GRATITUDE TESTIMONY DEC 6, 2015

I would be ungrateful if I did not stand and give thanks to my Heavenly

Father for the many blessings he has given me.

I am so thankful for my eternal companion, who takes care of me each and every day and loves me in sickness and in health. I do not know what I would do without her by my side helping me when I am not feeling well or in pain. She is my constant companion and my help mate that gives me the extra push to go on and have a positive attitude. She is my caregiver and works tirelessly to make sure I am comfortable and happy.  I want her to know how much I truly love and appreciate her patience, understanding and caring. Being a caregiver is no easy task and I believe at times it is harder than being the patient.

I am so grateful for the sisters in this ward that take the time to come over and visit with her or take her on an outing to a play or just to get a donut and talk. This gives her a break from the day to day caregiving duties.

I am grateful for my family who support me and my wife.

I am grateful for good friends and neighbors who visit and assist us with things I can no longer do. Especially, the Butterfields, who are always there when we need something lifted or move. They are willing come right over. I am grateful for their sons who helped us during the summer with our yard.

I am so grateful for Scott who never fails to check on my wellbeing even when he is sick himself. He is Scotty-on-the-Spot whenever I need something done.

I am so thankful for our dedicated home teachers who are always there checking on our wellbeing and providing support and uplifting our spirits. Their family has blessed our lives spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

I am grateful for Kurt Jensen who uplifts me with his wide smile, firm handshake, service and generosity.

I am so very grateful for our caring and loving Bishop. He is the most spiritual and inspired individual I know. He is truly called of God to serve and bless the members of this ward. He has truly blessed our family and home in so many ways.

I want to tell you what a wonderful and selfless man he is:

I have been struggling to gain weight and somehow our Bishop found out that I love the ice cream cones from McDonalds. So, one evening he takes time out of his busy schedule and comes walking up the sidewalk, like the Olympic torch runner with the eternal flame of love and service, with ice cream cones from McDonalds. I truly love this dedicated man of God.

I am so thankful for this ward. You have shown love, concern and compassionate service in so many ways.. It has been one year since my diagnosis and I am so grateful to this ward family for your constant prayers in my behalf. I feel your prayers every day they give me strength, courage, and build me up to see the beauty every day.

I am grateful that we do not have to go through this life alone and can call on our Heavenly Father and know that he will answer our prayers and help us through the hard times

I have always been a little impatient when I ask my Father in Heaven to answer a prayer.

I now know that He may not always answer our prayers in the way we expect and His time is not our time, we must be patient and listen for that still small voice of the Holy Ghost.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland said:

“God is anxiously waiting to answer our prayers and fulfill our dreams, just as He always has. But, He can’t if we don’t pray and He can’t if we don’t dream. In short, He can’t if we do not believe.”

This year we have a new challenge. The doctors have said that my tumor is in-operable and may become more aggressive as time goes by. I want you to know that I have a dream of being cancer free and that even though I am in a dark tunnel without being able to see the light at the end I am still on the tracks and moving forward. I believe in miracles and I know that my Heavenly Father will answer prayers.

I have faith in my Heavenly Father, that if it be his will, I will be healed and make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your prayers are very powerful and can help not only me but many in this ward who are struggling with health issues.. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. That Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct beings.

I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that through his sacrifice all may be saved and through our keeping the commandments of the Lord and remaining faithful to the covenants and ordinances of the temple we may all gain exaltation in the highest kingdom of our Father in Heaven.

I know that Jesus loves each of us and knows us personally.

I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. He is a true prophet of God and restored the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth today. I testify that we have a living prophet on earth today – President Thomas S. Monson.

The Book of Mormon is true.

I know that prayer works and with your prayers I will recover —

“BUT, If Not… I will Trust in the Lord”

In the Name of Jesus Christ – Amen

BUT IF NOT TESTIMONY

I would be ungrateful if I did not stand and give thanks to my Heavenly

Father for the many blessings he has bestowed on me and for the love and concern shown to us by our ward family.

First I would like to apologize for bringing my electronic brain with me to the stand, but I didn’t want to be a babbling idiot up here and not get my thoughts across. So, hopefully this will solve the babbling part.

I am so thankful for my loving wife. I want her to know how much I truly love and appreciate her patience, understanding and caring.

She has been thrust into the role of CAREGIVER and is truly an angle of mercy. I can’t put into words how much I love her – She has demonstrated what a true eternal companion is.

Being a caregiver is no easy task and I believe at times it is harder than being the patient. From the very beginning my wife has cared for me in so many ways.

In fact now, whenever you see us going places it’s like “Driving Miss Daisy” except that she lets me sit in the front.

I am so grateful for my loving family who supports, helps and loves us.

In fact, I would like to tell a little story about my 21 year old grandson.

Last week we were invited to dinner with my oldest son and his family.

During dinner my grandson came over and put his arm around me —

Now, I must tell you that he is a great young man but has not embraced the gospel and has done things that he knows we do not support or approve of– like getting tattoos. We know we can’t take away his agency and control his choices. When he got his first tattoo (SUPERMAN) he told us that his left arm is reserved for Super Heroes.

So, at dinner, he has his arm around me and tells me “I hope you won’t be mad grandpa, but I got another tattoo. As he rolls up his sleeve on his left arm I see a tattoo with my name and the cancer symbol then he tells me –

“You are the Greatest Super Hero I know”.

These darn kids, how can you not love them.

I am so grateful for our loving Bishop. He is the most spiritual and inspired person I know. He was truly called of God to serve and has blessed me in so many ways.

