President Monson Sends Condolences to Texas Shooting Survivor at Family Funeral

President Monson Sends Condolences to Texas Shooting Survivor at Family Funeral

The Stay family funeral was a celebration of love, life, and family as Church leaders, loved ones, and friends spoke on the importance of faith and eternal families.

President Monson Sends Condolences to Texas Shooting Survivor at Family Funeral

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In a day when miracles are often scoffed, there is a girl that is a living example that miracles – along with angels – do indeed exist.

With policeman at every door, hallway, and entrance of the Houston LDS church, and large media trucks parked strategically across the street, it was a surreal scene as mourners, supporters, and family members entered to attend the funeral for the six victims of the recent Texas shooting massacre.

Upon entering, eyes were immediately drawn to six glossy white caskets lining the front of the chapel, beautiful floral sprays draping the tops.

It was hard to know how to make sense of the circumstances of the last five days when a family was murdered, with 15-year-old Cassidy Stay as the sole survivor.

Services were held Wednesday for Stephen and Katie Stay and Cassidy’s four siblings: Bryan, 13, Emily, 9, Rebecca, 7, and Zach, 4. On the stand behind the caskets were large black and white individual photos of each family member. In the center – just as they were in life – was a photo of husband and wife – and best friends – Stephen and Katie, smiling. Happy.

An overflow crowd that filled the entire chapel and gym (as well as other local buildings via live feed) listened as life sketches, eulogies, and family members all echoed the same theme of forever families and an overwhelming gratitude for the gospel.

In attendance were first responders, several prominent members of both the Houston and LDS community including Congressman Ted Poe, Constable Ron Hickman, and Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

“Katie will be forever our Mary Poppins,” Randy Cousins, Katie’s uncle said. “She was practically perfect in every way. ”He spoke of how Katie loved holidays and throwing parties – especially during Halloween – and never, ever forgot birthdays.

“She celebrated life,” he said.

Speakers painted mental pictures of Bryan as a boy who loved to give hugs, running at his victim full speed ahead and throwing his arms around the person; Emily’s constant singing; Becca’s (always) dirty glasses and fly away hair; and super blonde Zach who loved his fish whom he named Goldie, Blackie, and Spottie.

Bishop Scott McBride spoke of how in the Church we are a family and are involved in each other’s lives.

“Our faith is firm,” he said. “The love of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father is eternal.”

McBride fondly spoke of Emily. “It was like a little bit of heaven shining through Emily.”

He continued, “People have been asking me what they can do. What can we do? We can open our hearts and eyes to see heaven. We can know we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. We can know that we are not alone. We can be more patient. We can be more forgiving. Be ministering angels here on earth. We can be the windows of heaven as we serve each other. As we do so, we will feel the eternal love of our Savior…

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