3-year-old Paxton Norton remembered by friends, family and LDS general authorities

Published: Monday, July 22 2013 9:00 p.m. MDT

David Norton also expressed the honor he felt in being Paxton’s dad as he continually pondered why he had been so blessed to have Paxton in his life and in his family.

“For me, there is no greater calling in this life than that of father,” he said. “I’m going to miss holding Paxton’s hand and his little hand perfectly squeezing my finger. I hope I can always remember the emotions of my heart as I held his hand. … I will miss looking at his eyes and when our eyes would connect.”

Paxton’s father continued to list the many simple things he will miss that his son did to bring him joy, such as playing catch, rolling his ball back and forth, sitting him on his chest in order to see his face close to his.

He expressed how he will miss Paxton’s tender rocking back and forth, his constant smile, his presence during family home evening as his brothers fought over who got to hold him, kisses goodnight, T-ball games, bike rides and his excitement to learn and explore new things.

David Norton expressed that he had compiled a list of all the things he wanted to do with Paxton during his time on earth, saying that “through the mercy and love of our Heavenly Father, every one on that list was accomplished.”

“I will always remember sharing my testimony of the restored gospel with Paxton, in the middle of the night in the NICU at Primary Children’s Hospital, during family nights and again on his last night here on earth. I wanted my son to know how much I love him and how much I love the Lord and this restored gospel.”

As he closed his remarks, Paxton’s dad described the effect his son’s short life had on him.

“His spirit will always continue to make me feel like the luckiest father in the world. Thank you, Paxton, for letting me be your dad,” David Norton said. “I want desperately to be a better father, husband, friend, priesthood holder, brother and son. I want to live a life like you, Paxton.”

Following David Norton, another musical number was performed, and Bishop James Bullington shared some remarks. Elder Rasband, Paxton’s grandfather, then addressed the congregation.

“I’m grateful today to be listed in the program as Paxton’s ‘Pa,’ ” Elder Rasband first stated. “And to all of our grandchildren here today, I want them to know that 'Pa' is one of my most cherished titles."

Elder Rasband continued to express the deep connection he was able to make with his grandson.

“I have been blessed to have many wonderful spiritual connections with Paxton. Through priesthood blessings, talks, messages given all around the world, the spirit of the Lord has let me know of Paxton’s special mission during his earthly life.”

One such connection came last year before an LDS general conference. Elder Rasband was assigned to speak, and felt prompted to speak of his young grandson Paxton. Elder Rasband expressed that the impact he has since felt has been overwhelming. He held up a book, filled with letters from around the world, sent to him regarding Paxton. He pointed one out specifically, sharing that it was addressed to Paxton at the office of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Wherever Melanie and I have traveled on assignment throughout the world, we’ve been asked about Paxton,” Elder Rasband said.

Elder Rasband concluded by expressing his appreciation for the opportunity to have Paxton in his life.

“Thank you, dear, precious grandson Paxton for the privilege of sharing three miraculous years with you,” Elder Rasband said.

“I pray that the Lord will bless your family, you Dave, you Shannon, you Camden and you Mackay, with a perfect knowledge that as a result of Dave and Shannon’s temple sealing, Paxton is yours and you are Paxton’s forever.”

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