BETA

From the mailbag: Doing 'what Georgia wanted'

On Sept. 15, 2002, my little sister, Georgia Marriott, a senior in violin performance at Indiana University, wrote a resounding testimony of the gospel in her journal, beginning with the words, "It's true, it's true, and no one can tell me otherwise because I feel the truth inside of me growing and defying any doubts. . . . Life holds no chains for me because I am liberated by that inherent Light given to me before the world."

Ten days later she was hit by a truck while riding her bike near the university campus. She passed away 30 hours after the accident. Shortly before her passing I sat in the hospital waiting room pondering what Georgia would have me do. She shared the gospel with all she knew in her cheery way, served a four-month performing mission in Nauvoo, and often gave away copies of the Book of Mormon to those around her.

Thoughts began to flow into my mind and I quickly pulled out a piece of paper to write the impressions. She would want the gospel shared at a memorial service in Indiana. She would want friends and family to bear testimony and she would want copies of the Book of Mormon with inserts of her testimony given out at the service.

After her passing, our family and Georgia's roommates set to work, preparing a service that we felt was "what Georgia wanted." We opened her college journals and the light of the gospel poured out. In this treasure trove of journals rested Georgia's personal witness of Christ.

Earlier this year she wrote: "How to share a testimony every day effectively:"

  • Love those you speak to . . . that is where the Spirit steps in and touches the person's heart.
  • Offer a gem to someone with humility, yet confidence in the truth.
  • Seize the moment; take it with courage.
  • Speak as the Spirit directs.
  • Show others you recognize the beauty in them.
  • Important in missionary work is recognizing the Light in others.

    When I walked into the chapel with my family, I blinked in wonder at the completely full stake center. More than 700 people, most of varying faiths, sat waiting for the service to begin. As the last speaker, I offered them all a copy of the Book of Mormon with Georgia's recent journal entry of her testimony pasted inside the cover of the book. I promised, "If she were here, she would offer you one." As the people came to the viewing afterward, they picked up a Book of Mormon from a table. I saw some pausing in the foyer, intently reading her testimony inside the book. By the end of the evening, all 250 copies of the Book of Mormon had been taken!

    I came away from her memorial service inspired to be a better person, to share the gospel more, and, in her words, to "hold triumphantly the torch of Christ!"

    Daniel Marriott is a member of the Holladay 29th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay North Stake. The complete text of Georgia's testimony is available at www.georgiamarriott.com.