Latter-day Saint Voices

Latter-day Saint Voices


A Minute and a Half in the Rain

Jason Bosen, Utah, USA

Growing up, I was the kid you didn’t have to worry about. I had been active in the Church all my life. I had been the president of my priesthood quorums and seminary classes. I went to every youth conference, temple trip, Scouting event, and Mutual night. I also had a testimony of the gospel. Yet when I became a member of my priests quorum, I struggled, though no one knew it. After all, I was the kid you didn’t have to worry about.

Those first few weeks and months in the quorum I did what I always did: I went to church, Mutual, and Scouting activities. Inwardly, however, I was battling. I didn’t feel that I was a part of the group or that the other young men wanted me there. I wanted desperately to belong.

As time went on, I had questions and doubts about whether I wanted to be a part of the quorum. But I remained active, silently suffering and hoping that something or someone would help me feel welcome.

My father and I had just finished fixing up my first car, a beautiful 1967 Ford Mustang. Brother Stay, my Young Men president, asked about it from time to time. I thought his questions showed his interest in a classic car—not in a young man.

All this changed one rainy evening after Mutual. Because of the downpour, Brother Stay drove us all home from the church, dropping me off last. When he saw my blue Mustang in the driveway, he again asked about it. I offered to let him see the engine I had spent hours and hours repairing.

Brother Stay knew little about cars, and he had a wife and young son at home waiting for him. Yet there he stood in the dark, in the rain, looking at a barely visible car engine. At that moment I realized that he wasn’t doing what he was doing to see a classic car—he was doing it because he cared about me.

Because of that minute and a half standing in the rain, I found what I needed. I finally felt welcomed. My silent prayers had been answered.

Since then I have been to the temple, served a mission, graduated from college, and tried to keep my covenants. Brother Stay may not remember that moment, but I will never forget it.

We all have struggles, but we all can find an extra minute and a half each day to show love to one of God’s children. It just might make all the difference—even to the one we think we don’t have to worry about.

Our Light in Darkness

Susan Wyman, Georgia, USA

Our family had just experienced a devastating house fire, and all eight of us were living in a temporary three-bedroom mobile home in our front yard. Our family faced challenges and discord.

My husband was not active in the Church at the time. Our two teenage sons were making choices that would lead only to sorrow. Simultaneously, I was serving as Young Women president in our ward, and several of the young women were struggling with serious temptations. Some of their parents also faced struggles and therefore were not assisting their daughters at this critical time.

I knew these young women needed me to help them through their spiritual land mines. I knew my six sons needed me. I knew my good husband depended on my strength. Yet there seemed to be nothing but darkness around me, and I felt empty, weak, and incapable of leading these loved ones to safety.

Late one night as I rocked our infant son in the stillness of our temporary home, my thoughts turned to those who needed me to be strong. I felt the pervasive darkness that surrounded them. In my anguish I prayed with all my heart that Heavenly Father would show me the way to help them despite my inadequacies. He answered immediately and showed me the way.

I seemed to see myself in our ward’s large cultural hall, which had no windows. It was late at night, and there was not even a glimmer of light. Then I lit a tiny birthday candle. It seemed so insignificant, yet the power of that miniscule light was enough to displace the blackness.

That was my answer! The quantity of darkness surrounding us in the world simply does not matter. Light is eternal and is vastly more powerful than darkness (see 2 Corinthians 4:6; Mosiah 16:9; D&C 14:9). If we remain worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, our souls can reflect sufficient light to displace any amount of darkness, and others will be drawn to that light within us.

This was all I needed to know. This simple insight has carried me through the past 25 years with the knowledge that with the Lord’s help and guidance, we can do—and be—all that He needs us to do and be in this world of darkness.

My Message from Heavenly Father

Terumi Tuckett (with Jill Campbell), Japan

As a newlywed and a fairly new member of the Church, I moved to England with my husband. Although I had learned some English in school, my heavy Japanese accent made my English difficult to understand, and the British accent was difficult for me to decipher.