I’m grateful for next door neighbors who are loving, kind, thoughtful and helpful. I will never be able to thank them enough for all they do for LoraLee and me.

I’m grateful for Brother Steve James and his son, Adam, who are dedicated home teachers. We love to read about Adam’s experiences in the mission field. He is a wonderful missionary.

Their family has blessed our lives spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
They lifted our spirits, when we were struggling along this journey, their entire family visited us in our home and serenaded us with beautiful music and songs. We are so thankful for their love and thoughtfulness.

I’m truly grateful for Scott Green. A long time ago, Scott came into our home and brought his loving spirit. He must have known that we were “floating” in the gospel. Well, we thought we were floating; but you can’t stand still in the gospel. You are either moving forward or backward. Scott pulled us forward and got us heading in the right direction. He is one of my best friends and an eternal brother.

I am so thankful for this ward. You have shown love, compassion and service.

I’m so grateful for your prayers in my behalf. I want you all to know that your prayers are working and I feel the Holy Spirit as it uplifts me each week.

Your prayers are very powerful and can help many in this ward who are struggling with health issues.

I have faith in Heavenly Father that if it be his will that I will complete this journey and regain my health.

I know we can accomplish marvelous things by trusting in the Lord and keeping His commandments—by exercising faith even when we don’t know how the Lord will answer our prayers.

Last week I was reading in Daniel the third chapter about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. It reminded me of the tile my wife made and sits in our front room that says:

“But if not… We will trust in the Lord”.

You all know the story of these three young men.

How Nebuchadnezzar made idles and commanded that all men should bow down and worship the false Gods he had made. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego would not fall to the ground and worship the false Gods. So, Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a burning pit.

S, M, & A said that they had faith that their God would deliver them from the flames, BUT IF NOT they still would not serve or worship engraven images or false Gods.  They had shown true faith in their God.

Early on I felt like I had been thrown into a burning pit. But then, I would read the tile in our front room and it would remind me that:

  • Faith is believing, even if we do not understand all things, Our Heavenly Father does.
  • Faith and trust in God is believing that although our power is limited, His is not.
  • Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew they could always rely on Him because they knew His plan.

All my life I have known that the church is true. I have had some rough spots along the way but the truthfulness of the gospel has not wavered.

This message in our front room always reminds me that we must have faith and total trust in the Lord Jesus Christ—

The world is a testing ground for all of us. I admit that I have always had a hard time taking tests and this is like a final exam. However with your prayers I will get the right answers:

“BUT, If Not… I will Trust in the Lord”

I know without a doubt that:

  • Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not. …We will trust in the Lord.
  • Our God will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not. … We will trust in the Lord.
  • Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not … We will trust in the Lord.
  • Our God will deliver us from sickness and disease, but if not … We will trust in the Lord.

I know that God lives.

That Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct beings.

Jesus Christ died for our sins and is our resurrected Savior. He loves us and knows each of us personally.

I know that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. He was a true prophet of God and restored the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth today.

The Book of Mormon is true.

I testify that keeping the commandments and temple covenants will bring us untold blessings and happiness.

I testify that we have a living prophet on earth today – President Thomas S. Monson.

I know that prayer works and with your prayers I will recover —

“BUT, If Not… I will Trust in the Lord”

In the Name of Jesus Christ

Amen

FUNERAL SERVICES

Bishop Palmer:

Please be seated.   We are all honored to be here today to pay tribute to Brother Michael Fisher Widdison. He passed away on September 16, 2016 as part of the Widdison Family Journey. We recognize President Maxfield who presides.  The Family prayer was previously offered by Mike & LoraLee’s son Brandon Widdison.  We appreciate Sister Sherry Green for providing the prelude music who is a friend and a Sister Joyce Brink who is another friend of neighbor who will be the chorister today.

Opening Song:  Of My Father

  1. 1. O my Father, thou that dwellest
    In the high and glorious place,
    When shall I regain thy presence
    And again behold thy face?
    In thy holy habitation,
    Did my spirit once reside?
    In my first primeval childhood
    Was I nurtured near thy side?
  2. 2. For a wise and glorious purpose
    Thou hast placed me here on earth
    And withheld the recollection
    Of my former friends and birth;
    Yet ofttimes a secret something
    Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
    And I felt that I had wandered
    From a more exalted sphere.
  3. 3. I had learned to call thee Father,
    Thru thy Spirit from on high,
    But, until the key of knowledge
    Was restored, I knew not why.
    In the heav’ns are parents single?
    No, the thought makes reason stare!
    Truth is reason; truth eternal
    Tells me I’ve a mother there.
  4. 4. When I leave this frail existence,
    When I lay this mortal by,
    Father, Mother, may I meet you
    In your royal courts on high?
    Then, at length, when I’ve completed
    All you sent me forth to do,
    With your mutual approbation
    Let me come and dwell with you.
  5. Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804-1887
    Music: James McGranahan, 1840-1907

Opening Prayer:   Dennis Workman (LoraLee’s brother)

 

 

 

