“This Is It!” Ensign, April 2019
I arrived home late one winter night after conducting many interviews as bishop. I was exhausted. Work had been stressful for weeks, and family and Church responsibilities made me feel stretched beyond my limits.
That evening, I had to fix my car so I could get to work the next morning. As I put on my coveralls, I changed roles from bishop to mechanic. I lay on the cold garage floor underneath the car and began working. Why did I have to be freezing, exhausted, and busting my knuckles after I had already worked so hard that day? I was losing my patience and began a whining, pleading prayer to Heavenly Father.
“Is it possible You could help me a little?” I said. “I’m trying my best to be a good father, husband, and bishop and to live the commandments. Wouldn’t I serve better if I could get some rest? Please help me get this done so I can go to bed.”
Suddenly, three clear, distinct words came boldly to my mind: “This is it!”
“What?” I responded.
The words came again: “This is it!”
Understanding began to fill my mind and heart when the words came a third time: “This is it!” These words carried a message to my spirit. “It” was mortal life, and I was experiencing a moment of growth designed to help me become what Heavenly Father wants me to become. It was as if the Spirit said to me, “Did you expect this earthly journey not to have struggles?” When I arose from that freezing concrete floor, I was not the same.
Depending on how we respond to them, trials can be seen as gifts from a loving Father in Heaven. He provides us the opportunity to face trials so we can learn to turn to Him. When we do, we are blessed with learning and spiritual growth.
The three words that came to my mind during that cold night on the concrete floor of my garage have blessed me for more than 35 years. I try hard to see that no trial is wasted. I see trials as opportunities to learn things I may never learn in any other way.