Irene Mora loved her family, her students and her church. A devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), her community filled the chapel to overflowing at her funeral. It was a love-fest that left those who attended commenting that it was one of the nicest services they’d ever witnessed.
The eulogy by Mateo Martinez noted that Irene was a special person from a young age with a strong faith. She was a living example for others to follow who believed in and looked for the best in people. She was an avid reader with a large library of books. She loved making scrapbooks and crafts. She loved movie nights at home with her daughter Kayla and nieces and nephews.
When she was diagnosed with Stage Four colon cancer, she decided to fight it with a year of weekly treks to Arizona for treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Irene put together a list of pros and cons about her cancer experience. Remarkably, the pros outnumbered the cons, with the pure love of Christ leading the list of positives. Throughout her trials, Irene never wavered in her faith.
“She didn’t lose the battle, she won her battle with cancer,” said Martinez. “She’s now in heaven, no longer in pain, with a new body and walking with Jesus.”
There were prayers and hymns (“I am a Child of God” “How Firm a Foundation” and “How Great Thou Art”), songs sung live and on recordings. “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson, about a woman who died young, spoke what was in many hearts and started tears flowing with its refrain:
She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she’s smiling saying
Don’t worry ’bout me
Patriarch Larry Luna spoke about the Heavenly Father’s purpose – to bring all to eternal life. In pre-existence, we are with God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. We come to this life to learn and progress. We gain a physical body for experiences to learn and grow and live by faith, to become more like the Heavenly Father.
Understanding the Gospel can help us and give us strength and know that we are not alone. We are given gifts to help navigate our lives. We are given the freedom to choose how we life our lives. The Scriptures help tell us what to do to move toward the good. God allows us to experience the consequences of our choices. Choosing good leads to happiness, virtue, righteousness.
Death is an essential part of the heavenly plan. The spirit leaves the body and goes to the presence of the Heavenly Father. To gain eternal life we must leave this body of flesh and bones. “Irene is with her loved ones on the other side of the veil. We must be happy for her, she’s no longer in pain with a new body,” said Luna.
He concluded saying, “Prepare for eternal spiritual rebirth today. We live to die and we die to live.”
Tammy Luna sang a collection of songs Irene would teach the children in the LDS primary school. Brother-in-law Rick Courville read a collection of memories about Irene written by her daughter, brother, nieces and nephews.
Stake President Brian Cordray wrapped up with a moving story about giving Irene a temple recommend. The 140 LDS Temples around the world are considered the place where heaven and earth meet. Only LDS members with a temple recommend, also known as a temple card, are allowed into Temples. To get a recommend usually you must have been a faithful member of the church for at least a year and been interviewed by the local bishop and stake president to see if you’re worthy.
Cordray related how he and the area bishop had missed communicating about the “sweet sister just put on hospice.” He wound up texting with the bishop while in church (a no-no), then dropping everything and racing to Irene’s parents’ home where she rested in a hospital bed.
As he began asking her the 15 or so questions, she started out strong in her response that she wanted the recommend. As he worked through the questions about her relationship with God, the commandments, etc. her responses got progressively weaker, as her energy flagged. At the end, she rallied when he said she’d get the recommend. He gave her the Priestly Blessing, laying his hands on her arm instead of her head.
“A successful life bears witness to the life we out to strive for, trying to be like our Savior Jesus Christ. She wanted that temple recommend and got it a day before she died. She will never be forgotten. Her life is written on our hearts,” Cordray concluded.
After the closing hymn and prayer, a long line of people snaked through the sanctuary waiting to offer their condolences to the family. Everyone was invited to share memories of Irene after the service at the Courville home. Irene’s cremated remains will be kept in a beautiful blue glazed heart-shaped urn. There was joy among the tears for Irene Mora.
Here’s the obituary from the newspaper:
MORA — IRENE Age 50, has been called home by our Heavenly Father. She was a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She loved being an educational assistant at Truman Middle School. Irene was a loving mother to Kayla Mora. She was a devoted daughter to Arthur and Viola Mora. She was a wonderful big sister to Monique Courville and husband Rick; brother Arthur Mora and wife Cindy; and brothers Vincent Mora, Victor Mora, and Johnny Bojorquez and wife Norma. She was a caring aunt to Danielle, Jordan, Amanda, Mateo, Sterling, Joshua, Laylynn, Adrian, and Mina. She is also survived by her grandparents Mike and Mary Pino. We love you and will carry you in out hearts forever. Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located at 8130 Sage Road SW. Funeral arrangements by Gabaldon Mortuary
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