I did not want to die; I knew God loved me. I was not in a depression; I was supported by family and friends and was not seeking attention. I was under an overwhelming attack of darkness greater than any worldly power I know. It was ineffably, eternally painful to my spirit, mind, and body. I HAD to get relief and would have jumped into a raging fire to end it.
In this world, bad things happen to us against our will, and at times they are, in fact, more than we can bear. Christ knows this most of all.
My suicide attempt was not an escape from my earthly mission, and I paid a terrible price for going through with it. I did receive comfort and healing in Heaven but I knew my eternal healing and role were for this earth. So much so that I chose to come back into a broken and diminished body to fulfill it.
On September 30th, 2020, I wrote in my journal, “today was one of the hardest days of my life. Back in St. George, (from Virginia), mom and I decided to do a ketamine treatment with Dr. Allen. Toward the end of it, I saw and felt Teddy Bear (my favorite dog who was killed by a car years ago), and I could hear someone crying loudly. The women who worked there surrounded me to wake me up, and it was I who was screaming. A deep well of emotion and pain was opened up about Teddy Bear, and then for the rest of the day, I was suicidal…”
The next day, October 1st, I wrote “Today I’m in RECOVERY! Getting back in the groove with my two Institute classes, had a bit of a tough time in therapy, but that’s okay because I bounced back with writing two revelations and a long talk with JJ. The best part of today was watching the new Pride and Prejudice with my mom and jokingly accosting each other saying ‘Mrs. Darcy…Mrs. Darcy!’”
The next day, October 2nd, I wrote, “Today was hard—but not as hard as two days ago. A big step for me today was the realization through the spirit that my gifts of verbal communication are improving—something I wasn’t even focusing on. Just fewer awkward silences and more genuine interest in the persons I talk to.”
On October 3rd I wrote, “Today I cried out for help during my bike ride and received a blessing. Christ came through and told me about this suffering—that the end is in sight —that every step of healing I take is permanent, and that there are messages in General Conference just for me—and there were.”
On October 4th I wrote, “yesterday the greatest miracle happened after I wrote, and I just need to recount it here. JJ told me the talk from Elder Holland’s son was the message God was referring to in my blessing. I re-watched it in a moment of dire need and an Angel held my hand.”
On October 5th I wrote, “Today, despite not sleeping well last night, I saw so many tender mercies of the Lord. I finally had that talk with Nancy that was healing. Amber came over—The Lord had promised me in a blessing I’d have a connection with a friend. I can’t believe what she’s going through.”
And then on October 6th, 2020, I literally felt like my spirit was burning to death. It’s a peculiar feeling…being driven to death—when, for once, you have finally processed all the trauma and healed your mental state, you have found your footing in this life, and you truly want to live.
I wanted to continue being a missionary. And somehow, I still believed in all the amazing promises I had received.
JJ had to give me four blessings that day. In them, Father clearly came through and answered the unspoken questions in my heart. He said things like, “Nicole, you are now called to a greater work,” “You have won the battle,” and, “this is a sacred moment in your life.” And also, “as you pass through this period, you will enter a period of peace, where you will be able to hear My own words. Your life has been very difficult, and very beautiful. It has been a life of victories…and in some ways it is just beginning. Nothing has changed or will change your path,” and, “this is where you go from Nicole the Grey to Nicole the White.”
That last line wasn’t what inspired me to jump from Webb Hill, (I didn’t make the connection until JJ was reviewing my blessings months later). I had been thinking about Web Hill for a full 24 hours before that blessing. I can’t count the number of times I’d tried to exit this life through pills, and it had never worked permanently. And there had to be an end—a permanent end—to this spiritual burning to death feeling.
So, JJ had been up all night—the night of October 6th to October 7th—on the phone with me. Besides praying with me, he had been reading to me out of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. Anything to distract me from the tidal waves of darkness attacking me.
I can’t describe the darkness of that night. And even when dawn came, all color seemed to be muted—like I’d become colorblind to everything good in the world. All my hopes had been abandoned, save one: that JJ’s blessings were from God—and that His promises were sure.
I literally had no idea how that could be, I reflected, when I found myself writing my Suicide note on my computer for Mom to find.
I remember the awful feeling of saying my silent goodbyes. Of not being able to meet my mom’s eyes when she asked me where I was going; “A bike ride,” I said. Am I feeling better? “Yes,” I said.
I took my bike and rode the mile or so to the houses which surround the bottom of Webb Hill. I parked it, then started my “Via Dolorosa”.
I’m sorry for how dramatic this all sounds…but in a thousand years I still don’t think I’ll be able to describe the agony of every step I took up that hill. I remember thinking, over and over again, “God loves me, His promises are sure…God loves me, His promises are sure…”
I also remembered that I had written all of my important spiritual experiences down—I had finished all I needed to write just a day or so before this intense spiritual attack happened. I hoped that somehow Mom, or JJ, would be able to eventually have the strength to publish them after I was gone.
