When RB and I were first married, we lived in a small townhouse in Provo, Utah. Looking back, the place was a dream come true. It had a pretty blue door with a brass handle and matching kick plate. White popcorn trees bloomed every Spring in a line down our street. We had a great covered parking spot. And best of all we had a great church ward.
Although we frequently attended church, during our college years we didn’t participate much in extra ward activities. It wasn’t until much later that I got my calling as a primary teacher. So between, full-time school, work, and sitting in the back of the cultural hall during sacrament meeting, we didn’t know a lot of people in our great ward. And that is why I never met the Youngs or their daughter Holland in person.
I do, however, remember vividly the day when I found out she had passed away.
Meant For Heaven is the story of Holland’s journey in her fight against cancer as told by her father Bryan, paralleled by his own spiritual journey.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the complete transparency in which Bryan shares their family’s experiences. From confusing and long hospital visits, to sleepless and desperate nights, to quiet and significant moments in the temple, I felt like I was right there with them. Even though I already knew the final outcome, I hoped, I cried, I felt joy, I felt despair, I felt desperation, and I felt deep spiritual calm.
What was most significant to me though, was the similarity of spiritual experiences between the Young family and myself. Though our lives be very different from one another, we share a loving and kind Heavenly Father who provides us with feelings of love, comfort, and tender care.
My favorite part of the book is easily the most sacred part as well. It lies in the quiet time just after the Youngs have lost their daughter and Bryan is wondering how he can possibly go on without her. The miraculous event that occurs during this part of the story brought me an inordinate amount of joy. My reaction might seem interesting since I didn’t actually know these people at all, but the resounding truth behind the experience cannot be denied. One can only read the passage to understand and I urge you to do so.
Overall, the book is written well, is easy to read, and can be read in just a few short hours. It touches all of the senses and emotions just as a good book should. And best of all it can be read and enjoyed by everyone, not just by Latter-day Saint audiences. It is a story that provides hope and punctuates with a bold exclamation point the truth that families can be together forever.
Check back soon for a recipe for “Holland Cookies”. Meanwhile, enjoy these free 5×7 Printables, please print them, gift them, use them as a background, just spread the message of love and strength and truth. And go read the book!