Forging a Family of Faith: Through thick and thin, Goh has learned the importance of family

Written by: 
Robinia Tan~Multimedia Journalist

Juneffer Sabashan Goh said the first time she met her husband, Ian Martin Idang, was at a LDS Church service in Malaysia when he was an investigator and he surprisingly asked her for her phone number.

“He told me that he said a prayer to date a girl that he meets at the church, even though at that time he was still not a member of the LDS Church,” said Goh.

They were married on Nov. 24, 2005, and now the 28-year-old wife and mother has accompanied her husband to BYU-Hawaii to further his education. Goh said she takes care of her husband, their children, and the household while he was busy studying and working.

After getting married, Goh said she had a couple of dilemmas as a result from their union, which was the resentment of her mother-in-law plus her marriage to a well-known man like Ian made people in their village jealous of her position. She said villagers “started to gossip about me and how I used a love potion to make my husband fall in love with me. Back in Malaysia, people still believe in superstitions, so they thought I used black magic to make Ian fall in love with me.”

Despite their difficulties, Goh said she and her husband continued to have faith and never missed a day of church. They also always prayed to Heavenly Father for comfort and guidance, she said. So when they did not have their parent’s financial, as well as the pregnancy of their first child, Billery, she said they turned to Heavenly Father as a guide for their future.

Like any other newlyweds, they too have their own troubles and misunderstandings, she said. Facing these hardships, Goh said she often cried and asked Heavenly Father, “Why do I have to be faced with this, and why do I have this kind of trouble?” But she also said, “I have never regretted my marriage because I loved my kids and husband so much. I think that the most important thing is if you love yourself, you will love others too.”

Talking about his relationship with Goh, Idang said, “I appreciate my wife for her support in my studies. She has raised my kids as how I want my kids to be. Whenever I face a problem, she will be there to make me happy. She always loves me as who I am. I love her very much.”

Following, the birth of their firstborn child, Goh said she was excited but also scared because having a child increased their expenses. But she said they are happy to have children even though it has been challenge for them. Now they have four children, and Goh described each of them as being unique in their own ways. The oldest child is 7-year-old Billery who Goh said is a bit spoiled and sensitive, while Whitney, 5, is more independent because she is the second oldest. The next child, Hyrum, 4, is stubborn since he is a boy, and lastly, her “calm baby” Zoey is only 7 months old.

Goh said she learned through her mother that the key to teaching children “is to be patient. You cannot force your kid to learn something. You have to see how they accept the lesson because the kids don’t like to be forced when you teach them. You teach with love and patience.”

She continued, “So I am always listening to them. If you want a child to be a good person in the future, you have to learn from them too.”

As a mother, Goh said she wanted to have a close relationship with her children. She feels breastfeeding her children is important to build a relationship with them from the time they are born. “I want to stay close with them, and if you breastfeed them, you feel closer,” she said and have more cuddling time with them. She also likes to play with her children she said because if she doesn’t play with them, she will have a hard time understanding them.