Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Testimony and witness of Ben Howard exactly as given at the funeral (07/07/2007)

Before I begin, I wish to address those members of the media who may be in the congregation. I thank you for the courtesy and respect which you have shown my family in the last week. After today, the Howard family will once again disappear into obscurity as we are of no consequence to the workings of the world. Please continue to share the message of “HOPE” that organ and blood donation can be to the lives of those in need. The words I will share today are of my personal testimony and are of a spiritual nature. I would ask that you treat them with reverence and respect. Thank you so much.

As my emotions may get the best of me and also that I might not be misquoted as to things doctrinal or spiritual, I have written this testimony which I will share today. In addition, I will use terms so that those not of my doctrinal background and beliefs will understand my message.


My dear brothers and sisters, and when is say my brothers and sisters, I am referring to all those who have poured out there hearts in mighty prayer and supplication before the Lord our God on behalf of my family. I acknowledge the prayers and fasting of my LDS Ward, Stake and other LDS members throughout the nation, of my sweet brothers and sisters of the Harvest Baptist Church in Hurst Texas, of the Seventh Day Adventists of Salt Lake City, the LDS missionaries of the Dominican Republic Santa Domingo Mission, of my wonderful Christian friends and neighbors, locally and throughout the united states and especially my own family.

I testify to you that the Lord has heard your prayers. I bear witness before God this day, that I have felt as real as the Sun on my face, the power and majesty of those prayers. Through your faith in Jesus Christ, you have called down a miracle from the throne of God and I stand before you today, a man filled with the spirit of strength and peace. I testify, that at the core of the refiner’s fire, there is peace and safety in the bosom of the Lord and that all who call on his name in faith, shall witness his glory.

This week I have witnessed miracle upon miracle both day and night. I have been astounded at the love the Lord has provided me. He has ministered to my soul by the Holy Spirit of truth and prophesy, and by the hands of you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

I express gratitude to my Father on High, for the gift of my eternal family, for my beautiful wife Janine and all four of my beloved children. I am grateful for the love we shared on this earth and the time we had to share it. I am especially grateful for the gift of Rachel & Caleb which he has seen fit to leave with me.

I was asked by a friend what to pray for regarding my son Caleb as he is still in critical condition at Primary Children’s Hospital. I say pray for a miracle. Join me and let us exercise our faith once again, that the Lord might show forth his power and glory in and through Caleb, for He truly has the power to heal him in full, nevertheless, and regardless of the outcome, doubt not the Lords will and wisdom in this matter.

I was asked the other day how I was going to cope with being single. I testify to you, that by the everlasting power of God I am not now and shall never be single, for I know that my family has been sealed up to God forever and that Jesus Christ, has provided the way, that we might be together through all eternity.

Those of you, if any, who may feel to judge the events which lead to our being here today, this is not right, and to do so will put you in opposition to the teachings and will of the Lord.

I pray that each of you, my brothers and sister of all faiths, will come to know the love and mercy of the Lord which I have come to know this week. As a servant of the Lord this is my prayer and to these things I bear solemn record in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Mary wife of Joseph, our Savior, Christ the Lord


Monday, July 9, 2007

Organ donation unites two hurting Utah families (Standard Examiner - July 9)

Organ donation unites two hurting Utah families

Huntsville father, Sandy mother find peace in meeting

By Di Lewis
Standard-Examiner staff

SALT LAKE CITY — For a man struggling to find meaning after tragedy and for a mother trying to reconcile joy with sadness, a chance meeting in a hospital cafeteria provided the comfort each needed.

Sandy resident Melissa Moss and her mother were getting breakfast June 30 at Primary Children’s Medical Center after getting an early phone call saying the hospital had a liver available for Moss’s 4-month-old son, Nathan Pearson.

Ben Howard, 40, and his sister, Nellene Howard, made their way to the cafeteria after saying goodbye to Ben’s daughter Esther Howard. Esther, 8, had been taken off life support that morning after injuries she received in a June 28 car accident that also killed her mother Janine, 39, and brother Matthew, 11.

As the families began talking, Moss told the Howards that a donor had just been found for her son.

“He just burst into tears, saying, ‘We just donated my daughter’s liver last night,’ ” Moss said.

While the two later found out that Esther Howard’s liver had not gone to Nathan, her donation did go to a California girl who would have received the liver Nathan got.

Moss said her son was born with a genetic problem that causes liver disease. He had already been in the hospital for more than a month, and doctors were concerned he would die if he did not receive a transplant soon.

If Esther’s liver had not made available the liver Nathan received, Moss said, she is not sure her son would have made it until another organ became available.

