Checking My Pride

Aaron C., Idaho, USA

young men playing hockey

Illustration by Roger Motzkus

As a junior in high school, I played on my school’s varsity ice hockey team. Just weeks into the season, I broke my arm badly during a game against our rival school and was taken to the hospital. Reconstructive surgery was performed on my arm that night, and upon returning to the doctor’s office the next week I was told that I would miss the remaining five months of the season. I was devastated.

In the weeks following the injury, I puttered around using just one arm, trying to function as best I could. I couldn’t bathe myself. Feeding myself was very difficult. I couldn’t play the guitar. And I couldn’t write with my preferred hand. The whole time I thought, “Why me?”

Then about three weeks after the injury, my mom drove me back to the ice rink to get the gear I had left there on the night of my injury. My coach had the gear in his office upstairs, and while we were talking, he said something I’ll never forget: “Aaron, we’ll miss you this year; we sure could use you on the ice. But there’s Someone upstairs who’s watching out for you. This year, there’s something more important for you than hockey.” It had never occurred to me that God had something else planned for me, but He did.

I learned many things that year. I learned to be humble and to accept the help of others, especially Christ and His Atonement. I widened my horizons by becoming more involved in the school choir and learning to play lacrosse. I learned how to forgive people. But the most important thing I learned is that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows what is best for me.

Supper Surprise

Nicole E., Wyoming, USA

One day I came home from track practice exhausted. I had a lot of homework due the next day, practice had been grueling, and I was hungry and tired. Trying not to think of all the chores I still had to do, I made it through the doors of my house. My thoughts weren’t so happy as I marched down to the basement. I was ready to lash out at anybody who was in my way. As I made my way into the kitchen, I smelled dinner, which was nearly ready, and saw that my sister was just finishing the dishes. The other rooms were also clean, and good music was playing on the radio. I dropped my stuff in my room and came out to see who had cleaned the place. I asked my sister about it, and she said, “I decided that you might like some supper. And the dishes needed to be done, and you weren’t going to be home for a while, so I just decided to surprise you.” I was overwhelmed. I hugged her. Making my way to my room, my entire attitude changed. Although my day had started off not so great, it ended well, because my sister decided to show an act of kindness. I knelt down and poured out my gratitude to my Father in Heaven.

Photogragh © Getty Images

Being Taught by the Spirit

Alec E., Utah, USA

One Sunday during our teachers quorum meeting, we had a lesson on patriarchal blessings. I didn’t know a lot about patriarchal blessings, so I found the lesson very interesting. The next week my aunt and uncle who recently became active in the Church received their patriarchal blessings. Then that Monday I got my copy of the New Era in the mail. I saw that one of the articles in it was titled “When Should I Get My Patriarchal Blessing?” [Aug. 2009], and that is when I started to wonder if my Heavenly Father was trying to tell me to get my patriarchal blessing. I prayed about it and received my answer. Soon afterward I received my patriarchal blessing.

A few weeks later I started to struggle with school, friends, family, and even my faith. I was reading my scriptures one night, and as I was about to stop, I felt the urge to keep reading. I followed the prompting and read several scriptures that mentioned prayer. I then recalled my patriarchal blessing and how it said that I need to pray often and have a close relationship with my Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. I had not been the best at saying my prayers. I realized that I was missing out on one of the blessings I would have been getting.

When we refer to the Holy Ghost as the still, small voice, it is not an understatement. He truly speaks in still and small ways. We must pay close attention to make sure we don’t miss what the Lord is trying to tell us or advise us to do. I know that we will be blessed if we always listen to the still, small voice.