Have you ever had a thought like, “I should really thank so-and-so for ….” Or even something like, “I sure do appreciate this person ……”? But then you never actually tell them what you were thinking?
I had been thinking about my seminary teacher Brother Brandt and what a good influence he had been in my life. In 2010 I was able to find him on Facebook and sent him a message.
03/03/2010 7:47 a.m.
Hey Mike (Bro. Brandt) I’m glad to see you on Facebook. It’s been a long time. Not sure if you remember me from 1985-1988 Jason Bringhurst. You were a good influence on me despite my rebellious teenage lifestyle. I was able to turn it all around and have been on the gospel path since 1990. I served a mission in Bordeaux, France, graduated from BYU, married a wonderful women in the Salt Lake City temple, and we now have 5 amazing children. I’m currently serving as 1st counselor in the Elders Quorum. I just wanted to thank you for reaching out to me way back then and being a good example to me. I’ve tried to do the same to many young men as I’ve served in the young mens program. You’re a good egg! Are you still at Hillcrest High? Take care – Jason
Hey Jason, Of course I remember you even though I was a pretty young teacher during your years at Hillcrest. Time flies and so does my mind lately! I am really happy to hear about your life. I’ll bet you were wonderful for those young men in your ward. I remember seeing so much potential in you. I’m grateful you lived up to it and that things are going so well. You have a beautiful family. It was fun to look through your pictures. My family and I were transferred to Green Valley, Nevada about 11 years ago. I am now a seminary coordinator over 8 seminaries in the valley. It’s a great job, but I still think of Hillcrest High as my “glory day.” I loved that school and the great students there – including you. You made my years there worth while. If you’re ever in Vegas give me a call. Take care my friend, Mike 702-4**-****
Will do. Glad to hear things are going so well for you. You deserve it. Keep the faith brother! – Jason
(A few years later I posted this on his Facebook wall)
Happy birthday! Thank you for reaching out to me back in high school. I had your class sophomore year at Hillcrest High. I liked your class. During my junior year I was kicked out of another seminary teacher’s class. I decided I was done with seminary. You later reached out to me and said that you could get me in your class for my senior year and I would be able to graduate from seminary if I would do the mega-seminary packet at home for the previous year. I took the opportunity and again liked your class, did the at-home seminary homework, and graduated from seminary. I continued to make bad choices my senior year, but by the time I was 19 I started changing my ways and ended up going on a mission to France. You are just one of the people the Lord put in my path to help me along the way while I was lost. Thank you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend!
Thanks Jason. I remember those days well even if I am getting up there in years! I remember you had a great heart and it sounds like you still do. I’m grateful to hear you are where you are now. What a cute family!!! I’d love to see you when you get to Vegas. Thanks again. – Mike
In Brother Brand’ts seminary class, throughout the year, we would have young men and women walk into the class during the middle of his lesson, and he would light up and say, “No way!” One of his former students would come back and tell him about their mission call. They would walk to front of the class and share with us where they were going. I remember in February of 1991, walking into his class, and when I came inside he did the same, saying, “No way!!! NO WAY!!!” and then he had me share with the class where I was going. It made me happy to see how happy he was to see me. That’s probably the last time I saw him.
On August 7, 2016, I was shocked to see reports that Brother Brandt had been killed in an automobile accident. It was an incredibly tragic event which killed him, his daughter who had recently been married, and his son, just returned home from an LDS mission only one week earlier.
I have not had a lot of contact with Brother Brandt through the years. I know he had a tremendous faith in Jesus Christ. He believed devoutly in the Book of Mormon and loved to teach about it. I can see that he was a loved husband, father, bishop, and seminary teacher. I am one single person who he touched. I can’t imagine the good that this one person had done in his lifetime. Every now and then I find myself thinking of what a great example he was to me. I’m so very glad that I reached out and tried to at least let him know a little of how grateful I am for him. All too often I’m afraid I have not let people know how much I love and appreciate them. I’m trying to do better.
You can read more here about Michael Brandt in Brother Brand’s Obituary.
I found this great tribute on his Facebook page. I hope nobody minds me sharing. God be with you till we meet again Brother Brandt.