“That’s been a hard thing for us,” she said. “How do you hope he gets a liver when you know what has to happen? …You don’t want to wish that on anyone.”

Moss said meeting Howard and talking to him about his sacrifice has helped her to deal with the guilt and sadness she had knowing someone had to die so her son could live.

It is important to see the positive outcome of organ donation, Moss said.

“It’s hard to know on the giving end of it (organ donation) that there is a greater part,” Moss said, “but it helps people live and … can bring peace if you do happen to lose someone.”

Ben and Janine Howard made the decision to donate organs after a conversation following the movie “Return to Me,” said Ashley Stolworthy, family spokeswoman. That decision was reaffirmed by meeting Moss.

There is a reason she and Howard met, Moss said. It provided comfort to both of them in a time Moss called “an emotional roller coaster.”

Nathan began his nearly eight-hour surgery at 6 p.m. June 30. Moss said he is doing better than doctors expected. Howard visited her son after his surgery, and Moss said she plans to keep in touch with him.

One of the best things to come out of their meeting is the understanding that the loss of a loved one can be connected to saving other peoples’ lives, Moss said.

“We are deeply grateful to Ben and his family for the rest of our lives. I just think he’s an awesome man,” she said.

“That (our meeting) has helped bring peace to both sides.”

Standard Examiner Editorial (July 6)

We picked up the paper the other day and two stories popped out at us.

The first, by Standard-Examiner reporter Di Lewis, was about the aftermath of the tragic June 28 auto accident on U.S. 89 in Davis County. Three members of the Howard family — mother Janine, 39, and children Matthew, 11, and Esther, 8 — were killed when a truck driven by a distracted 25-year-old swerved into their lane and hit them head-on. Two other Howard children — Rachel, 13, and Caleb, 7 — remain hospitalized; Caleb, at this writing, is in intensive care.

Quinn Howard, brother of husband and father Ben Howard, made this remarkable statement about the driver whose truck killed and/or injured his sister-in-law and nieces and nephews: "There's no struggle (to forgive)," he said. "From what we understand, this individual wasn't under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He seems to be a good kid. It's just an accident. That's the way the whole family's looked at it, and there's zero animosity."

That capacity to forgive, we think, is truly amazing. It reminds us of other recent examples by those who would have every reason to be bitter and vengeful — the Amish family of five children killed in a school shooting in Pennsylvania last fall who turned their hearts toward the surviving family members of the killer; and Salt Lake City father Christopher Williams, who forgave and urged others to pray for the drunken teenage driver whose vehicle struck the Williams' automobile and killed his pregnant wife, Michelle, and two children, Ben and Anna.

The other news story we mentioned earlier, we think, also falls into the same general category of selfless devotion to principle: Jazz star Derek Fisher is walking away from a guaranteed $21 million over three years to make sure his 1-year-old daughter, Tatum, receives the best medical treatment available — with her mother and father present. Fisher's daughter suffers from retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer.

She is being treated in New York, and Fisher says it wouldn't be fair to his wife or his children — or himself — if he were to stay on Utah's roster.

"Right now, basketball is not a priority," Fisher explained at a Monday news conference. He will, of course, see if an East Coast team would like to hire him, but that's all up in the air. For now, as Standard-Examiner reporter Jim Burton wrote, the focus is the 44 months of monitoring and treatment Tatum Fisher needs to preserve her health.

We're sorry to see a man and a player like Fisher leave Utah, but wish him and his family nothing but the best as they do the right thing.

The same goes for the Howard family, as they grieve the shocking loss of their family members. We mourn with them, and thank them for showing the rest of us the way to behave when confronted with such terrible circumstances. Their act of forgiveness will not soon be forgotten.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Janine, Matthew and Esther Howard

