“What about My Career?” Liahona, March 2011, 39
Everything was starting to work out perfectly. I had graduated from Oxford University with a degree in music and had started working for a professional orchestra in Edinburgh, Scotland. My career was progressing, and I was making lots of friends.
While studying, I had decided to delay full-time missionary service. Now the idea of serving was far from my mind. Fear of many things, especially the fear of stifling my career plans, made me think that I was an exception and that I didn’t need to serve. The sacrifices involved seemed too great.
Good friends and sweet experiences with the Spirit, however, began to change my heart. The love of a caring, watchful bishop helped me gain a stronger, deeper testimony of the restored gospel. Soon I knew that I needed to accept a call to serve. I had no idea how I would pick up my career in a competitive environment after a two-year break, but I trusted that the Lord would bless me for my decision. I left my job not knowing how things would work out.
I was called to serve in the West Indies Mission, speaking French. The challenges were hard, but I loved serving the people and seeing their lives change. During those two years I focused solely on seeking the will of my Father in Heaven. Serving others selflessly brought me more joy than I had ever experienced.
After returning home, I saw the world from the perspective of new priorities and values, and I sought to keep my life centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I immediately sought employment, but opportunities were few. After a string of unsuccessful job interviews, I realized that my two years in an unrelated field of work had scared off many potential employers. Would my mission really cost me my career?
I’m thankful that the answer was no. Almost three months later I spotted a vacancy that was perfect for me. I had just the right set of skills for the type of work involved. Not only that, but job candidates were required to speak fluent French! My mission opened the door for this opportunity. Three interviews later I was offered the job. My career was even further ahead than it would have been had I not served. I felt the Lord’s mercy and love. I know that He prepares blessings for us when we do our part.
What the Prophet Joseph Smith taught is true: “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (D&C 123:17).