PRESIDENT BLAINE MAXFIELD/STAKE PRESIDENT

Brothers & Sisters it is my privilege to be here today with you.  LoraLee we love you.  We love Mike and your family.  Nearly 15 years ago the first time I visited with Mike and LoraLee our conversation was of their kids and their grandkids and their love for each and every one of you.  On my most recent first in the hospital with Mike and LoraLee what was our conversation..it was your kids and grandkids and how much they both loved you.  Certainly can see both of them in you.  Thank you for the beautiful tribute that has been paid today for a wonderful man …Mike Widdison.  Although we are going to remember the things that were shared , there are tears to be shed today because we will miss him.  There is also a joy even though there are tears because of the beautiful plan of our Heavenly Father has for us. In my last and most recent visit with Mike and LoraLee he whispered something to me.  He said: “President Maxfield I want you to know something.  Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone I want you to know that I’m not worried because of what I know”.  At times like this in our lives brothers and sisters all of us have to face the question what lies beyond the veil that separates the seen from the unseen. The man Job who was with all his friends gathered around asked a once timeless and ageless question that said “if a man die, shall he live again.” While I might reiterate why your dad, grandpa and husband wasn’t worried because of what he knew.  Let me tell you what he knew.  He knew that to understand death that we have to first have to recognize the purpose of life. He knew that the Savior came to this earth  because we would need all of us  a Savior.  And knew that he taught, that he loved and he walked the dusty streets in Palestine and was hated for it.  He carried his cross to Calvary. He looked out on that time for others..”.Forgive them for they know not what they do.” He watched out for his mother.  He recognized and what he knew your dad, grandpa and husband was that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when they come to the tomb to care for the  Savior, the angel spoke “Why seek ye the living among the dead.? “He’s not hear but is risen.” This was the answer to the timeless and ageless question from Job.  “If a man die, will he live again.” I testify to you that he will and that although each of us will experience times of trial and sadness where we don’t feel like all the pieces can come back together again, I testify to you the light will come.  Because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.  And because he will rise again, affording us the opportunity to do so as well.  and Allowing us the opportunity to be with our loved ones again.  Brothers and Sisters  I testify to you the truthfulness of this.  The other thing that Mike mentioned to me the last time together was how much he  loved the  Book of Mormon and how much he wished he could quote scripture.  And I whispered back to him “Mike, quit being so hard on yourself.  I know a lot of people who can quote a lot of scriptures but I don’t know anyone that lives the scriptures like you.  Brothers and Sisters heaven sees us here today.  LoraLee, Father in Heaven  sees you and I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ…Amen

BISHOP BRETT PALMER

He’ll be with you LoraLee. Before I give some brief remarks and then we hear from President Maxfield I want to thank all of those who participated in the services.  I think for all of us it’s been a powerful combination of bitter and sweet that some body would care so much about.  It’s so sweet to see the example of a man and his loving spouse who followed the Savior so well. A great team, a great family, team Widdison in following the suit after them.  I would like to thank everybody who has participated in the service and made it a wonderful tribute to Mike.  For the beautiful music and the testimonies, for you being here for the family of Mike and LoraLee.  The flowers, the members of the ward including the High Priest group and young men who helped prepare the building and set up chairs and the Relief Society for the food and all the service they have done.  Thank those from Jenkins Soffee Funeral Home for their excellent service and for any body who has helped.  The pall bearers today are: Michael David Widdison, Anthony Fisher Widdison, Brandon Delmar Widdison, Andy Iorg, Skyler Widdison, Saxton Widdison, Dennis Workman, Jack Gore, Milton Walters & Brian Butterfield.  Honorary Pallbears are Joshua Iorg, Noah Widdison, Graysen Widdison, Dave Marble, Reilly Widdison, Ayden Widdison, Christian Thomas, Owen Widdison, Dominik Widdison, Larry Bowler, and Denny Mecham.  Following the benediction, the internment will be at the South Jordan City Cemetery and the address is noted in the program.  Following President Maxfield remarks Andrew Iorg his son-in-law will offer the benediction.  I would like to just briefly comment on a couple of things.  I can’t even express to you how I have been changed and made better because of Mike and because of LoraLee.  We have heard of their incredible dedication to each other working through any differences that they might have had and always being  so respectful and always holding hands.  Every time I went to visit they were holding hands and those Friday Flowers.  I loved the picture that was in the e-mail that was from LoraLee and sent out by the High Priest.  You have Mike smiling and LoraLee looking over at Mike with this look in her eye that was a perfect balance between pride and love and care.  And she had her arm around him.  The example they had and the decision they had to make this journey make them better and not bitter.  And how fully they lived and how purposely they lived their life.  I want to just touch briefly on the thing that I think was most impactful to me.  Mike bore his testimony in our Sacrament meeting about how he had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be healed but if not he still trusted in him and had still had faith in him.  That testimony that faith, one that’s unconditional, a confidence and trust he had in Christ regardless of the outcome, regardless of what was happening.  Regardless of the grade or the path or condition of that the road he was on the journey.  The phrase comes from the faith they have on a tile in their house but it comes from the section in Daniel about Meshach , Shadrach and Abednego .  Their desire for so many different things but yet their acceptance and their faith in Christ.  Desire to have a stomach that wasn’t upset but if not he would still enjoy the ice cream he still enjoyed the Teppanyaki and still enjoyed the Anasazi Steakhouse.  And he desired to enjoy so many things even if there were so many reasons not to enjoy no matter what he might be going for like Mt. Rushmore.  He still enjoyed it.  I bear you my testimony what I have enjoyed most about Mike and LoraLee and have enjoyed most about this service is not only his love for LoraLee and his love for the family but his love for the Savior and his deep, deep trust in him regardless of the outcome.  And I know that LoraLee has that same trust.  I bear you testimony of our Savior and the power that he has to lift and to heal us.  I bear you my testimony of the reality of the Resurrection that Mike will still be with us.  Particularly with LoraLee.  I bear you my testimony about what matters most.  Mike showed it his love for his wife, his love for his family and his love for his Savior and the gospel.  And I say that in the name of Jesus Christ…Amen

BRANDON D WIDDISON (SON)

I was just joking with myself.  My brother David came up and he had the big pieces of paper.  Anthony came up with his little notebook.  Well my generation we’re going to come up with an iphone.  I don’t know if I can adequately put into words my father or express anything more that has already been said.  The one think I learned most from my father is his faith and his unwavering faith.  I want to start with a poem

Life is Forever!  Death is a Dream!

