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Courtesy Parrish family

Siblings draw on faith for strength after death of parents, brothers

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.

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POCATELLO – A brother and sister whose parents and two siblings died of carbon monoxide poisoning while the two were serving missions are relying on faith, they said Thursday.

Ian and Jensen Parrish were both serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when their parents and siblings – Bill and Ross Parrish, along with 14-year old Keegan and 12-year old Liam – were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty water heater in their Pocatello home. The four were found Sunday after failing to appear at a traditional family dinner.

Jensen Parrish was serving in the Washington Vancouver Mission teaching American Sign Language at the time. Ian Parrish was in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission.

Thursday, the two smiled as they talked about their parents and brothers to KSL’s sister station in Pocatello, KPVI. Ian Parrish described his mother as a “giving” woman and his father as someone who pushed him to be his best and know his self-worth.

"I remember growing up, if I didn't do well in school – like if I got a C on a test – my dad would be mad,” Ian Parrish said. “I would say, 'Dad, that test was hard.' But he said, ‘You're more than that. I know you can do better than that.’ "

Bill and Ross Parrish with their four children. (Photo: Courtesy of Parrish Family)

During junior high school, Jensen Parrish said her father told her that the world might have a distorted view of his daughter, like that in a fun house mirror.

"Then he pointed at my mirror and said, 'When you look in that mirror you're exactly who you are and that's how your Father in Heaven sees you.’ And I will never forget that. That helped me through so much in my life," she said.

Ian Parrish described his brother Keegan as an individual.

"(Keegan) had a sense of humor. He wanted to be different from people. Not to show off, but to let them know that he is a different person" Ian Parrish said.

Their brother Liam also had a sense of humor.

"My little brother Liam – he was the youngest one – he was so witty. He didn't realize it, but he was," Jensen Parrish said.

Right now, part of this experience is that it's time for me to recognize how meaningful the family really is.

–Ian Parrish

The two are relying on their faith in God and eternal families as they face the loss.

"There's more to life than life. There's more to this than this little earth that we all live on. There's more to it," Jensen Parrish said.

"Right now, part of this experience is that it's time for me to recognize how meaningful the family really is," Ian Parrish said. "This hard moment is a growing moment; that's the bottom line. It is what is necessary for me at this time. The reason for that, I don't know. But it's what I need and that's what has helped me through it.”

Ian and Jensen Parrish are also looking to the love and faith their parents had as an example of how they can face this time.

"Knowing the love they had for other people, that is how we're going to have to do it. I know that love comes from their love for the gospel and for the plan that our Father in Heaven has for us,” Jensen Parrish said. “I know that because they believed it so much and so strongly that they lived it through their love, and that's what we're going to have to do. That's what we're trying to do. And it has helped.”

Funeral services for Bill, Ross, Keegan and Liam Parrish are scheduled for Friday at 12 p.m. in Pocatello.


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