now several months later and we are still seeing doctors. It's been a frustrating process and I have shed a lot of tears. We are just in the begining of this trial, but I have to remember the words I heard. "No matter what you can handle anything." 

Joshua on the field at the BYU game.

I have always believed that we are given trials to learn from them, and to help others. At seven years old as I witnessed a miracle I gained a testimony. I learned that I could have Faith and trust in my Heavenly Father.   

Joshua on the mountain after he was rescued. Everyone wanted to get a close look and touch him. 

The experience that my brother went through helped so many other people aside from just my family. When my brother was lifted out of the mine, grown men cried, they gathered close to see Joshua up close, people forgot their own problems and showed love to one another, people believed in God again. I have no doubt that Joshua could have been found within one day or even within the hour. Certain people were meant to play a role as a friend, babysitter, shoulder to cry on, volunteer, and rescuer. He knows what He is doing, and everything truly does happen for a reason. I love the way our Elementary School's PTA President put it. Especially being that she was not a church goer, but she prayed, had faith, knew that Joshua was a miracle and she believed in God. "The way I see it is that God knows we're gold under our rough exterior, and unless we put this gold through intense heat, we will not shine. Josh was His tool that He so obviously loved, protected and used. Thank you, Lord, for Josh." -M.O.

Joshua immediately after he was lifted out of the mine with my uncle. 

As hard as times can be I am grateful for my own hardships and trials. I break down at times and at times I want to give up. I wonder, "What is the purpose of this?" I know I have had many trials in my life and I have learned something from each one. I have been blessed after my trials and I have seen the silver lining. We will feel darkness at different times in our lives. When Josh was found the searchers put a hard hat on his head, they had a flashlight to lead them back out, and they warmed him with blankets. We too can feel protection from our Heavenly Father, we will see His light and feel the warmth from His love. 

My two necklaces that I love. 

When I write I wear one of two necklaces that I have. One is a mustard seed and the other is mountains. They inspire me and help remind me of the following scripture. Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you,If ye have faith as a grain of mustard see, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  

I have learned so much from other people. I try whenever I am struggling to have faith and keep moving forward. What can you learn from other's experiences? Have you learned to have Faith in hard times? 

Took on Friday September 23rd as I was taking my kids to school. The beautiful Oquirrh Mountains that 27 years ago held Joshua for 5 days. 

I've written different things every year and it is amazing to see what I learn from this experience every year. Several years ago I wrote something on a different blog and you can see the slideshow of pictures HERE 

To read more about Adversity and about my beliefs on the LDS church check out Mormon.org HERE.