"God Is a God of Second Chances": LDS Families Offer Forgiveness to Man Who Killed Their Sons

by | Jul. 02, 2018

Mormon Life

"I believe God is a god of second chances and everyone has the right to make things right when they have gone down a mistaken path,” Jennifer Jasper said about the man who killed her son. "I do believe in second chances and a fresh start."

A year ago, the families of Blake Strebel, 19, and his friend, roommate and co-worker Derek Jasper, 18, told the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole they were still struggling with the deaths of their loved ones.

And while some family members still have a hard time talking about the tragic events that happened nearly a decade ago, during the most recent parole hearing for Mark Andrew Mora — the man who killed Strebel and Jasper — the families came with words of empathy and forgiveness.

"I am putting my trust in you that when you are released, you will put away your past life and be a new man,” said Susan Strebel, mother of Blake.

In April 2009, Strebel and Jasper were driving home after a late night of playing church basketball in Ogden when Mora, who was 17 and had been using cocaine and alcohol that night and was trying to avoid police, sped through a red light and smashed into them. Both Strebel and Jasper were killed.

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