Out of This World


Why was Allison so together while my life was in chaos? She tuned in to what was real.

I was a junior in high school when Allison befriended me. She had moved from Boise, Idaho, that year, but to me it seemed she was from another planet. We sat next to each other in seminary, and I had never met a teenager who was so dedicated to her religion.

On the other hand, I was struggling with my testimony, slowly becoming inactive in Church and seminary activities. My parents were at a loss. They offered to answer any gospel questions I had, but I didn’t want their help. I wanted to find the truth on my own.

Despite our differences, Allison and I became good friends. We spent many weekend nights staying up late, lying on her trampoline. Sometimes I would bring up questions I had about the Church.

Her answers always made sense to me, and as our talks continued, the gospel began to make more sense to me, too. Still, there was one vital thing I lacked: the Spirit. It seemed the world always called to me much louder than the Spirit did.

One school day, I noticed Allison sitting on the floor in front of her locker. She was eating her lunch and wearing headphones. She looked up at me and smiled.

“What are you listening to?” I asked, trying to shout over the noise of the hallway. Lockers slammed. Students laughed and yelled. I wondered if she liked any of the same groups I liked.

“Listen and see,” she said.

I put on the headphones and suddenly the world melted away. The music played serenely. The singer sang of Christ, His life, His death, His love for us. This wasn’t what I had expected.

Amid the chaos, I felt peace enter my heart. I felt my Savior’s love.

I looked at Allison with tears in my eyes. I didn’t want to give back her head-phones. I wanted to keep that feeling forever. For a brief moment, I felt what it meant to be in the world but not of it.

It wasn’t a lightning strike, and I can’t say my life changed overnight. But that day, a seed began to grow in my heart. I had felt the Spirit, and I hungered to feel it again. As time went by, I gained a testimony that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there, and they love all of us so much. I now know that if I seek the Spirit and follow God’s plan, I can have the peace of the Holy Spirit with me always, and I can leave the chaos and confusion of the world behind.

[illustration] Illustrated by Bryan Lee Shaw