My husband and I were members of the Church, but we were not fully converted when we got married. We always went home after sacrament meeting instead of remaining at church for the other meetings. We did not want to receive any Church callings.

One day, to help me become more involved in Church activities, a Relief Society leader called and asked if I would share some things about myself at the next weeknight Relief Society meeting. I agreed to participate, but because of my limited English, I did not understand that I was supposed to bring some things to display.

When I arrived at the meeting, I immediately realized what I had been expected to do. Three tables were set up with tablecloths and flowers on them. An overhead sign read, “Getting to Know Sisters.” One of the tables was labeled “Sister Tuckett.” But I had brought nothing to put on my table. I tried to hide the tears forming in my eyes.

I already felt sad whenever I attended sacrament meeting because I did not fully understand what was being spoken. I often thought, “Why am I here?” So when I arrived at that Relief Society meeting and realized my mistake, I felt that I should not attend church anymore. I wished I could disappear, but I had to tell the Relief Society leader I wasn’t prepared.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I didn’t understand, and I don’t have anything to put on my table.”

She looked at me with the kindest expression and said, “It doesn’t matter—I’m just glad you are here.” Then she gave me a hug.

I felt comforted, and the Spirit told me that what she had said was a message from Heavenly Father—that He loved me and was glad I was there. I didn’t understand English very well, but the Spirit enabled me to understand her message.

Because of this feeling, my resolve immediately changed. I told myself, “If Heavenly Father loves me that much and wants me to come to church, I will, no matter how difficult it is.”

From that point on, my husband and I attended every Church meeting. I also determined to learn English. Gradually, I understood English better and learned to speak it.

I am grateful for the sister who delivered a message from Heavenly Father at that crucial point in my life. Now, 15 years later, I serve in the district Relief Society presidency in an English-speaking district in Japan and have received training by the Church to become a translator.

I Defended My Faith

Karlina Peterson, Idaho, USA

During my freshman year of college, my eyes were opened to the fact that my life as a student would not be as sheltered as before. Nor would what I held dear be accepted.

I found that I stuck out like a sore thumb when I refused to engage in activities that I knew would harm me physically or harm my relationship with Heavenly Father. However, I feared criticism for being a member of the Church and therefore avoided the topic.

One day in an afternoon class, the professor was leading a discussion on how youth develop amid constant discrimination. A girl behind me replied that the discussion made her think of Mormons. I cringed because when the Church was brought up in a class, inappropriate comments usually followed.

As I braced myself for derogatory statements, the teacher asked if any Latter-day Saints were in the class. Stunned at the inquiry, I scanned the room only to find everyone else doing the same. Before I could think twice, my hand was rising from its comfortable position on the desk. I heard an eruption of whispers from across the room.

“One,” the teacher said. The word rang in my ears. After a long silence, I was asked to respond to the debate regarding whether Latter-day Saints are Christians. I was no stranger to the question and was prepared to answer.

“‘We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, [and] we preach of Christ’” (2 Nephi 25:26), I confidently replied. “We are indeed Christian.”

The whispering ceased, but I felt everyone staring at me. I thought I would feel alone. Instead, I felt as if the Savior had sat down next to me and put His hand in mine. Nothing else mattered, for I was filled with joy that strengthened my testimony of Him. I had defended my faith.

I shared more with the class about why Latter-day Saints are Christians. Then I thought of the time President Thomas S. Monson shared the gospel on a bus ride. From this experience he encouraged members to “be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe.”1 As I thought of his words, I realized I had done the thing I was most afraid to do.

I do not know whether the things I said changed anybody’s opinion of the Church, but we need not fear to stand up and share the gospel—wherever we are. Even if we do not bless anybody else, we will always strengthen our testimony and our relationship with Heavenly Father.

    Note

  1.   1.

    Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 67.