 If we did not go to sleep at night
We’d never awaken to see the light,
And the joy of watching a new day break
Or meeting the dawn by some quiet lake
Would never be ours unless we slept
With God and all His angels kept
A vigil through this “little death”
That’s over with the morning’s breath-
And death, too, is a time of sleeping,
For those who die are in God’s keeping
And there’s a “sunrise” for each soul,
For life, not death is God’s promised goal
So trust God’s promise and doubt Him never
 For only through death can man live forever!
                      Helen Steiner Rice
My dad said when we were all got together as a family up a Huntsman and they were explaining to us that it was terminal and they ween’t going to treat it any more.  He expressed to us that 70 years really isn’t that long in this scheme of Eternity. And as difficult as that is to hear, I know  how profoundly he believes it.  And I know that if I could have a quarter of the faith he had, then I will live with him again. That I will see him again.  I hope you don’t mind mom but I’m going to read this.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”
 
I know  the Lord was with my father this last 22 months.  He was with my mom. His faith was unremarkable.  I love you so much dad .  He taught me so many lessons in life .  He taught me how to be a man, a loving husband, and a father.  And I think the most prominent lesson was over the last 22 months  even at his worst times his worry was not about himself but was about mom.  i couldn’t have asked about a better father  for an example.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ..Amen.
 
 

ANTHONY F WIDDISON (SON)

