In D&C 45:10, the Lord says, “Wherefore, come ye unto [the gospel] and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning.” The very idea that the Lord wants to reason with me on an intellectual level opened my mind and understanding.
When I was 15, my Sunday School teacher, Brother Adams, challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. I took this challenge to heart and read the entire book. I prayed about it as Moroni instructed in chapter 10, verse 4. And nothing happened.
“So now what?” I asked myself. “Is this book really true?”
I began to ponder what I had read. I remembered how the words of the prophet Jacob had inspired me. Also, King Benjamin had spoken as a mighty leader. I had felt the Spirit as I read the words of both these prophets. As I read, the Holy Ghost had moved me to believe the principles of the gospel in these stories. Surely the whole of it has to be true. One cannot accept a part to be true and deny the rest. It is not reasonable. As the stories unfolded, the whisperings of the Holy Spirit were real. The Book of Mormon is true. It would also mean that the boy Joseph really did see the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. This is the power of reasoning that our Savior Jesus Christ speaks of unto each and every one of us, the power of truth.
One day at school my very good friend came up to me and handed me an envelope. Inside was an invitation to her birthday party! I couldn’t wait to go. The card said, “We will be watching a movie!”
At lunch I asked her what movie we would be watching. She told me the name of the film, and I answered that I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies. She told me she would rent something else for me. But when the day of the party came, my friend had forgotten a movie for me to watch. So, she and my friends tried to talk me into watching the movie. Instead of watching it with them, I went into her little sister’s room and watched a G-rated movie and really enjoyed myself.
Shy No More
I have always been a naturally shy person around people I don’t know very well. While I am outgoing and loud around my friends and family, I clam up around others. The summer before my sophomore year, my two best friends moved out of the state.
School started, and it seemed as if Satan knew my weakness and set out to intensify it. I had a group to hang out with at school but didn’t feel included. I figured everyone noticed how often I was alone. I became insecure about my status at school.
One night before bed, I was reading in Ether 12. I love the scriptures, because I so often come across answers to my prayers. That night was no different. I read verse 27: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” I had read this scripture mastery verse before but never had it been such a direct answer to my many prayers.
Tears filled my eyes. I knew that what I felt was my desire to come unto Christ. Suddenly I understood that the Lord had a plan for me. I also realized that the Lord wanted to help me make good friends. If I just had humility and faith, the Lord would help make my weakness a strength. As He said to Moroni in verse 37, “And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong.”
Lately I have seen how the Lord has kept His promise. I realized that it doesn’t matter where I stand on the high school social ladder, because Heavenly Father loves me for who I am. That is the most humbling thing about it all. He has billions of children, but I know that He loves us individually, for our own unique qualities. How grateful I am for the lesson I learned that night and for all the peace and serenity that comes with knowing God lives, He loves us individually, and He wants to help His children. I love Him with all my heart.
It was the hardest algebra homework I’d ever faced. I struggled most of the afternoon with variables buzzing in my head. When my mom asked me to babysit for a couple wanting to attend the temple that night, I agreed reluctantly. I reasoned with myself that I wouldn’t understand this homework anyway, so why not watch five kids for a few hours? Knowing the children had an early bedtime, I brought my math book with me.
As my mom drove me to the house, she told me I shouldn’t take their money that night. Startled, I asked her why.
She answered, “They’re going to the temple. It wouldn’t be right if they had to pay to go and perform sacred ordinances there.”
I thought it over and agreed. Seeing my hesitation, my mom added, “I know you’re frustrated with your homework and everything, but you’ll have Heavenly Father’s help if you do this service.” I was thankful for Mom’s encouraging words, but I was still doubtful.
That evening went unusually well. The children didn’t quarrel, and they helped me clean the playroom. I even got them to bed fairly early. Then I started doing my math homework. After taking several deep breaths, I tackled a few problems and found that I could solve them. Right before I finished the assignment, the couple got home.
When the wife handed me some money, I took my mother’s advice and told her to keep it. “You guys deserve to go to the temple for free,” I said. She thanked me and told me that it was hard to find babysitters on school nights.
I finished the rest of my algebra homework easily when I arrived home. But more than that, I felt truly content. The reality of miracles struck me that day. My mom’s words had come true. I did have the Lord’s help when I served. I know now that when we do what is right and do it with love, miracles can happen.
Illustrations by Gregg Thorkelson; photograph by Welden C. Andersen