Morgan Jones 0:00
It is one of the Ten Commandments, "Honor thy father and thy mother." But what does this look like when a parent makes decisions that go against what you believe and even what they themselves may have taught you as a child?
This is something Rio Grange grappled with for years prior to her father's passing last year when he took his own life after a long battle with mental illness. Grange recently shared a picture on Instagram of her and her father hugging on her wedding day with the following caption: "I am grateful that death is not final. My dad wasn't able to be in the temple on our wedding day, and I think of that embrace often–after the doors open and friends and family cheered–when I found him first and he held me so tight. Now that he is heavenside and because our Savior gained the victory over death, I dream of the embrace when I'll see him again."
Today we talk with Rio about grief as a result of the choices of our parents and how we can continue to honor those parents even through that grief.
Rio Grange is the founder of Work and Wonder, a company that began by creating general conference workbooks but seeks to create products that help women engage in and marvel at the wonders of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Work and Wonder was born of Rio's desire to join together her passion for design and her devotion to God.
This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones, and I am so excited to have Rio Grange on the line with me today. Rio, welcome.
Rio Grange 1:42
Hi, Morgan. I'm really excited. Thank you so much for having me.
Morgan Jones 1:46
Well, I am so excited. I want to start out because people will likely–I feel like within the Latter-day Saint world, some people will recognize your name and associate it with Work and Wonder. So first of all, could you tell us the story of how Work and Wonder came to be? Because this is actually something I've always wondered about. How did you have that idea?
Rio Grange 2:09
Yes. Okay. So I love telling this little story, because it's something that I–it’s actually kind of unexpected, and though my mom was certainly an entrepreneur, and we have entrepreneurs in my family, I never really anticipated starting something quite as large as this has become, but I'm so grateful for that. And it really just started, I've always known that I love design. And that was what I went to school for and graduated from Utah State with a degree in graphic design.
And I thought how neat it would be to one day see kind of my two greatest passions of the gospel and my love for design kind of come together and it did, when I had this idea and realization, that–general conference is kind of where it all started–that I was just like, this is a pretty incredible weekend. And I feel like every time it rolls around, I'm not sure where to like go and capture it all. Where do I save all of this? And where do I save my notes and why can't it be in a similar place every time? And so then was born this idea of a general conference workbook. And I hadn't seen anything like this in the market before.
And so that's kind of where it started, and I knew if it's something that's recurring, I would want it fresh every time. So we work with featured artists. And so there's new artwork in every single one, now we have a kids workbook, and we've plans for so many more, but that's kind of how it all started. But I just–I think what I didn't anticipate was it turning into a community where we would get to study general conference together, and even more outside of that now we've got this quarterly magazine where it's just kind of personal, spiritual development and themes. And it's just grown and I'm so grateful for that. But really it all just started with a general conference workbook, I started to get worried like, as long as there's general conference, I guess, I'll be making workbooks. Kind of funny.
Morgan Jones 3:45
Yeah. Well, I have to say, I'm always so impressed by your design. And I think design makes all the difference in a product, and so I think you do such a beautiful job. And the other thing that I've been super impressed with is your ability to create a community and to make women, no matter where they live, feel like they're a part of something bigger. And I think that that is something–everybody is looking for belonging in some way. So what would you say has been the most rewarding part of building this Work and Wonder community?
Rio Grange 4:24
Yes. Oh, my gosh, I feel like you just answered that question. That's exactly what I would have said is, it's been really rewarding to see people value design and aesthetic as I do, but to see it valued with products that have sacred purposes. And so, again, to see that come together, my two passions, my design, and my devotion to God, it's just been so cool to see those come together. And then to see people value that and recognize the beauty in these products because I wanted them to reflect the beauty and the sacredness of the gospel, and so it felt like I wanted these products to have that same elevated nature.
And the other probably most rewarding part, again, is this community. And almost selfishly, just feeling like I don't have to walk this path alone. Like, suddenly it feels like I'm walking with thousands of women as we navigate this complex and trying life and sharing bits of my story and moments of joy throughout and how we're looking for those. But just finding community and companionship and so many hard moments has been really special.
