My precious aunt, and all of our beloved sister, Darla Faye Larsen Hanks Isackson, passed through the veil this morning on her way to a glorious reunion with other loved ones gone on before.Like her mother and brother before her, she was given the immeasurable blessing of advance notice of which she spoke: "I’ve been given the gift of advance notice, of time to tie up loose ends, to prepare and help others prepare in mind and heart. What a precious amazing gift." She and we were able to share in that blessing as we expressed our love for her and she shared her faith in the love of God with us.Last week, she texted me and invited me to come and take the gems of family history she had been gathering. I had no idea that would be my last visit with her, but I will never forget her holy kiss, her saintly smiles through the pain and suffering I knew were there but not from her, and the care she took to give me (and let go of) the treasures of the memories of her life.And what a life she lived. Ten years my senior, I've always idolized her. The way she laughed when we played Flinch or badminton taught me of joy in simple things.When she won the title of Idaho Jr. Miss, I was sure she must be the most beautiful woman in the world, right up there with my mother.Every time I heard her playing the piano so effortlessly, and when she played the leading role in the play at Bonneville High in Ammon, I was sure I had the most talented aunt ever.I still remember her mission farewell and singing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" and deciding that if Darla was going on a mission, then I was going on one too.I have clear memories of so much - but I can never forget those times when she was there for me when I needed someone most - especially how she took me and my children in that first Christmas alone with them. To this day, my children tell me that was their favorite Christmas ever. How could it be otherwise? Darla treated them like they were the most important souls on earth and they were each the most precious of her loved ones. And so they were that Christmas. How could anyone in Darla's presence have any doubt of their importance to her?And now the tears come, because I've let myself think of my own loss instead of the blessings of all the love that Darla has found today, and her reunion with her beloved son Brian, and my son Michael and daughter Ashley, and Grandma and Grandpa, and so many others.Darla is a bright light and a glorious soul - and I'm both thrilled to know she is free and blessed but grieving to know that my spiritual examplar - the most Christlike person I've ever known so well - is gone from my life.At least the Lord let us share our thoughts and feelings with her before she passed - painfully soon for us and mercifully soon for her. For that I am grateful to the Lord whose grace and love she lived by.
Your articles through the years have had such an impact on my life! You are such an insightful person. I’ve quoted you in Relief Society and Sunday School lessons and when I’ve spoken in church. Your gift of putting words together is so inspired, how you will be missed! I can’t wait to meet you someday. God bless you for your willingness to share your journey with all of us through these many years.
Dear Darla bless you my friend , I am so sorry for what you are going through! I know the Lord loves you as so many do ! You have touched many lives for the good. I'm adding my prayers and faith for healing and comfort! I so enjoyed meeting you, and appreciate the article you did after we met in Charlotte and it has been an instrument in sharing light and love ! May the Lord continue to hold you in His loving arms, love,Kathryn Adams
I am at a loss for words. Dave and I have found memories of our time in Spain with you. I have always enjoyed your many articles and taken strength from your Faith. May Heavenly Father and His Son continue to comfort and bless. Much Love from us both.
I can only echo all the beautiful words penned to you. You have inspired me and touched me greatly. Truly you are accomplishing your mission! May you continue seeing tender mercies and feel the peace you need. much love
How to say ‘thank you’ for all that your articles have meant to me over the years… Darla, you have served as a much-appreciated spiritual mentor as I wend my way through the twists and turns of my own mortal journey. Though Heavenly Father has not yet delivered me from my physical and psychological trials, His spiritual strengthening is enabling me to bear them and learn from them. Your Christ/Atonement/gospel-centered insight, borne from your own personal struggles, has always resonated with me and has served as an invaluable tool in the divine arsenal that has been prepared for my spiritual support. I hope that in the life beyond this life I will have the privilege of thanking you in person for illuminating my path with the Savior’s light. As you finish your mortal assignment, may you be bolstered by a keen and constant awareness of His and His Father’s abiding love for you.
my sweet Darla, I think I was about 3 years old when you first knocked on our door. And you became an important part of our family, and than into my own family. The times we spent talking, and just knowing you were there, it filled my heart. You have been my greatest example, my mentor, and sometimes my second mom, and I love you so deeply. But once again your love for the Lord, your testimony, and the peace you share from your heart, and the grace that is you.I will continue to pray for the peace you feel, and the love you feel by the comfort of Heavenly Fathers hands. And always for Doug and your family
Your beautifully expressed a article is so helpful to me as I proceed on the same journey. Thank you for putting your thoughts into words to help others. I am having chemo injections now and wonder if I will lose my hair. You look adorable in the bright pink hat in your photo. I would appreciate it very much if you would tell me where you bought it so that I might purchase one like it. Thank you and God bless you and your husband and family.
