Monday, February 8, 2016

A Great Loss

Here is a copy of the letter that President Mortensen and I sent to be read at Sister Jazmyn Jeppson's Funeral Service.

Brothers and Sisters,

We are so saddened by the sudden loss of our Sister Jazmyn June Jeppson. We know each of you love her as we do, but we want you to know the kind of missionary she was. She was one of the first Sister missionaries we met when we arrived in Houston. Our first recollection of Sister Jeppson, fittingly, was at a baptismal service in the first month of her mission. She made that scene a frequent occurrence over the course of her mission. She and her companion Sister Hailey Heaps had taught a young man who was getting baptized that day. We could see in Sister Jeppson a kind of focused energy. We came to learn that this focus was part of what made her great. It wasn’t long after this experience that she was training. No matter who she was with, she led out because she knew who she served and she was clear minded in her purpose. There wasn’t a companion who served with Sister Jeppson who didn’t come away from the experience a better person and a much better missionary.

She would ultimately train several missionaries directly and be the Sister Trainer Leader responsible for many, many more. Since her passing, several of them have mentioned that her influence changed their mission. She was an excellent planner and even a better teacher. Often we would role play in district/zone meetings. When we would see that Sister Jeppson was participating in a group, we would know that those participating with her were going to get the best experience because of the great listener and teacher she became.

While we are saddened by her loss, we hope all assembled here today will celebrate her life and count themselves lucky to have known her and to be positively influenced by her. We certainly have been.

We learn in D&C 138:57 that faithful missionaries like Sister Jeppson are “continuing (her) labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirit of the dead.” There is no more fitting destination for someone like Sister Jeppson who became a true messenger in every way. She loved bringing light into the lives of those who sat in darkness.  We know she will immerse herself in the work in that realm just as she did here. All of the blessings promised to the righteous will be hers. In that knowledge we find peace.

In the final night in the mission home we have each departing missionary write their testimony so we can preserve it for us and for them. Here is an excerpt of hers:

I am so grateful to have been able to serve at this time. I know the Lord is in the details of our lives and that He knows exactly what we need and we can know His will if we just ask. I feel I have just got a glimpse of how our Heavenly Father sees each of us and I hope I can hang onto that. I have seen a light so pure in so many of God’s children and it’s been such a privilege to help that grow brighter.

I have felt such an urgency to share this gospel with others. The gospel has become so clear to me because of the training I received and the many opportunities I’ve had to teach the principle of the restoration and the gospel principles. The most powerful experiences on my mission have been testifying of the restoration. I know the gospel has been restored. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and the sacrifices he made to restore the church.

I know that I have a great responsibility to live the gospel…I will be faithful.

Sister Jazmyn Jeppson

We extend our love to each of you and challenge each of you to honor her life by being equally faithful in living the gospel as she was and she will undoubtedly continue to be.


President and Sister Mortensen

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