Morgan Jones 5:21
Yeah. So I love that you just said that, because one of the things that I want to kind of focus on in this interview is something that you have shared that's very personal to you. But you've shared it with, you know, thousands of complete strangers, and I think there is–I was just talking with some of my mission companions, two of my mission companions and I have started doing comp study again, seven years after our mission,
And we were just talking last night, and I was saying how I think one of the most beautiful things in this mortal experience that we can have is the experience of going through something really hard and then using that hard thing to relate and feel empathy for another person. And as we were talking about it I had this realization that if the purpose of this life is to become like Jesus Christ, then there's nothing that we could do that would give us that experience more than feeling the heartache and the burden of another person. And so I think there's beauty in shared experience, and I think that's something–that's one of the things I think that you've done, is created this community, is opening up about things that has been hard.
So in July 2020, you shared that your father passed away. And you wrote that you have always described yourself as a daddy's girl, you said, "I'm a daddy's girl, because some of the best parts of who I am are because of him.” Tell us a little bit about your relationship with your dad, and which parts of yourself you feel like you got from him?
Rio Grange 7:09
Oh, I love this question. And I'll muster up and do what I can because I've always been so proud to talk about my dad and proud to be his daughter and how he raised me, but I shared more of the complexities of his relationship with my audience, because of the amount of messages I got when I did kind of my initial post about his passing, and how many messages said, “I can relate to the complexities of this and that,” brought tears to my eyes, because I didn't realize so many people had similar relationships as I have had with my dad.
But kind of–to answer your question, there's so much. My dad and I are very similar. And he actually raised four daughters, me being the oldest. And then finally, a son, who is my youngest brother. And so we were officially off the hook, finally, because we were raised as boys, it would seem. And he loved taking us on all the adventures, all the outings. And it's funny, because I always had such a strong and lovely connection and relationship with my mom. But there was something about the way I connected with my dad. And I think we were just strung so similarly in the way we thought and the way we process things, the way we love to lead, and teach, and speak. And we're just learning from others, and finding deeper meaning in everyday things. And he was always accused of sending the longest text messages on Sundays with all these Sunday thoughts. And sometimes now I am doing that. And they tease me that I'm starting to take on that, these long messages of my thoughts, but I loved that about him.
And then I mean, he had a crave–that I do now–for the mountains and fresh air and wide open spaces. And my whole family grew up skiing. And we love the Northwest. And so there's so many little bits and pieces of that, and of him that will live on through all of his kids as we go to those places. And we want to feel him again. But I think that's why it was so hard to lose him because it felt like such a big part of me that I had already, that I looked up to, and that I admired and that I wanted to continue to learn from, it was as if he was a bit of me in this future distance that I just wanted to become like and so it was hard to lose that vision.
But recently, I kind of have come into this gift of writing and using my words and expressing my thoughts. And it's funny because in high school and in college, I would have never considered myself a writer. And I would regretfully let my dad edit my papers and they would come back covered in red. And I remember just thinking like, "Wow, this is just not my thing. I don't write, I don't write well," and it's been interesting in the past year as I've had this community growing and I've been sharing more of my thoughts, that suddenly it feels like his gift for words is like kind of being slowly passed on through me as time goes on, and I'm so grateful for that.
And then the final thing I would say that is first and foremost important to me is really the testimony that sparked Work and Wonder was born from his, and this undying passion for the gospel and one of the most personal relationships with the Savior that I have ever come upon was witnessing how intimate he became with the Savior and what that meant for him.
Morgan Jones 10:09
I love that. And I love it because you also talked about some struggles that your dad had in the latter part of his life. And I think, you know, what you just said about your dad, I think sometimes people may think that having struggles and going through hard things, and maybe making some choices that others around us don't entirely understand and having a testimony sometimes feel like mutually exclusive, like they can't coexist. And I . . . so I love that you just honored your dad in that way. Because I have seen in my life with people that I love, that those two things are not mutually exclusive. They can very much exist in the same being at the same time. And so what did you learn as your dad, you know, as you navigated these, these complexities, and as you saw your dad make some choices that maybe you didn't understand, what did you learn about honoring your parents, even when maybe we don't agree with the choices that they're making or don't understand them?
