One winter evening, two roommates and I were walking home after the night’s activities. The conversation turned to dating (as it often did for us), and one of my roommates began to express her frustration with her dating situation. She said that she felt unattractive and ignored by men; in fact, she was certain that something was wrong with her.
She explained that she had felt this way for several days and was discouraged by her feelings of insignificance. She knew true value came from God’s view of her, but she was feeling terrible anyway.
As the other roommate and I listened, we wanted to comfort her, yet we were unsure how to do so. She was beautiful, kind, and intelligent, and she was a joy to be around. It seemed unreasonable for her to feel the way she did, yet we understood. After all, both of us had felt rejected at one time or another.
We reached our apartment, and I told her about some of my own dating experiences. We discussed that not all relationships work out and that not every person is looking for the same thing in a companion. These reassurances seemed to help some, but she confided that her greatest frustration was that she cared too much about how others perceived her.
Our other roommate sat quietly for a moment and then did something I will never forget. Pulling her scriptures off her bedside stand, she said, “There’s a scripture that I have always found helpful.”
Turning to Mosiah 3:19, she read, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
Immediately the Spirit filled the room—and our hearts.
“This scripture gives us the very framework of how to change,” she continued. “You shouldn’t feel disheartened for feeling the way you do. That is one of the effects of the Fall of Adam. We are all human. But like this scripture says, we have the Atonement of Jesus Christ and can change if we submit our hearts to the Savior.”
As well intended as my advice had been, it didn’t have the power that this scripture did. My friend had provided comfort by turning to the words of the Lord. I treasure her reminder that one of the greatest comforts we can give or receive will always be the scriptures.
Illustration by Dan Burr