“For Thy Good,” Ensign, Dec. 2000, 52–53
I was reared in the Philippines by strict but loving grandparents. My grandfather’s favorite phrase was, “It’s for your own good.” He used it whenever I acted stubborn or failed to finish a chore. He always said that the things he asked of me would help me become better prepared when I grew up. Although I didn’t fully comprehend his words, young as I was, I obeyed—if for no other reason than to avoid further sermons.
My grandparents were religious people. By the time I was five, I knew there was a loving God who blessed us as we obeyed His commandments. Going to church on Sundays was a must, and singing hymns, reading Bible stories, and praying were part of our daily routine. I felt temporally and spiritually blessed. We were happy and content.
Then events came into my life that shattered my peace like the sudden blow of unpredicted bad weather. My grandparents died unexpectedly one Christmas season when I was a teenager. The sorrow I felt seemed to ruin forever the joys and anticipation of Christmas. A couple of months later, my parents’ home burned down. A year later, my mother was in a car accident that left her an invalid. Then my father lost his job.
Tribulations beset me like a storm. With little money, I lost hope of earning a college degree. The demands of household chores drained me of energy.
Confused and battered emotionally and spiritually, I began to doubt God’s existence. I began to ask why He had allowed such adversity to come into my life when I had always tried to obey Him. The whys continued to bother me, and with no answers, I slowly drifted away from the church I was attending at the time. For years I searched other religions for answers and relief, but nothing satisfied me.
One bright summer afternoon, a close friend invited me to meet the Latter-day Saint missionaries. They impressed me with their polite greeting and neat appearance, and I was curious about their name tags, which bore the name of Jesus Christ. Somewhere inside my soul, a soft but clear voice seemed to whisper, Hear their message; it’s for your own good. The familiar phrase echoed in my mind.
As I listened to the discussions, my faith in God’s existence was gradually restored, and I accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. Following my baptism, I found that my lifelong questions had answers. I read in Doctrine and Covenants 122:5–7 the Lord’s words to the Prophet Joseph Smith: “If thou art called to pass through tribulation … all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” I have come to realize that great blessings did come from my trials, for they led me to the true fold of God.
Looking back on my experiences, I realize they truly were for my good—just as Grandfather had said.