Rio Grange 11:22
Yeah, he did have some struggles. And it's hard, because I feel like struggle is almost a light word to describe kind of the demons he did face every day. And my parents actually–we have a big long story, my family, but my parents were divorced soon after I left for my freshman year of college, and mistakes were made. And over time, my siblings and I learned to kind of embrace this new shape of our family that was taking and eventually found that relationship with him again, and we just . . . that was mended very quickly, because there was already a foundation of such a beautiful relationship there. But it was cracked a little bit, our family took a new shape with that divorce, and we kind of moved forward.
Um but . . . he did continue to make choices that were contrary to what was taught in the home. And that was hard. And I really had to learn the art of loving him anyway, that was a phrase that I had to use quite often of just "loving him anyway." And I had to constantly choose to have a relationship with my dad, then to be right. Or then to call out what I knew was wrong, or to suppress this burning in me to make him see the truth and error that I could see. And to this day, I wonder if I should have, you know. That's something that I sit with quite often, is wondering–should I have spoken up? Should I have said this? Should I have wanted to correct him in this way? But it's a really tricky thing when the child has clarity that maybe the parent does not. And that's a, it's a hard position to be in. And that's what I learned, that a lot of other people have found themselves in similar situations when they see their parent make these hard choices, because we've been raised by that person and it feels . . . it's just very confusing to suddenly see that not met and a person you have looked up to and you wonder, but you taught me this, now why am I seeing that?
So for a kid to have an example of such good and such light and devotion to God, and then yet such disappointment or sin for that to be in the same person is. . . that was very hard for me to wrap my head around as I kind of grew up and became an adult and started to understand the weight of these decisions that became harder and harder.
But what I had to do is–and when you ask like, how do I honor my parents despite that, I had to honor his journey. I had to honor his story, that I was never going to be the one that was going to change him as much as I hoped and I prayed that I could be the one, it was never going to be enough. It was a battle that he was facing, that only the Lord could fight with him because it was bigger than all of us. And I needed to honor that process, which was his process and his alone, knowing that if I stepped in, I was going to harm the relationship that we did have. And I valued that way too much.
I learned–and you know, I learned the hard way. There were seasons where I would kind of stand up against him. And he was, he was intimidating, to say the least. Despite his love for his children it was intimidating. And he was a man of– his words, where he could articulate his thoughts very well and so it was scary to go up against. And, and when I did, I just–I don't know, I felt like it was kind of divine realization every time that it was just like, "This battle isn't yours to fight, it's his." And if you can separate the two, he can be the Dad you need him to be for that time that you have with him.
And so I kind of had to choose that over and over. And I didn't quite know what that meant. But I just, I chose that relationship with my dad over anything else. So I think to honor him, I took the good that I learned from him, from the family home evenings and the conversations on the lift rides, and the post-date talks on my bed, like I took all of those good things and I built my own foundation that was independent of his choices and the choices of anyone else.
Because that's how I could honor him, is by taking those best parts and the parts that I knew were true and that I knew were honest and that I knew were real, and build upon those to create the solid ground I stand on today. Otherwise, my foundation would have crumbled with the loss of him. And I wouldn't have that. But because I kind of learned to compartmentalize and separate and build my very own testimony that had bits and pieces of his, it could stand the blow of losing him and the betrayal that his choices did cause, if that makes any sense. Man, it's hard.
Morgan Jones 15:35
It makes perfect sense. Before we move on, I was wondering as you're talking, do you have any other thoughts for adult children whose parents may be going through a divorce? Are there any lessons that you learned from that, that you think might be helpful?
Rio Grange 15:52
That's a great question. I'd love to sit with that one. Because I think that's another topic with complexities of, kind of my relationship with my dad. I think divorce is one that is, it's talked about, but it's talked about on a very surface level because of how case by case it can be. And so it's hard to address because there's so many sides.