Good afternoon.  I’m Anthony….that’s my dad.  This is going to be hard I know…so Amen.  Kidding.  Sometimes I use humor ineffectively most of the time.  It’s just a mask you know,  Just to mask my insecurities and self-doubt.  Sorry about that.  As you have heard today my dad is a lot of things to a lot of people.  David mentioned it and of course boy I really don’t want to throw him under the but I’m gunna.  Skyler obviously thinks he is his hero.  Skyler tattoo’s.  But to reiterate that point my dad was my hero.  And it would be impossible to articulate just all the reasons why he is my hero.  So I will just  touch on a few.  You have heard most of them so far and  I don’t have a lot of time like 4 1/2 more minutes so I’ll get on it.  My dad was a leader.  Of course the first real leader that I knew.  And if you knew my dad at all, you know that he had just a quiet strength about him.  His ability to lead is really very difficult to quantify.  But if you were around him, you were able to see it and feel it. He was teaching me about leadership well long before I knew he was teaching me about leadership. He called it discipline.  But he was teaching me lessons & kept teaching me lessons throughout his life and definitely has not stopped.  He taught me to respect someone’s position or their title.  But he taught me to lead by action and by example and that’s what he did  he was a leader by action and example. He was impeccable with his word.  He spoke with respect and integrity and he said what he meant and meant what he said.  When people would talk to him or he when he would talk to others or when I would talk to him, there was this overwhelming feeling of importance thing that you were the most important thing in his world at that moment  My dad is a special kind of leader and  he was very skilled at it and still is.  When we go through things, a taught to my mom and  hear stories the lessons that he taught, his leadership comes to light.  It’s said that smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.  And as some of you probably know as most of you probably know I was a parenting challenge.  But if I may I would just like to think that I just provided to context to hone his leadership skills.  And I’ll just keep thinking that if you don’t mind.  Just through my challenges I always just thought wow he’s just going to be so disappointed in me or wow he’s going to turn his back on me.  Like geez this is it.  You big dummy.  But he never would.  Not matter all storms and the rolling  seas I brought on myself mind you he was always there and he was like the lighthouse and I would think it was scary that would be it.  But when I would see him I would just feel that light from him.  He had a way about teaching those and my brothers and sister would know about the look.  And I’m sure there’s other looks you get from your fathers but my dad had the look and I don’t know how they felt when they saw the look but I  know how felt when I  when I saw the look.  It was this primal instinct to run and run fast because he was a fast runner.  But I didn’t run because he would catch me and it would be worse.  I didn’t know it at the time but looking back there was always a lesson that he was going to teach me. And I think I silently wanted that.  And looking back I am grateful yes graetful those lessons he taught me. My dad was a practical man as you heard from Brian and others.  How meticulous he was with his tools . How logical he was with math…He was sensible and he was wise and he had this amazing immeasurable foresight and I don’t know where he got it from.  But just thinking through the years how practical he was   David brought up the duct tape and some people would say just go buy a new pair of shoes there cheap man.  But it just made sense  they were now comfortable and also water proof. His Carhartt pants Bud I hope I’m not encroaching, I’ll throw the encroachment flag.  His Carhartt pants he would wear during curbing.  He wore them in, I say he worn them out.  I say you would get rips and he would get the duct tape and fix the rips.  And there Carhartt man just go buy a new pair of pants there like 30 bucks.  That’s like 6 bucks a year.  But he wouldn’t he would just duct tape them.  And it makes sense  because if anyone has owned a pair of double knee Carhartt pants it takes just about 3 years to break them to make them just right and that wouldn’t make much sense to start over.  I was talking to my mom about just their relationship and every body has problems and everybody has arguments and troubles.  And just about how they argued.  My mom said to me  “It was just so hard to argue with him because he was so dang logical”.  You know it’s true the saying that the saying  “logic is the beginning of wisdom and not the end”.  That’s Spock.  A lot of the times arguing with my dad it was the end it was the beginning and the end.  So he carried is theme practical and logical even when he knew the cancer was terminal.  And made sure everything was good for my mom.  What a great blessing.  That brought great comfort.  His sensibility, the saying is “logic him being just so practical.  Planning his funeral, picking out his picture, asking people to talk.  Even picking out his casket and going on Costco.com to choose his casket. And I thought it’s because he believes in the Resurrection and everybody knows Costco has the best return policy.  As you heard, my dad had an amazing sense of humor.  Really, it was smart and it was subtle.  If you looked away for one second you might miss it and everybody would laugh and you well you missed it and well that was too bad.  I remember the first time I made my dad laugh.  Like a real belly laugh  Not like your so cute now be quiet.  It was on our way to Idaho and going through the south end of and me probably being pestering him. Are we there yet and where are we and my dad said Income and I said  something to the effect is that where the make income taxes. And just the joy it brought me to see him laugh because he had in infectious laugh and an amazing smile.  And if you lucky enough to be part of his quick wit and his smart and subtle humor it was a privilege.  He was never… his humor wasn’t ever dirty or inappropriate but sometimes you would say it just nudged the PG13 boundary.  As an inside joke, things like the hot blanket and his leveling bubble and so many other things that he would say during this difficult time that would bring levity and that feeling of joy to see him laugh and smile and make us laugh.  He was in such in pain those last weeks…but again he still  found humor.  Including the great funeral potatoes invetigation.  Which I don’t know if they ever solved the mystery.  We’ll find out today.  No pressure if you brought funeral potatoes today.  He was in such pain.  His feet were sore, his hands were sore.  It was hard to touch him but again he just found that comfort in making people laugh and smile.  Like with his feet.  They were so broken and sore we were trying to take care of his feet.  It was almost like he was just unconscious but then says why don’t you just put Bag Balm on it.  Bag Balm???? He said  If it works for the teet, then it would work for my feet.  And again very practical and the truth is it was amazing and it worked in a bout 24 hours so get some Bag Balm.  And last since I’m way over, his unconditional love and that’s been mentioned time and time again today how much he loved all of us unconditionally.  I feel like I tested that a lot.  That requires a lot of respect and integrity and understanding & supports  & compassion really to love  somebody love unconditionally.  He was able to see the best in people and could see the best in me.  And I was lucky for that.  When I would go astray, he would say to me just set your compass and know your heading. And that brought me a lot of comfort.  Again very practical.  Again a lot of comfort but if I would just reset my compass find my way.  His support was unwavering. I remember in my baseball career he was there all the time. He was at every game that I can remember. I know that was hard for him to get to the games.  It was  a hardship financially but he was always there. He would support me in all that I did.  When I would be on deck to go up to bat, he would go up to the fence and say  Hey Ant, pizza, pizza.  I don’t if a lot of my family knew what that meant at the time but back then Little Caesars had 2 pizza’s it was a deal it came in the paper and you would open it up it would smell good.  It was a night,  it was a pizza night like not Little Caesar’s Pizza is now which is just Tuesday or a Wednesday or tonight.  But it was a special deal and I know that it meant something to me.  What it meant was that if I got a home run he would go and get pizza for the family.  No pressure…right. But that’s not how he meant it.  It gave me confidence to go up and swing the bat. To see his face there  there and stand there and to hear him say  “hey Ant, pizza, pizza.  So it was awesome to see this unconditional love play out the last couple of years.  Just the relationship of my mom and dad evolved and turned into something amazing and what a privilege it was to watch that honestly.  As hard as it was, it was a privilege.  You could just see my mom she was standing sentinel over my dad taking care of him and him taking care of her. And although it was heart breaking, maddening and infuriating at times.  But if you looked closely, you could see that something beautiful was happening. So it was just an honor and a privilege to see that, to be a part of it.  It created this legacy of love, was able to see true love and do you think that happens every day. That’s Princess Bride.  I know things are going to get tough and I know things are going to get difficult and the storms are coming.  Those rolling seas are coming.  But, my dad is, my dad is standing sentinel over us.  If I set my compass then I’ll find my way.  Amen

DAVID WIDDISON (SON)