Darla, I am just one of the many who have been lifted, encouraged, and blessed by your gift to share what is in your heart through your many inspired articles here in Meridian Magazine. Thank you for sharing so openly, and taking us on this journey with you. It is an invitation for each of us to reflect deeply and to consider the growth needed in our own lives. Thank you for all you continue to teach me.
Dearest Darla, Sending you love and prayers for peace and joy in this part of your earthly journey. We have enjoyed working with you so very much and you are in our prayers. We love your vision and your faith.
Thank you for all you have shared with us over the years. We pray that every day of your life will be the very best.
Last Saturday, mysterious symptoms I was experiencing were finally diagnosed as cancer in my liver, which is also not operable. I am still in hospital going through test after test. My heart is broken for my wife and the fact that my plan that I would ever by at her side and we would grow much older together, will no longer occur as I’d hoped. I feel I have launched my children on a journey that will be painful for them. I wish I could take this cup from them, yet I cannot - we are so very close as a family. Your words were a great comfort to me and my wife. Our experiences of support from the holy ghost and family members are very similar. Thank you so much for sharing.
I have enjoyed your many pearls of wisdom over the years. Know that you have blessed the lives of many directly, and those who have been the recipients of uplifting behavior of those who were changed.In other words, you are a big rock in the pond with ripples that have spread outward in ways that cannot be measured. And there are blessings in store for you in this life and in the life to come!Be well, and may you have the strength and humility to rely on the Lord in the coming days.
Darla -- i am cheering with/for you. I am in year #6 of the pancreatic cancer adventure.
So sorry to hear of this part of your journey. I have so enjoyed your writings over the years and want to thank you for your testimony and for strengthening mine. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.
Dear Darla, your words have touched me more than I can express. Although I didn't get to have a lot of contact with you, you influenced my life for such good and I've often wondered how you were doing. I know that you have courageously faced physical challenges for many years with great faith. Thank you for your sharing from your heart. I've face physical challenges for many years as well. This has filled me with such hope and peace. You are such a light and I'm sure have influenced far more than you know. My prayers are with you as you are going through this tender time of preparation to return home.
Darla, I have been so inspired by your writing, and this article rings very true for me. I had a similar experience while waiting for brain surgery on a tumor. I had no guarantees that I would live through it, or that I would be the same afterward. I experienced the peace that you describe, and wanted to be sure that my last words to everyone were words of love. As it turned out, it wasn't my time (yet), but we all have that day coming. We've spent our lives preparing to return to God. I like what you said about not fighting cancer. We seem to treat death as if it were some kind of defeat instead of an inevitable return to our heavenly home. I hope that we will still be blessed by your insights in the future, but if not, please know that your writings have been an incredible blessing.
Dear Darla, thank you very much for your powerful testimony of most precious tender and loving mercies of the Lord which you have experienced during the recent days amidst very challenging experiences. You surely have been gifted with very vauable insights and the wonderful strength to let them govern this special phase of your life. I pray you, and your kind husband, will continue to feel the perfect strength of our Father's divine arm until returning into his presence, whenever this will be according to his reliable wisdom. I feel very blessed by knowing you!
P.S.: Thank you for the beautiful pictures!
Beautiful and tender, Darla! Thanks for taking some of your precious time to share these tender teachings with us. Our prayers are with you! Thanks for the example of bowing to, "Thy will be done." You are surely in God's arms.
I try to read whatever you share. You have unique insights that are so helpful. Love.
Very tender. Thank you for sharing very personal thoughts.
My late husband's boss told us Cancer was the 'Gracious Disease' because it gives us time to spend with family, sort through things and more. You have set an incredible example of handling this curveball in a most gracious way. We love and appreciate your honesty, your example and your faith. Thank you for sharing it all with us! Keep the Faith, the Best is yet to come!
Three months ago , I suffered a stroke and I just have not been able to voice my thoughts and emotions, UNTIL NOW, through you, Darla. THANK YOU FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL, POSITIVE THOUGHTS!
I WILL TRY HARDER! I WILL GO FORWARD!
THANK YOU AND BLESS YOU FOR TEACHING ME/US!
Darla, I add my sentiments to the others who have commented. I have printed your messages many times & they will continue to inspire me when I need your wise & consoling words. Thank you for sharing this chapter of your life & all the blessings you're receiving through these tremendous challenges. I will keep this message, too, & share it with others because I know that your faith will continue to inspire all of us as we all go through life's difficulties, hopefully with the same wisdom & grace that shines through you. My prayers are lovingly with you all the way.
To our dear Darla, We are so sad to read this news about your declining health. We want you to be here on earth longer! Much longer. But we know Who is in charge and we trust Him to take good care of you along this journey. We love you and we love your talents. Your writing is superior and always touches our souls. You have blessed the lives of so many through your books and articles. You have certainly blessed ours. You are in our prayers, dear friend. We love you! Joy and Gary
Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us as you go through this journey.
