“By Small Means,” Ensign, July 2011, 19
I thought I was doing fine. I had served a mission, graduated from college, secured a full-time job, and finally moved into an apartment by myself. I attended church every Sunday and sometimes went to activities. I had plenty of friends, single and married, and I suddenly had more time for reading, my favorite thing to do as a child. Yet even with all of these activities, I still felt lost.
In Alma chapter 37, we read of Alma’s advice to his son Helaman. In verses 41–42, Alma talks about Lehi’s family and the Liahona. He explains that the Liahona would not work when “they were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence” and that “they did not progress in their journey; therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course.” Reading these verses helped me realize that I was not progressing. I was not exercising my faith or being diligent in anything in my life. I had stopped working toward a goal. I was simply waiting for something to happen.
There wasn’t one specific moment when I made a list and wrote down everything I needed to change. Rather, those changes came little by little. First, I started to get up early and go for a run or do some other form of exercise. Next, I began to look into school programs that might help me progress in my job or allow me to get a different one. I found a program and then spent time preparing to take the necessary tests to apply. Scripture study and prayer became more important to me, and I tried to spend time every day feasting on the words of Christ and seeking to feel the Spirit. I made a special effort to be more involved in my ward—even if it meant sacrificing some personal time.
Since I started making these small changes, I have felt happier. I feel that I’m progressing and Heavenly Father is giving me new challenges. I can face those challenges with hope rather than fear or discouragement. I’ve learned that when we cease to work or exercise our faith and move in a direction, Heavenly Father cannot help us progress and we will not reach our destination. I am so grateful for the small changes in my life that have helped me to see a way ahead.