Instant Messages

By Jonathan H. Westover


I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Since I was a little boy, a mission was something I looked forward to. My dad served a full-time mission in Brazil, and as I hit my teenage years, I had the examples of two older brothers who faithfully served the Lord on two-year missions.

Even during those late teenage years, when doubt filled my mind and I felt like I had to question everything I had always taken for granted, I still looked forward to serving a mission. I figured I would at least have the opportunity to help some people, possibly learn another language, and develop some important life skills.

Then one Sunday morning in sacrament meeting, I was deeply touched as I sang the following words:

Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.

(“I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” Hymns, no. 270)

In that instant, the Spirit spoke deep to my heart, and I knew the real reason I was needed in the mission field.

Throughout my mission and after coming home, I have always remembered the words of that hymn:

So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.

I’ve learned that it is not enough to just do good things, but we must do them for the right reasons. And what blessings that brings!

One Little Word

It was a new school, but it was the middle of the school year. I had to say goodbye to all of my friends at my old school and start making new ones. I was grateful a girl named Chynna decided to be my friend. I felt really comfortable around her even though she isn’t LDS. But I didn’t feel comfortable when she used the Lord’s name in vain. I knew I had to say something, but I didn’t want to get embarrassed.

One day my mom asked me about her. I felt that if I had my mom and the Lord’s support, I could do something about my situation. I talked to Chynna on the phone and told her about our faith. She respected what I shared and said she wouldn’t say the Lord’s name any more. I am glad she gave up using that word instead of our friendship. I am glad I asked her to stop saying it. Now she is asking me a lot of questions about our Church and has even come to Mutual with me.

The Lord Is My Light

I have been a member of this wonderful Church for all of my life, but I took it for granted for the first 14 years.

The summer of my freshman year of high school I realized I wasn’t very happy. I kept wondering what was wrong with me. There was something missing, and I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Then I went to a youth conference, and it changed my life. The feelings of emptiness were finally gone. I was truly happy for the first time that I could remember. I went home and read the Book of Mormon, started praying intently, and cleaned up my life. I have seen a huge change, inside and out. But even though I had a strong testimony going into high school, I still struggled with the different views and activities of my friends.

In the summer before my junior year I got news of an LDS 11th-grader moving into our area. I was ecstatic. She was an answer to prayer. It’s amazing how much we have in common and how well we get along. Together with another senior, we made up the three LDS girls at my high school. With three boys, that made six Latter-day Saints among 950 students. While the school year was stressful for all of us, we were always there to support each other. We stuck together through bad times and great times.

We went together one night to the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center. That night Katie, Paige, and I took a long walk around the temple. There was such a feeling of peace and love. There, the three of us made a pact with one another to work towards temple marriages and to settle for nothing less. We see the eternal perspective on choosing the right day-by-day. We are striving to gain the highest reward: eternal life. The Lord provided a way for three girls to choose the right, and I have never felt so good inside.

Illustration by Sam Lawlor, The Lost Lamb © Del Parson, photograph by Craig Dimond