When she saw me, my best friend knew immediately that something was wrong. “We broke up,” I told her quietly. I was coming home after a long conversation with the young man I had been dating. Although we were sad to part, we both agreed that it was right for us.
But as the weeks went by, I started to feel unsure about my decision. What if I never found anyone else to date and never married? What if I had made too big a deal out of our incompatibility?
I felt so lonely and unsure that I even considered seeing whether he was willing to give our relationship another try. I was, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described, “dissatisfied with present circumstances and [had] only dismal views of the future.”1
One evening a few weeks after our breakup, I was reading about the Savior’s Resurrection. The Gospel of Luke recounts that on the third day after the Savior had been laid to rest, faithful followers went to anoint His body with spices. But they found that the stone covering the tomb had been rolled away and the body was gone. Two angels then appeared to them and said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5–6).
The angels’ question struck me suddenly with powerful force. I had never thought about how the visitors to Jesus’s grave might have felt, realizing they were looking in the wrong place for their Savior. I had never thought about what a challenge it must have been for them to believe that Jesus had left behind the decay of the tomb and had risen in glory.
The scripture spoke a gentle rebuke. I realized that, like the Savior’s friends, I was looking in the wrong place for comfort. Wallowing in the past and “yearn[ing] vainly for yesterdays”2 was not consoling me or motivating me to fruitful action. I realized I needed to stop looking in the tomb of past experiences. I needed to replace my fear with faith and trust that the Savior could create life from the experiences of my past.
I think of that scripture often when I find myself regretting choices I’ve made or yearning to return to moments left behind. Because of the Savior, we can begin again. Because of the Savior, we can “look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes,” knowing that “the past is to be learned from but not lived in.”3 Rather than wasting time in regret, we can look to the future with faith.