Janine Adams Howard & Matthew Alma Howard & Esther Hope Howard

Huntsville, Utah Janine Adams Howard (39) and Mathew Alma Howard (11) returned to the presence of their Heavenly Father on June 28, 2007 following a motor vehicle accident in Layton, Utah. Esther Hope Howard (8) joined them on June 29, 2007.
Janine was born in Murray, Utah to David and Beverly Adams, December 1, 1967. She married Benjamin Snow Howard, September 28, 1991 in the Manti Temple. The couple moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1994 where Janine raised and home-schooled her four children. The family returned to Huntsville, UT in 2006. They are members of the Middleton LDS Ward. Janine was dedicated to her calling in life as a mother. She enjoyed taking her children to the library, museums and community activities. She loved to sing, sew, cook and was a talented seamstress.
Matthew Alma Howard was born May 16, 1996 in Fort Worth, Texas, on his father's birthday. He loved soccer and video games. Matthew was a loving boy who was a friend to everyone. He was quiet, contemplative and had a spiritual depth that was astounding.
Esther Hope Howard was born July 9, 1998 in Fort Worth, Texas. Esther was often called, "baby bear" by her mother and father. Her sweet smile and bubbly personality were infectious. She saw the best in everyone.
They are survived by their husband and father, Benjamin Snow Howard, daughter and sister, Rachel Faith Howard (13) and brother and son, Caleb Abinadi Howard (7). Janine is survived by her father, David (Karen) Adams, brothers, Tony Thompson, Mike (Connie) Adams, Dan (Janette) Adams, Judd (B.J.) Adams, sister, Michelle (Mark) Covington.
A combined funeral for Janine, Matthew and Esther Howard will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, 2007 at the Middleton Ward Chapel in Huntsville, UT, 277 South 7400 East, where the family will greet friends from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon prior to the services. The interment will be at the Huntsville Cemetery. Funeral arrangements under the directions of Myers Mortuary in Roy, Utah.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Howard Family Relief Fund: Washington Mutual Credit Union. Account #3163059211 Routing# 325070760. Send condolences to family at

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Funeral Service Attendance

If you are planning on attending the service, please RSVP via a comment to this post. We would like a rough head count to have an idea of how many people to expect. Funeral Service date, location, and schedule are posted to the left.

Standard Examiner article (July 3) Howard family- There is no struggle to forgive

Howard family- There is no struggle to forgive

By Di Lewis


HUNTSVILLE — Friends, church members and residents have rallied around the Howard family as they mourn the loss of three family members.
Despite having been in the area for only a year, the Howards have been touched by the response they've received following the death of Janine Howard, 39, and two of her children, Mathew, 11, and Esther, 8.
The response from the community in Huntsville has been amazing, said Ashley Stolworthy, family spokeswoman.
Janine Howard and Mathew were killed June 28 in a car accident on U.S. Highway 89 while on their way to visit family. Esther died the next day from injuries received in the crash.
A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Middleton Ward Chapel in Huntsville at 277 South 7400 East in Huntsville.
An informal gathering also is planned for Friday. However, the time and location as yet are not finalized.
Quinn Howard, brother to Ben Howard, 40, the father of the family, said his sister-in-law, niece and nephew were happy people and part of a loving family.
"Esther is just the cutest little girl. We sometimes called her Baby Bear," Quinn Howard said. "She was full of hugs and smiles. She just had no comprehension of bad in the world — she thought everything was good."
In a statement June 29, read by Ben's sister, Nellene Howard, the family announced Esther had died but was being kept on life support to "give the gift of life" through organ donation. She was taken off life support on June 30. The family has no ill will toward the 25-year-old Ogden man driving the truck that hit Janine Howard's car.
"There's no struggle (to forgive)," Quinn Howard said. "From what we understand, this individual wasn't under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He seems to be a good kid. It's just an accident. That's the way the whole family's looked at it, and there's zero animosity."
Spending time together was a priority for the family, Quinn Howard said. Janine and Ben Howard enjoyed family vacations and would also plan such activities as camping trips to have individual time with each child.
Trying to deal with the loss of his wife and two children is a "day-to-day struggle" for Ben Howard, his brother said.
"Sometimes it's great and he has good perspective and other times, the reality of what's ahead and the challenges facing him overwhelm him," Quinn Howard said.
Janine Howard homeschooled her children for the first few years of school "to bring them up the way she wanted to," Quinn Howard said. She loved crafts and was a talented seamstress, he said. She and Ben Howard were married for about 15 years.
Mathew Howard was getting involved in soccer and was "growing up fast," Quinn Howard said.
Rachel Howard, 13, is in fair condition at Primary Children's Hospital and Sunday took her first steps after the accident.
Caleb Howard, 7, remains in intensive care in critical condition at Primary Children's Hospital. Rachel Howard's LDS Church Young Women's group visited her in the hospital Sunday. Also on Sunday, about 50 members of the church showed up at the Howards' home to help around the house. They also tied ribbons to the trees at their home.
"Ben was really touched," Stolworthy said. "That meant a lot to him."
Ben Howard is self-employed and the family is not covered by medical insurance. Those who want to make a donation to help with medical costs can donate to the Howard Family Relief Fund by contacting Washington Mutual Bank.
For updates on the family, visit

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thank You

The family wanted to thank those who have offered their sincere thoughts and words of comfort. They are truly grateful.