I Envy You

I had always been jealous of Lynn. Despite a close friendship, Lynn and I had always been in unspoken competition with each other in high school—at least, I always felt that way. I longed to be like her. She was pretty, intelligent, talented, and fun to be around. I, on the other hand, lacked confidence in my appearance and felt socially inept.

One night on my mission I knelt at my bedside, desperately asking the Lord in the first of many prayers to help me overcome this sickness. Over time, the Lord answered my prayers. I learned to value my own worth. I learned that God does not love me for my intelligence or the number of my friends or the wealth of my possessions. He loves me for myself alone.

After I had been home from my mission for nearly a year, I met Lynn for lunch. I told her how I had always envied her. She listened quietly and then looked at me in astonishment. “I was always jealous of you!” she said. I realized then how pointless my unspoken envy had been. I asked her if she could forgive me.

“Of course,” she said. “As long as you can forgive me, too.”

We laughed then and cried a little. I felt an old bitterness melt away to be replaced by peace and an intense gratitude for Lynn’s friendship.

I do not mean to make overcoming envy sound easy. It isn’t—at least not for me. It has taken me a long time to admit my weakness to myself and to understand the nature of my spiritual illness. I am particularly grateful for Jesus Christ, the true Healer, and for His Atonement, which allows us to overcome our weaknesses and transform them into strengths.

Rosalyn Collings Eves is a member of the State College University Ward, Altoona Pennsylvania Stake.

Facing Challenges

The hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints” (Hymns, no. 30) has a special place in my heart. When the song was first written, it was meant to comfort the pioneer Saints and encourage them to strive to accomplish their seemingly far-fetched goals. Those pioneers were facing new, extremely difficult challenges every day. Yet they had to keep their spirits high and strong.

Today as I sing “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” I feel an overwhelming desire to put my best foot forward and keep pushing until I reach my goals. “And should we die before our journey’s through, Happy day! All is well!” No matter how hard or impossible life may seem, my journey is preparing me for a future of joy. I can only do my best and do it with a smile, trusting the Lord to help me make it all the way back home.

[photo] Scandinavian Handcart Pioneers, by Torlief Knaphus, courtesy of Museum of Church History and Art

Valerie Berry is a member of the Russian Jack Ward, Anchorage Alaska North Stake.

Feeling Sure

My good friend introduced me to the Latter-day Saint missionaries. At the time I met them it was hard to understand English, but my friend helped me to understand them and the teachings they brought. When the missionaries invited me to be baptized, I found it hard to leave my old culture and teachings. They shared their testimonies and said I needed to ask the Lord for a testimony, too.

One night I prayed after reading the Book of Mormon, and I received the confirmation by the Spirit that what I had been taught was true. I was baptized in June of 1998. I felt a strong spirit that day.

Two years later I was called to serve the Lord in the Singapore Mission. I was called to bear my testimony to others. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity.

Today my testimony grows stronger as I read the Book of Mormon. I love this Church and the teachings that come from the prophet of the Lord. I am grateful to those who taught me and changed my life by bearing their faith-promoting testimonies.

Shakeel Gill is a member living in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Freed of Pain

My family and I had been on a cruise, and I had become really sick. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much medicine with us and were not near any local doctors to get the help I needed for my infection and the pain I felt.

One night I felt tremendously sick. The little medicine we had was not working. I could not sleep, and my moans and groans were waking my brothers and sisters. After all that my parents and I could do, my father asked, “Do you want a blessing?”

I had never had a priesthood blessing because of an illness before. I didn’t know what to say. I thought it would help, but I was still not sure. “Please, Heavenly Father,” I prayed, “please let the blessing work.”

“Sure, I would love one,” I weakly said to my dad.

During the blessing I had a wonderful feeling inside, despite all my pain. Very slowly I felt the pain go away, and suddenly I felt very tired. I could tell that my infection had not gone away, but the pain left. After the blessing I was filled so much with the Spirit I was unable to speak.

I now know that priesthood blessings are given to help us through life’s troubles. I know what to do now when I am asked the question “Do you want a blessing?”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Sam Lawlor

Leah Blake is a member of the Carrollton First Ward, Carrollton Texas Stake.