“I Hope … I Wish … I Dream …” New Era, Jan. 2003, 41
I was a 13-year-old Latter-day Saint young woman living in Gilbert, Arizona, and each year our stake held its yearly girls’ camp in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona.
That year, at the beginning of camp, our leaders gave us each a small spiral notebook. On the inside cover of each was written our name, the name of the camp, and “Summer of ’76.” On the first page of the notebook was the heading, “I hope, I wish, I dream.”
We were instructed to write in this notebook our hopes, our wishes, and our dreams for the future. We were also told to put our notebooks somewhere safe. Our leaders hoped that when we were grown up, we would take our notebooks out and see what our dreams had been and if we had achieved them.
I took our leaders’ words to heart. I filled page after page with my hopes for the future. When I came home from camp that year, I unpacked my suitcase and took out the little spiral notebook and set it carefully inside my hope chest.
Years went by, and I gave little thought to the notebook. Over the next 20 years, I went through many moves. I transferred the contents of my hope chest to a cardboard box, which I labeled “Mementos,” and that box followed me wherever I went.
One day, 20 years from the day that I wrote in that notebook at camp, I walked into my garage and saw the box labeled “Mementos.” I decided to get it down and see what was inside. I began pulling out items. Then I came across the little spiral notebook. I opened it to the first page and read, “I hope, I wish, I dream.”
I began to read and ponder what I had written—of my desire to be married to a good man in the temple and my desire to have a big family and a happy home. I had written of my desire to keep the commandments. I continued reading about how important it was for me to not compromise my principles and to keep the light of the gospel in my life.
I paused for a moment from my reading and thought about how my life had turned out. I had not compromised my principles. I had married a good man in the temple. We had three children at that time. We were a happy family, and we taught our children the gospel. All that I had read had come true or was coming true.
I then went on to read of a more specific dream I had. The last sentence I had written was, “I want to write a book.”
After reading this, I found myself standing perfectly still, in awe. Then my heart began pounding, and I smiled as my entire being was filled with a warm tingly feeling. I closed the little notebook and held it close to me. A publishing company had just accepted my manuscript for publication.
I received a strong testimony that day of the power of goal setting. I received a testimony that our Heavenly Father loves us and will help us in achieving our hopes, our wishes, and our dreams. I believe that when I was 13, I knew what I wanted to do in my life, and I knew what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I believe in the importance of setting righteous goals now and not compromising your principles. If you do set righteous goals, they will become reality.