Looking across here I see so many people who my father the man he is.  He has touched so many lives. I would like to take a few minutes to share a few moments of those teachings as well.  Because as you have all heard Dad was a teaching man.  The first important lesson my dad taught me and as children is a roll of duct tape can fix anything.  Dad loved duct tape. Whether it was repairing shoes fixing holes or putting something back together there was always a roll of duct tape around.  While we loved to joke around and talk about this all the time dad always had a reason for it.  And that was that he taught us from a very young age to understand the understanding of the value of things.  How important it was to take care of things a waste nothing.  I’m sure my brothers and sister can attest too this his duct tape shoes.  I’m not sure how many rolls of duct tape he had around them but there were many.  He would always say they were the most comfortable shoes he had ever worn.  And then unfortunately they got smart and started coming out with different colors and that was a whole different story.  I’m sure as we continue going through things we will find more things that have been repaired with duct tape. For most young men building a derby car was not a simple feet.  Imagine if you will having your dad a civil engineer. It usually took more time to set up the project than it did to actually build the car. But dad never let us do things by taking short cuts.  He always taught us the process of doing things in the right way the first time.  He showed us how to take pride in what we did and to always do our best the first time. Then there were the math lessons.  Again imagine having your dad as a civil engineer.  It wasn’t never something I always looked forward to.  Just hoping I could get that D and just move on.  Of course that wasn’t dad.  Dad loved teaching theory.  He loved planning. And at times he would pull out his slide ruler.  He might even pull out the abacus at times.  I’m not sure if you know what an abacus is but that’s a Chinese tool they use to do math.  And there were times when we would sit and try to figure that out.   He had no problem keeping us up at night past our bed time to make sure we were learning to love math and to love our education.  During those times there was often frustration and a bit of tension in the home. Of course, being the oldest I thought I was pretty smart that I didn’t need the education that I could just move on through.  But shortly attending Ricks College and living with my grandparents having to pay for the education I quickly began to appreciate those late night sessions with my father and the time he put in to my learning & the teaching as a young man I didn’t think was necessary.  But having the opportunity to live with my grandparents, I know where he go it. Because his father had the same expectations as my father did of me.  I hope that in some ways I am like my grandfather and my father and I am teaching those same values to my own children.  As I got a little bit older and a little bit wiser & maybe matured a little bit, I went on a mission to Mexico.  The spirit of the testimony of the gospel my father embellished supported me most when I was down and struggling with questions, with things I was thinking about. On several different occasions when I needed it most, letters, scriptures and words of encouragement and inspiration from my father came via snail mail but they came but they did lift me up and they did teach me.  I  was able to take his words and to share those with individuals I was teaching.  His many talks throughout his life whether it be for Sacrament, Elders Quorum,  High Council and along with his strong testimony was such an example of how the Lord blesses us and answers prayers.  In preparing for this and reading several of dads talks, his quotes and his testimonies one statement that was evident throughout was I will trust in the Lord.  And as time went on, with his struggles the saying became but…if not I will trust in the Lord.  As father and grandfather dad always showed his children unconditional love not matter what.  While he didn’t always agree with the choices we made he always believe the gospel and the importance of free agency.  This was shown in a recent testimony written by my father and I would like to quote that from him.   Last week we were invited to dinner with our oldest son and his family. During dinner my grandson came over & put his arm around me. Now I must tell you that he is a great man but has not embraced the gospel and has done things he knows we do not support or approve of..like getting tattoo’s.  We know we can’t take away his free agency and control his choices.  When he got his first tattoo, a Superman, he told us his left arm was reserved for his super heroes.  So at dinner he puts his arm around me and tells me “I hope you won’t be mad at me grandpa but a got another tattoo.  He rolls up his sleeve on his left arm and I see the tattoo of my name and the cancer symbol and he tells me “You are my greatest super hero I know.  Those darn kids..how can you not love them.  I hope each one of you know grandchildren know how much grandpa loved you for who you are.  He’s proud of the individuals each you have become and loves all of you unconditionally with his whole heart.  Dad had no greater joy than his children and his grandchildren.  This is one lesson I will always follow, lead and guide my family.  Life has brought struggles and challenges.  Dad taught us the best quality we can have is humor as we have seen.  Most recently during conversation with my mom we were discussing medications that I take.  I was liking it to injecting peanut butter into my muscle.  Thinking dad was asleep, minutes later he opened his eyes and said “Well son, maybe you should put some jelly on it.  It wouldn’t be so bad.  Then he returned to sleep.  But if I were to pick the most influential lessons I have learned  I could not express them today without mentioning my mother or our mother.  Because it has been their journey, their endeavor and their team work over the last 22 months that I have learned the most.  I have watched him and mom take valiantly upon them  this journey that was placed upon them.  In dad’s words “I am so thankful for my loving wife.  I want her to know how much I truly love and appreciate her patience, understanding and care. She has been thrust into the roll of caregiver and is truly an angel of mercy”.  I can not put into words how much I love her. She has demonstrated what an eternal companion is.  He also describe my mom as his constant companion, his helpmate and the one who gave him the extra push to go on with a positive attitude. She is my caregiver and works tirelessly to make sure I’m comfortable and happy.  She is his happy ever after and he hers.  As I watched my father battle the cancer, he created a place for our family to grow and become closer together and fell the Spirit of the Lord. He always took the word anything and showed us that we could achieve anything we put our minds to… to be anyone we wanted to be and accomplish any goals we placed before us exemplify the following principles in his life.  Anything that annoyed him, he showed patience.   Anything that left him filling abandoned, he stood up taller on his feet.  Anything angered him, he show forgiveness and compassion.  Anything that had power over him he fought and showed leadership.  Anything he disliked, he showed unconditional love towards…Anything he feared  he overcame and showed courage.  Anything that caused pain he showed strength towards. And anything he couldn’t control he let go.  Anyone he loved he told them and made sure they felt it. Going back to the story of the grandson with the tattoos.  And yes that is my son.  The day after dad passed this same great young man finished his tattoo by adding angels er wings to his super hero. And so dad you are now with the angels now you  can fly.  In closing I would like to read some of the lyrics of a song my sister-in-law gave me.

JEALOUS OF THE ANGELS

I didn’t know today would be our last
Or that I’d have to say goodbye to you so fast
I’m so numb, I can’t feel anymore
Prayin’ you’d just walk back through that door
And tell me that I was only dreamin’
You’re not really gone as long as I believe

There will be another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me,
And I will hold on tight
It’s not my place to question,
Only God knows why
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne tonight

You always made my troubles feel so small
And you were always there to catch me when I’d fall
In a world where heroes come and go
Well God just took the only one I know
So I’ll hold you as close as I can
Longing for the day, when I see your face again
But until then

God must need another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me
And I will hold on tight
It’s not my place to question
Only God knows why
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne tonight I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne
Tonight

Dad I love you.  I cherish the times we’ve had.  I will miss you terribly

 

 

BRIAN BUTTERFIELD

We have lived next door to the Butterfield’s since March 11, 1995.  They are amazing friends.  Brian and Angie are like family to us.

