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Hi I'm Leah Jane

I'm a Wife, Mom and Grandma-I've taught guitar and banjo lessons in my home for 38 years-I'm a nurturer-I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've had much joy raising my four children who I taught to play piano, guitar and banjo. They all taught music lessons at one time or another and now my oldest grandson teaches banjo, so he's the third generation! I've had one profound tragedy that has affected my life, and that is the young adult onset clinical depression my son developed as a high school senior. Two years later, he committed suicide. I wished so much at that time that I'd had a mentor who had been through this before me, who could assure me that I would not die of grief. Unfortunately, none came forth. So now when I find someone who has experienced that unique kind of tragedy, I try to offer my assurance and encouragement to them. My favorite age group is teens, and I’ve taught them for many years. So when I was asked to leave them and serve with adult women, I was shocked! I felt like all the excitement and energy was with the youth, and in a darkening world, they are the future and need guidance and nurturing more than any previous generation. But then I realized that the mothers are being assaulted daily by endless waves of the Adversary's most powerful artillery. If he can weaken and conquer the women, entire families can then be led away. It is the women who ultimately carry the fate of the family on their shoulders. So nurturing and strengthening them in their quiet battles became very important to me. I realized that if the women can be given courage to prevail, the children and youth will be OK.

Why I am a Mormon

In addition to my son's suicide, we had another difficult challenge. Our sweet daughter found out she was pregnant the same week she found out she had breast cancer. Difficult decisions had to be made, as her cancer was serious and her odds of survival were not good. Her surgeon strongly advised her to have an abortion because of the drugs and anesthetic from her mastectomy in the early, formidable weeks of her pregnancy. Then would come the chemo for the remainder of the pregnancy, and none of this would be good for a baby. Our daughter and her husband prayed earnestly, and in the end decided to continue the pregnancy. Much was said to discourage them from this decision but they felt they had been given a confirmation that the Lord would be with them and that their baby would be OK, despite the toxic environment he would be subjected to. We supported their decision but I felt like I needed to shore myself up in the event that things went wrong. They induced labor at the beginning of the 8th month and amazingly, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy whose only unusual quality is his strength--he moved railroad ties at age 2 so he could see the bugs underneath! Immediately after his birth our daughter began an even more invasive chemo regime that left her weak and ill. Many in our Church stepped in to help and were an amazing blessing to her and her family. Eventually the chemo and other treatments ended, and we are nearly six years without recurrence. I love the Lord and am so grateful to be a member of His Church. I have learned an important lesson through all of the trials we've had and that is that immersion in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and doing the things that cultivate faith are the "dues" we pay so that when tragedy and trials come along we will be sustained. Had I not sought to be close to the Lord over many years, I could not have gotten through the trials that have come to me. I LOVE this Church and the peace and stability it has given my life.

How I live my faith

My wonderful faith is what got me through the unwelcome and unexpected membership in a group I never imagined I'd be in--those who have lost loved ones to suicide. There are so many more added burdens with this kind of death. In order to try to make sense of it, loved ones secretly or openly wonder what they did to cause it or what they could have done to prevent it. Just after our son died, October conference blessed our lives. Our Prophet, President Monson gave the very advice we needed when he said not to play the "if only" or "what if" game. It is not productive and serves only to needlessly torture us. This is especially true for mothers, who feel so responsible for children and what becomes of them. When a mother loses a child, especially to death through suicide, her thoughts beg the question, "What will be the disposition of my child in the next life?" The Gospel of Jesus Christ taught me that illness (depression or other illness) is not transgression and that through the Atonement of our Savior, we can live with our son again and be an eternal family. What comforting doctrine! Right after he died, I remember having a period when my grief knew no bounds and it felt like my energy and spirit were being absorbed into a vast space. But my father gave me a Priesthood Blessing that gave me such comfort and by the time the funeral was over, I had a strange but very welcome feeling descend on me--one of profound gratitude! This sweet feeling stayed with me a long time and felt like a pillow around my heart that wouldn't let the stabbing pain in. Even though I had to go through the grieving process, and it is a long process, I was given the gift of comfort and peace. It's been 15 years since we lost our son. I've been asked how long the grief lasts. I don't think it ever really goes away, but it gets softer, and that is tender mercy. I love the Lord SO MUCH and am now serving a mission with my husband to try to pay Him back for the many blessings he's given us.