Morgan Jones 16:13
Rio Grange 16:14
So many – yeah, so many variables to it. I think during this experience with losing my dad and even also seeing my parents’ divorce before that, I quickly learned how crucial a sibling relationship was, despite the fact that we are all very different. My sisters and I, and my brother, we're all very different. And we certainly mourned in different ways. And we all had a very different experience with the divorce because it happened at very different points of all of our lives, given our ages.
But I learned how crucial it was to . . . if anything were to stay intact, it would be those sibling relationships. Because when there are times that I felt alone, or that I did not think anybody understood what could possibly be going through my heart and mind, besides the Savior, I always turned to my siblings knowing that if anyone did, they do. Because they're also a parent of this kind of confusing unfolding of events, both the divorce and the passing of my dad. And so I leaned on them and we each allowed space for each other to deal with these different chapters in our own way.
And we didn't let that come between us. And so if one needed to be more angry at the situation, we let that. And we let that, we left space for that and didn't let it get between us. And I think because we did that, we always came back to each other because we recognized that there was no–in a heavy and such tender experience as this was and that I know so many go through, there is no emotion that's not allowed to be felt. And so we kind of allowed that in each of us. And we created this space where we could just dump everything that we couldn't say to our parents or to our parents siblings, or to people that felt like were on one side or the other, we were the kids that were stuck in the middle a little bit. So it felt like we kind of had to really stick together because that's a really unique space to be in. And yeah, I had to . . . I had to cling to those sweet relationships. And I still do.
Morgan Jones 18:21
I think that's so good, because I think it's almost like symbolic of our relationship with Christ. That there's no emotion that we're not allowed to feel, and that we can unload on him, and he can take it. And he understands where we're coming from in a way that, like you said, these other people that care about you, but the relationship is different. They may not get it on that level. And I also . . . my siblings and I are so different. And so when you say that, I'm like–I understand that. And there's like a tenderness to that, where it's like, despite the fact that we're different, like I love them for who they are, and appreciate how different we are, and I just think there's a lot of beauty and truth in what you just said. So, thank you for sharing.
Rio Grange 19:08
Yes. Yes, I hope it fits in there because I do believe all that. And I think I forget what a piece that is to this whole story. And I think a lot of people deal with divorce and more often than not they've got a sibling that they're enduring it with for sure.
Morgan Jones 19:21
Rio, I love when you have written about this experience of losing your father, that you have written about heaven, and you often use this word "heavenside." And so, for example, you wrote recently, "Some things are not meant to make sense or seem fair or reach resolution in this life, and that can be hard to sit with. But these experiences bring learning and growth while earthside, that otherwise would not have been possible. The complexities in between and all throughout will be taken care of heavenside." So, I–first of all–love that word and the way that you put that, but what have you learned about heaven through this experience?
Rio Grange 20:07
Okay, I love this question because I have learned so much about heaven. And I know that a lot of it, I may not even come to an understanding until I reach heaven. But I've learned that there's room for everyone there. And that has brought me so much peace, because unfortunately, my dad continued to create a nasty web for himself that slowly became all consuming. And there was a lot of lies and deceit and betrayal and hurt and his choices hurt many people. And that's, and those choices still cause grief and pain today, and I hate that part, I hate this part of his story and our story, and that's where it gets confusing.
And that's, these are the complexities that I talked about when I share that little piece that you read Morgan, because he became very good at keeping these lives very separate from each other, and very hidden from those he loved most. And that's why it was so hard, because I would see bits and pieces of it. They would be exposed, and my mind became so exhausted of trying to compartmentalize these two, the two as I have learned to love one and hate the other and they were again, in that same being, that same spirit, that same person. That I had wanted to believe I could still have this relationship with my dad, a relationship that I would trade for anything, but I soon realized that I would be trading harmony in my marriage and presence as a mother, to my children.