What a beautiful family. I could just end right there.  You guys are so awesome. Your dad is so proud of each and every one of you. Okay, so I’m going to start out with a poem.  It’s by Reba Pratt and it’s called Rejoice My Soul Rejoice:

Rejoice, my soul, rejoice,
Though thou wast once cast down,
Hear ye a still small voice,
The cross shall win the crown;
May thou find in these words sweet rest,
He chasteneth whom He loveth best.
Rejoice, my soul, rejoice,
Though bitter be the cup,
Lift not a murmuring voice
His hand doth hold it up;
Put not aside, though deep it burn,
The dregs shall yet to sweetness turn.
Rejoice, my soul, rejoice,
For thou shalt soon be free
From all that now annoys,
That pain racked fetters thee;
Oh! broken body, weary soul,
Thou shalt hereafter be made whole.
Rejoice, my soul, rejoice,
The promises are sure,
That Christ has made to those
Who shall all things endure;
Into His hands thy all then give,
For thus to die is but to live.
I have a special place in my heart for Brother & Sister Widdison.  When Brother Widdison asked me to speak at his funeral a few days before he passed away.  And I asked him what topic he would like me to speak on and he said I want you  to speak on comedy relief.  So here I am.  So I thought what could I talk about that’s comedy relief. Shall I talk about the time I ran the size 50 plus women’s underwear up the Widdison’s flag pole.  Probably not.  The time that I saw my wife at the fence and I was in  he back yard in the garden so I decided to moon my wife. And I heard her frantically talking and looked back and saw Sister Widdison looking my way.  I don’t think that’s appropriate either so I won’t tell that.  Then I saw Sister Widdison at the viewing and she said “You know I know Mike said comedy but you need to remember where you are.  So then I probably rewrote my whole talk over again and you can see the unedited version on Facebook if you’d like.  But here is the new version.  The Widdisons and the Butterfields became neighbors 20 years ago.  When Brandon started coming over to my house to help with projects.  I was about 30 and Brandon was about 13 and the  Widdisons didn’t buy the project thing for one second. When I called and asked if Brandon could come over, I would here the Widdisons in the back ground saying: “Brandon, your buddy wants to know if you can play”.  Ya, that’s how it always went.  Brandon would always dressed for every occasion.  He would put his dads overalls on, he would put his dads big boots on, Mike’s hard hat.  He must of looked hilarious. Especially, going to the gas station getting drinks.  I think he had on cut off T-shirts but… Hum, I also remember nights playing video games with Brandon and my kids would be hair dressing him.  They would make is hair go straight up in the air.  It was the cutest thing ever.  I have a special talent for getting people believe the out of the ordinary and one of the examples is about 2 weeks ago I got a call about 4 am from Sister Widdison and she said Mike had fallen and she needed some help.  So I hurried up & got dressed and ran over and we helped Mike get back into bed.  And all he was concerned about was Brian did we wake you up?  I’m so sorry was had to wake you up.  And I simple told them I had been up all night playing video games.  I wasn’t asleep when he called.  He said, Oh, okay that’s good.  I gave him a hug and told him how much I loved him.   The next day I went over to check on him and he quizzed me if I was really up playing video games until 4 am and I had to come clean and tell them No..he thought it was pretty funny.  Over the passed 20 years I have so many great experiences with the Widdisons.  Tried to help Mike paint his garage.  And I say trying to help him paint his garage because Mike was a perfectionist and I’m as sloppy as you can get.  I am not meticulous at all.  He was very patient with me.  When Mike used a tool, he would always put it back in the  package and then he would put it back on the shelf  and it looked like it had never been used ever.  Until I borrowed it and then it looked pretty used.  I enjoyed helping with other things like moving curbing with Brother and Sister Widdison like lifting things.  Then occasionally I got to participate in Priesthood blessings and I really enjoyed that.  The  Widdison’s have filled a special place in my heart.  That can never be removed. It’s good to be needed.  I also remember my kids would go Trick or Treating at the Widdison’s.  We would go up to the door and the kids would get ready to take a piece of candy and Sister Widdison say that candy is not for you. Then they would go  and get these specially prepared big packages of candy they had made for the kids.  They always just made my kids feel so special.  It made me feel really good as well.  At Christmas time we always had 2 Christmas mornings.  5 am we would open our presents and then in the afternoon the Widdison’s would come over. They would see what the kids got and then they would always give us a specially thought out gift.  They were always making sure the Butterfields had everything they needed.  I think that’s why they laugh every time you are so great. You guys are the ones that are great. You’ve done everything for us.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my own parents over the last few years. Both my parents have died in the last probably 3 years.  Before my Dad died of a heart attack, he was always asking how is Brother Widdison, how is Brother Widdison.  And I think it’s because he was one of my great examples.  When my mom died of Pancreatic Cancer, what is what Mike had, I watch my parents fall in love again and they faithfully served each other.  He was a great caregiver.  The nice thing is I got to see the same example from Sister Widdison.  I watched her as she lovingly cared for Mike.  I never heard her complain.  She always treated him with love, dignity and respect.  My life has been greatly enhanced because of those 2 great examples.   I was talking the other day that the hard parts acre coming.  Something exciting happen and you’re going to think of a funny joke and you’re going to want to call Mike.  It’s going to be tough.  But just remember this life is just a short time and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can all be together again.  I think faith is the key to that and it’s recorded in Ether 12:6-9
.

