Instant Messages


“You Know What’s Right”

Brittney Ann S., Utah, USA

My mother has always been an amazing influence in my life. She’s always taught me to do the right thing and has helped me form my testimony of the gospel.

When my freshman year of college came and I moved away to my new apartment, I didn’t realize just how much she had helped me until one night my roommates asked me to go to a party with them at a neighboring apartment.

The two other girls and I got ready and then went to the apartment where the party was being held. The shades were drawn and the door was locked. We had to knock on the door and then say who we were for them to let us in. I didn’t think much of it; I just thought of it as a way for them to control how many people came in.

As the two girls and I walked into the room, I had a feeling of unease come over me. Never having had that particular feeling before, I didn’t know what exactly it was. I just brushed it off as the uneasy feeling you get when you walk in a room full of people you don’t know.

I was sitting there with my roommate, who was talking some guy’s ear off, when I noticed that people were coming in and out of the door that led to the rooms in the back. Because my roommate had been to a party with these guys before, I quietly asked her what was going on back there. My roommate told me matter-of-factly that that’s where all the alcohol was and that they had to keep it back there in case the police showed up.

Immediately, I realized that the feeling of unease that I had felt the moment I walked through the door was the Spirit trying to tell me that this was not a place I should be. I told my roommate that I was going to go back to our apartment. She grabbed onto my hand and told me to stay. I hesitated, not knowing what to do. If I stayed, I knew that I wouldn’t have to go back behind that door and that I would be fine, but I also knew that if the police showed up and I was there, they wouldn’t believe that I hadn’t been drinking.

Then, the voice of my sweet mother came to my mind and said four words: “You know what’s right.” I left the apartment that moment and went back to my own. Even though the police didn’t show up that night, I knew that I had made the right decision and that it was the knowledge taught to me by my mother that had finally helped me do what I knew was the right thing.

Listen, Learn, and Labor

Emily D., California, USA

I stood with thousands of youth, waiting for the First Presidency to speak. After hearing from President Hinckley, President Monson, and President Faust, we would perform in the youth cultural celebration as part of the Sacramento California Temple dedication.

I was about to begin my senior year of high school, and anxiety began to creep into my heart. I didn’t know how to balance my many activities—advanced classes in school, music lessons, and college preparation. Could I possibly get everything done and still be successful?

“Remember the three principles of success: listen, learn, and labor,” President Monson said. Peace washed over my soul as he explained how to listen, apply what you learn to your life, and then get to work without looking back. Those words gave me the confidence I needed to move forward.

I started my senior year by applying those principles to my schoolwork and other obligations. Instead of dwelling on my fear of the future, I took action by applying for scholarships and studying for college entrance exams.

But I still felt like something was missing. After a lot of pondering and prayer, I realized President Monson had not only been talking about success in school, but also about success in life—especially eternal life.

I began setting aside more time to study the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. I made personal prayer more of a priority, even when I had other things that needed to get done. To my amazement, my tasks were easier, my mind was clear, and my heart was happy.

Three simple words—listen, learn, and labor—gave me the formula for success in high school and in life.

My Other Talent

Trevor L., Arizona, USA

I was on the baseball team in high school, but I needed shoulder surgery my junior year and was unable to recover enough to play. When I had to quit baseball, I was very torn up. I wasn’t sure what to do with my life.

I have always been into music and had started writing songs on my guitar. For a long time I did this as a hobby and nothing more, but when I couldn’t spend my time playing baseball, I decided to transfer all of my passion into my music. I contacted a friend who had a home recording studio, and we started recording some of my songs. After four months I came out with an eight-song CD.

My parents have been encouraging me to save up for my mission since I was very young, but until this point I still didn’t have a lot of money in my mission fund. I decided that once my CD was finished I would sell it and save all of the profit for my mission fund. My goal is to make half the money I need for my mission through my music.

I know how important serving a mission is, and I’m working hard to earn the money I need. While it was disappointing to not be able to play baseball anymore, I know the Lord has a plan for me. I can’t play baseball, but I can play music. I see now how the Lord has opened up a way for me to earn some of the money I need to serve Him on a full-time mission.

Illustration by Sam Lawlor; photograph © Getty Images