Your grace and dignity are to be admired. You remind me of others who have said, Well, why not me?
You are truly one of the great and noble ones.
We love you.
Russ and Daria Evans
Thank you for writing and sharing your spritual experience with us readers for so many years. I was thrilled when I heard Elder Holland quote you in October 2017 because your insights have been helpful to me and I'm sure to so many others. Thank you for continuing to share when life is hard. You are a beautiful soul!
Darla, there are no words to express my thanks. You have inspired me in the past with your articles, but to have all my own beliefs confirmed is going to help me when it is my turn. I feel that time is coming soon. My daughter beat a very aggressive cancer earlier this year. Your attitude is like hers, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to make her leave her church and come back to the truth. But knowing the absolute truth of your words is so comforting. God's timing is not our timing and His ways are not ours. But, oh, the love, it overshadows everything Thank you and be kind to yourself because it's working.
Darla, my husband and I have been lifted and inspired by your beautiful messages through the years. Your faith and testimony are an inspiration and a light to many people. Thank you for your openness in sharing this phase of your journey here on Earth. We pray for you and your family, that you may have continued peace and love.
I. Was diagnosed with the exact same cancer in early March...colon to liver. I have been taking chemo . Your message hit me right where it was needed I have been struggling to find the peace you speak of. And that is His will not mine be done. Thank you for sharing your story.
You have been an amazing teacher and testifier of important things over the years. Your articles and books have helped our family and others we have shared with on numerous occasions. Your faith and willingness to share your experiences and insights learned, have been a blessing to us and no doubt countless others. Our thoughts and prayers and gratitude are with you always. Thank you! We know Father will bless you in the days ahead.
Beautiful article with lovely thoughts! You have shared so much of yourself with us, your readers, all these years. May the Lord continue to bless you daily and hourly.
Thank you so very much for sharing. God bless.
This is precious. Thank you ,dear sister , for joyfully sharing your own lessons of what is real and good and eternal.
Darla, I've been inspired many times by your honest and insightful articles here over the years. May God bless you with comfort through the end (and then beginning) of your journey—and the reunion with your son.
Words cannot express my gratitude Darla, for you sharing your experience. Having received a diagnosis recently of thyroid cancer, and awaiting the time when I undergo radiation treatment; your testimony and encouraging message was exactly what I needed to hear in a time when my heart was filled with doubts and fears. It was but another tender mercy from the Lord to let me know He was very much aware of what was going on in my life. Thank you again for sharing. You'll be in my prayers.
Thank you so much for sharing Darla! I can see why you consider it a blessing to have advance notice. It is a gift to us to see into the mind, that could be our own, of someone who knows the end of the mortality phase of life is just ahead. To take time to write your thoughts and feelings to us is so appreciated. We all know we will die someday, but usually ignore that reality, as if we can, by the ignoring, evaporate the truth. The sweet blessings you are experiencing, amidst the weakness, fatigue and pain, are an inspiration for what is possible whenever we submit our will to God. May your transition be just that much more peaceful, and the reunion on the other side that awaits you just that much more delightful because of the preparations you are making now. Thank you for your years of writing and sharing your journey with us to help make our journey more meaningful!
Darla, I have been learning from your journey in this life as you have recorded it on Meridian magazine all these years. Thank you for sharing this part also. You are a strong valiant daughter of God. I will keep you in my prayers.
Darla, I have read your articles from various sources since the 1980s and they have always given me hope and courage to go on. You have been one of my special angels! I’m so sorry to hear this news, but I want you to know I love you and I will be praying for you! Maybe we’ll meet somewhere, sometime in a future day. Thank you for being you and sharing your wisdom. My heart to yours!
I have been a fan of yours since you were a writer for the little women's magazine many years ago.
I feel God's grace and love from Him to you and then to me.
Loved this article (as I have many in the past) and you. Thanks for the courage to share this experience and testimony with us.
I feel God's grace and love from him to you and then to me.
No words can express how your words touched my heart. The expressed Faith you have says it all...I thank you!
I pray for continued growth and happiness in your cancer journey.