6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

And what is the faith and what is that hope?  It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And it’s the knowledge that families can be together forever.  I had a special moment with Mike a few years ago where he paid me the highest compliment I think that I have ever had in my life. He told me I was like family to him. I think about his words all the time.  I dearly love and will miss him.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ…Amen.

SCOTT GREEN

Scott Green is Mike’s best friend.  It’s as if they were brothers.

I’m most humbled and honored to be asked by Mike and LoraLee to share a few thoughts today. I would like to share how I am a better person by knowing Michael Fisher Widdison.  To do so I need to give some background.  My wife Sherry and I moved into the Widdison neighborhood just over 13 years ago. The Widdison’s live on one end of Bridle Oak Drive and the Greens live on the other end. I did not have the privilege of knowing Mike and LoraLee for the first few years that we lived here.  Then one day my priesthood  leader came to me and asked if I would be the home teaching companion with Mike.  We all met at the Widdison home so I could be introduced to Mike. And thus began one of my most precious friendships.  I want to share some of the great experiences and lessons that Mike taught me as home teaching companions and as friends.  The first lesson is prayer. During a lighter moment recently Mike and LoraLee and I were visiting about our home teaching times together.  LoraLee shared how after our very first visit Mike came home and she asked how it went.  He replied “oh, it was fine.”  But Scott even has our pray before our visits.  We laughed together over that story.  But lessons go full circle.  Let me explain.  One day while serving with Mike in the High Priest leadership, I needed to call him while he was one a business trip to Denver.  It was towards the end of the day when I called.  His cell phone went to voicemail.  Shortly he called me back and apologized that he had been having prayer with LoraLee.  I knew she was not in Denver with him and that he had called her to have prayer with her to end their day together.  I have traveled most of my working career and the thought never occurred to me to have  prayer with my wife via cell phone will traveling.  Thank you Mike for teaching me the importance of having consistence  daily prayer with my spouse even while traveling.  The second lesson is service.  Mike and I had the privilege of Home Teaching Steve Stringham.  For 3 years Mike and I would go over to Steve’s 2 acre yard with our trimmers to trim his  weeds and grass each Saturday morning as Steve’s health declined.   Mike would pick me up at 7:30 each Saturday morning in his truck.  We would load up our equipment and go to work.  We had our assignments all mapped out.  Mike would start on the  East side of the yard and I on the West.  We would meet up on the South side about an hour later.  We would clean our equipment and drive home  visiting with each other.  We had wonderful talks together as we finished our tasks.  Never once did Mike ever complain about the time we spent together in serving Steve.  Mike was always one to be ready to provide service.  The next chapter of this lesson  began when Mike received a different home teaching assignment.  Mike was still willing to go trim Steve’s yard each Saturday morning  but we decided the trimming was crazy  This is when we mixed up the weed killer and started to spray the perimeter of Steve’s yard.  There’s was no longer a need to go once a week to trim the weeds.  Forgive me but I think Mike and I were pretty smart.  But the thought never came to us to spray the weeds for those three  years as our friendship grew and Mike taught me to give unconditional service.  The Lord knew we needed to spend time together and blessed us for our service.   The third lesson is a more recent one about love.  I think you all would agree with me it’s easy to love a baby.  One of the reasons it is so easy is because a small child is dependent upon others. You can have total unconditional love for that child through the crying and long wakeful nights.  During the last 2 years LoraLee has provided that kind of service to Mike.  Like that small child  Mike became greatly appreciative to Lora Lee for her continual  service and nurturing.  In return LoraLee shared how she would awaken in the middle of the night and Mike would be holding her hand.  These two  came to know a new kind of love that I suspect many of us do not know.  Lesson four…humor.  While preparing my remarks for today my  son Matt asked what I was going to talk about.  I explained how I wanted to focus on the lessons I had learned from Mike.  He quickly offered ” I know one of the lessons”.  Life is always better with a sense of humor.  Mike did have a delightful and quick wit.  To the end he never lost that humor. I remember when his hands were swollen from his treatments his comments was I should go rob a bank because they  could never get my finger prints from me.  Over the last few days I have noticed that he has left that gift of humor with LoraLee as she has made us laugh through this solemn time.  The 5th and greatest thing I learned from Mike and LoraLee is an important aspect of the atonement.  When I first moved into the neighborhood I did not know Mike and LoraLee because at that time they were not enjoying the blessings of the gospel in their lives.  It was at the time Mike and I began home teaching together that he and LoraLee decided to return to those blessings.  Mike and LoraLee embraced the gospel with full heart and zeal.  They never looked back only forward as they saw God’s love in theirs lives.  When they renewed their temple recommends, their greatest desire was to renew their eternal covenants with the Lord which they did with full purpose. They made a goal to attend all the temples in Utah within the first year.  They in fact made it to all the temples with the exception of Monticello.  In all the time Mike and I spent together we never once talked about the time that he was not partaking of the blessings of the gospel.  To this day I still do not know why because it does not matter. As with the Lord,  he cares about where our heart and our intent are today and tomorrow.  Mike and LoraLee’s hearts are well  grounded, pointed toward our Savior. LoraLee knows the truth that she and Mike are sealed together and with all of their family will be together again in the eternities.  Mike I love and I am truly a better person because of you. Of these truths I testify in the name of our Redeemer Jesus Christ Amen.