The Prophet Answered My Prayer
June 2014

“The Prophet Answered My Prayer,” Ensign, June 2014, 79

The Prophet Answered My Prayer

Derrick Fields, Missouri, USA

At the end of my second year I applied to my university’s graphic design program. I wasn’t accepted, but I was eligible to reapply the following year. I wasn’t thrilled about waiting another year to graduate.

The closest thing to my chosen major was photography. So I prayed about changing my major and felt good about it. I just wanted to get my degree!

At the start of the fall semester, I had classes on film and on the social history of photography. I was excited about both. But as I looked over the syllabus of my film class, I noticed that students would be required to watch many R-rated movies. In my photography class the teacher stated that the pictures we would be studying would be violent, disturbing, and sexual. She said that was what photography was mostly about these days.

My heart sank as I contemplated what to do. I knew that the gospel taught against such things, but these classes were required. I thought of the scripture about being in the world but not of the world (see John 15:19). Could I be in these classes but not of them?

I prayed to know what to do and to have the faith to do what was right. I also counseled with my wife, parents, and brother. As I spoke with my brother, he reminded me of the following verse: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

I knew that education is important, but was I in the wrong field? How could I drop out of school temporarily when the light at the end of the tunnel was so close?

Late one night while I was up with our sick baby, the thought came to me to look up President Thomas S. Monson on the Internet. Soon I was watching a general conference talk President Monson had delivered in October 2011. I listened intently as he talked about the deterioration of society’s moral compass, saying that inappropriate and immoral behavior had become acceptable by many.

Then he said exactly what I needed to hear: “We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual. It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God.”1

These words pierced me with great power. As tears ran down my face, I knew that a living prophet had answered my prayer.

Although I have postponed my plans for graduation, I know that the Lord will bless my family and me as we follow the prophet, reject the views of the world, obey the commandments, and support gospel standards.


  1. Thomas S. Monson, “Stand in Holy Places,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 83.