Thank you Darla for this tender and thoughtful expression of your journey, not just this episode but countless others that you have freely shared. You cannot know how many hearts have been lifted and burdens made lighter by your writings along with your precious sister Arlene. Thank you for teaching through example serenity and joyful submission because of your trust in and personal knowledge of our Redeemer. With gratitude and love, LaDawn Jacob
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts! What a frustrating experience to go all those months and not have any answers and then finally to get an answer with no treatment to provide the healing one would understandably desire. I felt peace as you asked how much time would be enough for you to say goodbye and likewise, how much time would be enough for your family to feel that they had enough time to let you go? It is a powerful reminder to make the most of each moment we have. Your tender expressions of love and gratitude touched my soul deeply. I was brought to tears as you described the Spirit bathing you and your husband and enabling you to communicate heart to heart on a level you rarely had achieved before. That was so so beautiful! We all long for such a gift and it is truly a journey of learning to communicate in that way, and it takes lots of practice. However, it is truly a gift from the Lord through the Spirit to have our eyes and hearts opened to have true understanding. Through the years, I have loved reading your experiences and the things you have learned in your relationships. Thank you for sharing that your prayers for healing have been answered! Thank you for being vulnerable and giving us hope that we may also be blessed with the Spirit to enable us to receive the gifts of unity in our communication and healing in our relationships, according to the Lord’s timing. Thank you for sharing the gifts you are receiving at such a difficult time. Thank you for all the things you have shared with us through the years to help us turn to the Lord in our journeys, especially during the hard times when we long for His comfort and peace that passeth all understanding. I, too, love it when my critic is silenced and I can envision and feel that I am a little lamb being tenderly held and encircled in the arms of my Savior's love. My prayers are with you and your family.
This was such a sweet read. Thank you for sharing!
I do not have adequate words, so with much love I will say thank you and may God bless you.
Darla,Your insight and spirituality has blessed me over the years. I'd read an article that touched me to my soul and time after time I'd look at the top and find your name there!I'm grateful you shared in this article how you are partnering with the Lord on this part of your journey. I've learned myself that submitting to God and letting him in while accepting the finality of a loved one's life can be one of the sweetest and most beautiful experiences we can have. I am touched to see you living this and sharing the beauties of it with us.God be with you and thank you.
Darla has always been on my "must read" list when it comes to Meridian articles! She always has such a beautiful way of putting this mortal journey into proper perspective.
I have had many friends that have passed on because of cancer. I am grateful for Darla’s comments. I felt her Spirit and it is the spirit that is needed at this time. I have always loved her stories and comments in the Meridian Magazine. I will miss her. Her article was comforting and healing to all those who read it. Thank you Darla. I know the Lord will continue to bless you and your husband.
Oh Darla, Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with me today. I have great love and respect for you and the beautiful desires of your heart. God bless you my sweet friend.
Oh Darla, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I met you at a homeschool conference years and years ago. We chatted and had a heart to heart talk. I've loved you ever since. I thrive on your wisdom. I'm a better person because of you. Thank you for everything you've given me and to the world. My prayers are with you as you complete your journey here. I know how blessed and sacred that time is. Bless you dear sister!
Please Darla, take the time to write or dictate letters to your loved ones. And audios of your voice- even reading a patriarchal blessing are wonderful for those who grieve or never knew you this side of veil. We have some of those things as we had time also. Such precious gems!!
Thank you for sharing these precious thoughts with us. They are just what I needed You are wonderful!
I have read many of your articles. They are wonderful. Thank you for sharing these thoughts about your journey. I wish you the power of God, his perfect grace, and the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace to you forever.
Thank you Sister Isaacson . We add our prayers to your and your families. Thank you for years of wisdom.
Thank you for sharing your insights and thoughts on your experiences right now. I appreciate your words and I’m so glad you are feeling love and peace at the moment. I pray that these feelings will continue and sustain you in the journey ahead. Much love.
Thank you for sharing your encouraging insights and the sweet lessons you're learning. This morning I studied President Nelson's April 2012 talk where he states, "To return to God through the gateway we call death is a joy for those who love Him and are prepared to meet Him." I wish you continued joy.
Darla we have learned so much from you through our visits at Kitchen Kneads and through your articles. Thank you for your thoughts on what is important in this life. They express our thoughts completely. Thank you for being our good friend. Love Joe and Kathie Crane
Enjoyed this article very much. May God continue to bless your journey. You have given me a more comforting way to look at death. Thank you.
Poignantly insightful. Thank you for reminding us how to live EVERY day of our lives, even withOUT a knowing 'end' in place....
A beautiful article about the important things in life.
You have long been one of my favorite Meridian writers and I was SO sorry to read of your struggle. However, as usual, your faith and ability to spiritually cut to the chase, have lifted my spirit. I am grateful for your example and will pray for your journey and comfort.
Bless you and your family,
Thank you for your articles and insights. Thank you for sharing your feelings and testimony. My husband and I traveled this same journey a few months ago. It is a cherished, sacred time. You will be in my prayers.
I have enjoyed reading your stories and articles for these many years. I appreciate your insight into your struggles at this time in your life. I appreciate the fact that you do not blame God, and understand that you have done your best job taking care of your body and soul. C'est la vie, as they say in France where I am serving a senior couple mission and know very little French! May Heavenly Father and the atonement ofJesus Christ continue to sustain you and your husband and family.
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