When I was 17, I was attending a Protestant church I had found two years earlier. It was the first place where I formally learned about God and Jesus Christ. Around that time, I was traveling on a bus one day when a guy sat down beside me. He told me he had just been released from jail and talked about feeling like he could never enter any church again. At that moment, I knew that God had sent me there to meet that man, and I encouraged him, telling him that he should find a church.
As we talked, I told him I was studying to go to school for psychology. But then I blurted out that I might study journalism. He said, “You really look like a journalist—you should do that!” I found that strange because I had never thought about being a journalist before. The thought seemed to have come out of nowhere.
Two months later, the test that would allow me to go to the university to study psychology was coming up. One night I realized I wasn’t sure about my decision anymore. I was shocked because I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything else. Then I remembered the conversation with that man on the bus. I didn’t know anything about journalism schools, but I found the website for one in my state. Coincidentally, that day was the last day to register. Without thinking twice, I took the chance. And long story short: I just finished journalism school.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I know now that God was leading me through personal revelation in deciding what to study. I feel like I have always been blessed with awareness for what God wants for me—what kinds of opportunities and situations He sets in my life to show me the path He wants me to follow.
Four years later, I found the Church and was baptized, also through the guidance of the Holy Ghost. And I eventually learned what personal revelation is from reading the Doctrine and Covenants. One day before my baptism, I was reading the Book of Mormon because the missionaries had asked me to. Suddenly I decided to read ahead for some reason, to 2 Nephi 31, where Nephi describes Jesus Christ’s baptism. Even though I hadn’t prayed about the Book of Mormon yet, I felt like Heavenly Father was trying to tell me about baptism. The next chapter also caught my attention, where I read that the Holy Ghost can show us all things that we need to do (see 2 Nephi 32). Those words made a lot of sense to my life.
In fact, one thing I always realized is that if I find myself in darkness, God expects me to bring some kind of light out of it. When I learned about Joseph Smith, I saw similarities between us. I learned to look for God for answers. During my childhood, even without attending church, I always prayed, which inspired me to repent, to be patient, and to try to be kind and loving toward everyone.
Somehow I always knew that God was listening to me. When I finally went to a church at age 15 and learned about the Bible, I looked back at so many experiences and knew that the knowledge I had received from praying came from God.
In 2 Nephi 32:5, Nephi teaches, “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” That was something I thought I had understood until, after my baptism, the missionaries asked me if I knew what revelation was. I didn’t know it by name, but I said that I thought it was a feeling I had felt many times, like God speaking with me in my mind, answering my questions and thoughts. They said I was right.
With the knowledge about revelation and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, I had a newfound desire to read the Bible. I started finding lots of meaningful things there—I realized that it was because I was being guided by the Spirit. I loved reading Paul’s letters and seeing his example of being taught by the Spirit in his actions and his strong confidence in the Savior. Those were things I realized by experiencing the restored Church.
So in the end, it doesn’t matter your age, where you live, or even how much knowledge you have about the things of God. All you need to do is follow the hymn: “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, … ; I’ll be what you want me to be” (Hymns, no. 270). Live and share the beautiful things the Spirit sets in your heart, because the Spirit will show you the path to bless others and receive blessings yourself in this life.