Where I Need to Be
Aaron A., Utah, USA
Illustration by Dan Burr
Two weeks before my junior year of high school, my entire life was going to be uprooted. My family had always lived in North Carolina, USA, but had recently decided that my dad should take a job on the other side of the country, in Utah. I prayed about this decision, and I knew that this was going to be the best thing for my family, but I was still nervous.
Because of the timing of the move and the school schedule in my new town, I had to move one week before the rest of my family left North Carolina, and I would be starting school a week late. I was terrified. I was going to a brand new high school, I was starting after everyone else, and I had no friends.
On my first day at school, I was incredibly nervous and felt like no one wanted to talk to me. While I was waiting for all the other students to find their seats in French class so that I could take an empty one, a young woman invited me to sit next to her and began asking me questions about myself—why I was starting school a week late and where I was from. She helped me through the class, and then she asked me if I had anyone to sit with at lunch. I timidly replied that I didn’t, and she asked if I would sit with her and her friends. I gladly accepted.
Later that day, she invited me to a pool party that one of the school clubs was hosting and then to the football game. Both were very enjoyable, and I felt like I’d really made a friend. That night, I thanked my Father in Heaven for all the blessings I was receiving. I didn’t really know this young woman all that well, but I felt the love of Christ through her actions.
One day after school, my new friend asked me if I would be interested in coming with her and another friend to the temple to do baptisms for the dead before school the next day. I was excited about the invitation and said that I would go.
The next morning, I dressed in my Sunday best and went to the temple. After coming out of the temple, we took some time to walk around the grounds. I still wasn’t exactly sure how my new life in Utah would turn out, but as I looked over the valley, I knew that this is where my Father in Heaven wanted me to be.
Searching for a Story
Dana P., Minnesota, USA
I sat at the kitchen table with a stack of Ensign magazines, skimming through the pages and hoping to find a story that would help my sister with her talk. An hour into my search, the pile of magazines had dwindled and so had my enthusiasm. Although the pages were filled with valuable messages, I hadn’t found anything to use. Then it occurred to me: I never prayed for help.
I immediately bowed my head and offered a prayer. Then I went back to searching. Before I prayed, I’d mostly looked in the short stories, but now I delved into other articles. In one of those articles, I found a story that would help my sister!
As my sister left the room, Ensign in hand, I offered a prayer of gratitude. I know Heavenly Father helps when I ask. I just need to pray.
The Picture on the Mirror
Patrick H., Utah, USA
It was another day of work in the mission field. My companion and I couldn’t catch any of our investigators, nobody let us in when we knocked on doors, and I was pretty frustrated by the end of the day. When we came home to our apartment for the night, I was upset that nobody talked to us, and I felt it was my fault, even though there really wasn’t anything more I could have done.
As I thought about this, I went into the bathroom and saw the picture of Christ my companion and I had taped to the mirror. I looked at it and smiled. I felt Christ’s love wash over me. In spite of my weaknesses, I’d tried my best, and Christ knew my effort and what I was going through.
I’ve often reflected on that experience, and I’ve resolved to always post a picture of Christ on my mirror, reminding me that as I do my best, no matter how “little” that effort may appear, I can still stand before my Savior and smile, knowing He loves me and accepts me for who I am.
Would I Wear this to Seminary?
Amanda R., Maryland, USA
We face a lot of things in the world that could keep us from living gospel standards. But certain things can help. For example, when I think about what to wear each day, I ask myself if I would wear the outfit to seminary. It may seem like a silly question, but it makes sense. If I don’t think it would be appropriate to wear to seminary, why would I wear it anywhere? If I realize I shouldn’t wear it, why keep it? If I don’t have it in my closet, I can’t be tempted to wear it.
Those questions have helped me stay modest and will help me in the future. Plus, dressing modestly today means I won’t have to change my wardrobe when I enter the temple.