I reached the summit all too soon. I gazed at the temple one last time, then turned my back on it, and sat down on a rock.
I was shaking. I got up and peered over the edge—all the while thinking, “no one—no one—could bounce back from this. Not even me.” As I stood there looking at the ground far below, it started to have a sort of funhouse mirror effect. It looked like it was 500 feet down and then, the next second, it would distort and look to be about ten feet down—even though I knew it had to be at least 100 feet to the bottom.
Brother Kimball, I want you should get up and pray for me that I may be delivered from the evil spirits that are tormenting me to such a degree that I feel I cannot live long, unless I obtain relief.Elder Isaac Russell to Heber C. Kimball, 1839
I could feel the Satanic whatever-it-was inside of me, burning me from the inside out. I imagined Lucifer’s handsome face distorted and gruesome, laughing at me. But I also knew with my spiritual knowing that angels were up on that hill with me, too. But they weren’t touching me, and they were silent.
I sat back down on the rock. Just dying, and refusing to die, in the same horrible, sacred moment.
Then, I heard a car far away, approaching the towers on top of the hill—someone was coming. I stood up.
I looked to my left and saw my parents running towards me. They were yelling at me, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying because my ears were full of a sound like drums—I turned and thought, I love you, goodbye…and I took the biggest leap of faith I’d ever taken in my life.
I remember my heart leaping into my throat and clenching my teeth and shutting my eyes hard on the way down—which took only a second—but also, strangely, there was this sense of detachment from my body and I went up at the same time, as well…
Then I realized I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. All the fear, all the anxiety, the despair—it was all just…gone.
My eyes were still shut, and I thought, dare I open them? Do I still have eyes? But I must have…because I still have my body…or something very near to it.
I felt that I was laying on my back, there was grass underneath my fingers, and light coming through my eyelids. I opened them.
There was a willow tree waving its long tendrils above my face. Further beyond those perfectly formed leaves I could see blue sky, and I could also hear birds singing.
I sat up. I was in a little green picturesque valley, with spongy grass, and the most beautiful brook babbling on its merry way behind me. Everything glistened and shone with internal light.
I looked down at my body, the stunningly beautiful white dress I had on, I examined my hands, I felt my hair—everything was perfectly formed and I just felt so…so…healthy!
Suddenly, while lost in gazing in wonder at my perfect Galadriel-like fingernails and hands, a veritable blur of curly red fur came barreling out of the grove of trees along the river to my right, and I was tackled—yes, tackled, to the ground, by a shouting little ball of pure goodness and paws and a wet nose and brown eyes full of excitement:
“MOMMY, MOMMY! YOU DID IT! YOU ARE HERE! Oh, oh, oh! Oh my! Oh my goodness!!! Oh mommy! You did it! You did it!”
It was my beloved second dog and Labradoodle, Teddy Bear. I started to recover from my shock as he wriggled in my arms, then escaped, zoomed around me in circles with his tongue out, bounced his front paws on my legs, my chest—I looked down reflexively to see if he had left grass stains on my beautiful shimmering white dress (he hadn’t)—and he then proceeded to zoom and shout in antics that were nothing short of hilarious.
Then, out of the grove came Annie, my beloved and faithful Golden Retriever. She was very distinguished as she sat down right beside me and leaned her head into my neck. I wrapped both of my arms around her. She didn’t say anything. She just loved me—but I got the feeling that she was telling Teddy Bear to calm down on the side.
“I won’t calm down! I won’t! I won’t! This is the best day of my life!” yelled Teddy.
Then I heard the most beautiful and deep voice that both shook and soothed me to my core, call out, “Annie, Teddy, where did you run off to?”
In my entire existence, I will never forget what happened next. I drank in the sight of Him both slowly and all at once. Jesus Christ emerged from between the softly blowing willows. He is indescribable.
I don’t remember how I got to be in His arms, collapsed and weak, sobbing—but I do remember crying into his warm collarbone, his chin on my head, his strong and capable arms around me. He cried with me. He just held me, without any judgement, checklists, or places to be other than with me. I was His, and He was mine, and that was the sweetest knowledge I had ever tasted.
After we were all cried out, He tilted my chin up so I would meet His eyes, and they were the same blue eyes I had seen the entire universe in when He had teased me in a dream back on earth.
But they weren’t teasing now. They were full of empathy. Then He spoke. “Nicole,”
I can’t remember the rest of what He said…but I do remember that His words were more than exactly what I needed to hear. They were so soothing that all of my previous heartaches were healed in that instant.
We stared into each other’s eyes with mutual adoration. He loved me. He actually loved me.
Afterwards, I’d reflect that the parade, riding Modoc the elephant and seeing the beauty of the white city with confetti floating in the air couldn’t compare to the grandeur, the beauty, and the wonder of, again, staring into Jesus Christ’s infinite eyes.