LDS Father's Message Forgiving the RM Who Killed His Son Goes Viral

by | Aug. 18, 2016

Mormon Life

Boyfriend and girlfriend Simon Olsen (18) and Hailie Godfrey (18) were in their car at an intersection in Eagle Mountain, Utah, when a Ford F-250 drifted over the center line and struck them head on.

The driver of the car, a recently returned missionary, did not remember what happened during the crash, but he immediately walked to the nearest convenience store and had someone notify the police.

Both teenagers had died on impact.

Though tragic, this story has been gaining attention on social media not as a message of loss, but one of hope, love, and forgiveness. 

Within a day of the crash, Simon Olsen's father, Lane Olsen, posted a message on Facebook, one that demonstrates the remarkable power of forgiveness Jesus Christ brings into our lives:

Today has been the worst day of my life! No parent should have to bury their child.
As a family our hearts go out to Tanner Evans, who was the driver that killed my son Simon and his girlfriend Hailie.
What is crazy about this accident is that we know their family very well, his father was my Assistant basketball coach for AAU, we coached together for 5 years and former bishop. Tanners older son played on the High School team with my son Chandler and they were best friends.
With Tanner coming home last week from his mission we can't imagine the guilt and pain he is feeling. We hold no hard feelings and we love that family!
I spoke to his father Matt, and he says that he is devastated and their family is feeling the same pain and sadness.
I am so proud of my children. When my son Chandler Olsen found out who the driver was, he wanted to drive over and tell the family that we forgive them and have no hard feelings. My daughter Lexi Sparks posted on her FB wall to pray for him and his family. Gehrig Olsen is not angry either.
This is what Simon would of wanted, he loved everyone and would want everyone to be laughing and have no anger.
I'm sure Simon would say, "Guys relax I will you see all very soon, I'm skydiving in Heaven and practicing my basketball skills."
I'm humbled by the power of forgiveness for this is the only way to heal and move forward.
Please pray for all of us and especially the Evans family. This is not easy for any of us, but through God and faith we will get through this most trying time in our lives.
The outreach and love extended to our family has been overwhelming, we have had so many friends and family visit, call from all over the world and hundreds of texts and FB posts. We feel the power of your thoughts and prayers.
It is by this power that we are getting through this most challenging time. We appreciate those that have also donated in Simons behalf, your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Some people say that their is no God, others say we will not have an afterlife.
But I CHOOSE to BELIEVE, I CHOOSE to be HAPPY, I CHOOSE to live my life through my son. And I CHOOSE one day to embrace my son and cry tears of joy.
We love you all!
Lead image from Deseret News.
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