When Ulisses Soares was a young man, one of his friends invited him to a costume party. It sounded like a lot of fun.
“But as soon as I arrived, I saw people doing bad things that were against what I had been taught,” Elder Soares recalls. “I asked myself, ‘How could I have put myself in this situation?’ I knew better.”
Elder Soares had received a ride to the party from some friends and had no way of getting home until after the party ended. He quickly said a prayer.
“I said, Lord, help me. I made a mistake,” he remembers. “As soon as I had finished, He guided me. I found a way out of the home and stayed outside during the whole party.”
The next day at church, he says, “I was able to worthily partake of the sacrament even though all kinds of bad things were happening around me the night before.”
That experience was one of several in his youth that taught Elder Soares the importance of holding tight to the iron rod.
“You do your part, and the Lord Jesus Christ will do His part,” Elder Soares says. “Hold tight to His hand, and He will guide you. He will inspire you where to go and what to do. Then, even though you’re facing challenges and even though you’re facing this crazy world pushing against you, you can go forward and you can overcome.”