And quite frankly, I was going to betray being closest to the spirit if I kept trying to mend a relationship where one party was not willing to be healed. And it wasn't until later, after his passing, that we learned just how long and terribly he had suffered in silence. And it was eventually in that suffering, that that's what took his life. And he could no longer fight those demons on this earth. Unfortunately, I felt like I had to lose him twice, because about six months before he passed, he was met with the consequences of his choices. And that was a really heavy period.
Because everyone in our family had to grapple with this new and shocking reality we were facing. And suddenly my dad was painted in a light that I just despised, and I couldn't believe that it was the same person. The crazy thing is the other reality we were also facing was the more beautiful reality that was the truth, that death is not final, and that relationships do continue beyond the veil, and that hearts continue to mend and wholeness can still be found after this life. And I know that I have felt that with my relationship with my dad growing stronger, because I know he's working so hard on the other side of the veil. But it's hard to see, trust me, it's hard to believe in that, when I feel like there are still so many unsolved things that I never got to hear him say that I kept waiting for him to acknowledge what he had done, what he had caused in our family, to never hear that from him is hard.
And that's, those are the parts that I have to put at the Savior's feet. Those are the complexities that I have to leave up to heaven. Otherwise, I could not progress. I could not move on. I could not find hope and joy and a reason to keep going if I held on to that unresolved part to all of this because again, it's his story. It's between him and the Savior.
And I kept trying to put my dad between myself and my Savior as I tried to heal. I kept trying to think that the healing would take place. If only I heard my dad say this, or if only I saw him mend this or fix that, or say he was sorry for this. But I had to learn that the healing I needed was between myself and my Savior. Just as the same as it was between him and his Savior. And I couldn't keep that barrier there any longer if I wanted to move on. And like I said, not trade these other beautiful pieces of my life that were my marriage and motherhood and growing this business.
That was another whole other part to this is, trying to be present online for a community that looked up to the strength I have in the Gospel, while suddenly it felt like my foundation was shaken greatly. And so then I made that choice to show up and to kind of show this raw side of what I was working through. And that's when I came to know that so many had experienced a similar rawness and found comfort in knowing that I was walking a similar path, that there were a lot of dark places ahead that I could not see through yet, and I kind of had to trust that there was going to be light eventually, and that the next step ahead of me would be illuminated.
Morgan Jones 24:49
I think that's so good. And I think sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that when people are looking to us for, you know, steadiness or whatever, we mistakenly think that they expect us to be perfect, when sometimes the most beautiful, helpful thing to anybody is for us to be like, "Yeah, I've been there too." Like, "You're not talking about something that I haven't experienced." And again, I think that's where we're able to experience what Christ must have felt when he suffered for us.
You wrote, "If there was any time in my life where my foundation in Christ and His gospel became absolutely crucial. It is right now." And I love that you wrote that, I think, when you were very much in the thick of this, because I think that acknowledging, “I need a foundation, and I feel like my foundation is kind of crumbling beneath me,” is a really beautiful acknowledgement to make.
In retrospect, Rio, can you see at all how the Lord prepared you for this experience? And how have you felt him providing a foundation, even when you feel like it's unsteady or being taken out from under you?
Rio Grange 26:13
Yes, I–it's been amazing to see that. And really, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how or where I see it. I just, I just know that He did. I just know that He prepared me. And when we talked about, you know, how these moments in our life when our foundations are just completely rocked, and pieces do fall and crumble, I kind of want to recognize that that's okay. I think maybe sometimes we expect that, you know. When we're in those more pleasant seasons of life, and we're building that foundation, we expect that we're building it in a way that it should not even budge when we get these big blows in our life. But they do. They do. And pieces crumble and they fall, and we have to pick them back up.
And that's not because we did anything wrong, it's not because we weren't faithful enough, it's not because we suddenly lost these pieces of our testimony, or we were less faithful, I think it's just because that's the humanness of us, kind of breaking under the pressure. But that foundation can still stand even as pieces are shifted and cracked. And that's the beauty of this gospel and the power of restoration that is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
In talking of preparation, I actually wrote–which is just crazy that I did–soon after I shared that my dad had passed, so many people of my community sent me a screenshot of my own post and said, I can't believe you wrote this before you had found out what happened. And I'll kind of share with you what I wrote. But I said to myself, I was actually writing myself a little, like pep talk, a little love note, if you will. And I said, "There will be days when it feels like a lot. Too much, even. And it's not. You can handle it and you know it. So straighten up and don't waste precious time thinking about the little time you have. You have just the right amount of time, because you are on a mission. You are on his mission. You are capable and prepared for what lies ahead, and you will not miss out on what was meant for you."
