Why did the family of the LDS student who died in Nutty Putty caves decide to let his death and story be shared with millions around the world? The answer is beautiful and profound.
A new movie set to release in Utah theaters on September 16 shares the heartbreaking story of Latter-day Saint father and husband John Edward Jones.
Jones descended into the Nutty Putty cave with his brothers and friends in 2009 around Thanksgiving time, never to see his friends or family again.
A medical student with a wife and 2-year-old daughter, Jones was exploring the cave when he suddenly found himself stuck in an almost unreachable crevice 150 feet underground, hanging upside down.
Over the next 28 hours, rescuers worked frantically to free Jones, finding a way to give him an IV and let him talk to his wife over a police radio, but ultimately they could not rescue Jones before he suffocated.
It may be surprising to many that Jones' family has decided to share these final, tragic moments of his life with the world, but his wife, Emily, says she decided to share his story to show people the kind of man he was as well as to share the message that there is hope of seeing those we love again.
"I think when people come away from this movie they will have a greater desire to love people, to love their family, to love better, to be kinder, to be a better person, and to cherish every minute they have with their loved ones," Emily says. "This in not the end of life. Life goes on. Family goes on. Relationships go on after this life."
As John Jones's dad, Leon, notes, this story is not one of death, but of eternal life and of eternal families.
"There is incredible hope out there for us. As families, we know that we will be happy and that we will be together as a family again, with John."