Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

Uploaded by MormonMessages on 28.07.2010

(Chris Williams) Chris Williams,
c-h-r-i-s w-i-l-l-i-a-m-s.
On February 9, 2007,
my family was hit by a drunk teenage driver,
and killed in that accident was my wife, Michelle,
who was expecting our fifth child,
and then my second oldest son, Benjamin,
and my only daughter, Anna.
It was a Friday night like any other in our family.
It was full of fun.
We had gone out to dinner as a family.
My oldest son was off with friends.
I saw a pair of headlights coming at me
at an incredibly fast rate of speed,
so as I tried to do maneuvers to get out of the way,
it was too late.
We were hit broadside, or T-boned.
As I surveyed the scene and saw my wife,
I saw her chest go down and her last breath leave her body,
and I wanted to cry out for her to come back.
The next sound I heard was of me wailing
and grieving the fact that they were gone.
It was as near to an out-of-body experience
that I could have, listening and realizing
that I was the one making that sound.
I have never felt so vulnerable in my life.
I have never felt so crushed-- spiritually, emotionally,
and physically.
(Ron White) If you have a teenager out past midnight,
you don't like to receive a call.
I got up and took the phone and on the other end of the line
a man identified himself as being from
the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Told us that he had our son Cameron,
told us that Cameron was intoxicated,
that he had been in an accident but he was okay.
And he told us as a result of the accident
that three people had been killed.
(James Wood) We found out that Sam
was the child who had survived,
so we went up to the University Hospital
where Chris's family were there.
Even at that moment, we're all blubbering and crying,
and Chris is laying on the gurney in a neck brace,
and one of the first things he asks is,
"How is the young man who was driving the other car?"
(Chris) For the first few months after the accident I felt,
I think it was the initial shock, that such a huge part
of my life was now gone.
That's a very difficult thing to go through,
to kneel down and desire to speak to my Father in Heaven
when I'm so lonely or when I'm so anguished.
It's an interesting conversation to have.
He doesn't immediately try to make it better;
He listens to me first.
I thought that was very helpful.
He allowed me to get that anger off my chest,
but inevitably He would always come back and teach me
about His Son, Jesus Christ.
When I did feel anger or there was just a deep sense of
loneliness, I didn't direct that at the person
that had caused this; it directed itself at the Savior.
As I looked out the driver's window
and saw the overturned car that had hit us and struck us,
in my heart I didn't know and in my mind I didn't
understand or comprehend still how it had happened,
or who had done it to us, or what the circumstances were.
The only thing I remember feeling
and sensing is that I needed to let this go.
(James) There is Jesus's way to resolve problems,
to address situations, to handle sorrow,
and then there's some other way
is something that I think Chris clued into early in life.
When the moment came for him in that car sitting there,
I believe he had made the decision long ago
what he would do if he was ever in that situation.
(Marilynn White) About a year ago,
Chris and Cameron met for the first time and talked.
(Cameron) The first time that I met him,
I was in a room and he walked in
and he had a big smile on his face,
and I had no smile because I'm facing the man
that I had done this to.
He came and gave me a handshake.
He was completely willing to talk about
what had happened that night, how he felt about it.
(Marilynn) Chris was able to say things that Cameron needed to hear,
and he didn't mince words.
He let him know how he was feeling, what it meant.
(Cameron) He wants me to let go of what had happened.
He wants me to pick a date and forget what had happened
and just move on from what had happened
There's no way to explain it.
It's an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness,
of gratefulness, of strength to see him
and to see how he's acted in this situation.
(Marilynn) After we went to the funeral,
one of our neighbors that was at the funeral came up to us
and said, "Have you read the article about Chris?"
And it was his article about forgiveness.
My feeling was that I was just completely overcome;
it was like being washed out-- the despair was being
washed out from my soul.
Knowing that somebody like that could so freely forgive--
it was freeing to me to know that he could respond
in that fashion.
(Chris) The thought and sentiment I expressed as I sat down
with Cameron was simply this:
that if through the forgiveness or through anything else
he had seen or heard about me doing after the accident
that he should know it was merely the Savior
working through me.
I had merely put myself in a situation to be a vessel
through which the Spirit, through which His example,
through which His knowledge, His intelligence,
His brilliance could shine.
That's really all I had to do--
was to not get in the way of that.
I wanted him to understand that I really didn't have much
to do with any of the goodness that has come out of that.
(Cameron) It's become more significant to me--
the fact that he's forgiven me.
And I know that's because he knows
and he has a testimony and a relationship
with Jesus Christ.
(Chris) I'm grateful that God allows tragedies and trials
to occur in our lives-- not because they're easy
or because they're desired,
but because they help us love.
And that too is a wonderful blessing
because I saw my brother.
Coming to know a man of sorrow
and one who is acquainted with grief as I've now come
to understand it is really why I was sent here,
and it has been incredibly difficult to have to learn
those lessons in the way that I have learned them.
But I have always ended those episodes of grief
with an assurance and a hope that one day
perhaps I will see Him as He is.
One day, hopefully, I will be like Him.
And one day, I will be with my wife again
as well as the rest of my family.
And that's what keeps me moving forward.