Instant Messages features personal experiences, insights into favorite hymns and scriptures, and other uplifting thoughts. If you have a personal experience that has strengthened your testimony and you’d like us to consider it for Instant Messages, please send it to

New Era, Instant Messages
50 E. North Temple St. Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

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Running on Faith

During May, I had the opportunity to run in the Utah High School State Track Championships. I ran in three events, and it was a great experience. But my state track experience did not compare to the experience I had the day before the meet.

For a few months, my ward had been planning to go to the Manti Utah Temple to perform baptisms for the dead. I was so excited to go, but then I found out it was the day before the state track meet. I wasn’t sure what I should do. I had been working all season to prepare for my events, and I thought I needed as much rest as possible before I ran. We’d definitely get home from the temple late, and I needed to be in bed earlier than that.

I asked myself, “What is more important: getting rested for state track or serving at the temple?” I knew where the Lord wanted me to be and where I wanted to be, so I was determined to be there.

At the temple, I felt the Spirit of the Lord, and it brought me great peace. I didn’t even think about running the whole time I was there. I knew I was in the right place, helping others who had gone before me. The feeling was wonderful!

The next day, my nerves were calm, and I ran the best I ever had. I knew I was blessed because of my faith in choosing to go to the temple. I have a testimony of the temple, and I know the value of the work that goes on there. This experience is one that I will treasure in my heart forever.

[illustration] Illustrated by Roger Motzkus

Small Blessings

“I must have missed the bus,” I thought. For 15 minutes, I had been waiting in the icy gutter that was my bus stop, with no bus in sight. The day was unusually cold. Despite my puffy coat, I couldn’t stay warm. I felt hopeless, standing in the dark, in the cold, waiting for a bus that had probably already come and gone.

Finally, I sent a plea heavenward: “Heavenly Father, please just help me get to school.” It was simple but desperate and pleading.

A car on the other side of the road pulled over and turned around. As it neared, I saw the public transportation logo on the car. A woman leaned toward the open window and asked, “Are you waiting for bus 14? I’m pretty sure it already went by. Hop in. I was just patrolling the area because people can freeze on cold mornings like this.”

I thanked her repeatedly.

“Thank you for using public transportation,” she responded.

I sent another thanks heavenward as I warmed my hands.

A lot of the time, our blessings come through other people. No matter how small a blessing is, I know that I still need to thank the Lord. He is mindful of me, so I need to be mindful of Him.

Why Me?

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard—surgery. All I could think about was why me? Why now? What will I do? It was my senior year in high school. I was captain of the volleyball team, an all-region team member, and I had a scholarship to play volleyball in college. A little later I would be basketball captain and have an opportunity to play basketball in Australia for the state of Arizona.

All my hopes and dreams were swept away. Wasn’t I living righteously? I couldn’t stop thinking about why this had to happen to me. Doesn’t Heavenly Father love me?

While doing my regular seminary reading, I came across the book of Job. He was very faithful and always loved and feared the Lord. Even when Heavenly Father allowed Satan to take away Job’s riches and family, then covered him with boils and illnesses, Job still loved the Lord and never doubted.

I was in tears. I realized that Heavenly Father does love me and that this was just one little trial that would only make me a better person. I began my prayer that night thanking Him for the trials I have and for helping me come closer to Him.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful lesson I learned from Job that night.

[photo] Photograph by John Luke