Every second of Holden’s earthly life was filled with the love and care of his father. Jared instantly bonded with Holden and I could see how deep his love for him was the second Holden was born. I had never seen him happier or more filled with the spirit. He stepped up to his role as father to our baby with gratitude and excitement. He knew the sacredness of his calling and he magnified it from the start. As Holden’s health began to decrease, Jared was an absolute pillar of faith and strength. I am so grateful that Holden has Jared as his dad. He was able to be there for him in a way that I couldn’t. He was a constant support to both Holden and me.
Since Holden has passed away, Jared has made it his mission to live up to his son. I know with all of my heart that Holden continues to be filled with Jared’s constant love and care. Being the father to a child who has passed through the veil takes a special and intense kind of spirituality. Over the past two years I have watched as Jared has read, studied, pondered, and grown, both in his testimony and in his continuing and sacred role as Holden’s father. The word that constantly comes to my mind as I watch Jared is long-suffering. His faith and dedication to the Lord, especially in the face of heartache and trial, has been unceasing. He is patient, yet determined to live up to his great calling. I feel so honored that I am the one who gets to be by his side. I have learned so much from him. I gain strength from his very presence in my life. I am so glad that he is the father of my children. I know he honors that title above all others and will always give everything he has to it.
While on his mission, Jared received a prompting to write a letter to his son on the day he was born and to deliver the letter the day his son left for a mission. 5 ½ years later, Jared was blessed to become a father. He remembered and followed that prompting and wrote the letter to Holden the night he was born. Holden’s mission was very different and much sooner than we had imagined, but I feel it makes this letter and the years of preparation for it even more meaningful. I am so proud of Jared for being an inspired and obedient man. He was able to read the letter to Holden just hours before he passed through the veil to continue his mission in the Spirit World. I share it now with reverence and in honor of the special relationship between this father and son.
May 20, 2012
To my dear son, Holden:
I want you to know, first and foremost, that I love you and am incredibly proud of you. Today, you’ve come into this world as the purest, most perfect being I have ever witnessed. Your mom and I are elated to be your parents. I am still having a hard time believing that the Lord has entrusted you in our care. I am a man of many weaknesses, but I promise you that I will do my best to be the father you need me to be. I’m not worried about your mom. She’ll be the best mother you could ever hope for.
You’ve entered the world during troubling times. Strong values and integrity are not as respected as they should be and, unfortunately, you will observe things get worse and worse as you grow older. I believe this is why you came to this earth at this time. You can be a force for good during your mortal life. Through your actions, you can convince others to change for the better and the world will be a better place for having you in it. I promise you that if you are faithful to the Lord, keep His commandments, and make the necessary corrections when you slip up, you will be happier than you can possibly be in any other way. Never forget this. I know it’s true.
I am so excited to be a father. I will undoubtedly let you down at times, but I want you to know beyond any doubt that I really do love you so much. Nothing could ever change that. Just know that you are the source of so much joy and happiness in my life. Thanks for being here.