Step Forward Spotlight: Kim's Story

Our “Step Forward” series spotlights women who have stepped forward in their homes, communities, or in the kingdom of God. Follow along on our blog for more uplifting stories and resources as we each consider ways to answer President Nelson’s call.


As a mother of four rough and tumble boys, Kim Mordue was overjoyed to finally welcome a baby girl into their family. Lily Ann brought a peaceful, happy spirit that blessed the Mordue family for two and a half years. Kim says, “Lily did not lack in love. Her brothers loved to haul her around, ride bikes with her, play with her, and carry her everywhere. I once told my husband on a family walk, in which she was being carried, that I was worried she was getting a little chubby because she never walked anywhere.”


In 2014 Lily got tangled up in her bed and passed away. Kim describes the devastation that followed. “Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breathe, it was so painful. I became fearful of life for a time. It also opened my eyes to all the trials and heartaches their were in the world and what people had to experience. I remember a song coming on the radio at Christmastime that talked about peace on earth and I sobbed for days-- finally recognizing that people really do pray for peace because of all they personally have to go through.”

It was also during Christmas that Kim decided to give Lily a special gift by committing  to attend the temple every week. Along with honoring Lily, Kim also knew by doing this Heavenly Father would bless and heal her family in ways she alone could not.

But God also had plans for blessing Kim.

She says, “After she passed away I had an image in my mind of Lily standing under the “Tree of Life” as an adult, handing the fruit to her family.” Kim couldn’t get this image out of her mind and took it as a sign Lily wanted her to paint it. She felt as if Lily wanted her family to “see and know that she was still with us, and that she would be there every step of the way to help us get home and to be with her again.”

Despite the fact Kim had never painted before, this was something she knew she had to do. A friend came over and showed Kim what materials to purchase and demonstrated a few beginning painting tips. And then Kim began to paint.

This painting of Lily waiting for her family by the Tree of Life now hangs in the family’s entryway.

This painting of Lily waiting for her family by the Tree of Life now hangs in the family’s entryway.

Shortly after, Kim began to take art classes to learn more. She would paint all year, then give beautiful, meaningful paintings to loved ones at Christmastime. Recently, she returned to school through the church’s program, Pathways, and is now pursuing her degree in art at BYU.

The pain of loss can easily destroy dreams, marriages, and testimonies. But Kim has chosen to step forward after tragedy by developing her gifts, serving others, and holding firm to the rod she painted in Lily’s painting. Instead of turning away from Him, Kim has relied on the healing balm of the atonement of Christ to help her through her heartache.  With Lily ahead of them, Kim and her family move along the rod to returning to Heavenly Father, hand over hand, step by step.