“When I Followed the Prophets, I Found …” Ensign, August 2014, 18–21
Prophets are called by God, and “by the Spirit are all things made known unto [them]” (1 Nephi 22:2). They—the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—speak for God. How has following the prophets personally blessed your life? We asked young adults to share their experiences.
When I was a child, a picture of the temple hung in our home with the following words of President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994): “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.”1 During my university studies, my district president called me to teach seminary. The idea of getting up early, going to sleep early, and using afternoons to prepare lessons concerned me. When would I study for school or have time for a social life? The memory from my childhood of the picture of the temple suddenly came into my mind. A beautiful feeling confirmed that if I put the Lord first, everything else would fall into place. I accepted the calling and spent an inspiring year with my seminary students. A week after seminary graduation, I met my future husband. I learned that when I put the Lord first, other things do indeed fall into place.
Eliana Martorana, Vercelli, Italy
I am preparing for a career that may put me at risk of becoming prideful, so I have noticed with interest the righteous example of our prophets and apostles. Many have held prestigious professional positions, yet they still serve Jesus Christ with sincere devotion. I desire to follow their example.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke on pride in the October 2010 general conference. It provided me with increased motivation to be humble and with excellent instruction on how to identify and resist pride. Especially meaningful for me was President Uchtdorf’s testimony of how to avoid pride: “It is almost impossible to be lifted up in pride when our hearts are filled with charity.”2 He also shared some counsel that President James E. Faust (1920–2007) gave him when President Uchtdorf first became a General Authority. “[Church members] will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you,” said President Faust. “Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.”3 I know this advice from the prophets applies to my own concerns.
Eric Reuben Smith, Utah, USA
From the time I was a young girl, I have been a meticulous planner. So when the time came for me to make a decision about whether to go on a mission, I desperately wanted to know what to do and make a plan. After months of trying to decide, I was at a loss.
Then I found the following insights that President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, shared in the October 2012 general conference: “We can’t insist on our timetable when the Lord has His own. … Sometimes our insistence on acting according to our own timetable can obscure His will for us.”4 I realized I should put my trust in God’s timetable. Yes, I can make plans and chase my dreams. But through it all, I need to realize that when something isn’t working out, it may be that God has a different path for me.
I don’t know yet when I might go on a mission. But I do know that whatever happens, it will be on God’s timetable.
Samantha Dodson, Utah, USA
When I was a child, I didn’t understand how faith worked. Since then I’ve learned that the purpose of faith isn’t to change the world to match what I want; rather, the purpose of faith is to change my heart. As Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, our faith “is bolstered by our knowledge that the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that prophets and apostles today hold the keys of the priesthood.”5 It is our faith that allows us to recognize the blessings all around us, whether our prayers are answered the way we want or not. Our faith in Jesus Christ allows us to align our will with that of our Heavenly Father. We can put our trust in Their eternal perspective. As a result, we gain stability and constancy in our ever-changing lives.
Jennifer Taylor, California, USA
I grew up close to a temple, so I was impressed as a missionary in Mexico when members rode a bus for five hours to attend the temple. I wondered how I could develop the same attitude about temple worship. Then in the April 2009 general conference, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered suggestions for improving temple worship. Among them was to “remove your watch when you enter a house of the Lord.”6 I gave Elder Scott’s suggestion a try. Doing so has improved my temple experience. Instead of wondering every so often how much time is left or when it will be mealtime, I center my thoughts on Christ and my covenants. I’m grateful for the Lord’s prophets, who are truly inspired of God. As we follow their counsel, even in small things, blessings will follow.
Dallin Rowley, Maryland, USA
In the April 2013 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, talked about four titles of a priesthood holder—son of Heavenly Father, disciple of Jesus Christ, healer of souls, and heir of eternal life. When I pondered these four titles, I realized that I am more than a son of man; I am a son of God. When I feel I can’t accomplish my purpose, the words of President Uchtdorf come so strongly into my heart:
“Do you not know that ‘God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to [put to shame] the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to [put to shame] the things which are mighty’? [1 Corinthians 1:27].
“Perhaps it is true that we are weak. … But when God works through us, no one and nothing can stand against us.”7
This changed my life. I now know that I am able to do what God wants me to do. I realize how great it is to have revelations to act upon from the prophets in our day.
Agenor Sohou, Île-de-France, France
As a youth growing up in Ecuador, I often heard President Gordon B. Hinckley talk about the importance of gaining an education. He said we need education not only to make our way in the world but also to progress spiritually.8 I believed what President Hinckley taught, so I spent time studying—not only my scriptures but also accounting. I obtained a master of business administration degree in international finance. Education has given me the opportunity to have a good job and to be able to help my brothers and sisters. I know that a good education is vital because I heard it from a prophet.
Kelly Avila Saquipay, Guayas, Ecuador