Never have I made a better decision in my whole entire life.
I cannot and will not go into specifics, because it is sacred and holy to me, but I will say that something changed me while there. I witnessed a miracle, a true and indescribable miracle, and my tears of relief and an amazing almost supernatural power came over me. I found a strength I didn't know was there. A prayer had been answered; directly to me.
We stopped at an LDS bookstore before we headed home. While there I was looking for some good books to help me better understand some of the things that have been happening, and to better understand Jeremy and his decision. I had also hoped that somehow my unanswered questions and an explanation for why I have felt so compelled to act as such towards him; and why or how I seem to have this supernatural power to be able to truly forgive him and see through his eyes the things that have happened in his life. While we have bid our final farewell, I still needed an explanation. I knew I could not get one from him, but perhaps God could give one to me.
I was browsing the best sellers and then suddenly my eyes fell upon a thin paperback book. "The Worth of A Soul -- A Personal Account of Excommunication and Conversion" by Steven A. Cramer. While no, Jeremy has not been excommunicated, I still felt an extremely strong impression to pick the book up. I read the back cover.
I discovered God's love for his children through my family's forgiveness. From the moment of my confession, my selfless wife was able to look beyond her own pain to the need of saving the family.
I never felt a moment's revenge.
Through the years of struggle, my family's attitude was that we were all in this together. Though I never deserved their love or forgiveness, their actions always affirmed:
We still love you. We don't understand what you are going through, but it must be awful for you, and we want to help. We still need you, and we want you back as part of us. No matter how long it takes, you can count on us to see it through with you.
Thank you forever, Steven.
Maybe it is impossible to immediately see the connection that I made by reading this to that which I have bitterly experienced with Jeremy. However, I knew I had to buy it and to see what it was about. I wasn't able to read it until today, but I must admit that only into the first chapter I started sobbing. The words I read brought back a vivid memory. I have heard those words before -- I have heard that anguish before. It was if a few pages of my memory had been lifted and placed in this book that was written over 10 years ago.
I sobbed the whole way through the book. However, I never have so voraciously read anything in my life (except the scriptures, but I must admit that voracity was still not the norm!). This book describes the choice this one boy made when he was only 12 years old that led up to completely destroying his life. He openly speaks of everything and how it started, to the very bitterness and hell he found himself surrounded by. Yet through it all, even through his verbal abuse, resentment and hatred towards his family and even his church, his family stuck by him. His wife stood by him, despite the misery it put her through. She knew that he needed her, even when he rejected her.
And this man explains the bittersweet journey he made and pure and utter joy he found when he finally realized that all the will power in the world, all the prayers and pleas for strength had no effect upon him as he had hoped. He finally realized that he had been trying to save himself...and go directly to God for help. He had completely bypassed the Savior. He had thought and had expected that it was up to him to overcome his weaknesses, but he hadn't understood that the ONLY way...the true and ONLY WAY to independence was through the COMPLETE dependence on the Savior.
I cannot even do this book justice by trying to describe it here. It is heart-wrenching and utterly moving. He takes you down the path he himself took, and describes all the feelings and emotions and actions in vivid clarity and detail.
This book is a MUST READ for everyone. It is a true testimony to the worth of a soul, and that while man may abandon God, God will never abandon Man.