The Job I Needed So Badly
previous next

“The Job I Needed So Badly,” Ensign, Oct. 1996, 54–55

The Job I Needed So Badly

My wife and I and our two children were living in Gayndah, Queensland, Australia. We owned a house on seven acres of land and harbored high hopes of eventually becoming self-sufficient. However, we found that living in a small country town presented some challenges. Because I had to travel north about 125 miles to work, I could afford to come home only on weekends. On Sundays we would travel south about 85 miles to attend church. We didn’t seem to have much time left to develop our little piece of paradise.

I rode a motorbike to work and often explored different routes to get home on the weekends. On one of these forays I came across a construction site. I decided to inquire for work, and the first person I asked turned out to be the project manager. He gave me an application, which I filled out and left with him.

Over the ensuing weeks I stopped often to check on the job. I discovered that the company had only 12 openings but had received 200 applications. The number was cut to 100, and my name was still on the list. Then the list was narrowed to 50, then to 20, and I was still on the list.

At this point my wife, Michelle, and I looked seriously at what this change might require of us. Because the job entailed shift work, we’d have to move closer to the job site. Not only would we have to give up our little plot of land, but we would also find ourselves nearly 180 miles from the nearest branch of the Church. We’d be able to attend church perhaps once a month between shifts. Yet the pay was substantially better than what I had been earning.

I spoke with our branch president, who told us he felt strongly that, if anything, we should move closer to the meetinghouse rather than farther away.

Finally I was offered the job and was asked to start work within a week. I was offered excellent wages as well as a housing subsidy. Michelle and I were faced with a tough decision. The logical thing to do was to take the job. We pondered and prayed about whether to accept the job offer, leave things as they were, or move closer to the chapel. In the end my wife and I decided we would follow our branch president’s advice even though we did not know how we would support ourselves. That decision was confirmed to both of us very clearly through the Spirit.

We moved south to Kingaroy, and I got a lower-paying job working for a farmer. For several weeks we received welfare help from the Church, which was hard for us to accept. We lived frugally, never sure if we would even have enough gasoline to get to church, which was now only 12 miles away.

Then I was offered a job with a construction company at a higher wage than I would have earned at the job I had turned down. As a family we learned a valuable lesson: that if we seek Heavenly Father’s will concerning the decisions we arrive at after prayerful reflection, he will confirm whether they are right or wrong through the Holy Ghost (see D&C 9:8–9). Michelle and I now try to apply this principle in rearing our six children and in many other areas as well.

  • Stuart Otto serves as branch president in the Karratha Branch, Australia Perth Mission.