Life rarely goes according to plan. It is full of twists, turns, and surprises for everyone. So how can we prepare for the future when we don’t know what it will bring?
Luckily, there are a few things we can always count on. The following truths will never change. They can guide our decisions and encourage us to move forward, even when the path ahead seems dark and uncertain.
You might not feel so valuable. You might feel broken and alone and afraid. You might feel unworthy. But as Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, explained, worth and worthiness aren’t the same thing.2 Even when we sin, we are worth so much. That is one reason why the Savior performed the Atonement (see Doctrine and Covenants 18:11–13). Because He knows and loves you, He has provided the way for you to be clean again.
You are here on earth for a purpose: to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to return to live with Them. That’s God’s goal for you, and He will help you accomplish it!
That doesn’t mean things will always be easy; we will still face challenges. But we can be sure that “things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:15).
His plan for your life may look different from your plan, but you can trust that His plan will be for your benefit and lead you to everlasting happiness. Read the guidebooks to life: scriptures, your patriarchal blessing, and the words of modern prophets. They will help you to better understand His plan for you.
Then follow His direction. When we are obedient to His commandments, we will have peace and prosperity (see Mosiah 2:22). “Be of good cheer,” as President Thomas S. Monson said. “The future is as bright as your faith.”3
While our road through life might be uncertain, our destination is clear. As we make decisions, we can ask, “Where will this lead?”4 If it turns you away from the path to eternal life, it’s not the right choice.
Sometimes we get caught up in the little decisions, like homework or what to eat for lunch. We lose sight of the real purpose of life—becoming like our heavenly parents. Really, when we are heading toward that goal, everything is going to be OK. So keep an eternal perspective.
Life may not go as we plan. In fact, it definitely won’t. But our destination is what matters the most. Make sure you’re heading in the right direction, and with the help of the Lord, everything will work out. He will guide you.
While Heavenly Father does guide our path, He does not tell us everything we should do. He has given us agency, and He expects us to use it.
As the Lord said, “It is not meet that I should command in all things; . . . men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–27). In this case, to be anxiously engaged means to be diligent and dedicated.
Sometimes, having agency might not feel like a comfort. Sometimes we might just want to be told what to do. But in reality, agency is a great blessing. It is a gift from God and one of the things that makes us like Him. It gives us power.
So what do you want to be engaged in?
One of those good causes to be engaged in could be our own personal development. There are always things we could improve about ourselves, things we could learn, and skills we could develop. There are also covenants that we need to make and keep.5
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the importance of our progress in this way: “God is not interested in His children just becoming trained and obedient ‘pets’ who will not chew on His slippers in the celestial living room. No, God wants His children to grow up spiritually and join Him in the family business.”6
Prepare for your eternal destiny by becoming your best self. Identify the skills you want to develop and the spiritual gifts you need to become more like God.7 Then make a plan to develop those things! Strengthen your “spiritual muscles” though practice.8
When the life ahead looks scary, remember that it isn’t out of control. You are not alone. You are powerful. And with Jesus Christ, you are unstoppable. He will help you become all that you were born to be.