And I wrote that, which is crazy, so I think that's a testament to me that the Lord was preparing me and preparing my mind really, and my spirit, to be able to handle the reality of it. When you lose someone unexpectedly and your mind wants to believe that that time was taken from you. And, and I think just me, writing those words, and I think I was even quoting someone else there in that very last line, it could have even been Morgan Harper Nichols when it says, "You will not miss out on what was meant for you." And I know that the time I did have with my dad was exactly meant for me. And that was the story. There wasn't pages that were ripped out from my book, that was the full, that was the whole of his story and my story on this earth and it will continue even after this life.
Morgan Jones 28:58
So well said. I love that. So, Rio, obviously the focus of Work and Wonder is on general conference. And I just wondered, you know, I think being able to take a conference talk and apply it to whatever we're going through, I'm always amazed when I go back and I'm like, "Oh, wow,” like “When this talk was given, I didn't really think much of it, but in this moment, it is exactly what I need to hear." Have there been any specific conference talks that have helped you through this period of your life?
Rio Grange 29:30
Oh, my gosh, so many, and it would be hard to narrow it down. But I think the one that comes to mind because it was just–I couldn't believe that it was the talk that we were studying with our community–with Work and Wonder we'll study a talk a week–it was the talk we were studying that week that I had decided to come kind of back online and be present and share a little bit of my story and the talk was, "The Great Plan" by Elder Oaks, given in April 2020.
And it wasn't, again, when I first heard the talk, I had not thought a lot of it. Because it was kind of your standard talk explaining the plan and the plan of happiness and the intricacies of it, and it was, for me, it was not a standout until I had experienced what I did. And just to read a quote from his words, he said–he talked about the plan, he said, "We will be judged according to our actions, the desires of our hearts, and the kind of person we have become. The judge of all of this is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His omniscience gives Him a perfect knowledge of all of our acts and desires, both those unrepented and unchanged and those repented or righteous. Therefore, after His judgment, will we all confess that his judgments are just."
And I remember reading those words, both those "unrepented" or "unchanged" because that's what I felt had been left unresolved with my dad, is I just felt like, I feel like he, I feel like he didn't come full circle, I feel like there were things that he could have changed that he didn't, or that he should have repented of and he didn't. And I felt like that, that, I could have done something or if we could have only–your mind just goes and goes and goes. But the fact that I was reminded in this talk that His omniscience gives Him a knowledge of all of that, the acts and desires, so the desire my dad had to repent, and the desire he had to change did not go unnoticed. It did not go unnoticed.
And that's what goes with him. And that is what he, you know, comes to the feet of his Savior with is that desire, and He notices that and He sees it, and He takes that and turns into enough and continues to learn and grow and to teach us in that kind of preparatory state until, you know, everything is decided. Again, it's so . . . it's a big picture that we don't have all the pieces to, for sure. But I know that that talk was not an accident that it was that week for me at that time.
Morgan Jones 31:54
Yeah. That is awesome. And I think, you know, it's so interesting how like, I would have never picked up on that phrase. But for you in that moment, it was exactly what you needed. Rio at this point for you, where would you say in–especially applied to this situation, where would you say that you draw hope from?
Rio Grange 32:19
I would say it's very similar to those words that I just wrote. I draw hope from this plan that my dad's story isn't over. And that God is just as proud of my dad and the battles that he fought in this life as anyone else. And God gives the same amount of grace to all of his children. None are more deserving than others, no one is more highly favored than another, that is what makes God –God. And that's what's so cool is that someone like my dad can still be seen highly favored because of that grace, and His capacity to love knows no limits or bounds, despite the temptations we face in this life.
