These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33.
And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them. - D&C 42:46
My wife of 47 years, Pat Langford McNeil, died seven years ago of pancreatic cancer. During the last 14 months of her life, although going through two major operations and weekly sessions of chemo and radiation therapy, she devoted her energies almost completely to family history and name submissions. We also studied the scriptures daily together as we had never before taken the time to do. With increasing effort, she attended church weekly and the temple monthly.
Blessedly, she experienced very little real pain, but the effects of the therapy on top of a deteriorating internal system left her feeling simply awful most of the time. In spite of this, she never showed anything but a selfless, positive and cheerful attitude. When her friends would ask her how she was doing, she would reply cheerfully with a smile, "Well, I'm dying, but I'm doing just fine."
Looking back on those precious last few months of her life, I know that she truly grasped the glorious principle, that we can "be of good cheer" because our Savior did "overcome the world." I also believe, without doubt, that because of her faithfulness to the end and her abiding love for the Lord, death was, in fact, "sweet unto" her. - George W. McNeil, Mill Valley, Calif.
- "Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader-response articles.
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