“Healing My Homesickness,” Liahona, Jan. 2010, 38
I began college at age 18. After a short time, however, I transferred to another university and changed my major. My new university was only a couple of hours from my home, but I found myself terribly homesick and discouraged, wanting to give up and return to my family. Yet I knew if I did, I would be abandoning my chance to earn a degree.
One weekend not long after the school year began, all of my roommates went home for a visit. I knew that if I went home too, I would not return. I couldn’t even call and speak to my family for fear I would break down and not be able to focus on my studies. I had been praying for the strength to overcome my homesickness, but now I was praying to know whether I should even remain at school and complete a degree.
Early that Sunday morning as I walked slowly across the quiet campus on my way to church, I wondered how I could stay at school when I missed my home and family so deeply and couldn’t overcome my loneliness. But what would I do if I left school?
When I arrived at church, the previous ward had just left the chapel. I entered, hoping for a moment to pray for direction. As I found a place to sit and slowly moved onto the wooden pew, I noticed a printed program from the previous sacrament meeting. There on the front of the folded paper were the following words: “Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”1
At that moment I knew what I needed to do. The Lord had answered my prayers in such a simple way, but I could not deny that it was an answer just the same.
It wasn’t long after that Sunday that my loneliness and discouragement left. As a result, I enjoyed my remaining years in school. I gained a degree, lifelong friends, and a stronger testimony by following the promptings of the Spirit.
Now, more than 25 years later, I still recall that answer to my prayer, and I use those same words from that sacrament meeting program to commit myself to difficult tasks. I have shared my experience with close friends and family in hopes that they too might gain strength in difficult times.
I know the Lord cares about our feelings and everyday choices, and I know He answers our sincere prayers.