And I know that, that God when he, you know, when this plan was presented to us, there were battles that we would have to face in this life, and we would have to fight hard against the adversary. But for some of us, we would not come off conqueror in this life, and that story would continue to be told beyond the veil, and that was the case with my dad. But it's, it's really cool to feel how empowered I feel to continue to tell his story and to do my part.
Morgan Jones 33:23
I think though–two things, two thoughts based on what you just said. One, I think the idea of somebody's story being finished here, like what you said earlier, you know, like I had to come to terms with like, that was the final page of that part of his story. But then also acknowledging that the story continues beyond the veil. I think that's like an interesting paradox, but then also, I love how you said that you feel like you are doing your part here.
And it's almost like, despite the fact that you can't see what it is that your dad is experiencing and working through and where he's at on the other side, that you can kind of cheer him on here by honoring him. And I think that that is, that is really beautiful. You shared a message that your dad wrote at the end of an email to you as you were finalizing the design of your first workbook in February 2018. And I love this because I think it gives insight to the kind of person that your dad must have been, or is, and you said that he wrote, "Other considerations"–at the bottom–"None for now. Breathe and enjoy the final step of this journey in becoming Heavenly Father's beloved designer. How I love you."
Rio, how have you learned to enjoy the moment like your dad said, to enjoy each step and to cherish the journey?
Rio Grange 35:00
I'm so grateful that we could–and from what you said Morgan, because it's true, those words are so sacred to me now because it does sum up a bit of what my dad is and was on this earth. And some did not get to know that side of him that I was so grateful to know. And so I cling to those words, but I think he's right. That we often forget to breathe and to look around at what is around us, to look around how far we have come, but the life we've been so blessed to live as messy and complex as it is–it's just still so beautiful.
And I think I find, I strive, you know, it's not easy by any means, but I strive to find joy in every moment and every step of the journey, because I know that the steps that are harder to take are the ones that will take me somewhere where I never could have gone before.
You know, if it was all easy, we'd be walking in circles leading to nowhere and there would be no becoming, there would be no progression, and so in a crazy way, you start to find joy in those moments of the journey that are hard, because you can sense that there is this transformation taking place. And there is this elevating element to you that you're like, wow, I otherwise never would have come here had I willingly walked through that. And maybe not even willingly, but readily walked through it, knowing I was prepared, and knowing that, you know, like my dad said, that we are Heavenly Father's beloved designers or whatever you consider yourself to be. His beloved writer, His beloved daughter and son, and we're instruments in His hands. And I think to stop and take a moment and realize that and realize how we are being used to push His work forward and to move that work onward is such a beautiful realization.
And there's reason to, there's reason in every part of the journey both hard and joyful to recognize that.
Morgan Jones 36:53
Yeah. Rio, thank you so much for being willing to share all of these thoughts with us. My last question for you is the question that we ask at the end of every episode of this podcast, and that is, what does it mean to you, to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Rio Grange 37:10
For me, it means to trust even when we don't have it all figured out. It means to believe that good and God will prevail even when it seems evil has it small triumphs, that God will still have the victory in the end. All in, to me, means that despite not having answers or clarity in this life, that we believe God is greater than any doubt or confusion or missing puzzle piece that is saved until heaven. Because in order for me to continue on every day, and not be debilitated by regret, or stewing over parts of this plan and my dad's story that I don't understand, or that I don't feel are fair, I have to believe this. I would not be standing here today if I didn’t, and I have to hold on to something and I have not found anything else that brings me near as much peace and comfort than the knowledge of a Savior that knows every intimacy of our lives and our hearts and even the messiest parts.
Morgan Jones 38:01
Yeah. Thank you so much Rio. I've really appreciate it.
Rio Grange 38:06
Of course. Thank you, Morgan.
Morgan Jones 38:09
We are so grateful to Rio Grange for joining us on today's episode, you can find the Work and Wonder general conference workbooks for the April 2021 general conference on Deseretbook.com now. A huge thank you to Derek Campbell of Mix at Six studios for his help with this episode. And thank you so much for listening. We'll be with you again next week.